RUSH: Here is Susan Collins yesterday coming out after a closed session, and she’s not pleased what she heard and she wants more investigation. This is on the port deal.
COLLINS: At the end of this afternoon of briefings, I am more convinced than ever that the process was truly flawed, that the national security and homeland security —
RUSH: Stop the tape! I can’t take this. The process worked. And if she doesn’t know that, she has no business being in the United States Senate. The process worked! She has to take something three months old out of context in order to make this point. And I ask myself, why? This is as bad as the CBS poll. Here’s the rest of her bite.
COLLINS: — of this proposed transaction were such that a 45-day formal investigation as called for under the law should have been undertaken.
RUSH: All right. Here’s what this is about. ‘Republican congressional leaders had hoped to curtail bipartisan outcries over a United Arab Emirates-based company’s pending takeover of some U.S. port operations by brokering an agreement for a new investigation of the deal’s potential security risks. Then came the disclosure that the U.S. Coast Guard had raised concerns weeks ago that, because of U.S. intelligence gaps, it could not determine whether the UAE company, DP World, might support terrorist operations. Bush administration officials say those concerns were addressed and resolved. Nevertheless, both Republicans and Democrats seized on the Coast Guard assessment, which was released by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing Monday, to launch a fresh round of criticism just as the furor over the ports deal appeared on the brink of subsiding.’ And then she said what we just played for you.
She took an excerpt of a larger report out of context, tried to make it sound like this was done recently, said recently, occurred recently. Let me read you this AP story. Let me read to you the last paragraph. ‘In a statement, the Coast Guard said the assessment was part of a broader classified Coast Guard analysis that concluded that the DP World’s pending takeover in and of itself does not pose a significant threat to US assets in continental United States ports.’ No story! It’s the very last thing that most readers are not going to spend their time getting to. Susan Collins knew this, has to have known this. If she doesn’t know this, she doesn’t win — however this one is sliced, folks, she either looks ignorant or she looks like a demagogue, and either one is not good for her.
RUSH: This to me is just outrageous. What Susan Collins did yesterday, jumping over the fence with the Democrats on this, if she can’t see how the Democrats are using it. Folks, if I were opposed to the deal I would be as outraged over what Susan Collins did as I am today being not afraid of the deal. This is simply irresponsible. It’s political naïveté or ignorance or a combination of things. But to take one statement, one excerpt of a larger report that is outdated now anyway because the Coast Guard itself says we had our concerns addressed, there’s no story here, there’s not even a story. She’s either been played like a Stradivarius by somebody, or she’s engineering this on her own. I don’t pretend to know which and it actually doesn’t matter to me. Now, in February, there are some other elements to this story.
‘In February, the commerce committee vetted the appointment of David Sanborn of Virginia, who was a senior executive of this UAE company, to be the new administrator of the maritime administration of the transportation department.’ He’s an American. David Sanborn is, unless his name was Abdula Abdul and he’s changed his name. ‘The White House appointed Sanborn, who worked as DP World’s director of operations for Europe and Latin America to the post in January, the same month the treasury department’s Committee on Foreign Investment to the US approved the deal. Two Democrats, John Kerry of Massachusetts, who also served in Vietnam, and Bill Nelson of Florida, have vowed to block Sanborn’s nomination unless he testifies again before the commerce committee. ‘He worked for Dubai Ports World when this deal was rushed through under cover of darkness without sufficient security review,’ Kerry said.’ Remember, folks, this deal was first rumored last October 30th. Wall Street Journal had a story about it last October 31st.
There was nothing secret about this. The review process that took place was quite natural, quite normal. The Coast Guard, it has been learned, had a concern in the process during the frame of the review. The concern was addressed. Susan Collins comes out of a closed meeting yesterday. This excerpt from the Coast Guard, ‘No, we have problem, I don’t think this deal flies, terrorism, problem here,’ as though it’s not been dealt with, as though it was overlooked, as though it was ignored and somebody signed off on the deal, even though our risk for terrorism had increased. That’s what she did. That’s the impression she left yesterday. Then the mainstream media, the modern equivalent of drive-by shooters, pulled up to the congested area, took what she did, bammo, fired the bullets into big crowd, this being the population of the country, and got this thing all flared up again as it was beginning to subside.
