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RUSH: Wes in Greenville, South Carolina, you’re up next on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, pleasure to speak with you, sir.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: I credit you with my political awakening ten years ago.

RUSH: Appreciate that.

CALLER: Rush, I know we can only hope out here, but surely President Limbaugh, okay, the day if you were the president, how would you have brought this up? I’m really mad at the president for failing to understand the ammunition that he has handed over to the Democrats here. I agree with you it’s not about ideas, but, you know, he’s brought it to us in just a terrible way.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: Don’t you agree?

RUSH: Well, I’m not sure yet. I’m not sure this is not going to blow up on the Democrats. One of the things that I have always cautioned people is to be patient here and don’t assume the worst. We conservatives have such a history of being outfoxed or shooting ourselves in the foot, which is what you think has happened here on the part of the president, that we’re conditioned because of life experiences to think — it’s almost like we’re afraid of success. ‘No, this isn’t really real, this isn’t going to last.’ When I hear Republicans talk about, ‘Yeah, we might lose some seats in the House.’ Don’t talk that way. What the hell talk that way for? If you’re talking that way, you’re thinking that way. If you’re thinking that way it may happen. It’s asinine. I don’t understand it.

I had a series of brilliant questions. I think it is a very persuasive argument to continue to portray them on the wrong side of national security. This ports deal is a phony position they’re taking; and, in time, we’ll be able to make this case, and if we can get some people to ask them these questions, we’ll be able to find out exactly where they really are on this, and we’ll find out it isn’t where they’re claiming to be. They’re not concerned about security here. If they were concerned about security they wouldn’t be trying to demagogue the NSA spy thing, foreign intelligence gathering, they wouldn’t be trying to sabotage the Patriot Act, they wouldn’t be trying to characterize our prisons as torture chambers, and none of that is going to change. My question is real simple. Okay, because we have the questionable ownership now of the United Arab Emirates company of nine terminals in these six ports. Okay, assume they can’t stop the deal, deal goes through. All right, now we got a threat, it’s the United Arab Emirates. They are Arabs and they are friends with terrorists. And they might have an undercover operation to sneak terrorists in on these ships and they’re going to be coming into their terminals on these six ports. Are we maybe going to have to use provisions of the Patriot Act to find out about this? Are we maybe going to have to start monitoring foreign phone calls into and out of this country in order to find out if a plot using one of the UAE’s terminals is in fact being hatched? If the Democrats are honest about what they’re saying, they’ve got to say yes. We’ve got to use the port provisions of the Patriot Act. We’ve got to use the foreign intelligence gathering apparatus that we have, and all these other provision that they’re trying to fight. Now, we’re going to be able to corner them on this.

Now, the other two aspects of your question, what would President Limbaugh do? First, there wouldn’t be a president Limbaugh because I refuse to take the job on the basis of too big a pay cut. But I will play along with this hypothetically. Here’s what I know about this, and it’s limited, but since 1988 there have been over 1,500 such examinations of deals where a foreign country or company would end up owning an asset such as terminals at a US port. I think one of them has been rejected, maybe two, I’m not sure, it might be as many as eight. I’m getting confused on all these numbers, but it’s not a very high percentage of them. And as far as I know, none of them ever reach the presidents. People have this notion that the president is hands on with virtually everything happening in the country. Simply not possible. Hell, most presidents can’t even get their arms around the state department. Most presidents have nothing to do with the CIA, though they try. Most presidents don’t appoint or fill all the jobs in all these agencies with their own appointments. Some of these people are career, liberal Democrat, been there for years. There are just certain things that happen that never reach the attention of the president because they are delegated by others to do.

Now, that having been said, Bush said he didn’t even know that this was being considered. That tells me that it’s not that big a deal. that none of these things — that they’re handled, that they’re dealt with. And when they are learned about, as this one was, if there’s a problem it gets looked at. There have been plenty of purchases of assets in ports and terminals by countries that we would consider enemies, even though we have a friendly relationship with them they still pose a threat. The ChiComs, now Hong Kong, I mean, since they’re controlled by the ChiComs, and they run the Panama Canal and they do a number of things. These things have been called to our attention before. So if what I’ve heard is right, I don’t know that president Limbaugh would know about it any sooner than President Bush did. I don’t know that I as president Limbaugh would say, ‘By the way, if any Arab company wants to buy some of our ports, you let me know.’ I don’t know that I would say that. So I don’t know that I would know any more than President Bush did. Now, maybe after 9/11, what you wish President Bush would have done would have reorganized all of this as part of the enhanced security. To say any time this goes on, we want to know, but my take on this is that Bush does not consider the Emirates a threat at all. I think he considers them exactly what he said them to be, an ally.

Now the politics of this, very quickly. I understand what you say about the politics of it, because you’re looking at numbers and polls that say 70% of the American people oppose it, and yet here’s President Bush supporting it, putting Republicans in a bind. That does present people with a lot of fear. It’s an election year. This is one of the reasons there was this out-of-control conventional wisdom tsunami early last week, everybody reacting to this before they really knew the details. There’s going to be a vote at some point. The Democrats will insist on it because they want to go on the record as being for national security, and they think this is the issue. I have offered the prescription to trip them up, screw them up, and nuke them on this. I don’t know if our bright lights in the Republican Party in Washington will utilize it, but I have made it available by expounding upon it here on today’s award-winning program, as all programs I do are.
But when it comes to that vote, the Republicans going to be hard-pressed to go against the president, but if they do, it’ll be because of an election year. And it does look like a suicide deal politically, there’s no question. I know it does to you. Looks like that today. I can’t remember things off the top of my head but I can count for you probably on both hands the number of instances in the last five years where you’ve felt the same. “Oh, my gosh. Bush did what?” Or you thought the Democrats were going to smoke us, the Democrats were going to get back into power, Democrats were going to embarrass Bush; it was all over. And it always seems, always, to end up biting the Democrats in the butt or else they open the door of the issue right into their nose. And I’m just telling you, it is early yet to determine political winners and losers on this thing. This 45-day inspection period is going to allow for a lot of things. One of them is the opportunity for more and more people to be educated on it, and the Democrats will continue to demagogue it. The thing that frustrates me politically is that there seem to be some Republicans that want to jump the fence and help the Democrats demagogue it for their own political reasons. I hope that answers the questions. It did for me.

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