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RUSH: Now, moving on to the John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards situation. Remember yesterday, I mentioned to you that so many of my trusted and loyal but cowering-in-fear (at least yesterday) staff, were concerned that I was going to get in all kinds of trouble? My trusted executive producer, Cookie, was sending constant instant messages, ‘Did you have to add that? You know you’re going to get in trouble over this.’ Some friends were sending me e-mails in the course of yesterday’s program, ‘You just don’t know how to stay out of trouble, do you?’ What was all this about? What all this was about was that I said that the Edwards campaign was going to use the press conference yesterday as a means of jump-starting the campaign, which meant what? That I was engaging in a political analysis of the press conference.

Of course, my trusted and loyal (yet cowering-in-fear) staff thought that nobody else would be looking at it politically. Trusted friends felt the same thing, and Cookie is just generally looking out for my best interests at all times. Yet, ladies and gentlemen, we predicted this. I said, ‘You wait. They’re going to focus on the fact that I said they’re going to jump-start the campaign with this, even though — even though — all over the Drive-By Media all afternoon, last night and all night, all we got was political analysis. Howard Fineman yesterday afternoon, said, ‘This was a ten strike. Why, this is incredible. Why, private lives and politics are always public, and that was this means,’ this was so classy, so brilliantly done politically and so forth. I just want you to listen to the audio sound bites this morning on KTUV TV in San Francisco. An unidentified anchor is interviewing CNN’s political expert William Schneider, and they had this exchange about my remarks about the Edwards campaign.

ANCHOR: You got a person like Rush Limbaugh who says this was a — Senator Edwards is trying to kick start his campaign.

SCHNEIDER: Well, that’s pure cynicism. You know, there will always be cynics in politics. This was a difficult decision which he reached in collaboration with his wife, and I think she will be an asset.

RUSH: Okay. So they focus on me, which we all knew here. That’s why the trusted staff, cowering in fear in the corner, was worried I would get in trouble. It was the same way with my friends and, of course, the trusted executive producer, Cookie. Well, let’s look at some other comments, shall we? Last night on the NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams was talking with the infobabe reporterette Kelly O’Donnell, and Brian says to her, ‘What about the politics of this? He, after all, is running for president as a Democrat.’

O’DONNELL: Now, of course, as a cancer survivor and a person battling a recurrence, many people will find her a sympathetic figure, and that’s something that certainly helps John Edwards in this way. Senior advisors say that Elizabeth has always sort of made him more human, sort of balanced John Edwards in the public’s eye.

RUSH: Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, but how would we analyze that? Here is Kelly O’Donnell, ‘Well, you know, people are going to find her a sympathetic figure. That’s something that certainly helps Edwards in this way.’ In what way? You mean it might help the Edwards campaign? That Mrs. Edwards is going to be evocative of sympathy among the American people, might help the Edwards campaign? Why, Bill Schneider at CNN, would you call that ‘cynical’? Would you say that’s cynicism? Let’s go to the Today Show today. Matt Lauer was talking with Tim Russert, and Lauer said this.

LAUER: I’m stalling a little bit here, because the question I want to ask you is one that’s going to sound terribly inappropriate, and I’m trying to figure out the right way to say it. Neither John [n]or Elizabeth Edwards asked for this. However, one of the facts that remains this morning is that John Edwards’ picture is on the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and in some ways we have to ask the political question of: ‘What is the impact of this going to be on a campaign that was toiling in third place?’

RUSH: A-hem. Now, how would we interpret that? Matt Lauer is asking trusted bureau chief Tim Russert if there might not be a big political boon — in fact, if there hasn’t already been because Edwards is all over the place today. Did I not say that yesterday? I said, ‘Go take a look, if you know where to go on the Internet, and track the hits that Edwards is getting.’ You see? Edwards is all over the place. At AP, UPI, Reuters, the French News Agency, the number of hits that the Edwards story yesterday was getting was even larger than the number of hits Arnold Schwarzenegger and I got on that little kerfuffle misunderstood by the Drive-By Media. So here these guys are all saying this. This is why I said, ‘I’m on the cutting edge. If you listen to this program, you’ll know what’s relevant before it becomes relevant.’ I know these people, too, like every square inch of my shrinking, but still glorious naked body. I predicted it! They’re all examining this in a political sense but nobody’s calling them ‘cynics.’ Nobody is referring to them as ‘cynical.’ Okay, you’ve heard Kelly O’Donnell and Matt Lauer. Now let’s listen to William Schneider again talking to an anchor at KTUV-TV San Francisco.

