Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Here we are, Rush Limbaugh on the EIB Network and the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. I have to tell you people, I think I’ve been very well composed today, and I have been very, very patient. But despite all of the wonderful news items and material provided by me, your host today — saying more in five seconds than most hosts will say in a week or a career — what am I getting? I’m getting, “You’re not doing enough,” which is a carryover from yesterday.

“You need to do this. You need to do that. You need to go out and do that. We can’t beat this. Global warming is bad. It’s too late,” da-da-da.

I’m learning something from this. It’s something I’ve always believed, by the way. It’s being confirmed, actually. I’m not just learning it. That is that so many people are just hungry for some leadership out there. There just isn’t any that people are responding to in the person of any of these candidates. It’s obvious to me. I mean, you can go out and take polls on which Republican is leading in the primary race so far, but in terms of exuding leadership, I’ve not had one person call here in the past two days and tell me, “Well, we need to do what Giuliani is doing. We need to do what Mitt Romney is doing. We need to implement the kind of things McCain’s doing,” or any of the other candidates, which tells me that nobody’s responding to these candidates as though they are leaders. People are turning to me to do these things.

Snerdley said that some guy (he didn’t put him up because he didn’t want to go on the air), said, “Screw this three million people marching on Washington! Get yourself and some of your big buddies and buy the New York Times.” A) It’s not for sale. There is a guy trying to buy the New York Times and he’s a Republican. His name is Hank Greenberg. He used to run AIG, the big insurance conglomerate, but the way that company is structured, the Sulzberger family, even with a minority of the stock, controls it. So you just can’t say we’re going to go buy the New York Times. It’s not for sale. It’s a family heirloom if it were. Besides if I did that, I’d have trouble upgrading to a new jet. (Laughing.) So there are decisions that I have to make in all of this as well. I’m just joking there. But clearly there’s just a hunger and a thirst for genuine leadership out there, and people, I guess, are not seeing any of it or recognizing it in any of the presidential candidates. I may be wrong about that. It’s purely anecdotal. We haven’t taken enough calls on this to make a scientific assessment of this that would be accurate. But it does seem to me that when this topic comes up, we’d at least get some phone calls, “Well, yeah, Giuliani is suggesting we do this and that.” None of the candidates have that. I’m not singling out Giuliani.

There’s an interesting column by George Will today that I read in the New York Post in which he basically started wagging the finger at conservatives, saying, “You know, you’re going to make the mistake here by demanding the perfect. You’re going to totally bypass the good.” He’s not talking about any particular candidate. Just you’re going to bypass the good by demanding perfection, and he uses an example. He said (paraphrasing), “Would conservatives today elect a governor who had raised taxes the highest they had ever been in his state and done a couple other things that come from the lib social agenda?” and he points out these were all done by Ronald Reagan, when he was governor of California. Could Reagan get the nomination today if there hadn’t been a President Reagan, is the point. He goes on to say — basically focusing on the attendees at CPAC — that the vast majority of the 6,000-plus that were there were college age. He was there, and he introduced Giuliani. I wasn’t there so I don’t know if this is accurate. He said the attitude was mostly morose. There just wasn’t that excitement because there’s no perfect conservative out there. Of course, I guess I may be contributing to this because people ask me who I’m for, and I say, ‘Nobody yet. There’s nobody out there that revs me up as of now,’ so George Will could be talking about me.

I don’t know that I’m holding out for perfection (I’m not that naïve), but I am really, really, really, really frightened that conservatism is in the process of being redefined to fit whatever it is said to be on the basis of these candidates. As far as polling data is concerned, Giuliani is running away with it. He’s just creaming McCain out there, in a Newsweek poll and a number of others as well. But it’s early. I’m going to just tell you this, folks. I was talking with a friend the other night via instant message. I don’t talk on the phone because there’s always somebody on the other end. When you instant message, you can ignore them for ten minutes or so, leave the room and then respond if you want. It’s just easier. If they call you on an instant message you can always pretend (laughing) you’re not at the computer and don’t answer it. So it’s just easier. But we had this back-and-forth going on, and the whole notion of this imperfect conservative was being discussed and whether somebody is falling into line and having conservatism redefined and this sort of thing.

