RUSH: Barbara in Norwalk, Connecticut. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh Program. It’s great to have you with us.
CALLER: Thank you for taking my call. In my mind, you are the most valuable conservative voice on the radio, and therefore when you took your position — and I don’t need you to go into any of the details because I’ve heard everything you’ve said about it; I don’t want to have you rehash on the radio, but your position on Dubai and the ports and United Arab Emirates as being an ally, I really took it in, and I thought about it, and I thought, “This makes a lot of sense,” and now I feel that, from comments you’ve made today, and I want to know, you’ve gone from being a person of principle on this issue and seeing how pragmatically it’s just not going to work, and also because the Clintons were involved and have sullied the United Emirates situation that therefore there was really no value to it at all —
CALLER: — and it’s kind of bothered me that I saw this sea change.
RUSH: Well, let me explain something. Those are some excellent questions, and I — and I’m happy for the opportunity to answer, as I campaign to maintain my audience here. In the first place, if I’ve not made it clear today, I will say it again. I find nothing wrong with Dubai Ports World owning these six or nine terminals, or whatever it is. I have no problem with it. I don’t think it’s a security problem. Global economy, foreign investment, allies — all that I believe. At the outset on day one and two of this, though, of two or three weeks ago, I always was honest and thought, “The politics of this are going to kill it,” and shortly after that the eruption occurred.
The president is out there defiantly saying, “I’m going to veto this,” blah, blah, blah, and that just stoked the fires even more. It’s comical to me since then. The ongoing theory to explain why I am the only talk show host with my point of view is because I am sucking up to Bush, that I am “in the tank” for Bush. Even Peter King accused me on my own New York radio station of being in the tank for Bush and blaming me for single-handedly lessening the opposition to this. Now, the reason why this is funny, I’ve been doing this for 18 years, and in the last five years of the Bush administration, I have had plenty of things to say in disagreement.
I haven’t told you people this. I’ve had emissaries from Washington come down here to try to “get my mind right” on immigration, and I haven’t changed my mind on it at all. I’m not going to supply names, but you’d know them. Now, the bottom line to all this is that the new factor for me that I learned last week was the Clinton involvement in this. Now, that doesn’t disqualify Dubai. It doesn’t disqualify them; it doesn’t change my assessment of the security risk. I have not changed my assessment of what it was that was behind the original opposition that people had to this before they understood any of the deal and the detail, and I totally understand it. I can understand why people had that initial, visceral, gut reaction. I don’t know why I didn’t. I think it’s because I just see conventional wisdom and I run the other way.
I have never been a conformist and a member of the pack, nor have I ever said something on this program just because I thought it would help me or that’s what I thought you, in the audience, wanted to hear. The Clinton angle in this that’s interesting to me is that if this were a Republican, and we had learned that a Republican ex-president or ex-secretary of state was out there earning maybe seven figures from Dubai, was secretly learning for the deal, trying to get his associates from Madeleine Albright to a few others in on the financial aspect of the deal and that his wife, a US senator, was out there saying she didn’t know anything about it while she was opposing it, to me that’s something else about this that needs to be examined.
The drive-by media is not going to look at it, but we find out here that who’s really been driving this is not George W. Bush — and everybody is the in Republican Party is out there saying, “Well, Bush has lost his mind. We can’t count on Bush. He was leading in the war on terror, and now he wants to make a deal with a country that sponsored terrorism, or allowed them to run around in the streets over there.” Bush said he didn’t know anything about it; he got beat up for admitting that, but who has been behind the scenes pushing this thing, all the while his wife is as opposed to it as anybody, introducing legislation to ban X, Y and Z, while they are personally enriching themselves with payments from Dubai.
That is a separate story to me that I think needs to be learned; it needs to be broadcast. It needs to be spread around so people know about it, because Clinton himself is even being allowed both sides of the issue. He’s allowed. I’m talking about by critics. There’s no scrutiny of his behavior in this at all. He’s out there promoting the deal. He’s advising the Dubai people. “Hey, give them 45 days. You go in there and say, ‘Give us 45 days and examine us even further,'” and guess what? The Dubai people did that, and that’s the period we’re in now where these hearings are going on and more investigation and security risks that are posed by the deal, and then Clinton accident after coming out.
