RUSH: Anderson Cooper’s 180 last night on CNN. He interviewed Senator McCain. Cooper said, ‘You said Mitt Romney wanted to set a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq,’ basically surrender. ‘You know, there are a lot of folks who, even though they support you, say that’s not the straight talk that they’re used to.’
COOPER — suggests that he gave —
MCCAIN: (crosstalk) It’s absolutely straight talk.
COOPER: Well, that — he gave a quote that he gave.
MCCAIN: It’s absolutely straight talk. It is. It is…
COOPER: He gave a quote in April that he said…
MCCAIN (growing angry): It’s absolutely straight talk! Yeah? It’s absolutely straight talk —
COOPER: I just want to read the…
MCCAIN: — and he said he wanted to set a timetable, and I’ve read it many times. I’d be glad to read it again.
COOPER: Well, he said, there’s no — right here, it says, ‘Well, there’s no question that the president and Prime Minister al-Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about, but those shouldn’t be for public pronouncements.’ It’s not… I mean, he’s not saying…
MCCAIN: Now, you have to read the rest of the quote.
COOPER: … there should be a timetable for withdrawal.
MCCAIN: No, you have to say — read the rest of the quote, where he says we’re not going to tell the enemy when we are gonna be gone. And that’s an important part of that quote, and if you’d — and if you’d read it, and it’s obvious that he was ready for the timetables. There’s no doubt if you read that entire quote.
RUSH: All right, so McCain is not backing down from this, which is amazing. George Will wrote about this today and I just wanted to read relevant excerpts from Mr. Will’s piece in which he starts out basically talking about the Democrats and the Clintons and the Democrat Party and some of the shenanigans going on, and then he writes this: ‘Last week, came the radio ad that even South Carolinians, who are not squeamish about bite-and-gouge politics, thought was one brick over a load, and that the Clintons withdrew. It was the one that said Obama endorsed Republican ideas (because he said Republicans had some ideas). The Clinton campaign also accused Obama of praising Ronald Reagan (because Obama noted the stark fact that Reagan had changed the country’s trajectory more than some other recent presidents — hello, Bill — had done). This was a garden-variety dishonesty, the manufacture of which does not cause a Clinton in midseason form to break a sweat. And it was no worse than — actually, not as gross as — St. John of Arizona’s crooked-talk claim in Florida that Mitt Romney wanted to ‘surrender and wave a white flag, like Sen. Clinton wants to do’ in Iraq because Romney ‘wanted to set a date for withdrawal that would have meant disaster.’
‘Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the Clintons should bask in the glow of John McCain’s Clintonian gloss on this fact: Ten months ago Romney said that President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki should discuss, privately, ‘a series of timetables and milestones.’ That unremarkable thought was twisted by McCain, whose distortions are notably clumsy, as when Romney said, accurately, that he alone among the candidates has had extensive experience in private-sector business. That truth was subjected to McCain’s sophistry, and he charged that Romney had said ‘you haven’t had a real job’ if you had a military career. If, this autumn, voters must choose between Clinton and McCain, they will face, at least stylistically, an echo, not a choice. But that dreary scenario need not come to pass. Romney seems to have found his voice as attention turns to the economy, a subject concerning which McCain seems neither conversant nor eager to become so. … Obama is running against two Clintons — or one and a fraction of one, given how much she has been diminished by her overbearing spouse. Romney is marginally better off running against a Clinton impersonator.’
George Will has called McCain ‘a Clinton impersonator,’ has accused him. George Will is saying this. Will the Drive-By Media do stories tomorrow about how George Will was defeated by McCain? By the way, this is not George Will’s first such piece on Senator McCain. He’s been quite thorough in his disenchantment and his disagreements with Senator McCain, but this does break new ground in saying there’s essentially no difference between the Clintons and Senator McCain. By the way, in this argument that Romney and McCain are having over the private sector, have you heard the McCain camp’s claim that private sector business experience is worthless in Washington? Have you heard how that goes? Here’s how it goes. (doing McCain impression) ‘What do you mean, private sector? You can’t do that up here. You can’t do it! You got — in — in the private sector, you got something you want to do and it gets done. You can cut their salary. You can raise their salary. You have a lot of leverage. You can’t do that here. You can’t issue orders and get things done. You have to know how things work here — or how they don’t work here, and how to make them not work and look like you’re making ’em good.’ So the McCain camp is doing its best to say that private sector business experience is irrelevant to being president of the United States, which is tantamount to saying, ‘Look, I’m a Big Government guy, and government is the instrument of change in this country, and I’m going to be the guy pulling the levers.’ Somebody who knows the private sector isn’t qualified? Give me a break.
