RUSH: Moving on to the debate, just some preliminary comments. As I said, I thought Jim Gilmore did pretty well. I thought Romney looked Reaganesque. He was very articulate and quick. The New York Post is all over poor Rudy today. He did stumble a bit because Chris Matthews kept going back to him over and over and over and over again on abortion, and people are saying that he was flip-flopping in the middle of answers without being aware of it. McCain, to me, didn’t quite measure up. Duncan Hunter I thought was excellent as well. Drudge has got his own poll running, or did have. But regardless, beyond all that, we got all this postdebate analysis going on. I think what really needs happen is an analysis of the moderator of the debate and the panelists and the way the thing was conducted. It was so different from the way they conducted the Democrat press conference. Here the Republicans were, they didn’t run away like the Democrats ran away from Fox, they were there and they took the questions. Presidents can’t be afraid of these people but Democrat presidents apparently can be.
A lot of the questions that were asked last night, and it stands to reason, like the abortion question that Matthews kept pounding Rudy on. Most questions last night were the product of liberal clichés about conservatives, especially this question on abortion. I would venture to say, while it’s crucial, and make no mistake about it, it is not the single issue in this coming election, probably won’t be the single issue as it has been in the past because of the international threats that we face and the wide line of demarcation between the Republicans and the Democrats on how to deal with it. A lot of progress is being made on abortion. Well, it’s trending in the right direction. But I mean, asking these guys which one of you is the next Reagan and all of this, it was just great display of the little universe in which these libs and Drive-By Media people exist, and it was a great display of how they view Republicans. We’ve got a little montage. It doesn’t so much demonstrate that. This is just Chris Matthews, the moderator, constantly interrupting things. You had 60 seconds to answer. There were 30 seconds rebuttals, had ten people up there, and Matthews, he loved to shout ‘time,’ shouting at people. Here’s a montage of Chris Matthews interrupting the debaters last night.
ROMNEY: We’ll be able —
ROMNEY: — to bring our troops home safely.
MATTHEWS: Time, governor!
GIULIANI: One of the reasons that crime is still down in New York today.
MATTHEWS: That’s the time, mayor.
TANCREDO: We should cloning people for the purpose of using these kinds of —
MATTHEWS: That’s time, congressman!
HUNTER: To be used for a nuclear weapon in Iran —
MATTHEWS: Thank you, congressman. That’s time.
GIULIANI: I ran the most conservative government in the last 50 years —
GIULIANI: — reduced crime, reduced welfare, balanced the budget, lowered taxes 23 times.
MATTHEWS: Mr. Mayor, it’s time!
TACREDO: It’s not necessarily whether you’re a centrist or not.
MATTHEWS: It’s time!
ROMNEY: The McCain-Feingold law prevents that from happening.
MATTHEWS: It’s time, Governor Tancredo: I think, frankly, I’m the candidate.
MATTHEWS: OK. Time!
McCAIN: I’m proud to work with the president of the United States —
HUNTER: — manufacturing sector for these energy systems.
MATTHEWS: Congressman, that’s time.
ROMNEY: more marriages before babies.
MATTHEWS: Time! That’s time!
BROWNBACK: It’s going to be key for a future president.
MATTHEWS: That’s the time.
TANCREDO: Benjamin Franklin said in 1727 — 1787 that he wanted to…
MATTHEWS: Governor? Out of time! Governor, Thompson, then.
TANCREDO: Could I please —
MATTHEWS: Governor Thompson, please?
MATTHEWS: That’s the time!
RUSH: There you have it. None of those are repeated, by the way. All of those are stand alone instances from the debate last night. Here’s Barb in Davidsonburg, Michigan, as we start with you. Nice to have you on the program. Welcome.
CALLER: Well, thank you, Rush, thanks for having me. Thanks for coming yesterday. I saw the show and it was just, as your e-mailer said before, better than I even expected.
RUSH: Well, that’s what we try to do here is meet and surpass the expectations of the audience. I’m glad you had a good time.
CALLER: Well, you always do and I just want to say I started my day yesterday drinking out of my Rush mug from my friend Heidi in Cleveland, who’s a fellow Rush fan, and we just had a great time.