And again, here’s the last paragraph of the AP story. ‘In a statement, the Coast Guard said the assessment was part of a broader classified Coast Guard analysis that concluded that DP World’s pending takeover in and of itself does not pose a significant threat to US assets in continental US American ports.’ So now Chuck Schumer is out, ‘We got a smoking gun! We got a smoking gun!’ This is being so misreported, it’s being so misportrayed and misrepresented. And now the Democrats are able to take this out, ‘Smoking gun! Bush hid from us that it does worsen our security! It makes terrorism more likely,’ and they’re out running with it today. They’re out running with it, they’re out running with it with this asinine CBS poll about Bush being down to 34%, which is as flawed as the story coming out of the Senate yesterday with Susan Collins. All right, Dominick in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, glad you called sir, welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush, dittos from Sheboygan.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Well, I agree with you. After learning all about it, I don’t think it’s going to pose a big risk, but the problem is the majority of the public doesn’t know that the Coast Guard and local port authorities still handle the inspections. So I think Bush is going to have such a hard time convincing people it’s okay, and I’m wondering, is it worth going to the mat over this?
RUSH: That’s for Bush to decide. I have many ways to answer that. In his mind, it’s the right thing to do. In his mind it fits naturally with American foreign policy. It fits with the idea that we can’t beat all these terrorists in that region militarily. We’ve got to have some allies there. Here’s some people that want to be like us. I’ve been through all this. But I think one of the greatest illustrations of who George Bush is, is exactly what you say, public opposed, to hell with it, he’s going ahead with it. Now, here’s a guy who’s not paying attention to polls. Here’s a guy, he’s gone out and he’s fought for what he’s wanted, and he’s fought for what he thinks is right, and he’s gotten a lot of us alternately mad or happy at times. People call this stubborn. And I often wonder, just what do some people want in a leader.
Do you actually want a president that is going to judge his reaction and his decisions on things to the reaction of polls such as the CBS poll we got today? At some point, you know, the empathy that leaders must have for the people they’re leading is required, but you’re not leading if you turn everything over to a referendum. We do not have pure democracy here. We have representative democracy. Pure democracy would mean every issue we’d all take a vote as a nation, decide what we’re going to do. That’s not what we do but that’s what some people apparently want the president to do. “He’s not listening to us.” Well, fine. His risk is that he’s voted out of office. Of course, that can’t happen to him because he’s not running again. But if he makes people mad enough, they can impeach him. Or they can take it out on his party, which does have a lot of people up for reelection this year and in 2008 as well. That’s how it works.
You can think back if you like the Clinton administration better, and some of you might have, taking polls on what to wear in vacation, I kid you not. Al Gore let Naomi Wolf come up with his wardrobe for the 2000 presidential campaign. If you want phoniness like that and if you want insincerity like that, then, you know, go ahead and support it. But I think, you know, the effort here, there’s a separation of powers argument going on, and I think as long as people in the country want to play a role in this, they gotta understand the politics of this, too, as well as whatever they think about the deal, and this has set the Democrats up. Let me tell you what the Democrat theory is. I’ll tell you what the Democratic Party theory is. Here’s their strategery and here’s their hope. This 45-day delay, they don’t care about this for the added time it gives to examine the deal.
They couldn’t care less. They don’t want this deal. They’re going to stand in the way of this deal at all costs because this is the only thing since 9/11 that they think has put them on the right side of the national security issue. So they ask for this 45-day delay and the main reason they want this delay is to delay it so it’s closer to the election where it will have some memory as voters go to the polls in November. So this 45-day delay may be extended. (doing impression) “Well, that’s too soon, Rush, we’re hurrying through this. They’re a terribly complicated thing. Having this Arab company, United Arab Emirates, you know, going to be running the ports, and they’re going to be doing security, and, you know, the Coast Guard didn’t want this. We need to put this off maybe three months.” And then at the end of the three months, there won’t have been any serious effort by the Democrats to get to the bottom of this because they already know it’s okay.