ANCHOR: You get a person like Rush Limbaugh who says this was a — Senator Edwards is trying to kick start his campaign.

SCHNEIDER: Well, that’s pure cynicism. You know, there will always be cynics in politics. This was a difficult decision which he reached in collaboration with his wife, and I think she will be an asset.

RUSH: You know what this is? I just had the guts to say ‘jump-start the campaign.’ Matt Lauer admitting, ‘Ah, it’s a little inappropriate. I don’t want to sound inappropriate but, gosh, Tim, I gotta ask: What’s the impact of this going to be on the campaign?’ He clearly already knows what it is. The same thing with Kelly O’Donnell. ‘Many people find Elizabeth Edwards sympathetic figure, something that certainly helps John Edwards in this way.’ What’s ‘this way‘? The campaign! So once again, I — a full-frontal, direct spokesman — take the heat as the ‘cynic.’ You want to hear some cynicism? Let’s go to October 11th, 2004, on the campaign trail, and Senator Edwards himself.

JOHN EDWARDS: If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Mr. Reeve are going to walk! Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again!

RUSH: Would anybody call that cynicism, or just misleading people? Here now is Chris Matthews, and he’s on Hardboiled last night talking to David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register. Matthews said, ‘Is this going to be one further bit of shielding for Edwards against attack by another candidate?’

YEPSEN: Yes, I think so. I think it really speaks to his biography and his character and I think you’re absolutely right: it adds a little armor plating if somebody wants to go after him. I mean, he certainly has said something about his character here with this.

MATTHEWS: I thought it was a shining moment. I thought, I said, ‘God is in heaven. All is right with the world today.’ I thought, those people — who I think are religious but never mentioned it today — acted religious. I thought it was great today.

RUSH: Interesting point. Now, let me say something else that might be accused of cynicism. What is their religion? I don’t doubt they’re ‘religious people,’ but we talked about how political people are different than you and I — and, you know, most people when told a family member’s been diagnosed with the kind of cancer Elizabeth Edwards has, they turn to God. The Edwards turned to the campaign. Their religion is politics and the quest for the White House. It’s not just with them. That’s part and parcel of political people. They undergo all this stuff, the media anal exam, their private life being made public even by the candidates themselves. It’s all part of the drill. But here again, Matthews and David Yepsen are making the point that I made yesterday. I said it yesterday, folks: ‘If you are Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, how do you now attack John Edwards?’ It’s not a problem for Hillary. Clinton, Inc. will find a way. But for Barack, it’s going to be a challenge. Maybe he can use some Irish tips on this.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: One more sound bite here on this John Edwards business. Remember, now, we got Bill Schneider being interviewed on a San Francisco TV station, referring to me as a ‘cynic’ because I said that Edwards kick started the campaign with the public press conference yesterday about his wife’s illness. Last night on PMSNBC, Chris Matthews was interviewing Democrat strategerist Bob Shrum. Matthews says, ‘Look, FDR ran for president as a man who’s a victim of polio — didn’t act like a victim, but he was. Is this something like that where it’s going to be part of the biography, we’re going to know about this and when we think Edwards we’re going to think about Elizabeth and her cancer? Is it going to be part of the picture in our head?’

SHRUM: Now America’s different, and I believe that today people got more education about cancer and how to deal with cancer, and in one day, than they have very often over a long period of time.

RUSH: Oh, come on!

SHRUM: Whatever you think of Edwards, whether people vote for him or don’t vote for him, whether they vote for Obama or Hillary, there’s is going to be a tremendous education in breast cancer, in cancer in general and how to deal with it.