RUSH: We have a picture that we’re going to post. A young boy was holding up a sign, ‘My mom and dad raised 12 Rush babies.’
CALLER: Oh, that’s sweet. Well, we have three Rush babies for you, and hoping they’ll get some good Rush grandbabies for you.
RUSH: Well, no question that will happen. We’re not far from Rush grandbabies now. That will happen before every American agrees with me, which means I will still be here.
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: Well, look, thanks, Barb. I appreciate that. You all in the audience were fabulous last night, too. Could not have been better. Take care. Here’s Tina in Fowlerville, Michigan. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, good talking to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Sorry we missed you last night in Novi.
RUSH: Well, there might be a next time, in ten years or so.
CALLER: I hope so. My 15-year-old daughter says, ‘Mom, can we get tickets?’ I knew you were sold out, but a couple of Rush babies here, proud of them.
CALLER: Well, a point I wanted to make, Rush, is I’m extremely irritated that the presidential debate, Republican presidential debate was on MSNBC, and of all people, Chris Matthews, I mean come on!
RUSH: Well? What do you do expect? I mean, if MSNBC’s going to do it, they had Brian Williams do the Democrat debate. Matthews ran that debate last night like he hosts Hardball.
CALLER: I could barely bring myself to turn on my TV. I thought my TV might blow up having MSNBC on my TV. It should have been on Fox. It should have been with a Fox reporter or host. I couldn’t believe it. Chris Matthews of all people is disgusting.
RUSH: Well, it’s interesting you say that, because we ran the poll not along ago on my website on who people think should quit at MSNBC and allow a person of color, a minority to take their primetime slot. Matthews won that over Keith Olberdork by 49 to 47. But now after the debate I’ve gotten some e-mail from people who want to change their vote to Matthews to give him an even bigger majority. You have to understand, this is what they want. These are the Republicans, and it was a Republican audience, and they want you to be irritated. I’m sure that some of them would like to also have your respect for having done a great job, but at the same time, the media’s chosen sides here just like most other people in society have. The big difference is, for example, you people know where I come from. I make no bones about it. I don’t hide it. I’m very proud of what I believe.
The Drive-Bys are trying to say it wasn’t biased, ‘We’re objective, why, we’re just reporting the news. We have no interest in the outcomes,’ and nobody believes that anymore. They’ve become so oriented toward the left agenda. What’s insulting is that they deny it, and they spread things that are not true in the process of furthering the agenda, and it’s quite irritating. Republicans are not going to run away from MSNBC, they’re not going to run away from debates on CNN. That’s not what Republicans do. The Democrats are running away from debates on Fox. Here’s another bite. Bush-bashing questions were typical of Drive-By drivel last night. This is a montage of the moderators, Jim VandeHei of The Politico, John Harris from The Politico, they were cosponsors, and Chris Matthews posing questions to the candidates.
MATHEWS: Do you think Scooter Libby should be pardoned?
HARRIS: Would you have fired Don Rumsfeld before last November?
VANDEHEI: What do you dislike most about America?
MATHEWS: Is Karl Rove your friend? Would you employ Karl Rove?
HARRIS: Jack Abramoff, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham in prison for bribes, FBI raids of two Republican members of Congress, what’s with your party and all this corruption?
MATHEWS: Let me ask you a question which has grabbed a lot of Americans personally, the Terri Schiavo case.
VANDEHEI: Did you watch Algore’s environmental documentary, An Inconvenient Truth?
MATHEWS: Seriously, would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?