“I love these Dubai people. I’ve been over there and I think they’re fine people. I’ve been over there and it’s growing fast,” but then he’ll come back over, “I do think we have a security problem.” It’s unreal! The guy is for it, and he’s against it, his wife is totally against it. They’re making tons of money at the same time, he’s not registering is an agent representing a foreign country or a government as a lobbyist, and yet he’s out there lobbying. I mean, that to me is a separate entity here, and it does change the politics of it to me, in a sense, that you can say Bush is the one pushing it, but Bush hasn’t been lobbying it. Bill Clinton has. Does that answer help you?
CALLER: It does help, because as I said, you’re a man of principle and that’s why when I heard you today, I thought, “Why does he sound fuzzy on this? Why does he sound like this is not a good idea,” because the idea of having, you know, some real ally as such in the United Emirates as far as the people over there. It sounded important to me, because this is what people don’t understand is how important the Middle East is and how important it is what we’re doing there, and this is all linked to it, so that’s why what you said originally made sense, and I don’t want these other conservative people to talk to the radio say, “Oh, now, Rush! You know, Rush has folded and he’s on our side” —
CALLER: — and I’m glad you had a chance to express yourself, because I think the Clinton thing really sullies it. They Albright connection, all that stuff really sullies the matter.
RUSH: Well, I’m just going to tell you. If people who are opposed to this on the security side, which I’m not, but — and I know most people are, then you better start asking yourself, “Why didn’t Bill Clinton care about national security?” and stop asking about Bush.
CALLER: The only good thing I could think of that comes out of this with all of this with the plane deal and this is that everyone is focused now on national security, which we couldn’t say about the Democrats until now.
RUSH: Well, but the Democrats are not focused on it. That’s another thing. I think this is a very persuasive argument. The Democrats now claim that they are in the game on national security, and they have found the enemy, and it’s the United Arab Emirates, all right?
RUSH: Now time to ask them, “Okay, you now admit we’ve got a port security problem, even though not a single act of terrorism in this country has come at, through, or at a port. We’ve got a security problem at the ports, and you guys are the first to spot it, and we applaud you. (clapping) Welcome home Democrats! I guess this means that since it’s such a big security problem, you are going to allow provisions of the Patriot Act. You’re going to support them now in order to secure the ports, and I assume you’re going to back off on your opposition, the National Security Agency’s program on foreign intelligence gathering. I guess you’re going to allow that now, because the ports are so vulnerable,” and they’re not going to change their minds on this. This is purely political for them.
CALLER: You don’t think they’re going to make any change in they’re going to be the same people they’ve always been?
RUSH: Because their position is that Bush is bad. They’re opposing Bush on everything, and because Bush is behind the ports deal, they think they can get to the high ground by talking about national security. They’ve been worried for the longest time that they’re perceived as weak on it because they are, and so they think this is going to work. Remember, the Democrats are smoke and mirrors. The Democrats wear masks and camouflage. That’s why I’m saying somebody’s got to put it to them: “Okay, you found the enemy. We got an enemy, and we’re vulnerable at the ports, then what measures are you going to take?”
CALLER: It makes them really stand up and explain exactly what their position is, which they never do.
RUSH: No. That’s why they’re backing off of this already, and that’s why they’re saying, “You know, we’re getting tired of being called xenophobes and racists. Bush made us that because he’s been using the ‘club of fear’ for four years in this country ginning up hatred against Arabs.” They’re trying to make it out to be Bush’s problem. Theirs is a purely political, opportunistic position which can be and will be exposed as this heads on down the track. The Republicans are a different story. The Republicans are just scared. It’s an election year, they’ve got polls out there saying they’re going to lose X seats in the House, X seats in the Senate, might lose the House, and so instead of reacting in a way that, “Well, we’re just not going to do that,” they’re acting defensive, and they see an tighten to distance themselves from an unpopular president, 34%, 41% approval. Whatever number you want to use, it’s not good. They don’t like that, and now they think that this deal’s been so muddled that they have no confidence in the White House to run the Republican Party in a political way and a political machine. They have no confidence at the RNC and so they’re running for the tall grass, bailing out on the president as fast as they can because they think that’s their best shot at being reelected.
CALLER: It’s the principles. Their principles are fuzzy now because of that.
RUSH: No. No. Their principle is: I must get reelected.
RUSH: Learn that.
CALLER: Thank you very much for your explanation.
RUSH: Okay, Barbara, I’m glad you called and asked for clarification. I generally think of myself as the finest communicator produced by humanity, but your call illustrates I needed to take a second stab at it and I thank you for that.
CALLER: Well, thank you very much.
RUSH: All right.
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