RUSH: All right, the Larry Craig situation. This is not about the fact he may change his mind, or is thinking about changing his mind and not resigning. It is instead something that I find incredible. In all of modern-era politics, recent politics, name for me the political figure who is most widely known for sexual indiscretions? Who would that figure be? Bill Clinton is the expert, right? Bill Clinton is the go-to guy. When you want to find out what somebody else going through this is going through, you go to Bill Clinton. So where’s Clinton? He’s all over television last night — Larry King Alive, Oprah — and not one question about the one story that has the media totally absorbed, not one question at all. William Jefferson Clinton was discussing everything but the news’s focus of the day, and that is sexual indiscretions by public figures.
It’s worth noting, folks, that Clinton doesn’t have the decency, the conscience, or the moral compass to avoid the public and duck the cameras, at least until sleaze becomes yesterday’s news. He puts himself right out there in the midst of sleaze, being the Captain of Sleaze, knowing full-well that as the Captain of Sleaze, he’s not going to be asked about this — and he’s not. Not one interviewer, not one journalist, not one reporter asked him what Sam Donaldson would have shouted in the old days. Sam Donaldson would have said, ‘Mr. President, does the Larry Craig story make you uncomfortable?’ (Laughing.) But such a reporter and such questions do not exist. Oprah and Larry King should have asked Clinton if he had any advice for Craig to get through this troubling experience. The one guy who could give advice on this is not asked about it. If it were a Republican, it would be [asked].
RUSH: I need to correct something. I was wrong. I erred mere moments ago when I said that Bill Clinton, the leading expert on sex scandals, had not been asked about this by anybody. He actually was on the Today show this morning. Matt Lauer talked to Clinton, and he said this: ‘Let me ask you about Senator Larry Craig. He resigned last week amid a scandal. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct charges stemming from a gay sex sting in an airport in Minneapolis. Now, his office says he may want to rethink that resignation. Can he survive? Based on what you know about Washington and what you know about political scandals, can Larry Craig survive?’
CLINTON: Well, he’s legally entitled to the rest of his term. Maybe he was carrying a little of the baggage for — they did — they decided to say nothing about Senator Vitter, and then they decided to say everything about Senator Craig. I don’t know why they made the decisions they did, but it’s really — this should be viewed on the one hand as a personal matter, a challenge for Senator Craig and his family. On that level, I think we should let him work that out, and then on a political level, it’s really up to the Republicans. They’ll determine what happens here.
RUSH: You know, it’s interesting. Arlen Specter has really thrown a monkey wrench into all this. In fact, let’s just go to the top of the sound bites. It will make sense here if we do this in a chronological piece. Let’s review something I said. I like playing these sound bites of me, because, unlike you people, I never get to listen to this show because I’m too busy performing it. Do you ever stop to think about this? I never get to listen to the most-listened-to radio program in the country. I’m the one American who doesn’t get to. I’m sure I would enjoy it, but after performing it, I don’t need to hear it. I know whether I’ve done a good job. Anyway, so I love going back and playing sound bites of me from previous shows, such as this from yesterday.
RUSH ARCHIVE: So the Republicans threw Larry Craig under the bus, and do you know who was driving the bus? Mitt Romney. This is a guy that was supporting Mitt Romney. Just throw him under the bus like that? This is pandering. This is pandering to the Christian right. This is pandering to values voters out there, and it insults them to go this way.
RUSH: All right, so we got a montage here of a bunch of Drive-By Media people who all of a sudden — you know, the Larry Craig thing happened last week. It wasn’t until I got back and started being critical of some Republicans here that the Drive-Bys decide, ‘You know what? There’s an angle here we missed, and that is the way the Republicans are handling this.’ So I bring brilliance to the broadcast airwaves yesterday, pointing out that they threw the guy under the bus. Listen to this montage.
CROWLEY: The Republicans were so quick to throw him overboard.
RUSSERT: Mitt Romney was a bit abrupt and a bit harsh the way he threw him under the bus.
