RUSH: I just want to run this by you. Did the Republican candidates seem feistier last night? They did. Did they seem less programmed to you last night? Did there seem to be more diversity up there? For example, if you examine one of our debates, we can have an anti-war candidate. We have one, Ron Paul. The Democrats cannot have a pro-war candidate on their stage. We can have a candidate say, ‘Let’s start withdrawing now.’ We can have a candidate on our debate stage do that. The Democrats cannot have on their stage somebody who says, ‘Let’s win it,’ right? We can actually debate immigration among our candidates on the stage. They only toss out these little focus group lines designed to attract the La Raza crowd. Now, I’m watching this, and I’m saying, ‘If the Drive-By Media were reporters,’ which, of course, it’s a pipe dream, if they were, speaking just theoretically. ‘If the Drive-By Media were reporters rather than party activists, they would spend far less time on the left and a lot more time on the right where the ideas are actually being discussed and debated. There really are a lot of different ideas being discussed and debated on the Republican side here. The Democrats just have a series of talking points, left and right. All right, a quick time-out. Sit tight, folks. We’ll be back before you know it on the EIB Network.
RUSH: We’ll start on MSNBC Today, anchor Amy Robach talking with the NBC political director, Chuck Todd. She said, ‘Hey, Chuck, we know that Fred Thompson is now the ninth Republican contender. What did you make of his decision to be in LA versus New Hampshire last night?’
TODD: He took some shots from the Republican candidates. Rush Limbaugh was actually very critical of Thompson picking Jay Leno over this debate, so he certainly didn’t win any hearts and minds inside sort of the Republican establishment.
RUSH: And during the debate itself last night the candidates — did I take a shot at Thompson? Well, they think I did. You know, this is what excites them. When I criticize a Republican, that’s big news for them, and all I said was I’ve got a little problem with announcing on the show. It is not a show that a president will ever visit, so why should a candidate do so? You heard it, and I don’t want to revisit it. Here’s a montage of the actual candidates last night taking shots at the guy who wasn’t there, Fred Thompson.
MCCAIN: That’s a decision that Fred should make. Maybe we’re up past his bedtime, but the point is —
ROMNEY: The only question I have for Senator Thompson is, why the hurry? Why not take some more time off?
GIULIANI: I like Fred a lot. I think Fred is a really, really good man. I think he’s done a pretty good job of playing my part on Law & Order.
RUSH: That was Rudy Giuliani there talking about Fred Thompson’s role as Arthur Branch. By the way, there was a piece, I wonder how many people fell for this. It was an Arizona newspaper website, and it was a story about how the Democrats are demanding unity from President Bush in the appointment of the next attorney general. One of the Democrats suggested that the assistant district attorney in Manhattan named Arthur Branch be nominated as attorney general, and McCain says, ‘Well, you know, if the Democrats can live with Arthur Branch, I’m not too familiar with Arthur Branch, but I could live with Arthur Branch, too.’ Arthur Branch is a character that Fred Thompson played on Law & Order. There is no Arthur Branch in New York in the district attorney’s office. So I wonder how many people fell for that. Then it wasn’t long after that, maybe half-an-hour, a story came down the pike where the Democrats are demanding unity in a choice for attorney general, by President Bush, meaning they want him to appoint somebody the Democrats would love. That’s what they mean by unity is Republicans caving. Now, let’s go to Thompson. Thompson announced on The Tonight Show last night. Leno said, ‘You were here in June, and you said then that you were testing the water. You’ve been in the water for a while now. Are you starting to get a little wrinkly?’
THOMPSON: These wrinkles don’t come from the water.
LENO: They don’t come from the water. All right.
THOMPSON: No, no.
LENO: But, what’s the temperature? Is it tepid? What does the water tell you?
THOMPSON: Nice and warm.
LENO: Nice and warm?
THOMPSON: Nice and warm. Not that long, really. We’ve done in a few months what a lot of people have been working on since they were in the choir in high school. And so we’re where we need to be right now and that’s one of the things I wanted to talk to you about.
LENO: All right.
THOMPSON: All right. I’m running for president of the United States. (Loud applause)
LENO: All right!
RUSH: Hubba, hubba, hubba, right on, right on, right on. The applause signs lit up in front of the audience there at the Tonight Show. Jay Leno said, ‘Well, what about giving it a rest? Pundits say that you waited too long to get in.’
THOMPSON: No, I don’t think so. Of course, you know, we’ll find out. But I don’t think people are going to say, ‘You know, that guy would make a very good president but he just didn’t get in soon enough.’ Communications being what they are nowadays, if you can’t get your message out in a few months, you’re probably not ever going to get it out. People don’t start paying attention to these elections until they get a little closer. They treat politicians kind of like dentists. They don’t have anything to do with them ’til they have to, ’til the election.
