RUSH: Many people think that President Bush yesterday in his remarks about conservative critics of his immigration bill were actually aimed at me. They’re actually aimed at you, but maybe me, too, but the Drive-By Media is rejoicing today that they are aimed at me. Brian Maloney who has a blog called The Radio Equalizer has got a little piece he just posted called ‘Bush vs. Rush’ and this is all about how the media is excited. Now, the media is excited because the president of the United States has taken me on, and there’s a McClatchy story that’s running in all the McClatchy newspapers and quite a few others around the country today as well. The media is just having a field day with this. The New York Times, I mean some of the reporting on President Bush today is some of the most laudatory and some of the friendliest that he has had in a while. It leads me to believe the Drive-Bys hate me more than they hate President Bush, and it seems that I may have been able to have done a service here in some regard, because if I can single-handedly turn around press coverage for President Bush, who knows how valuable that is to the people at the White House.
Some are speculating that President Bush might become the new McCain because he’s essentially attacked me, i.e., his own base, and this is what you have to do to get the Drive-Bys to love you. This is what McCain did, constantly attacking Bush and his own party in order to get fawning press coverage. Of course, that’s dried up now that McCain is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Speaking of McCain, he was in Carlsbad, California, yesterday, and he urged Congress to adopt a sweeping overhaul of his immigration bill, criticized his leading rivals, Romney, Giuliani, and a reporter said, ‘What about their opposition to the Senate compromise brokered earlier this month?’ McCain said, (Doing McCain impression) ‘Anybody, anybody says we shouldn’t pass this, I would ask for their proposal. What’s their idea?’ I got the answer. Stick with existing law! We don’t need to pile more laws on top of more laws. What’s the solution? Enforce what’s on the books now. Of course, that answer would be greeted with just a show of frustration, throw their hands in the air, totally frustrated. ‘Oh, yeah, easy for you to say.’ Sort of like telling homeless people to go out and try working, get a job. At any rate, we’ll have a full stack on illegal immigration and the process of this bill winding its way through the Senate.
RUSH: This is Case in Stafford, Virginia. Great to have you on the program, Case.
CALLER: Yes, sir. Thank you for having me again.
RUSH: Yeah, you bet.
CALLER: I called a few months ago. Hey, I’m kind of with President Bush on this immigration thing. I think we are enforcing the laws on the books right now. I think ICE probably returns what, a million folks a year, something like that. The analogy I like to use is like creating a ten-lane highway and posting the speed limit sign at 15 miles an hour. You don’t get enough cops out there to give speed tickets to everybody, and that’s what we’re facing. For whatever reason, these guys come across the border and work, and so we have 12 million folks, doesn’t mean that we didn’t return a million folks each year.
RUSH: All I know is that ‘can’t’ never did anything, and you’re right, we can’t deport 12 million people. By the way, nobody is suggesting that.
RUSH: I’ve been looking at the e-mails here during our obscene profit center time-outs. I’m getting a lot of e-mails from people who are expressing surprise and incredulity that I am not outraged and angry at President Bush for his attacks yesterday on his base. Many people in their e-mails, ‘You know he was talking about you. You know it was you. You’re not firing back, and I don’t understand.’ Let me try to explain it, folks. I’ve known President Bush since before he was governor of Texas. I don’t know him well, but I’ve been with him socially on two or three occasions and I personally like him very much. I don’t associate his motives on this immigration bill with the same characteristics that the Democrats have on this. It’s disappointing to me. I’m not going to hide that, but the fact that he may be attacking me doesn’t bother me. What concerns me more about it, you can’t take this kind of stuff personally. He didn’t mention my name and I’m not going to sit around here and start making assumptions. The thing that is most troublesome to me is that the words that he spoke yesterday were a criticism of the people who have stood by him through thick and thin. When everybody’s been trying to destroy him, be it the National Guard story, take your pick, Rumsfeld, the entire war in Iraq, the whole weapons of mass destruction thing, people have stood by him, and because they trust him and believe him on those issues. They also did not want the Democrats to get away with taking him out.
