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RUSH: I got out of New York late. I probably rolled into the house at two in the morning, so I’m flying home last night, and I’m watching replays of this press conference that the Democrats called a debate, and what struck me about it — and we have some sound bites. Frankly, I went to the roster, and there’s nothing worth playing. In fact, the most important sound bite from last night was ten to 12 seconds of nothing. When the Breck Girl was asked who is his moral leader, who does he look to for moral guidance, ten to 12 seconds went by and he didn’t say anything. He had to stop and think about that!

Then he finally said, My Lord, his wife, and then somebody else. Mrs. Clinton is being roundly praised for being the only candidate, when asked the question, if a couple cities get nuked by Al-Qaeda tonight during the debate, what’s your reaction? ‘We’re going to retaliate,’ she said. Obama said, ‘Well, we gotta get the first responders out.’ He started trashing Bush on Katrina. ‘We gotta get first responders.’ The last thing he said he would do is retaliate. He just used it to bash Bush. All of them, they were running against George W. Bush last night. That’s one of the things that didn’t surprise me, but you’re going to have figure out that Bush is not on the ballot anymore, and it really doesn’t matter. We have some Survey USA results of who the people in South Carolina thought won this press conference. Did you watch it, Mr. Snerdley? You didn’t? I can’t believe that. Did you, Brian? Well, no, I shouldn’t have asked. I know Dawn didn’t have time.

Well, here are the results. Survey USA news poll: Who won the South Carolina Democrat presidential debate? They used 1250 South Carolina adults interviewed by Survey USA immediately following last night’s presidential press conference. Among those 1250 candidates, 403 said they had listened to the debate and were included in the survey. Out of 1250, 403 watched it. The margin of sampling error for the 403 debate watchers plus or minus 5%. That’s pretty big. So anyway, of their sample, did you watch, 32% said yes, 67% said no. Asked of those who said yes, who won the debate, Obama, at 31%. Next, Mrs. Bill Clinton at 24%. After that it looks like it’s the Breck Girl at 14%, then not sure at 13%. Biden at 6%. Gravel and Dodd at 2%. Oh, left out Kucinich at 3% in there, and Bill Richardson at 4%. So Barack Obama came off as the winner of the press conference last night. (interruption) Well, he’s a former senator from Alaska or something. He’s a kook. We got some Gravel comments. He’s a kook. They’re not turning anybody down, because the whole point of these debates right now is to not screw up. Just don’t say anything. It’s better to not even get noticed this early on than to commit some huge gaffe. You have Gravel up there and you have a media gaffe ‘commiter.’ He committed a gaffe every time he opened his mouth and there’s no way anybody could look bad with him on the stage. Kucinich tried. Kucinich tried to be as kooky as Gravel. It’s a close tossup.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We have the sound bite here with John Edwards that I referenced a moment ago from the press conference last night. Here is Edwards. I’m telling you, this is his response to a question about who his ‘moral leader” is.

EDWARDS: (long pause) (sound of crickets) I don’t — I don’t think I could identify one person that I consider to be my moral leader. My Lord is important to me. I go to him in prayer every day and ask for both forgiveness and counsel. My wife, who I think is the finest human being I’ve ever known, is a source of great conscience for me. My father, who raised me to believe that every human being on the planet, no matter who they are, or where they live, or what the color of their skin, or what family they were born into, has exactly the same value.

RUSH: Well, he had to stop and think about this for ten or 12 seconds. Most people, if you were asked that question, would it take you that long to come up with an answer? You either have one or you don’t. I mean, you have somebody who has inspired you morally or you don’t. You have someone that has taught you right from wrong, you have some sense, you don’t have to think about it. I think he was just totally stunned and swamped by the question. But, at any rate, moving on. Mr. Snerdley wanted to know who Mike Gravel is. Well, listen to a little sound bite. He got a question from Brian Williams. ‘Senator Gravel, in a forum earlier this year — and I want to get this right — you said it doesn’t matter whether you are elected president or not. Senator, why are you here tonight? Shouldn’t debates be for candidates who are in the race to win it?’