RUSH: What can you say about this? This doesn’t need any analysis. You are informed and sophisticated enough to understand this. But, folks, it is what it is. If you’re going to run for president as a Republican today, you have to know that this is what you’re going to get. You have to be able to deal with it and you have to be able to knock it out of the park. I would have loved to have been on that stage and gotten every one of these questions. They’re parody questions, but what they indicate is the mind-set, the Republicans are a bunch of pretenders, the Republicans are jokes. Remember, to the left, there is no debate. Republicans, conservatives, in the minds of the left, have to spend their entire existence justifying that existence. Every one of these questions goes to a liberal world view. You think Scooter Libby should be pardoned? Would you have fired Rumsfeld last November? What do you dislike most about America? That question came from somebody in general public, I think from Walnut Creek, California, that submitted the question via ThePolitico.com website. And, of course, the root of that question is it, ‘Well, conservatives hate America, conservatives hate, conservatives are racists and sexists and bigots and homophobes and all this, and they just hate people.’ That is a question that if you asked a liberal, and a liberal were honest to answer, he couldn’t come up with a list of ten because that’s too few items. What do you dislike most about America? Where is the dislike for America? Romney had a great answer. In fact, here’s Romney’s answer. Let’s go to sound bite 12. Romney’s answer to the question, ‘What do you do dislike most about America?’
ROMNEY: Gosh. I love America. I’m afraid I’m going to be at a loss for words because America for me is not just our rolling mountains and hills and streams and great cities, it’s the American people. And the American people are the greatest people in the world. What makes America the greatest nation in the world is the heart of the American people. Hard working, innovative, risk taking, God loving, family oriented American people. It’s that optimism we thank Ronald Reagan for — thank you, Mrs. Reagan, for opening up this place in his memory for us. It is that optimism about this great people that makes this the greatest nation on earth.
RUSH: Yeah, well, that’s a good answer. But the question, what do you dislike most about America, the seething rage and hatred, we all know where it resides politically in this country, and it ain’t on our side of the aisle. But some of these other questions, ‘Is Karl Rove your friend?’ See, Rove’s a criminal, just hasn’t been caught yet. ‘Would you hire Karl Rove?’ They might not have mentioned Bush’s name a lot, but they were doing everything they could to indict these guys by getting them to answer questions in a way that made them look just like Bush if they say, ‘Sure, love Karl Rove, I’d hire him in a minute. If I could have him run my campaign now, I would.’ ‘Jake Abramoff, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham in prison for bribes, FBI raids of two Republican members of Congress. What’s with your party and corruption?’ What about Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana)? What about Senator Feinstein? You know, I’ll bet you that these wizards on this panel do not even know that there is a brewing scandal with Senator Feinstein and the fact that when she ran that subcommittee on military affairs, she was funneling money to companies owned by her husband. I’ll bet they don’t even know it, I’ll bet they don’t know it because the news is from a weekly paper out I think in Marin County. Might be San Francisco. It’s been picked up in the Washington Times. These people wouldn’t deign to read the Washington Times, and it hasn’t been anywhere.
What is this culture of corruption? That is a Democrat Party talking point from the last election, the culture of corruption. These questions are embarrassing. These people are probably very proud of them. The Terri Schiavo case? Abortion? Matthews could not let go of abortion. He thinks that the next election is going to be based totally on abortion. You know what was funny? When I was flying up to Detroit yesterday, I was channel surfing around. I checked the movie channels first, and there was nothing on the movie channels I wanted to see, so I started surfing the news channels. MSNBC was talking about the debate. It had a countdown clock. It was a little after 11 o’clock, count down, ‘Eight hours, 54 minutes to –‘ like it was a space launch or something. They were all analyzing this thing before it happened, and in the process, Chris Matthews had a little roundtable and he couldn’t figure out why Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are falling because everybody thought that after that debate she kicked rear end. She was called Reaganesque by Pat Buchanan. She was the only one to answer the question about if we were attacked, what will you do? She said retaliate, and the others chimed in later.
So in their world view, that should have just launched Hillary into the seventies. She’s plummeting. It was funny to watch these people in their roundtable trying to figure it out. I’m shouting at the screen, ‘You people ever heard of the fact that she and her party want to lose in Iraq, and they want the US military to lose? Do you people have any idea how the American people outside of your little bubble actually see what she says and does and what her party stands for?’ But you look at these questions, and not only are they cliché oriented, they are arrogant and condescending, and they are oriented in the belief that Republicans and conservatives are just sort of freak oddballs that have to justify their existence. This is the kind of thing, folks, that eventually is going to come back and harm all of these people, because, contrary to them thinking they’re doing fabulous jobs out there — What about this question, ‘Would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?’ I don’t know if he was trying to be funny with that or that’s just a setup question. Still it was on his mind to ask. These kinds of questions do not get asked of Democrats.