I’m even getting e-mail I don’t even want to mention. Never mind. Because it’s nuts, what some people are suggesting that I now support. I’ll just tell you a few, ‘You ought to get behind the impeachment of Bush.’ Come on, folks, this is asinine. I’ve told you what I think the president’s motivations here are on the immigration bill, and I think they’re far loftier motivations than political, frankly. I think they have to do with his desire to help the less fortunate around the world to realize dreams, his belief in this country as a way to get it done. But this criticism of his base is going to be problematic for him because the left is going to keep up their incessant harping on Iraq, and he needs people to support him on this. He needs to have a base of support that will not waver. I haven’t talked to any of you about this. I’ve gotten some e-mails, and those are just anecdotal, but there are people who are saying, ‘I’ve had it, I’m through defending the guy. This is the last straw because he’s attacking me here, somebody who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, somebody who doesn’t want what’s right for the country,’ and so forth.
I understand you and other people getting upset about it, and I can understand if you flew the coop in terms of supporting some of these other things. I just think that there’s a little bit of tone deafness in the Republican Party on the impact of this, on their base. Either that or there’s so much arrogance now in the Republican Party over this that it’s incomprehensible. I don’t take this stuff that the president said yesterday personally at all. I don’t even think he meant it that way. He’s just out trying to sell his position on this. I think he’s wrong about it, and I’ve made no secret of that. But he does not in any way constitute an enemy to me on this. The enemy on this is the Democrats, primarily, and the Republicans — remember, this is a Ted Kennedy bill, and he joined up there with McCain to get this done, and some Republicans in the Senate, that are recalcitrant. But the Republicans in the House, the conservatives over there are fit to be tied over this. It’s going to have a rocky road ahead of it regardless what comes out of the Senate. I just wish he hadn’t done it because he’s not going to lose me on Iraq, and he’s not going to lose me on national security, he’s not going to lose me on the war on terror, but he might lose some of you, and that might mean losing some of your votes for other Republicans because the president’s not on any ballot anymore, but other Republicans are. The people who have hung with you, you don’t just cast them aside in an even casual sense. That’s the thing about this that troubles me, that’s what’s the saddest aspect of this, to me. Nothing personal.
RUSH: I mentioned earlier in the program that a lot of people are angry at President Bush for his remarks. In fact, we’ve got those sound bites. Let’s listen to those. Twelve and 13. Grab 12 and 13. Because the New York Times has a story here that kind of makes the point that I made when I first talked about this. This is President Bush at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, speaking about comprehensive immigration reform, two bites. This is the first.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I’m sure you’ve heard some of the talk out there about people defining the bill. It’s clear they hadn’t read the bill. They’re speculating about what the bill says, and they’re trying to rile up people’s emotions. This is a good piece of legislation. It addresses the border security needs and it addresses the employment needs of our country. If you’re serious about bringing hard working illegal immigrants out of the shadows of our society, it makes sense to support legislation that will resolve their status without animosity and without amnesty.
RUSH: I just don’t… This is so painful! ‘Out of the shadows.’ ‘Employment needs of our country.’ ‘It makes sense to support legislation, resolve their status.’ He makes the speech at Glynco, Georgia, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Here’s the second bite.
THE PRESIDENT: This bill is not an amnesty bill. If you want to scare the American people, what you say is, the bill’s an amnesty bill. It’s not an amnesty bill. That’s empty political rhetoric, trying to frighten our fellow citizens. People in Congress need the courage to go back to their districts and explain exactly what this bill is all about in order to put comprehensive immigration reform in place.
RUSH: He had some comments. Well, The Times headline here is: ‘Bush Takes on Conservatives Over Immigration.’ It’s our old buddy Jim Rutenberg at the New York Times writing the story. ”President Bush took on parts of his conservative base on Tuesday by accusing opponents of his proposed immigration measure of fear-mongering to defeat its passage in Congress. ‘If you want to scare the American people, what you say is the bill’s an amnesty bill,’ Mr. Bush said…’ Well, you can read it and find out that that’s pretty much what it is. Anyway, the president all of a sudden has found new-found respect among media enemies and the Drive-Bys, because he’s taking out after his conservative supporters. Brian Maloney has a blog called the Radio Equalizer. He says this is Bush vs. Rush and the media loves it. The media hates Rush and here’s Bush taking on Rush. Why, Bush could end up as the new McCain, a media darling for taking on the conservative movement — because the Drive-Bys hate conservatives, and they despise the conservative movement. So now they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. They don’t like Bush, either, but now Bush has taken on conservatives, and the Drive-Bys lost their monopoly because of conservatives — me. So they’re eating this stuff up. So in a sort of ancillary way, ladies and gentlemen, I single-handedly may have helped revive President Bush’s standing in the Drive-By Media!