They just can’t afford to be on the side of this because they’re just so desirous of creaming Bush and being on the right side of national security. So what’s going to happen, in 45 days or three months, however long this so-called cooling-off period is and this additional time for review of the deal, they’re going to gin it all back up. Whenever that period ends we’re going to be right back to where we are today. The same arguments are going to be made, the same attempts to demagogue and frighten as many people in this country as possible, that terrorists are buying the ports and are going to be running security. I don’t care what the review shows, the Democrats are never going to come off that mantra. That’s fine, that’s who they are. We know it. We don’t need a bunch of ignorant, lame-brain Republicans jumping on the other side of the fence to join them, and it’s all happening on the basis of ignorance. I can’t describe it any better than I did.
There was a conventional wisdom tsunami last week that swept everybody but me away. And everybody was going off with so many wrong impressions, so much incorrect data, some with no data, some with no information, just reacting on a gut emotional level to whatever fears they had, and most of the people doing that were elected officials. They were politicians. They were joining — it was an embarrassing sight to see. These are supposed to be people with access to information we don’t have. We had more than they did. We knew more than they did. We were reading things they could have read but didn’t. They are the late arrivals here to the facts of the deal. They’re the ones, along with the mainstream media, who got this tsunami going and this drive-by shooting of last week. I can’t tell you, Susan Collins thing, unless I’m missing something, unless there’s some element of this story that I don’t know, this is just unbelievable to me. It is just sheer ignorance, demagoguery or what have you. And even if I opposed the deal it would still bother me what’s going on here with her and what some of these Republicans are doing, because there’s no reason. There’s no reason to give the Democrats a big boost here on the political side of this thing.
All right, quick time-out here. We’ll have some more phone calls and other excitement. Lots of other stuff in the stack. The left is still mounting its assault on Wal-Mart. A lot of states are trying to pick up where Maryland left off, and this is nothing but socialism on the march. We’ll be back and continue here. Oh, and the media down there, this is fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is always a Tuesday before lent. Fat Tuesday, big Mardi Gras. I just saw — one of the networks, forget which, they’re showing live coverage of the Mardi Gras, the fat Tuesday celebration, which is fine, I have no problem with it, but the graphic said, “New Orleans celebrates first fat Tuesday since Katrina.” Well, hell’s bells, that’s because it is the first fat Tuesday since Katrina. It’s not as though there have been 14 or 15 fat Tuesdays that have been missed. They’re celebrating fat Tuesday after Katrina. Not the first — and now they’re down there, and School Bus Nagin was dressed as a general today on the Today Show, did you see that? He’s honoring George Honore, but he showed up in fatigues, combat fatigues and everything.
Democrats will do anything to make themselves look tough. And six months, this is another drive-by shooting today. When’s the media ever gone down and covered fat Tuesday? When have we had wall-to-wall 24/7 coverage of Mardi Gras? We’ve had it four or five days in a row here. You know why? Bush’s fault. Bush’s fault. Bush’s fault. So it’s another drive-by shooting here. The media trying to gin up this whole Katrina thing again today.
RUSH: You know, before Susan Collins opened her mouth yesterday, you know what the Democrats were reduced to on this? They were still out there trying to make a big deal abou, “It’s Arabs that are going to be running our security, and terrorists are going to be infiltrating through the ports.” But the tide had been turned, and so they were reduced to the same thing. Let’s go back to the Cheney week and that drive-by shooting of the mainstream media. What did they say? When Harry Whittington lived, when he didn’t die, when it was clear that Cheney wasn’t drunk, he wasn’t having an affair out there while pulling the trigger, shooting quail, when Whittington refused to die, the media had to give it up, and they tried to sustain the story for another week by saying what? They said, “Well, you know, this is a symptom of a much larger problem out there, and that’s secrecy in the Bush administration, failing to level with the American people. Not trusting us in the media.”
Well, until Susan Collins opened her mouth yesterday, that’s what was being prepped for the way to sustain the port deal story. “You know, this is just a symptom of a bigger problem in the Bush administration, secrecy, not letting people know what’s going on in there.” So they don’t have any substance on this. All they’ve got is all they’ve got on every issue, lies and demagoguery. The thing that sets this apart is that a bunch of Republicans have joined them from the outset.
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