RUSH: Yeah, sound bites ten, 11, and 13. Let’s listen to a little bit of McCain. People asking, ‘What’s with McCain’s arms walking all over the place?’ I think he Red Bulled up last night. I think he had some caffeine. Question came from Jim VandeHei at The Politico.com. ‘Senator McCain, Sarah from Arlington, Virginia –‘ now, I don’t care where they get their questions from. I know The Politico was a cosponsor of this, but I did a riff last night in Michigan on polling and I tested that riff on this program the day before. Why in the world does all this polling matter? It’s not just news making anymore, and it’s not just advancing an agenda. It’s about control, folks. The liberals are trying to control you. Let me tell you how successfully they are doing so.
Let me ask every one of you personally, wherever you happen to be, especially if it’s in public or if you’re at a party with some friends and you want to say something, do you stop before you say something because you’re worried about who it might offend? Does that remind you of anything? That’s sort of like the way it was in the Soviet Union. People were afraid to say anything. They thought the state might be listening. Well, in this country it’s not the state that’s listening yet. It is a bunch of liberal activist groups who are waiting to pounce on anybody who says anything they don’t like and say, ‘That offended me,’ and you shouldn’t be allowed to say it and then all hell breaks loose. Now, it may not happen to you in that fashion in a big way, but people try to shut you up. ‘I can’t believe you said that.’ The point is we’re all getting gun-shy. Everybody is afraid to really open up. We stop, ‘Oh, can I say this?’
So that’s what polling does. We got 56% of the American people think X. So what? It certainly is nothing more than news if it’s even news, but when did anybody pronounce the American public, in a poll, the final authority on anything? Nobody has, except the Drive-By Media. So last night, the cosponsors of this debate were The Politico. And of course they want to plug their website, and they want to get users and hits and all that, so users were allowed to ask questions, and that’s where the ‘what do you dislike most about America’ question came from. Then there’s this one. ‘Sarah from Arlington, Virginia, Senator McCain, wants to know if you would be comfortable with Tom Tancredo as head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.’ McCain says, in a word, no, and then added this.
MCCAIN: On the subject of Osama bin Laden, he’s responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans. He is now orchestrating other attacks on the United States of America. We will do whatever is necessary. We will track him down. We will capture, we will bring him to justice, and I’ll follow him to the gates of hell.
RUSH: Now that answer that McCain gave has been all over the place, ‘Gates to hell? Whoa, what was wrong with Senator McCain?’ You can hear there that he’s speaking far more rapid fire than he usually does. He usually speaks very slowly, in fact, and deliberately. So that’s why, Red Bull there at the podium where he was.
RUSH: I have some more debate audio sound bites. This is the answer that Rudy gave to the incessant never ending questions posed by Chris Matthews on Roe vs. Wade that he is getting clobbered for in certain circles. The question to Rudy from Chris Matthews, ‘Would the day that Roe v. Wade is repealed be a good day for America?’
GIULIANI: It would be okay.
MATTHEWS: Okay to repeal?
GIULIANI: It would be okay to repeal. Or it would be okay also if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent, and I think a judge has to make that decision.
MATTHEWS: Would it be okay if they didn’t repeal it?
GIULIANI: I think the court has to make that decision, and then the country can deal with it. We’re a federalist system of government, and states can make their own decisions.
RUSH: They’re being clobbered for this because he seemed to say, ‘Yeah get rid of it, but if a judge doesn’t get rid of it, then no big deal. Let the states deal with it.’ He stumbled on that a little bit. The Drive-Bys are all over it. This abortion question, as I said earlier, the whole question stems from their clichéd stereotypical beliefs. They still think that an abortion is something 80% of the American people are in favor of. They’re really living in such a dream world, and the purpose here was to trip Rudy up. He should have known that this was coming. I’m sure he did. His answer, actually, also kind of makes a point. How many of the American people, including whatever the small audience watching this debate last night, knows what the concept of federalism is? How many of you know what the concept of federalism is? You know it, Mr. Snerdley? Well enough to explain it to me? You do? Well, give it to me in two sentences. What is federalism? You tell me. I’ll see if you’re right. Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Well, you’re pretty close. ‘I’m dead on.’