GRAVEL: You’re right, I made that statement. But that’s before I had a chance to stand with them, a couple, three times. It’s like going into the Senate, you know, the first time you get there you’re all excited, ‘My God, how did I ever get here?’ Then about six months later you say, ‘How the hell did the rest of them get here?’ I gotta tell you, after standing up with them, some of these people frighten me. They frighten me. When you have mainline candidates that turn around and say that there’s nothing off the table with respect to Iran, that’s code for using nukes! Nuclear devices! I gotta tell you, [when?] I’m president of the United States, there will be no preemptive wars with nuclear devices. To my mind, it’s immoral.

RUSH: Let’s listen to another one: ‘Senator Gravel, that’s a weighty charge. Who at this stage exactly worries you so much?’

GRAVEL: Well, I would say the top-tier ones, top-tier ones. They’ve made statements. Oh, Joe, I’ll include you, too. You have a certain arrogance. You want to — you want to tell the Iraqis how to run their country. I gotta tell you, we should just plain get out, just plain get out. It’s their country. They’re asking us to leave and we insist on staying there. And — why not get out? What harm is it going to do? Oh, you hear the statement, ‘Well, my God, these soldiers all died in vain.’ The entire deaths of Vietnam died in vain, and they’re dying in vain right this very second. You know what’s worse than a soldier dying in vain, is more soldiers dying in vain. That’s what’s worse.

RUSH: There is Mike Gravel, the man who admits he has no prayer of becoming president, but he was nevertheless allowed to attend the press conference last night for the reasons that I said. You get him up there, and it’s impossible for you to make a gaffe if you are one of the other seven.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We have the Obama bite. I don’t have the actual question, so I’m going to have to paraphrase it. Brian Williams says, ‘God forbid,’ a million times, ‘if tonight we’re sitting here and two US cities are obliterated by Al-Qaeda attacks, what would you do?’ Now, Hillary Clinton said we’ll retaliate, first thing. Find out who did it and go after them. Here’s Barack Obama.

OBAMA: The first thing we’d have to do is make sure that we got an effective emergency response, something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans, and I think that we have to review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack. The second thing is to make sure that we’ve got good intelligence. A, to find out that we don’t have other threats and attacks potentially out there, and B, to find out, do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network. But what we can’t do is then alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast. Instead, the next thing we would have to do in addition to talking to the American people is making sure that we are talking to the international community because, as already been stated, we’re not going to defeat terrorists on our own. We’ve got to strengthen our intelligence relationships with them, and they’ve got to feel a stake in our security by recognizing that we have mutual security interests at stake.

RUSH: All right. Now, do you realize how profoundly inadequate this answer is? And do you realize how perfectly illustrative it is of the entire Democrat Party position on this? He was in an improv and he was combining his improv with campaign speech rhetoric, campaign speech talking points. His answer, we gotta make sure we don’t have another Katrina? First thing we have to do is make sure we’ve got an effective emergency response? What did Rudy Giuliani say? He said, they want to take us back to where we’re totally on defense. They’re not interested in stopping the next attack. They want to take it back to the next defense. As I pointed out yesterday, where are their proposals for any of this? They’re in the majority now, folks. They can do anything they want. They can propose anything they want. They’ve got the votes to pass things in the Congress. The president may not sign ’em, but they’re not doing that. They’re just sitting there continuing to act as though they’re the minority power with no power other than to complain and moan.

But to sit here and say the first thing we have to do is make sure we’ve got an effective emergency response? The question, by the way, was, ‘If gathered here tonight we learn that two American cities have been hit simultaneously by terrorists, and we further learn beyond the shadow of a doubt it had been the work of Al-Qaeda, how would you change the US military stance overseas as a result?’ So the question contained in fact it was Al-Qaeda, and yet Obama is going on and on and on, ‘Well, we gotta get the intelligence of it. We gotta call the international community. We can’t use faulty intelligence.’ It was a bash Bush answer that had absolutely no comfort or substance to it in terms of the details of the question. ‘We can’t alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence.’ The question didn’t say that the intelligence was questionable. The question said, Mr. Obama, it’s definite. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt it’s Al-Qaeda that did it. The last thing he says is retaliate, but after we get the world’s permission and after we make sure the intelligence has not been fudged. I don’t know what people think the magic is here in this guy when this answer is pathetic in terms of demonstrating presidential stature. He’s just not ready yet.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We played for you the inept bumbling and highly, highly indicative-of-incompetence-in-terms-of-national security answer that Barack Obama gave to Brian Williams question: Okay, look, God forbid a million times we’re sitting here tonight and we learn during the course of this press conference that two American cities have been obliterated, and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt it’s Al-Qaeda. Barack’s answer: ‘Well, we gotta make sure we got first responders out there. Can’t have another Katrina.’ He went on, ‘We gotta get the intelligence right before we attack, and we gotta make sure the world community is consulted.’ It was a bad answer. Here’s how Mrs. Clinton answered the question.

