RUSH: I told everybody, I told you people yesterday on this program that the ports deal wasn’t over. You will not believe — (laughing) — you will not believe where this is headed now in the media. But I told you this is going to have legs, it’s going to have lasting effect. Greetings, my friends, and welcome. The EIB Network, America’s anchorman, Rush Limbaugh, it’s Friday, let’s go!
JOHNNY DONOVAN: Live from the Southern Command in sunny south Florida via New York City, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: I have to tell you, folks, I’m ecstatic and I’m happy that the ports deal is still in the news. There’s something about this story I just love, because there’s so much more here than what the reaction to this caused. At any rate, Open Line Friday, let me explain the rules for those of you who are new to the game. Monday through Thursday we only talk about what I care about. I’m not going to sit here and be bored Monday through Thursday, and you would be bored if I sat here and talked about things I don’t care about. But on Friday, I take a tremendous career risk because when we go to the phones I will engage phone calls from people who might want to talk about things I don’t care about. It’s your golden opportunity here to talk about whatever. If you think something hasn’t been discussed that needs to be, whatever, a question or comment, this is the day to do it. Telephone number, 800-282-2882 is the number. If you want to go the e-mail route, it’s Rush@eibnet.com. All right, you have to hear this. It happened on Good Morning America this morning. We have a montage of the host, the estimable Charlie Gibson, ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman, and correspondent Jessica Yellin. Listen to this.
GIBSON: Did the White House secretly kill the deal?
SHIPMAN: ABC News has learned the White House asked the Dubai company to back out in order to save the president political embarrassment.
GIBSON: There’s a new question this morning, and that is whether the company pulled the plug on the deal at the request of the White House.
YELLIN: This morning ABC News has learned from a source close to the negotiations that the White House made it clear to Dubai Ports that they should withdraw from this deal and save the president from political embarrassment.
RUSH: All right. Now, is this not amazing? Here the media, the Democrats, got exactly what they wanted , and now they’re going to try to turn this around and say Bush pulled a fast one on us, Bush snuck this by us. The deal is done. Dubai Ports is out. The royal family, the United Arab Emirates, is angry. They’re threatening withdrawing all kinds of support. They’re threatening today to make us pull all of our military bases and so forth out of the United Arab Emirates. I doubt that will happen. Now all of a sudden they want to sniff around and find some secret deal that Bush made with the ports people to pull the deal. In the meantime, what Congress did yesterday, this just boggles the mind, folks, this whole story just boggles the mind. Now they’re looking around to try to implicate Bush in something that’s not a scandal? Would it be a scandal if Bush did ask the port people to pull out of it?
I’ll tell you what, if you don’t feel manipulated by this whole story by now, you are never going to end up feeling manipulated, and thus you will not understand what’s actually happened here. We have a bunch of paranoid protectionists. This is almost a repeat of what Perot was talking about back in 1992 with that giant sucking sound. You know, we’re just in the midst of numerous economic cycles, and in these cycles there are certain American businesses that have hard times. Here come these fearmongers, the drive-by media and everybody just throwing bullets and mortar fire into the crowd and shaking everybody, ‘Ooh, protectionism, we’re losing jobs, we’re losing manufacturing.’ Now we’re going to be attacked by terrorists if this company bought the ports. It’s not even ports, it’s terminals. And you know what’s throughout the media, I’ve got a bunch of stacks of stuff today, and in the stacks are all the details that make it okay.
The LA Times has an editorial, the San Francisco Chronicle has a story, the Washington Post has an editorial. It was a good deal. It was nothing to be afraid of. Where you been the past three weeks? This is classic. The drive-by media did everything they could to kill the deal. Now the deal is dead, and now they’re running stories, ‘You know, this wouldn’t have been a bad thing to do.’ You’ve even got the Democrats up there admitting that they played off of people’s xenophobia and racism. Yes siree bobkin, right here, it’s in this San Francisco Chronicle story. ‘The collapse of the Dubai port deal was a victory for the politics of fear.’ This is Marc Sandalow, who is the Chronicle’s Washington bureau chief. ‘Democrats saw an opportunity to exploit the terrorism anxieties that have–‘ You know, I’m reading these stories and it is everything I told you people the last three weeks about this, and now all of a sudden this stuff comes out, after the deal is done. This story also blames Bush for the racism, just as the Democrats — we played the sound bite for you earlier this week — Bush has used the club of fear ever since 9/11 to get Americans to hate Arabs, and that’s why the country reacted. It’s Bush’s fault. So that’s the theme this story also has.
‘Bush’s unrelenting — exaggerated, according to his critics — campaign against terrorism underpinned the environment that doomed the port deal. Elevated terror warnings from the Department of Homeland Security, the war in Iraq and regular admonitions in presidential speeches of the looming danger have conditioned many Americans to anticipate the worst. A Washington Post/ABC News poll published Thursday found that 1 in 3 Americans believe ‘mainstream Islam encourages violence against non-Muslims,’ and nearly half of Americans surveyed have an unfavorable opinion of the religion. The anti-Muslim views are stronger than those expressed even during the anxious months immediately following the 2001 terrorist attacks.’
So Bush started all this. Bush got what he deserved, but the deal wasn’t really that bad. And then this racism. ‘Privately, many Democrats conceded the xenophobic and anti-Arab strains to their rhetoric made them uncomfortable.’ So they’re admitting it! They’re admitting that they were xenophobic and racist. ‘Privately, many Democrats conceded the xenophobic and anti-Arab strains to their rhetoric made them uncomfortable. But opinion polls that showed the issue hurting Bush’s popularity and GOP chances in November prompted them to step up their attacks.’