The term federalism, I just wonder how many people understand it. His falling back on it, ‘We’re a federalist system of government, the states can make their own decisions.’ Well, no, not in a federalist system, the states don’t always get to make their own decisions. I may not have heard this, but if Roe v. Wade is not repealed and the court makes that decision — or no, I guess he’s talking about if it is repealed, then the states can — and that’s the way it ought to happen, by the way. It ought to be something decided democratically by the people, and it never has been. Let’s see, now we have Matthews, this exchange with the candidates. We had a montage earlier of some of the silly questions that were asked, and this is a montage of the silly question about would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House.
MATHEWS: Do you think Scooter Libby should be pardoned?
HARRIS: Would you have fired Don Rumsfeld before last November?
RUSH: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Can’t be my fault, but I’ll take the hit. I want to go to 13 and 14. I’m sure it was another computer glitch. I knew this was going to happen. I knew this was going to happen. Right as I’m starting the segment, I get this message that people that I have no desire to talk to have been wanting — and I’ve been telling people, you tell them I’ve got no desire to talk to them. I’m reining it in. Are we ready to go on sound bites 13 and 14? All right.
MATHEWS: Seriously, would it good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House? (Laughter.)
ROMNEY: You have got to be kidding.
MATHEWS: No, I’m not.
TANCREDO: I know that he is presently measuring the drapes over in the Oval Office, but no, it’s a lousy idea.
RUSH: Post-debate, Matthews was stunned. He was amazed that the Clinton question was laughed at. Here he is talking with Jill Zuckman of the Chicago Tribune.
ZUCKMAN: When he mentioned Bill Clinton, it was like they all giggled. You know, they all thought a bunch of things and then nobody wanted to say anything, and they turned it —
MATHEWS: A lot of cheap jokes they didn’t want to make.
ZUCKMAN: It was like pushing a button with —
MATHEWS: It’s such a cultural question because if you said Bill Clinton to say an African-American crowd, it would be devotional, the response. If you said it to a group of sophisticated big city liberals, it would be, ‘Look what he’s doing for world AIDS.’ It’s a different cultural reaction. They think it’s comical, the name Bill Clinton.
RUSH: They think it’s comical. Another great display, great illusion here of the two worlds. God for black people. Actually that’s Barack. Barack is godlike for the godless. What he meant was that Clinton was the first black president, and there’s reverence for Clinton out there. These Republicans all laughed at the notion, and for Matthews it doesn’t compute. Just doesn’t compute. Folks, there is such a huge disconnect. This is why when you watch these people, you have got to understand where they are coming from. It’s not enough just to note their bias and so forth, because it informs virtually report and story that they do. The best advice I could give you is just ignore it, don’t watch the stuff anymore. It’s not what you think it is. It’s not news, it’s agenda, it’s pure agenda. You’re just going to have your blood pressure skyrocket if you keep watching this stuff.
RUSH: Paul in Redmond, Washington, welcome to the EIB Network. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Appreciate you taking my call.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: Hey just a few quick comments I wanted to make on the debate last night. The first thought, you know, I don’t totally agree with any one of the candidates, but I was really proud of my party during that debate and afterwards. These guys, they spoke straight, and they spoke without hesitation. They answered the questions directly and clearly. They said what they thought. They told you what they’d do. You know, such an utter contrast with the Democratic debate —
RUSH: This is an excellent point that you’re making.
CALLER: You know, it was so clear, for people who can’t observe that, then you kind of wonder about their discernment.
RUSH: Well, this thing was more notable to me for the idiocy of the questions. They were pointless. They were agenda oriented questions. I know these guys know what they’re getting into with this. But it was so unprofessional. It was a real come-down. And, you know, you are prisoner to the questions. You have to answer the ones you get, and they were stupid, but it what it was and I think that reduces the whole substantive image of the event. I appreciate the call out there, Paul.