COOPER: Why was the Republican leadership so quick to throw this guy under the bus?
BUCHANAN: …under the bus…
RODGERS: They’ve thrown him under the bus!
GREGORY: Republicans acted quickly to throw Larry Craig under the bus.
VIEIRA: Do you think that he was pushed under the bus?
ROBERTS: Is there a chance now the Republican leadership may put the bus in reverse and try to run over him again?
RUSH: (Laughing.) I’ll tell you, the original thinking in the Drive-By Media, ladies and gentlemen, it’s magical and breathtaking to sit here and behold it. I don’t have much breath to take away with this confounded infection that I’ve got. Anyway, over the weekend, this has just surfaced. Larry Craig himself made a phone call. He thought he was calling his lawyer. He got the wrong number, and whoever he called released the voice message.
CRAIG: Arlen Specter is now willing to come out in my defense, arguing that it appears by all that he knows I’ve been railroaded. We’ve reshaped my statement a little bit to say it is my ‘intent’ to resign on September 30. I think it is very important for you to make as bold a statement as you are comfortable with this afternoon, and I would hope you could make it in front of the cameras. I think it would help drive the story that I’m willing to fight, that I’ve got quality people out there fighting in my defense, and that this thing could take a new turn or a new shape, have that potential.
RUSH: This was the morning before his press conference, when he said he intended to resign. Now, let’s go to cut five, then go back to cut four. Because I want you to hear what Specter said since he’s citing Specter as his defender. Here is Arlen Specter on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
SPECTER: I’d still like to see Senator Craig fight this case. He left himself some daylight, Chris, when he said that he ‘intends’ to resign in 30 days. I’ve had some experience in these kinds of matters since my days as Philadelphia district attorney, and on the evidence, Senator Craig wouldn’t be convicted of anything. And he’s got his life on the line, and 27 years in the House and Senate, and I’d like to see him fight the case because I think he could be vindicated.
RUSH: This is not at all what the Republican leadership wants. This is the last thing in the world Mitch McConnell and the boys want to hear — and, of course, this statement by Specter has now made Craig rethink this. They do want Craig under the bus and they want to keep going backwards and forwards until Craig can’t get up from under the bus. This has caused some speculation out there amongst the Drive-Bys. Last night on Hardball with Chris Matthews, talking to ace analyst Howard Fineman, Matthews says, ‘What’s he up to? He’s the ranking Republican in the Senate Judiciary Committee! What goal is he setting here? Does he really want this guy to come back to the Senate, not pick up his stuff and leave, but fight the case and get back to the world’s greatest deliberative body? Is that the Specter goal here?’
FINEMAN: It seems to me he’s trying to create a nightmare for Mitch McConnell. There’s bad blood between Specter and the conservatives, because the evangelical conservatives said, ‘Specter, if you want to stay as head of the Judiciary Committee,’ back when the Republicans had the majority, ‘you play ball with us. You sign off on all of our nominations,’ and Specter said, ‘Okay, two can play that game.’ I think Larry Craig should get a fair hearing.
RUSH: I think that they’re halfway right here. There is no blood lost between Specter and McConnell and the rest of the conservative Republican leadership in the Senate. I think Craig should do it, by the way. I realize a number of people are still upset with me for my analysis of this yesterday, but screw it. I’m not going to change my analysis of it. I believe everything I said yesterday. I believe it today. I would say it again today as I said it yesterday if I were going to comment on it today. Having said that, I think it’s a mistake for Craig to start playing games. If he said he’s going to resign, he should resign. He’s not going to be able to fix this stuff by September 30th. No, I’ll get into this more in just a second. But I want to go back to cut four because Craig has hired a Democrat lawyer, Stan Brand, to represent him before the ethics committee. He was on the Today show today, Stan Brand was, and Meredith Vieira asked him, ‘Well, what changed Larry Craig’s mind?’
