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RUSH: I mentioned to you at the top of the program, when the White House daily press briefing began, that one of Tony Snow’s first questions was from an info babe, a reporterette bringing up this whole John Kerry snafu, asking, ‘Well, if Kerry should apologize, why shouldn’t Rush Limbaugh apologize?’ Well, we have that sound bite here. It was Jessica Yellin of ABC News. Here’s the exchange they had.

YELLIN: We haven’t heard Rush Limbaugh apologize directly to Michael J. Fox, but the president has accepted his apology. Why is that acceptable?

SNOW: Rush Limbaugh is not the head of a political party nor was he a former presidential nominee. And the second thing he said is, ‘If I got it wrong, I apologize.’ That’s what he said.

YELLIN: ‘I botched the joke,’ which is I got it wrong.

SNOW: If you’re a troop in Iraq, and if you’re somebody serving in Iraq, and you’ve heard this, do you really think, ‘Oh, he botched the joke.’ Why don’t you just say, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, guys, I’m sorry.’

YELLIN: The president sat for an interview with Rush Limbaugh today, why hasn’t he called on Rush Limbaugh to make that same kind of apology?

SNOW: Because again, Rush Limbaugh’s made his comments, I love the diversion but there is a difference between the apology he gave. Rush has said, ‘If I got it wrong, I apologize.’ Saying if he got the statement of the facts wrong, he apologizes. My question is, why hasn’t Senator Kerry just said, ‘I’m sorry?’

RUSH: Folks, I have to tell you, this is just surreal, to sit here and listen to this. The Drive-By Media has spent nine days distorting this. The last I saw, I had apologized. They’re out there reporting I have apologized, and they got it wrong, by the way, but they said I had apologized for something I didn’t apologize for, in a way to make me look like I was admitting guilt. I apologized after Mr. Fox said that he overmedicated that day he shot the ads. I said it looked like he was either acting or under-medicated because he’d admitted to under-medicating in his own book, which they still refuse to mention. But when he himself said he was overmedicated, that’s when I made the point (it was last Thursday) to apologize. But here I am. I’m a little offended being equated with the Lurch. I’m smarter than he is, I’m better looking than he is, and I’ve accomplished more than he has. But Snow is right. I’m not a candidate, and I’m not a former presidential candidate. I’m not an elected anything. It’s just surreal.


RUSH: This is our old buddy Ron Fournier from the Associated Press. He appeared on PMSNBC last night. They got a week-long telethon going at PMSNBC, a telethon to cure the country of the ravages of the Republican majority, and Chris Matthews said to Ron Fournier, “I’ve got so many press releases. It’s like an all points bulletin coming out jumping on Kerry for a statement that could be used against him.”
FOURNIER: This is what you do, you catch your opponent saying something he didn’t mean to say and you drive hard. Even if you look at — even if Kerry meant to say exactly what he said, again there’s a kernel of truth. There are some soldiers who do go into the service because it is their best economic and even educational opportunity.
RUSH: See, I told you. I even knew it was going to happen, but why impugn them? He impugned their intelligence, and here’s Ron Fournier saying, “Even if he meant it,” even if he meant it, he’s right, because there are some people in the military who have no other hope. Why, this country’s economy is so rotten and the future is so dim for so many people, the only hope they’ve got is to go risk their lives. Thank God for them, Mr. Fournier, and God bless them. Even if that’s true, as you say (playing your game here), what’s worthy about impugning them in it all? What is the point? Why insult them? What I also don’t understand, how in the world can, in the middle of a campaign, which is largely about the war in Iraq, and John Kerry gets up and makes a statement about it, how in the world can Republicans be accused of a diversion? It is President Bush who’s leading with the war in Iraq on the campaign trail, that and the economy. And John Kerry’s put his foot in it again. He’s inserted himself someplace the Democrats really wish he hadn’t gone. How in the world can this be a diversion? Moving on, we have a montage from Jake Tapper last night on ABC’s World News Tonight. Now, this, if I hear this right — well, let’s listen. I think this is a total distortion of the timeline but let’s listen, see if I’m right about this.
TAPPER: Kerry said he was referring to the president, but not the troops, but that didn’t stop the Republican PR machine from moving into high gear. Early this morning after those remarks appeared in local newspapers and the video popped up on You Tube, conservative blogs and talk radio had a field day.
RUSH ARCHIVE: It tells us what John Kerry himself and the Democratic Party think about the troops and think about the US military.
TAPPER: As did the White House.
SNOW: This is an absolute insult.
TAPPER: Shortly before noon Kerry in a paper statement insisted he had not belittled the intelligence of soldiers serving in Iraq, but rather that of the president who got us stuck there. He lashed out at White House spokesman Tony Snow whom he called a stuffed suit mouthpiece and doughy Rush Limbaugh. But by then the Republicans were piling on.
RUSH: Well, this is one of the things we remarked about yesterday. He issues his statement, and I haven’t even gone on the air yet. This program hadn’t even begun, and he’s issuing a statement accusing me of criticizing him. I think his statement said, and no doubt Rush Limbaugh will take a day off from criticizing Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease in order to pile on me. I’m sitting here minding my own business like I do most of the time, bothering nobody, trying to get in nobody’s way, just being me, and here comes this statement from Lurch before I’ve even said a word. I was tempted when I saw the statement to praise the guy, just for the hell of it, because of his statement. But, of course, I, with my intellectual honesty could not do that. All right, Bruce in Ford Wayne, Indiana, thanks so much for your patience as we go back to the phones. You are up. Welcome, sir.

CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Kerry’s non-rebuttal rebuttal is childish and shows complete lack of leadership. The original comment Kerry made candidly and honestly, his rebuttal addresses my paraphrase. They shuck responsibility for slandering others. What do you call the Republican spin machine and doughy Rush Limbaugh? It is a comment disconnect, and I just — I mean, to all those Cut-and-Run Conservatives out there, this is non-apology apology is (unintelligible) Reid and Pelosi run Congress. If you want that, stay home. But I mean these tantrums are going to happen all the time. I mean, in northeastern Indiana we have Tom Hayhurst running again Mark Sauder, and he’s having these campaigns right now in which — because Sauder knows Dennis Hastert, and Mark Foley in the past that he’s somehow compromised. I mean, my God, Mr. Hayhurst, congressman know other congressman, senators know other senators.
RUSH: All right, all right, I understand your frustration, I just hope to heck that a whole lot of conservatives are like you in this country today and all the way through next Tuesday because you are right to be insulted. You are right to be angry. These are the people that demand everybody quit. “Rumsfeld stinks. He should go! Rice stinks. She should go! Cheney stinks. He should go! Rove is a devil. He should be indicted! Bush should be impeached.” There isn’t anybody in this administration they haven’t thought should be dispatched and thrown away. They can’t beat us at the ballot box, folks. They haven’t been able to do that. This is the only way they can do it. Trent Lott, he had to resign over “it was just a joke about Strom Thurmond,” after he apologized five times he still had to resign.
Kerry hasn’t even apologized, and so what? This apology business, that’s a straw dog. He said what he said. My question is, “Why are the Democrats running away from him?” He only articulated what they’ve been saying for the last two years, as I have been paying attention. They’ve been impugning the troops every chance they get. They’ve been impugning interrogators at Club Gitmo and at Abu Ghraib; they have been accusing our military of being rapists and murderers and thugs, innocent civilians in Iraq. What the hell? Stand by it! Be men, Democrats! This is your guy. This is what you believe in. It’s the reason why you have Ned Lament in Connecticut.
Oh, speaking of that, folks, this is just too good. Ned Lament is 12 points down. The “netroots,” the nut roots, the kooks fringe bloggers on the left, he’s their guy! They got him nominated on one basis, anti-war. Well, two bases, anti-war and he hates Bush. So he’s down 12 points in the polls. He was way up. He’s the down 12 points in the polls. Would you like to hear the AP headline? “Lamont Narrows Lieberman’s Lead in Poll — Democrat Ned Lamont has narrowed his deficit with Sen. Joe Lieberman, but the three-term incumbent still holds a 12-point lead as their race heads into the final stretch, a poll released Wednesday shows.”
Not “Lieberman up by 12.” Lament shrinks lead! Let me tell you about John Kerry, because I know these people like every square inch of my glorious naked body. I’m going to tell you right now what I think. When he went to the microphones in Seattle yesterday, he was taking my advice, and I’m serious. Before he had that press conference I said yesterday on this program, “Mr. Kerry, stand up for yourself, be a man, don’t back down, you said it, you intended to say it, be who you are,” and he went out there and he tried to do it. He just can’t pull it off, and I also think that he was, in his mind was, “I’m not going to be swift-boated again by these doughboys and these stuffed suits, and I’m John Kerry, not going to happen to me twice.” He’s out there trying to prove his manhood yesterday, and he doesn’t need an athletic supporter today.

RUSH: Here we go, Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC interviewing the White House press secretary Tony Snow this afternoon. I think they had to pre-tape this because Snow was in the White House at noon. Anyway it happened today. Here it is.

O’DONNELL: You’re asking for Senator Kerry to apologize for his remarks.

SNOW: Right.

O’DONNELL: Why don’t you ask for Rush Limbaugh to apologize for the way he mocked [sic] Michael J. Fox?

SNOW: Because he already did apologize.

O’DONNELL: He said, “I’ll apologize if it’s true.”

SNOW: Yeah, let’s go back to the Kerry thing because it’s interesting. It’s a study of rhetoric. Senator Kerry, I think, feels like he got hit hard in the 2004 campaign, but if you listen to what he did it was a string of insults that were intended to serve as an argument. I mean, whether it’s Rush Limbaugh or me or the White House, calling us liars, look, all I said yesterday was I was surprised that he hadn’t apologized. It came across as being an insult, and it’s pretty clear. I mean, you’ve had two Democratic candidates today say that they don’t want to campaign with them because they read it the same way. This is getting blown out of proportion, and not by me and not by Rush Limbaugh, but by Senator Kerry and I guarantee you, every Democrat in town is picking up the phone or wanting to pick up the phone and saying, “Senator, please, calm down, understand that we all say things that maybe we didn’t intend, they come off the wrong way — and the way you handle it is say, ‘I’m sorry if I gave offense,’ rather than sitting around and taking wild swings at the president or Tony Snow or Rush Limbaugh.”

RUSH: These people, they just keep elevating me here when they think they are destroying me. I’m not an elected official, I’m not asking anybody for a vote, but they clearly look at me as an obstacle to their victory, even though I’m not on anybody’s ballot.

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