I was trying to make the point that whoever the nominee is going to be, I shudder to think what’s going to happen to the poor guy when the Clintons get hold of him. That’s why it’s so early right now, and a lot of these candidates have what opposing war rooms will look at as major baggage that they can focus things at. If you’re angry over what happened to Scooter Libby, you just get ready. By the time the Republicans have a nominee, it is going to get vicious out there in terms of that man. (There aren’t any woman on our side, are there, seeking the nomination? Not yet.) Whoever it is, is going to be subject to destruction. That’s how the Clintons play the game. Right now the Clintons have to focus on Obama and some of the others. Edwards, he’s getting a pass right now, but his turn’s coming for the Clinton war room. It’s going to get really, really dirty. I’m taking all of this into account as I assess the situation.

I just am overwhelmed today by how many callers we’ve had. Despite whatever we’ve talked about today, everybody wants to continue the discussion from yesterday about what I am not doing and need to be doing or could do in order to move forward. It just means that there is a hunger and a thirst, big time, for conservative leadership that isn’t being met. Some people would say, “Go ahead and be a leader,” to those who are making the complaint. That’s not the problem. Everybody needs leadership. People who are not in the political realm but want to support somebody who is, you can’t expect somebody not in the political business or the political realm to go out and be a leader per se. You could possibly in the neighborhood or the community, but not on a national basis like people are hungry for. It’s just what it is. So I’m taking all this in, folks. I’m processing it. I’m learning from it and we’ll see what becomes of it. But it’s still fascinating to listen to. All right, let me take a quick break. Look at the calls. Ba-da ba-da ba-da ba-da. Yeah, we have one more up there that thinks I should do more.


RUSH: Ridgewood, New Jersey, as we go back to the phones. This is Silvio. Hello, Silvio.
CALLER: Yes, hi, Rush. First-time caller. It’s an honor to speak to you.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: My suggestion on something you can do to maybe help us a little bit, is to spend more resources on investigative journalism. I personally think that there’s too many stories out there that the media never gets to the heart of. The Foley story, for example, the page that edged Foley on to the IM messages. He testified before the FBI. What happened to that testimony? I’d like to hear that testimony. I’d really like to fully understand that story.

RUSH: Well, what you have to understand about that story is that Republicans ran away from it as fast as they could. They wanted no part of it. I’m going to be bluntly honest here. Number one: I’m not a journalist. But I do a lot of investigating of the Drive-By Media, and I spend my day on this program poking holes at all of these tactics that the Democrats use. I informed you where that first e-mail of Foley came from, that it was part of a coordinated effort between ABC and gay rights groups and so forth, that they’d been waiting on this. They wanted to spring this in October, but Bush was rebounding. The war was going well. Bush was rebounding in the polls. They had to spring it in late September. It was their October Surprise.

You know, some of the suggestions I’ve gotten today and yesterday, if I weren’t of a stronger constitution, I would have started crying because I could have easily said, “What do you think I’m doing? What do you think I’ve been doing the last 18 and a half years?” But I understand that it’s not a criticism, and that’s why I didn’t react that way. I have a strong constitution and boundaries, and even if it is criticism, if it’s true, I take it and process it. If it’s false and wrong, it bounces off and I don’t even consider it. But I understand what it all means. I spent the first segment monologue discussing it. This dissatisfaction is because so much more could be done and there aren’t any leaders out there doing it. Frankly, I think it all boils down to people are too fed up with Republicans trying to make liberals like them, trying to make the media like them and trying to make Democrats — just like Jim Moran is trying to make Al-Qaeda like us.

The Republicans are out there trying to make Democrats like us and trying to prove that we’re not what they say we are, and I know what it is. I’m with you on this. We are sick and tired of being on defense, are we not? We’re totally sick and tired of reacting to things. That’s where leadership comes in. Where’s the offense? Now, I view myself as being on offense every day, but when you get a liberal news story or a bunch of liberal issues, you have to react to it. So in that way it’s reactionary defensive, but we go on the offense here in the process of attacking it. But I think that’s what this all adds up to.

If any of the presidential campaign staffs are listening to this program — and what are the odds that they are? (Laughing.) Pretty high. The field is wide open here for somebody that can break out of all of this with an energy that translates to leadership, not just the pronunciation of where a candidate is on the issues, but an actual take-charge leadership. ‘I want to run this country because X,’ and don’t be afraid to rip into the left. You know, every time George Bush has done it the last eight years, we have stood up and we have cheered and celebrated. We’ve prayed for more, and we don’t get it much. He hasn’t been ideological. We want whoever the nominee is to be an ideologue and to tell this country the truth about the Democrats and the left, rather than being afraid of doing that.

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