BRAND: The Senate of the United States has never taken cognizance of misdemeanor private cases in the 220-year history of the Senate. The unbroken line of precedence in the U.S. Senate for 220 years is that only conduct amounting to treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors, have been subject to discipline. If the Senate of the United States is going to begin taking up every traffic offense and petty offense committed by senators in their private capacity, having nothing to do with their office, I think the Senate needs to go into full-time session to deal with those alone.
RUSH: I understand what he’s saying. That was part of my point yesterday, but the die is cast now. The Republicans want the guy out of there. The Republicans seem to have a suicide pact. It’s just, ‘Okay, we’ll throw away every one of our imperfect members. We’ll get ’em outta here as fast as the Democrats claim to want them out, and we’ll do this because we’ll try to convince everybody we’re clean and pure as the wind-driven snow here.’ Anyway, Keith in Palm Bay, Florida, we’ll grab you quickly here before the break. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, thanks. I’m really disappointed in especially you and talk radio. Is this a subconscious thing or a business thing that we are talking about this? In my opinion true Americans, I think conservative Democrats, should be answering when reporters ask them this question, ‘This is a personal thing between him and his family and his constituents and it’s not the Republican Party platform, and we have terrorists, a war, and other things going on, like Social Security that’s been broken for 30 years and education –‘
RUSH: Hey, Keith? Keith? Keith? I understand exactly what you’re saying, but you can’t accuse me on my own show of shortchanging you and others on those issues. We do everything here. I am ‘talk radio,’ by the way.
RUSH: One more audio sound bite on the Larry Craig situation and then a brief commentary, and then we move on. It’s audio sound bite number 7. This is Fineman and Matthews continuing to discuss Specter and the situation with Larry Craig, and Specter trying to keep Craig in the Senate.
FINEMAN: Politically, this is the worst nightmare the Republicans could have because —
MATTHEWS (interrupting): Freddy Krueger!
FINEMAN: — because he was buffaloed out of the Senate. And now some people, in principle or for political calculation or sheer spite, are going to stand up for Larry Craig’s rights, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Democrats put together a Larry Craig Defense Fund.
RUSH: Now, I mean, this is… (laughing) Who ever heard of Larry Craig anyway before any of this? I mean, students did and wonks like us, but to now call him Freddie Krueger and to say that the last thing the Republicans want…? They did buffalo him out of there, folks. There’s no question they buffaloed him out of there, and now Specter, I think, is funny with a monkey wrench here. But I happen to think, as I said earlier, that Senator Craig is making a huge mistake trying to reverse course on this. He said he intended to resign, and he said he intended to resign because he would be too distracted with his legal affairs to be an ‘effective,’ quote, unquote, public servant. Yada, yada, yada. Now, neither the legal case nor the ethics case are going to be resolved by September 30th, folks, which is the date that he gave for leaving, and if he wanted to fight off demands for his resignation he shouldn’t have announced he was resigning only a few days ago and given a reason that is as relevant today as it was then — and that reason is, he can’t do his job anymore. So I made my case yesterday, and it angered and infuriated many of you.
(interruption) What’s the problem in there? He said he intended to resign. I understand that, but that was a word game. He said he was going to get out of there by September 30th. Call Bill Clinton and ask him, ‘What does he mean by this?’ You know, we have to start parsing his words. I made my case yesterday for why I thought the prosecutors had a weak legal case against Larry Craig, and I’m not going to go and make this case again. You can listen to it on my website. He not only pled guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly charge, but the prosecutors refused to take him to trial on a gross misdemeanor charge of lewd behavior-solicitation, and they could have if they had the evidence –and if they really wanted to make a big case about this and stop this kind of activity at the airport out there in Minneapolis, then they should have hung the guy up to dry. But they apparently didn’t have the evidence to do that. These are the facts whether you like them or not. But don’t ignore them here. Having resigned effective September 30th, I don’t think he can now argue a few days later that he has changed his mind in his rationale. As a practical matter, he has no political support left other than Specter, and he seems to be contradicting himself regarding his reasoning for resigning, that he can’t do his job.