RUSH: Boy, that’s a good line. I hate to look at the drill. I hate the sound of the drill. I just despise those people. I mean, the profession. By the way, have you seen the story that they found a skinny gene in mice and they think that they might be able to turn that on in human beings? It struck me, I am 56 years old, and for the last 41 years I have been paying attention to stuff like this. In the last 41 years, I can’t count for you the number of scientific discoveries that are going to lead to the cure for obesity or overweight, and we’re nowhere nearer than we were 41 years ago, folks! Same thing with cancer. We’re making some progress here in certain kinds of cancers. But they were testing rats, beasts, mice, and all that 15, 35, 40 years ago. It strikes me, they keep taunting us with all this stuff. I keep hearing that we’re going to get dental drills that are so fast we don’t even know it’s happened. Well, none of this is going to happen before I die, I guarantee you, none of it’s going to happen. The promises are going to continue to be empty. These people are just fooling themselves on these genetic alterations that they think they’re going to be able to make.
All right, now, let’s move on to some other stage of the debate. H.R., you mentioned earlier that, as you watched, you thought McCain got off the mat here? You thought McCain made a little recovery here, right? Would you say McCain won the debate last night as you watched it? That’s right. There’s a giant disconnect. Nobody that I know, including myself, thought McCain won. He did okay, got off the mat, as you say. He got back in the game. But Frank Luntz and his band of people with their little meters out there in the coffee shop said McCain was far-and-away the winner. No one was even close, and the pundits are saying, ‘You know, we just don’t get this. The people we think do well, Luntz’s focus group people, the average Americans out there just don’t see it. There’s a huge disconnect here between us and the Drive-By Media and average people.’ So, really? But the way I look at this is, I look at the guy that the American people last night thought, or that Luntz’s people in the diner thought, won, and I try to find which candidate sounds most like me, because that’s the candidate that’s going to win. And last night apparently it was McCain, on a number of issues. For example, on the immigration bill.
RUSH ARCHIVE: The bottom line is this. And this is why the immigration bill went down the tubes. Nobody trusts the government. Few people trust the government to do what they say they’re going to —
RUSH: All right. I set it up there, that’s July 6th, this past July, and I’m explaining why this thing went down the tubes. So Luntz was talking to a focus group last night in the diner in there, and an unidentified voter said this about who he thought won.
UNIDENTIFIED VOTER: John McCain sounded the most presidential. Even the other candidates were quoting John McCain during their responses. My biggest problem with McCain had been his immigration stand, and I think he indicated at least that he may have heard the clamor in the country over his position on that and may have mollified it.
RUSH: Modified it, is what the voter meant to say, not mollified. But we’ll look past that. I shouldn’t even have mentioned it. McCain’s immigration answer in the debate last night is a total Limbaugh Echo. The question was from Chris Wallace, ‘Senator McCain, when you were backing comprehensive immigration reform this spring, you accused Governor Romney of flip-flopping on the issue. Is the governor playing politics on immigration, and are you now doing the same thing, backing a new plan which would enforce the borders but without any longer path to citizenship?’
MCCAIN: Look, this is an emotional, passionate issue and one that I — very seldom have I seen an issue that aroused this much passion with the American people. Why we failed is because the American people have lost trust and confidence in us. Our failure in Katrina, our failures in Iraq, our failures to control runaway spending, and so we failed. I commit to securing the borders first. We can secure those borders. As president, I would have the board of state governors certify that those borders were indeed secure.
RUSH: I mean, this is a 100% Limbaugh echo. It’s no wonder he won the debate last night in the minds of Luntz’s focus group in the diner. That’s why I went back and played you a sound bite here from July 6th. Bottom line is the government is something nobody trusts. They trust the government to do nothing; they’re not going to do what they say they’re going to do; they can’t get anything done, McCain says, ‘Look, we failed because the American people have lost trust and confidence in us.’ Whoever sounds the most like me in these debates, folks, I’m telling you, is going to win them.
RUSH: So anyway, Heath in Madison, Wisconsin, I’m glad you called, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: You’re welcome. Mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. You bet.
CALLER: Mega dittos from the liberal capital. One thing — and I apologize. I was actually doing some paperwork last night. I was out of town in a hotel room. The thing that puzzles me is that it just feels like we just don’t — we, as conservatives from the pulpit of the puppets — have a true vision of where they’re going to lead us. I know that the past accomplishments are very important — I apologize, I’m a little nervous here — yet I just don’t feel like there’s one person. Maybe that’s who I’m trying to identify with like you said. I’m just trying to find one person who is speaking what I’m thinking.
RUSH: Well, I think it’s a little bit more complicated than that. I think I know what your frustration is. Where’s the conservative here? We got conservatism in each of these guys, but there’s some things there that we’re not crazy about in each of them, too, or at least we’re not sure about. One of them may be kick-ass when it comes to national security, but on social issues we think we may end up with the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of them may be really kick-ass on international affairs and foreign security, but just recently tried to let every illegal citizen in the country or alien become a citizen, and might do it again, and has not been good on tax cuts. I don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be one of these candidates who is simply articulating conservatism as the driving force and reason he wants the job.
CALLER: I totally agree, Rush.
RUSH: In order to make the country a better country because of those principles. That’s exactly right. I know exactly how you feel about this.
CALLER: Thank you, and that’s my prediction for next year is when one of these representatives actually steps out and gets the nomination —
RUSH: It’s going to happen, I’ll tell you. This debate last night proved it to me. I know exactly what’s going to happen here. McCain was perceived the winner by the people in that diner. McCain was perceived as the winner. Who sounded like me last night?
CALLER: Of course.
RUSH: McCain sounded like me. Now, the difference is, people hear me say it, they know I mean it.