RUSH: How absurd. How insulting. You see in this one bite, the condescending arrogance. You stiffs out there — even those of you who have experienced cancer in your family — why, you don’t know diddly-squat, and your experiences are worthless in terms of helping others! No, no, no, no, no. What happened yesterday by the Edwards press conference did more for the understanding and the education of cancer and how to deal with it than has ever happened before. Of course, prior to that they’re speculating on whether or not it will lead to votes, but nobody would dare call them ‘cynics.’ (interruption) Yeah, well, that’s true, FDR’s polio was hidden from the American people by the press. They didn’t know he was a ‘victim.’ (By the way, are you a victim if you don’t act like a victim? That’s a discussion for another day.)

I find this just typical. Why, only when Democrats get cancer and only when they go public in a press conference do you stiffs — you idiots, you Nimrods — have any idea what life is really all about. When it happens to you and the way you deal with it, you don’t teach anybody and you don’t learn anything from it. No, no, no! You have to see a prominent Democrat family get cancer and see how they deal with it, and that’s what really counts in America. That’s what shapes America. This is a quintessential example when I talk about the contemptuous, condescending arrogance the Democrats have toward average people.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to play audio sound bite #21. This is Tony Snow this afternoon at the White House.

SNOW: In recent series of CAT scans and PET scans and MRIs, we have found a small growth in my lower abdomen. The blood tests are negative. The PET scans are negative. But out of an aggressive sense of caution, I’m going to go in for surgery on Monday.

RUSH: Tony Snow, who has had colon cancer, is going back in for surgery on Monday. Is this the White House trying to upstage the Edwards? Is this the White House trying to curry sympathy and get the president’s poll numbers back up, by sending Tony Snow out there to announce that he, too, has gotta go in for some kind of surgery because they have found in the PET scan, CAT scans and MRIs, a small growth in his lower abdomen? It’s good news that the blood tests are negative and the PET scans are negative, but he has an aggressive sense of caution. Now, is this going to jump-start the president’s poll numbers? Is the White House just trying to steal the Edwards thunder on this? I mean, folks, we must ask these questions here at the EIB.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is the Early Show. Bob Schieffer of CBS had an interview with the first lady, Laura Bush. He played a little bit of it on the CBS Early Show to promote it. ‘Can I ask you about — because everybody’s talking about this, Mrs. Bush. You had this cancerous growth removed from your shin.’

LAURA BUSH: Minor skin cancer, you might say.

SCHIEFFER: I take it you’re okay?

LAURA BUSH: I’m perfect — yes, I’m perfectly all right, thank you very much for asking.

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me — you know, Tony Snow, the press secretary, got a lot of grief from reporters —

LAURA BUSH: That’s what I heard.

SCHIEFFER: — who wanted to know why you didn’t make that public.

LAURA BUSH: Actually, it never occurred to me to make it public. It was very minor. Also, of course, I am a private citizen. I mean, I have to say that as well. I don’t release the results of my regular physicals like the president does, of course, and so it just never really occurred to me.

RUSH: That’s how they treat Republican illness, as a scandal! Bob Schieffer and the Drive-Bys thought they had a scandal. ‘Why didn’t you make it public? Why didn’t you tell us about this? What are you trying to hide?’ All the implications that are in there.

‘You know, I’m a private person. I don’t wear my private life on my public sleeve,’ and so forth. (interruption) I know Elizabeth Edwards did keep her condition quiet in 2004. I’m not talking about the Edwards here. I’m talking about the Drive-Bys. Don’t anybody mistake this. I’m pointing at people watching on the Dittocam. I’m not talking about the Edwardses here. I’m talking about the Drive-Bys. Republican illnesses are scandals.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know, that Laura Bush sound bite and the Bob Shrum sound bite that we played just makes some things crystal clear — plus the Tony Snow situation today. Like, I’m wondering if Howard Fineman will analyze Tony Snow’s press conference and tell us how it scored politically. See, if you don’t go public with your illnesses you’re not qualified to even talk about them. You’re not any good. You have to make it public! Now, when Clinton refused to release his medical records for eight years, why, that was private — and rightly so, of course. Whatever the libs do in the media is the right thing, for which they deserve credit. Go public? ‘Great! It’s educational!’ Stay private? ‘That’s his right!’ The FDR cover-up, well, the public wasn’t ready for that. Clinton doesn’t release his medical records, that’s his right. Edwards goes public and continues running for president, why, he’s educating us about cancer! As far as the Drive-Bys are concerned, Democrats can do no wrong — and nothing’s going to change that, folks.

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