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RUSH: We welcome back to the EIB Network Tony Snow, who just left the White House as the press secretary. So now I guess, Tony, you’re free to get partisan?

TONY SNOW: Well… (laughing) I’m partisan anyway, Rush!

RUSH: I understand that. Have you been watching any of the hearings so far?

TONY SNOW: You know, I just got out of the Oval Office, but I got back in time to see this Code Pink demonstration. Did you see this during your break?

RUSH: I did.

TONY SNOW: (laughing)

RUSH: I did. I saw the Code Pink demonstration, and I’ll tell you, I just kept saying, ‘If people see this, that’s Democrats.’


RUSH: That’s Democrats, and there’s Ike Skelton saying, ‘We will not tolerate this,’ while they just did. ‘We will prosecute them fully under the law.’ It’s a circus, and I love what Petraeus said. You know, for a week, Tony, they’ve been maligning this guy. I’m sitting here in a boiling rage. He’s sitting up there with his four stars, in full-dress uniform, and they’re calling him a liar.

TONY SNOW: Well, I don’t blame you. I started blasting today, both at our off-camera briefing and on camera here at the White House. The idea, you know, what’s happened, is that there has been good news out of Iraq and that is just politically unacceptable to some people. So they’ve decided that in the absence of the ability to ignore the facts or to change the facts, what they’re going to do is try to trash the messenger or the person responsible for the good facts, and that’s David Petraeus. Boy, these guys… I mean, it is just totally crazy.

RUSH: Tony, they’ve been doing that for as long as I’ve been hosting this show because they can’t win in the arena of ideas. They have been trying to trash and discredit the character, the honor of anybody politically with whom they disagree, because can’t beat ’em in an argument. But I thought it was particularly unseemly of Tom Lantos. He’s a pretty refined gentleman but what he did today by opening this thing up by basically saying he’s not going to believe anything Petraeus says because he’s been sent up there, essentially — I’m paraphrasing — as a puppet by the White House, in the middle of a war. To me, it’s worse than unseemly. I don’t know how you guys keep your sanity up there.

TONY SNOW: Well, simple. You and I talked about this before, right? I said, what, in July when everybody said August was going to be a nasty month, I said, ‘We’re going to have a surge of facts, and when the facts come out, people are going to take a look and they’re going to say, ‘Well, wait a minute! It’s completely different than it’s been reported in Iraq, and it looks like we do have the most capable military on the face of the earth. It does look like we have success. It does look like freedom is the kind of ideal that people embrace,’ and lo and behold, it has come to pass. So what happens is, if you maintain fidelity to your principles and to the facts, you’re going to be fine. If you allow yourself to be bent out of shape when people say crazy things, then you’re never going to survive. But the fact is, if you stick patiently and faithfully to your points — again, to have fidelity to the truth — you’re going to be fine.

RUSH: What about the….? I’ve been mentioning this a couple times today and want to get your take on it because I may be overstating it. But I kept hearing all month, ‘August! A big, big Tet-like offensive from Al-Qaeda,’ to precede the appearance today of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, and it didn’t happen. It tells me it’s hard to be offensive when you’re on defense. They are on the run.

TONY SNOW: Yeah, absolutely right. As the president has quoted, ‘We’re kicking their ass.’ (laughing)

RUSH: I love that, by the way. (laughing)

TONY SNOW: And, you know, the fact is, it’s not just us. It’s the Iraqis. You can’t do that without help from the Iraqis, and the one thing the people have not grasped is that the moment Iraqis figured that the Americans were not going to cut-and-run, that we were not going to bail on them, that we were not going to break the faith, then they said, ‘You know what? We can go after these guys, and they’re a total nuisance,’ and, lo and behold, in Anbar province the tribal chiefs turned around, and according to one of the guys that I talked to over there, he said basically these guys have said, ‘Your blood and our blood are together in this fight.’ They talk in deeply emotional and personal terms about what the Americans have done in terms of liberating the Iraqis to take on the bad guys, whether they be Al-Qaeda or they be other terrorists within their midst, and it’s a huge thing because it means that in the battle of hearts and minds, a lot of those hearts and minds have been changed simply by the realization that George W. Bush is not going to leave them there.

RUSH: Tony, I want to get political here with you on something because the Democrats have made it that. All weekend long we saw Joe Biden and John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, all claiming that Petraeus was a liar, that he was a puppet, that the surge isn’t working, that it’s a failure. Harry Reid and so forth. And nobody ever asks these people their qualifications. Who are their experts? Who’s saying this?

TONY SNOW: (chuckling)

RUSH: They just report it. The Drive-Bys just report this. Who’s going to question these people, Tony, about their positions on Iraq over the last 12 months? They tell us, their presidential candidates tell us, they are the best to run American health care, not the health care professionals of this country. They, the Democrats who are invested in defeat, are the best people to run the military.

TONY SNOW: (chuckling)

RUSH: What is the White House going to do about this politically? The American people — Tony, there is spitting rage in my audience today over what’s happened up on Capitol Hill today. How is this going to be dealt with by you guys?

