RUSH: Over the weekend, America’s Real Anchorman (me), the man who’s running the country, was discussed on many television shows. First up, this morning on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends. The cohost out there, Alisyn Camerota, was talking to Patrick Gavin and Jeff DuFour. They’re both from the Washington Examiner and they asked these two guys if I was the reason Scooter Libby’s sentence was commuted.
GAVIN: People who think that Rush Limbaugh wields a lot of influence have one more example. Hours before President Bush commuted Libby’s sentence, Rush Limbaugh took to the airs and said, ‘You know, I really think it’s time that this president pardoned Scooter Libby.’ Now, obviously he didn’t pardon him but he certainly did help Scooter Libby out. So I think if you think Rush is powerful, here’s another example for you.
DuFOUR: Fifteen million listeners have a lot of influence.
CAMEROTA: Good point.
RUSH: And on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal yesterday. The host was Rob Harleston, and the Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti is the guest. Harleston takes a caller from Silver Springs, Maryland, on the Republican line.
C-SPAN CALLER: My hat goes off to Rush Limbaugh and talk radio for stopping the amnesty bill, and you could tell the politicians in Washington hate talk radio and will do anything they can to try and hush Rush, so to speak. Well, I got news for you guys. Talk radio is going to continue, and the next thing that talk radio is going to zero in on is that fence. We want a fence. We want English to be the national language. I’m sick and tired of calling and having to press a button for the conversation to continue in English.
RUSH: I think I just got my marching orders there, but not from Karl Rove or the White House but from a listener. ‘The next thing is going to be that fence!’ (Laughing.) So I better get on that — and then, this was Saturday on Fox News Channel’s Fox News Watch, Eric Burns speaking with regular panelist and syndicated columnist Cal Thomas about the news media’s response to Algore’s son’s problems.
THOMAS: I listened to Rush Limbaugh this week. Because of Rush’s own difficulty with prescription drugs, he was very compassionate, and he was very open about this, and he said he wanted to help any way he could with his own experience, with Algore’s son. I thought it was one of those rare moments in the media where somebody of a different political persuasion could actually be understanding and compassionate. It’s a good thing.
RUSH: Shh! Cal? Cal? Shh, shh, shh, shh! You’re going to ruin things for me here. (laughing) You’re going to ruin the image. So anyway, that’s America’s Anchorman in the news over the weekend.
RUSH: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Chuck, thank you for waiting. You are on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: Hey. I have a question concerning your power. You are considered the most powerful man in the United States, but if —
RUSH: No, no. No. I’m the man running the country. There are distinctions.
CALLER: Well, as one of your minions, I consider you the most powerful man.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you very, very much.
CALLER: Now, the question is, back after the election, I recall strongly people like Chris Matthews and other people declaring you irrelevant since we lost power as conservatives. Now, did you have the power then and lose it then, or did you lose the power, regain it? Can you clarify this for me?
RUSH: Well, the power flows and fluctuates. I don’t think I actually lost it, but I was never irrelevant either. It’s an interesting cycle that starts. You go back to ’88, when I started this program. We started in August of ’88, and that was right in the midst of the Dukakis-George Bush 41 campaign, and we were very vocal in that, a few stations, 56 to a hundred or so, and Bush won, and of course the Rush critics said, ‘Well, that’s it for Limbaugh. What’s he going to have to talk about now? His side won. He can’t criticize anybody. It’s over.’ Then the next four we went from this 56 to over 500 radio stations with a Republican president in the White House. So then the campaign of ’92 comes up, and Bush loses, and Clinton wins. ‘That’s it for Limbaugh. His side has lost. He’s discredited, and the things he stood for. He didn’t have the power to move the electorate,’ blah, blah. Then after eight years of Clinton, the same press said that it was the Clinton administration that made me who I am, even though I had 90% of the radio stations carrying the program before he was inaugurated.
Then when Bush won, it’s the same old thing.
‘Well, that’s it for Limbaugh, because his side won. What’s he going to talk about’ It’s a never-ending cycle. When the Republicans lost the election in November, ‘Ah, Limbaugh’s irrelevant, see? We can win elections here.’ What they forget to analyze are the specifics that go along with it. It was pretty difficult. You know, I’m not running for office, and if you have a bunch of people who are who don’t make it look like they care to win, all the support for them in the world is going to sound hollow. If you have guys who are running for reelection who have not governed as they said they would, then you’re going to have defections. Voters are smart — especially active, engaged listeners such as are members of this audience. They know full-well what happens after they elect somebody to office. If they fail, they’re unhappy with them and they’re unsatisfied with their campaign for reelection, then out they go. That’s what happened in November. But anyway, after the immigration debate, I’m now running the country so all that talk about irrelevancy was irrelevant anyway.