HILLARY: I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate. If we are attacked and we can determine who was behind that attack, and if there were nations that supported or gave material aid to those who attacked us, I believe we should quickly respond. Now, that doesn’t mean we go looking for other fights. You know, I supported President Bush when he went after Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and then when he decided to divert attention to Iraq, it was not a decision that I would have made had I been president because we still haven’t found Bin Laden.

RUSH: All right. So there’s Hillary’s answer. You have to admit, folks, that answer is far more intelligent. In the last half of it she went astray, had to throw in the Bush bash for the base. I understand that, but ‘move as swiftly as prudent to retaliate’? She’s the only one on the dais last night that said this. This has caused Pat Buchanan to make a comparison of Hillary Clinton to someone you have all heard of. Joe Scarborough was talking to him and said, ‘Pat Buchanan, I’ll tell you who was not energized and that’s your former conservative base. All those Republicans who voted for you in ’92, ’96, tonight they’re staring in the mirror wondering why they wasted their vote because you — you, Pat Buchanan — compared Hillary Rodham Clinton to Ronald Reagan. Explain yourself, man. A hurting, aching nation wants to know what’s going through your mind. You’ve changed. You’ve changed.’

BUCHANAN: I think Rush Limbaugh could be on my case in the morning. I mean, look, I’ve watched Hillary Rodham Clinton, and I was not expecting great things from her, and I thought Barack was going to come through, and I thought, Joe, she was at the top of her game — and the one answer I thought was almost Reaganesque was when she went into that answer and what she would do. We’re going to be prudent but we’re going to retaliate against these folks, and if we find out a country was behind it, we want to be sure, but we’re going to retaliate. Now, Reagan would have done it much more smoothly, and instinctively, and she seemed programmed, but she hit every single point correctly. You know, even those of us, Joe, in the vast right-wing conspiracy have gotta give ’em credit when they do well.

RUSH: So Pat Buchanan thinks the answer you just heard from Mrs. Clinton was Reaganesque, and he thinks I’m going to be all over his case, which I’m not. He can think what he wants to think. But in the context of the other answers that came, Barack Obama’s answer was pretty much the same as all these other candidates, ‘Well, first responders, intelligence.’ They just took the opportunity of the question to bash Bush and to try to make political points on everything they think has gone wrong, like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a number of other things.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Time for another answer here from Barack Obama. If you want to say anything about this press conference last night, if you wanted to characterize it as something, look at it as the first audition for Mrs. Clinton’s vice presidential candidate. Because look, folks, she’s going to be the nominee. It’s not even a matter of question. As I said last week, there’s an 80% chance as we sit here today that she’s the next president of the United States. You have Pat Buchanan out there comparing her to Ronald Reagan, and you have me praising an answer that she gave. (laughing) So this is just who’s going to be her veep, is what this is all about. I just want to give you another answer from Barack Obama. The question from Brian Williams: ‘What in your personal life, Senator Obama, have you done personally to make for a better environment? Your personal life.’

OBAMA: Well, you know, we just had Earth Day, and we actually organized 3,000 volunteers to plant trees, which —

WILLIAMS: I mean like light bulbs.

OBAMA: I thought the tree thing was pretty good.

WILLIAMS: Well, yeah.

OBAMA: We’ve also —

WILLIAMS: You had a lot of help.

OBAMA: We’ve also been working to install light bulbs that last longer and save energy, and that’s something that I’m trying to teach my daughters.