TONY SNOW: And there should be. For one thing, there has to be a determined signature in the office and the idea that the president is going to get down in the mud with people who try to trash General Petraeus. You do not have the president descending to the same level as MoveOn.org. Inappropriate. Now, I can do it. (laughs) I can take shots at them — and I do and I will — but I think what has to happen is not only will we continue to press hard and correct the record and make sure that the factual record is brought to light, but I think what’s also started to happen, Rush, is that a number of Republicans who had — let’s face it — sort of gone into the tall grass before the August recess have come back out now, and they’ve seen what’s going on here, and they realize the extent to which people have tried to not only politicize the issue, but also to engage in a failure narrative that is not worthy of the United States of America. This is a country that is… We didn’t start the war on terror, but we cannot walk away from it. We didn’t start the hostilities when it came to going after the United States. We’re not the ones who attacked the free people or people who voted for freedom in Iraq. Al-Qaeda had. We are the ones who have been standing up. We have been waging the fight. We have been demonstrating exactly what it takes to win. And here in the United States, if you have members of Congress who are suddenly trying to engage in this smear tactic, you gotta push back, and I’m heartened to see, for example, Duncan Hunter having a very strong opening statement today. You know, it is time for Republicans also to stand up and defend the honor not only of the administration but of this country.

RUSH: Well, I agree. When I said ‘White House,’ I actually meant — if you’re going to direct anything — the RNC, the whole structure or whatever.

TONY SNOW: I think this is —

RUSH: People need leadership on this, and they’ll respond to it.

TONY SNOW: Well, what’s happened is the president has provided leadership. Quite often, people remind him, ‘Well, the polls say X, Y, and Z.’ The president understands that it doesn’t matter what a poll says. If we walk away from our obligation to keep this country safe, nobody is ever going to forgive this White House and nobody ever should, and so —

RUSH: Well, if we don’t —

TONY SNOW: — I think you’re absolutely right. Not only is it spitting rage, but now gets followed up by something more constructive, which is a galvanized public saying to people, ‘Will you stop rooting for failure? This is the time to guarantee security.’ The idea the people want freedom, that is not simply some sort of gauzy, happy talk. It is, in fact, the hard reality of this world. Countries that believe in freedom are going to be our friends, and those that believe in despotism and tyranny, they’re the ones that are going to be trying to kill us.

RUSH: Well, if we don’t take care of these clowns now, we’re going to have to sometime down the road. They’re not going away.

TONY SNOW: And it is going to cost us far more in the way of blood and treasure than it does right now, absolutely right. Every time it looks as if the United States is going to walk away, they take more risks; they go after more people; they try to practice terror more aggressively, and it makes it even more difficult. What you need to do now is continue to press the fight and make it absolutely clear that the terror network isn’t going to win, is never going to win, and also that the American people are behind the military and behind the great principles.

RUSH: What needs to be made clear — and I am handling this —

TONY SNOW: Thank you.

RUSH: (laughing)

TONY SNOW: (laughing) I don’t even know what it is, but I’ll thank you in advance.

RUSH: What needs to be made clear is that the ally that the Democrat Party has in this fight is Osama Bin Laden. He puts that tape out; it’s Democrat Party talking points.

TONY SNOW: (laughing)

RUSH: They go on television over the weekend, and I laughed myself silly. Stephanopoulos asked John Kerry to respond to Bin Laden, and Kerry said, in a defensive way, ‘Hey, we don’t have 60 votes here. We’re doing everything we can!’

TONY SNOW: (laughing)

RUSH: It was literally stunning. Look, before you go, I need to ask when is your last…?

TONY SNOW: (laughing)

RUSH: I’m serious about this, Tony.


RUSH: I know you can’t say it now, but when is your last day there?

TONY SNOW: Friday.

RUSH: Friday and do you have plans that you can tell us about?

TONY SNOW: Well, I know I’m going to be out speaking. I’m going to be doing some writing right away. I’m going to be working on a couple of book proposals, and then after that I’ve gotta sort through, you know, media stuff and boards and commissions and corporate work. I’ve got a lot of options out there, but right off the bat I’m going to take one week off and then I’ll be out speaking around the country starting the following week. I am planning on having some pretty high-profile print stuff out as early as next week — and, trust me, I’m going to be engaged. Just because I’m leaving the White House doesn’t mean I’m leaving the field of battle. I’m going to be more engaged than ever.

RUSH: Oh, I know!

TONY SNOW: (laughing)

RUSH: That’s why my opening question is: are you going to get partisan now? What about your health? People ask me about this all the time, and I just want to let you answer it.

TONY SNOW: Yeah. I’m doing well and I’m feeling great. The chemo I had that I went through that ended about a month ago, some of that really did kind of knock me for a loop and people were looking at me and saying, ‘Man, you look terrible.’ Well, I kind of felt terrible. I’m still on chemo on what they call maintenance dose, but it’s something that’s very user friendly. I’m growing my hair back. I’m getting my weight back. You know what happens when you start to regain your strength? You just feel so good. So I’m feeling great and, man, am I eager to get at it.

RUSH: Well, that, that is great to hear. It really is. Perhaps, if things work out and if you have time, we could bring you back as an occasional member of our guest-host roster, Tony.

TONY SNOW: (laughing) Well, we’ll see. Snerdley mentioned it to me during the break, and I’ll get back to you guys.

RUSH: Well, you don’t have to commit here! I’m not putting you on the spot with it. I’m just throwing it out there as something to put in your hopper.

TONY SNOW: There you go. That’s a pretty good thing to have in the hopper.

RUSH: All right — it is.

TONY SNOW: (laughing)

RUSH: Hey, after the Fox News Sunday, it’s where it all started.

TONY SNOW: Exactly.

RUSH: Anyway, you can go home again.

TONY SNOW: All right.

RUSH: You can go home. We love you here, and everybody is thankful for the loyalty and the great work that you’ve shown up there, and we’re looking forward to what you’re doing when you leave.

TONY SNOW: Well, I can’t wait to see you guys soon.

RUSH: Okay, Tony. Have a great day, and thanks for the time, as always.

TONY SNOW: Thanks, Rush!

RUSH: You bet.

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