RUSH: I know you’re probably sick and tired of hearing about Larry Craig, but I gotta just share this one thing with you here, folks. It’s a column in the Washington Post. ‘A Prayer for Larry Craig,’ by James McGreevey. You got Happy Feet handy? I’m going to share a little bit of this before we go to the break.
(Playing of Happy Feet.)
There you have it, Paolo Conte and Happy Feet, the Larry Craig update theme song. James McGreevey, ‘A Prayer for Larry Craig.’ I haven’t read the story. I don’t need to read the story. I read the headline and the byline. Here we’ve got the disgraced bisexual ex-governor of New Jersey, who is now, appropriately, an Episcopal priest candidate, who sympathizes with the toilet-stall-foot romancer, Larry King — or Larry Craig. (Sorry, Larry!) McGreevey sits there and hides under the phony word ‘gay,’ and avoids the more realistic term, indiscriminate sexual glutton, which is what he was. This is just gakk. ‘A Prayer for Larry Craig,’ by James McGreevey.
RUSH: Linda in Whittier, California, I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: I love your braggadocio. It makes me laugh out loud.
RUSH: Well, thank you very much.
CALLER: And the little tidbits out the edges of your life fascinate me. But anyway, I wanted to talk about Larry Craig. I want to tell you, thank you very much for coming back from vacation and saving my sanity. When I first heard about this, I was in absolute disbelief. I thought, ‘What priggish, self-righteous, judgmental, disgusting, thuggish behavior by the elites on the Republican side.’ Come on! There was nothing there. It was stupid and should have been dismissed. I was furious — and just to tell you who I am, I’m 62 years old. I’m an evangelical Christian, and I thought the whole thing was ludicrous.
RUSH: What did you think when Mitt Romney threw him under the bus and then drove the bus over him? Because what Romney was aiming at [was] you.
CALLER: Well, he missed, let me guarantee you. There’s nothing I dislike any more than all the self-righteous, I’ve-never-made-a-mistake nonsense.
RUSH: Well, I don’t mean that, but it was clearly pandering to people like evangelical Christians. ‘Why, this man, he’s playing footsie in a bathroom stall in Minnesota? Why, not in our party! Get him outta here!’ and he’s thinking that people like you are going to go, ‘Yay, Mitt! You stand up for our values, man.’
CALLER: No way.
RUSH: That didn’t fly, huh? Not with you.
CALLER: That didn’t fly with me, I guarantee you — and most people I talk to say this whole thing is ridiculous. You know, prove it. Why not at least wait until he propositions a guy to have sex? It’s stupid. I couldn’t even believe it, and my local guy, when he said that, I haven’t turned him on since. Last week I turned him off and said, ‘That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of,’ and that’s a guy I usually respect.
RUSH: I’m going to tell you, you’re saving my sanity today because yesterday, every caller thought that I was full of it on this and that the guy had to go for the sake of the party. This is not about the party yet. The party is making it about the party, and not in a good way. This whole circumstance — I reviewed it yesterday, if you want me to go back and review all of our guys that we have thrown under the bus in order to satisfy somebody, starts with who? We got rid of Ashcroft. ‘Ashcroft was too rough around the edges. Ashcroft was too insensitive.’ We got rid of him. Then we wanted Rumsfeld. Then we got rid of Rumsfeld. It didn’t satisfy ’em, didn’t please anybody. We had to get rid of Foley. The list goes on and on and on. Gonzales, he resigned — and they’ve been after him for nothing! We have people on our side say, ‘Yeah, he should go. He’s horrible; he’s incompetent and so forth.’ These are people inside the Beltway who don’t seem to understand the nature of the war or of the battle that’s going on. The thing that really bugged me was you have Democrats, of all people, sitting in moral judgment of us and our guys allowing that to occur. I appreciate the call, Linda. Thank you. Thanks very much.