RUSH: Okay. So I’m just playing for you some of the highlights. These are the highlights of the Democrat candidate press conference last night on MSNBC. I know we’re in a war for survival. We’re in a war about national security. Well, Mrs. Clinton already sewed that answer up. You know, once she says she’s going to retaliate, there’s nothing left for these other people to do, talking about intelligence and first responders and this sort of thing. But he’s organized 3,000 volunteers to plant trees. He didn’t even do it himself! Of course, we now know that the whole planting trees thing is a scam. This whole carbon offset thing is a scam. The Financial Times ran the story yesterday, and we told you about it. It is a 100% total scam — which we’ve known.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here’s Ron in Parkland, Florida, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, great to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir. Nice to have you with us.

CALLER: Listen, something I noticed. I found it completely remarkable watching the beginning of that — you called it a press conference, I call it a love fest — last night. It was probably the first five questions right off the bat, and I’m sitting there astounded, like, ‘Am I not paying attention or am I missing something?’ It seemed like whenever — and Brian Williams asked five pointed questions — they never answered the question.

RUSH: Well, of course, not!

CALLER: They didn’t. They went right into their talking points.

RUSH: Of course not.

CALLER: They said, ‘That’s a good question,’ or something.

RUSH: That little observation of yours illustrates the pointlessness of doing all this in April of 2007. The reason they didn’t answer the questions is because the only thing that mattered last night was not screwing up. ‘Don’t make a gaffe. Don’t be aggressive. This is not the time.’ People, when they go to vote in these primaries that are going to start early next year, are not going to remember what happened last night, unless somebody sticks their foot in their mouth — and I’ll tell you, this Obama answer on what he would do if we were hit again, if some of those other Democrat candidates want to start taking shots at Obama on the basis of he’s not ready for the office, that answer, if there was a gaffe last night, if there was a goof, it’s a tossup between that and Edwards being tongue-tied for 12 seconds when asked who he looks to for moral leadership, who was his moral inspiration. Grab that bite because people may not have heard this if they just joined the program recently. Here is the question that was gaffe number two of the night. Edwards was asked who his moral leader is. This is his answer.

EDWARDS: (long pause) (sound of crickets) I don’t — I don’t think I could identify one person that I consider to be my moral leader. My Lord is important to me. I go to him in prayer every day and ask for both forgiveness and counsel. My wife, who I think is the finest human being I’ve ever known, is a source of great conscience for me. My father, who raised me to believe that every human on the planet, no matter who they are, or where they live, or what color their skin, or what family they were born into, has exactly the same value.

RUSH: Yeah. So that’s gaffe number two. Obama’s is the first gaffe, and that 12 seconds of silence is legitimate — and unlike other cable networks, we didn’t add to it. We didn’t shorten it; we didn’t lengthen it. We didn’t loop it. We didn’t put little funny noises in it. We just played it for you as is. Now, why did he stumble? Why did it take 12 seconds? And then he finally said, ‘I don’t think I can identify one person as my moral leader’? He’s probably sitting there saying to himself, ‘What the hell is this question? We’re a bunch of liberals here and he’s asking us about morality?’

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Claire in Charlotte, North Carolina, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Rush, it’s great to talk to you today.

RUSH: Thank you. Thank you very much. Yes?

CALLER: I’ve been sitting here listening in almost disbelief at the praise for Hillary Clinton’s answer to that question last night, if we were attacked, that she would retaliate.

RUSH: Yeah?

CALLER: Because no one asked her what type of retaliation, and/or, you know, if that meant military action, and that took me back to the 9/11 Commission hearings where we heard over and over and over again from both William Cohen and Madeleine Albright that none of the intelligence we had on Al-Qaeda was ‘actionable.’ I don’t know if you remember that.

RUSH: I remember all that, but that was all BS.

CALLER: Well, I know, but so is this. That’s my point. She’s just saying what she thinks people want to hear.

RUSH: How does that make her any different than any other politician?

CALLER: Well, it doesn’t really.

RUSH: I’m going to tell you something. We gotta be honest about it, if we’re going to talk about this.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: We gotta be honest about it. You compare her answer to that question to all those other Democrats up there, it was a good answer.

CALLER: That’s true.