So what we get here is the Democrats, it was perfectly okay, they are a little uncomfortable, but it’s perfectly okay to be xenophobic and racist because you, the American people were, and all they were doing was reflecting you. But it’s not your fault, it’s Bush’s because Bush made you xenophobic and racist against Arabs and Muslims, because he’s had an unrelenting and exaggerated focus on terrorism ever since 9/11. As I told you, “Resistance to foreign ownership of U.S. port operations spilled over into the aviation arena when a congressional panel told the Bush administration to postpone a plan to allow more foreign control of domestic airlines.” This is such an abomination of a lead. In the first place, there is no foreign ownership of US ports. I’ve got a description today of what happens at a port, what happens at a terminal, who owns them, who operates them, what happens at every level, what the security is. I’m going to run through it for you here in just a moment, because nobody’s talking about foreign ownership of US ports, and nobody is talking about foreign control of domestic airlines. But regardless, it doesn’t matter, because the xenophobia, the racism, the protectionism, the fear, the hysteria, is now going to bleed over to this airline deal.
All this is, the US airline industry has never, the industry as a whole has never shown a profit in a single year. Individual airlines have, but the industry has not. And we keep hearing stories, this airline lost a billion dollars yesterday, two billion dollars the day before that. Yet the airplanes are full, and so forth. The airlines are just seeking other investors. We don’t allow foreign investors, people to loan money or invest in air, but nobody is talking about control. What difference does it make? Foreign-owned airlines land in this country every day. From the United Arab Emirates. From Saudi Arabia. We ought to cancel those flights, we ought to not allow them to fly, the 19 hijackers were Saudis. This is so silly. It was a disgrace what happened yesterday. I hear people, “Rush, you’re missing the point on this, you’re missing the point. This was not a disgrace. This was the American people getting what they want.” Yeah, well… “And Rush, you’re also missing a point. We are a sovereign nation, and it’s our responsibility to protect our sovereignty and so forth.” This is so shortsighted a view, it is so paranoid. It doesn’t bother me for the Dubai people. I mean, the reaction that we saw in Congress yesterday, both parties, and the hysteria that was generated by so many Americans against this deal without any knowledge at all of what it was, combined with the fear of politicians getting reelected in an election year, this is not one of our finest moments. If you’re feeling proud about this, “America finally stood up for itself,” you’re making a grave error. This is nothing to be proud of. It’s something to be ashamed of.
RUSH: All right, so the latest on this ports deal is that Bush actually snuck one by everybody. It was Bush that called the DPW people, “You gotta pull the deal and save me the political embarrassment.” The media sniffing around (sniffing sounds) trying to find evidence that Bush might be involved in another scandal, by getting the DPW out of the port deal. This morning on PMSNBC live, a reporterette named Norah O’Donnell interviewed the treasury secretary, John Snow. She said, “Let me ask you about the statement made by Edward Bilkey.” He’s the CEO. Edward Mohammed Bilkey, CEO of DPW. “He said, quote, ‘This deposition is based on an understanding that DP World will have time to effect the transfer in an orderly fashion and DP World will not suffer economic loss. We look forward to working with the department of treasury to implement this decision.’ What does that mean, ‘won’t suffer any economic loss?’ Does that mean the treasury department’s guaranteed DP World something?”
SNOW: No. No. And I shouldn’t be trying to interpret that — that statement for the company. They’re the best source on their own —
RUSH: And they’re not talking.
SNOW: — statement. But presumably what Mr. Bilkey meant there is simply that they don’t want to engage in a fire sale.
RUSH: Golly. I mean, folks, this is just an irresponsible and unprofessional as we would expect the mainstream press to be. We hate these people so much we want them to suffer a loss, Miss O’Donnell? “What does that mean, won’t suffer any economic loss?” You want them to suffer an economic loss? Here’s Mike in Hayden, Idaho. Mike, welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
CALLER: Dittos from arguably the most conservative state in the nation. But what I have to say about this is I think the press started this whole thing. I know that my initial reaction to the reports that I heard was negative. I was afraid that we were giving the ports away, and I think that the idea that the American people got what they want is ridiculous because the American people don’t even know what it was about. We never even had a chance to hear what it was about, because it was immediately anti-Bush. Bush thought of it. It’s Bush’s idea. It must be bad.
RUSH: Well, look, let me tell you, there are a lot of bad actors in this deal. You say the press did it, but you can’t leave out members of Congress. By the way, folks, this new angle that the press is sniffing around — (sniffing sounds) — that Bush and Rove pulled the port deal secretly in a scandal that occurred under the cover of darkness. Wait a minute. Wait ’til Chuck Schumer hears that, because Chuck Schumer is out there trying to make himself the face of opposition to the port deal. Our brave, our courageous, our thick spined Republicans in the House, they think they stopped the port deal. There’s a lot of people that want the credit for this, and they all deserve it. It was a group effort that secured this bunch of insanity. You know, I haven’t been this worked up about something since the Clinton years. This is just — (interruption) well, yeah, I was mad about campaign finance reform. Yeah, I was, you’re exactly right. I was mad about that because it featured the same thing. It featured a bunch of ignoramuses being caught up in fear, “We’ve got to get the money out of politics! We’ve gotta get the money out of politics!” Yeah, and you see what happened. All we did was empower George Soros to be more powerful in the Democratic Party.
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