RUSH: Let’s go to the audio sound bites. This is funny. We have one, two, three, four, five of them here from Hardball last night. Chris Matthews, the topic, Rush vs. Bush. He had one of the executives from Dead Air America on there and a former Bush 41 advisor, Ed Rogers. This is how Matthews opened the program last night.
MATTHEWS: So why is a conservative president giving the popular Limbaugh the bum’s rush? That’s what Rush Limbaugh himself would like to know. But Bush’s assault on his conservative base has ignited a firestorm on the right. The truth is they don’t like this immigration bill that rewards crossing the border illegally and invites millions more illegal crossings by creating a wide new path to citizenship.
RUSH: Wait a second, I did just the opposite. People wanted me to get the dander up with Bush, but I was a gentleman about this. I didn’t take the bait. In fact, I said yesterday I don’t think it was meant to be personal at all. But I did mention that the Drive-Bys were going to go bonkers because they love this. They love the conservative movement falling apart because they hate conservatism and that’s what they think this represents, and Bush vs. Rush, ooh, they hate me, too, so this would be an ideal vehicle for them. All of this I predicted. Last night on Hardball, here we go. This is a tease by Matthews.
MATTHEWS: Bush versus Rush. Boy, that’s an interesting one because I love to see Rush Limbaugh get a little angry.
RUSH: And there’s this one.
MATTHEWS: Bush vs. Rush Limbaugh. What an interesting fight that’s going to be. You never fight with a guy who’s got a microphone.
RUSH: They kept teasing it, kept promoting this upcoming segment. Bush vs. Rush. Then last night, this is Matthews and playing an audio sound bite from me.
MATTHEWS: Rush vs. Bush. Tuesday in Georgia this week, President Bush went on the attack to sell the immigration plan to his political right. I don’t know. Some supporters, including Rush Limbaugh, didn’t take kindly to the president’s tone. Let’s listen to him.
RUSH ARCHIVE: It’s disappointing to me. I’m not going to hide that 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 everyone’s been trying to destroy him, be it on 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.
RUSH: Now the interview portion of the program.
GREEN: Rush Limbaugh is really funny, and so is George Bush. Bush is probably scratching his head wondering why these opponents use such demagogic phrases as ‘amnesty.’ It’s not literally amnesty, as you know, because you have to pay a fine. One last point on Rush Limbaugh, I know exactly who he is, enormously talented; he gets higher ratings than Air America; he has ten million people listening. He has five to eight percent of America listening. Good for ratings —
ROGERS: I sense jealousy.
GREEN: — awful for politics. Eight percent doesn’t win an election. Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant to someone who doesn’t care about winning Republican primaries.
ROGERS: If Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant, what is Air America?
RUSH: If I’m irrelevant, why was I the show last night? Why is this whole fake topic of Rush vs. Bush a big deal? First off, the voice you heard was Mark Green, who is the brother of the new owner of Dead Air America. He doesn’t even know what he’s talking about here. He said, ‘It’s not literally amnesty, as you know, because you have to pay a fine.’ No, you don’t have pay a fine. That’s unless you want citizenship. If you don’t want to have citizenship, you just want to become legal, you don’t pay a fine, Mark. No fine whatsoever. Also, my audience, 20 million, Mark, in a week, 12 million from beginning to end of each three-hour program, five million at any one time. I love these guys. They sit out there and they go on and on and on about how irrelevant I am, while at the same time making me relevant.
This is a story from the DC Examiner, and the headline is juicy: ‘La Shawn Barber: Local liberals learning new lessons on ‘diversity’ — While President Bush and pro-amnesty members of Congress are pushing an unpopular immigration ‘reform’ bill that would bestow American citizenship on millions of people who have no regard for America’s laws, liberal Democrats across the Washington region are increasingly complaining about overcrowded houses, noise, loitering and general public nuisance — all caused by illegal aliens. … Now that illegal aliens have migrated to their neighborhoods, such liberals have become pro-enforcement all of a sudden. … It’s happening to them, and they are singing a different tune. It turns out that liberals in half-a-million-dollar houses don’t like living next door to a single-family house filled to the brim with illegal aliens who park on the front lawn, throw trash everywhere and urinate outside.’ Why not, liberals? What about diversity? (Laughing.) This proves my point. The elites and the liberals who are all for this are convinced it’s never going to touch them. But it is touching. Hey, Virginia is becoming a problem state as well.