RUSH: You have to say that. I mean, retaliation, that’s the normal, natural instinct when your country is hit. If there’s anything remarkable about this, it is that the answer is remarkable. Stop and think, it’s the natural thing to say. ‘Well, two cities? We’ll find out who did it and take it to them.’ Everybody would say that. The fact that Mrs. Clinton is one of eight Democrats to say it has caused the presses to stop.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Now, what does that tell us?

CALLER: (laughing) That she’s the best —

RUSH: No.

CALLER: — at telling people what they want to hear.

RUSH: It tells us that Democrats and media people are stunned when a Democrat sounds tough on national defense, sounds tough on national security. ‘Why, what a great answer.’ It’s not a great answer except when you compare it to the rest of the fuddy-duddies that were up there. It’s a right answer, but it wasn’t great. It’s remarkable only in the sense that it’s remarkable that a Democrat, any Democrat, actually said it.

CALLER: Okay, I see your point. I had not really looked at it that way.

RUSH: The most typical answer is Obama’s. Well, we make sure we don’t have another Katrina first. We gotta get the first responders. We gotta make sure FEMA, whatever — all that other stuff that has nothing to do with retaliation, or even preventing another attack, or demonstrating US strength, making sure the world community understands that we’re not out there trying to hurt them and we’re working with intelligence agencies, and we’re not going to lie? That’s what people expect from Democrats. That’s what people come to expect. Mrs. Clinton comes out, ‘I’m going to kick their ass,’ is essentially what she said. Whoa! We don’t hear this from Democrats much. We certainly haven’t heard it since the Iraq war started. We’ve been hearing withdrawal, get out, America can’t win, we need to lose, and here she is rattling sabers like this. Just within the context of where Democrats and liberals are on this, that’s why that answer is remarkable, and the fact that it’s remarkable to me is an indictment of Democrats and the fact that the media stopped the presses and said, ‘Whoa,’ and that Pat Buchanan said, ‘Whoa, this sounds Reaganesque,’ is the greatest illustration of where the modern-day Democrat Party is when it comes to protecting this country, that that kind of an answer opens mouths.

CALLER: Well, I’m awfully glad I called so that you could add all that clarification to that, because I see what you mean by that, and even though I still don’t like her, you put much more context into your reasons for saying that.

RUSH: Well I am the leading host in America.

CALLER: Well, that’s why. That’s why.

RUSH: But I didn’t say I like her.

CALLER: No, no, no. I just mean putting it in the context that that is just proof, once again, like you said, that it is just so shocking to hear a Democrat actually say something towards our enemies.

RUSH: Yeah, exactly. It’s so shocking that Pat Buchanan pronounces it Reaganesque? (laughing) Stop and think of that. You think Hillary likes hearing that?

CALLER: Oh, not one little bit. Not at all.

RUSH: Nixonesque!

CALLER: There you go. There you go.

RUSH: At any rate, I appreciate the call out there.

CALLER: Well, thank you, Rush.

RUSH: Let me ask, before you go.

CALLER: Yes?

RUSH: I just thought of a question to ask you.

CALLER: Yes?

RUSH: Do you get upset when I announce my theory and belief that Hillary, as of this moment as we’re sitting here, has an 80% chance she’s the next president. Does that bother you when I say that?

CALLER: No, it doesn’t bother me because, I guess, it energizes me, Rush. I’m very involved in grassroots politics here in Charlotte.

RUSH: Yes?

CALLER: And it just energizes me to go out and energize the base and get people out, you know, and hopefully to get behind what — if there is a true conservative candidate to get behind on the Republican side —

RUSH: Well, the only reason I asked is because I still can’t escape it no matter where I go. There is an abundance of Hillary fear out there. I’m routinely hit with the question. ‘Do you really think she’s going to win?’

‘Yeah, 80% chance.’

‘Oh, no, nooo! Don’t say that!’

Yes, people have been asking me this, and I’ve been wrong on Hillary every statement. I’ve been wrong when I said she wouldn’t run for the Senate, you know? At some point — wearing my shoes, sitting in my chair, behind my microphone — we have to assess the situation as it is. Right now, there’s an 80% chance she’s the next president, folks. I’m telling you.

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