RUSH: Just to expand a little bit, Senator McCain does attack the private sector and its relevance; the experience that one who has experience in the private sector might bring to Washington. He ridicules it. His campaign and McCain himself are actually saying that having private sector experience isn’t going to get you diddly-squat in Washington, DC, because when you run businesses in the private sector — as a CEO, CFO, whatever — you just wave a magic wand and whatever you want done, gets done. Hey, Senator McCain? Tell that to the people who have been trying to run General Motors for a while. Do you think they can wave a magic wand and beat Toyota? You think that’s what it takes? Whatever these CEOs want, they get? It’s impossible with all the government regulations these guys have to follow! Maybe these free enterprise, entrepreneurial, private sector guys would have a little bit more success if they didn’t have to go through so many obstacles placed in their way by government, Senator McCain. But if you believe that the private sector simply exists by people saying, ‘Do it,’ and it gets done, you don’t understand the number-one problem that every business has. The number-one problem that every business has is people! It’s your number one problem. Sometimes they do what you say; sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’re distracted, whatever. Things do not happen magically. But the claim for the McCain camp is that because of the way things happen in Washington — which is private, under-the cover of darkness, in back rooms, where nobody knows what’s going on and the public’s not supposed to find out (i.e., the amnesty bill) — you need experience with that.
What kind of things are in these guys’ way? OSHA, EPA, family leave, EEOC, mandated expenses on labor, tax, compliance laws. Of course these guys in the private sector have all kinds of problems getting things done. The idea that it’s just easy? But here’s the thing. John Hood, he’s right — and McCain has said this. When McCain says (impression), ‘I didn’t manage for profit. I led for patriotism.’ The fact is that McCain didn’t have to manage for profit, either. This is John Hood saying this from North Carolina. It’s John Hood saying this, not I. ‘The fact is that McCain didn’t have to manage for profit, either. His father-in-law managed for profit and became very wealthy, and McCain and his wife have benefited from his father-in-law managing for profit.’ How can it be said that McCain can unite his party and conservatives for the November election when he talks like this, when he runs down the private sector? Profit versus patriotism! Is that going to be his slogan? That’s a slogan that might come out of the Democrats! That’s something I could hear Hillary and Bill Clinton saying, something I could hear Ted Kennedy saying to Obama. Obama go out and say this: ‘Profit versus patriotism.’ This is McCain’s new line of attack, because McCain had to admit the other day that he doesn’t know much about the economy. He’s gotta shore up on it, but now he’s out ridiculing the private sector and people in it. He wants you to believe he’s a conservative. He’s ridiculing the private sector. You know, it’s another knee-jerk reaction. Do you know what this reminds me of? It reminds me of Senator McCain’s opposition to the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, the liberal knee-jerk opposition. (impression) ‘We can’t take that money away from government! I mean, you can’t cut taxes without spending cuts — and I’m not going to vote for spending cuts because I’m not going to have the government get smaller!’ Folks, it’s up to you out there. You know, we’re just sitting here reporting to you what is happening.
RUSH: Let’s go to Charlotte, North Carolina. Ben, you’re next. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how you doing?
RUSH: I’m fine, sir, thank you.
CALLER: I want to start by giving my conservative credentials here.
CALLER: I’m self-employed, southern, Christian, top 1%, you know, voted Republican all my life. I am definitely conservative, so please don’t mistake that. Technically, right now I’m a Romney supporter but I have become cool with the idea of supporting McCain if he gets the nomination.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. You’ve become cool, you mean you’re down with it? If McCain gets the nomination, then you’ll support him?
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: Yeah. Okay.
CALLER: If McCain gets the nomination, I will support him. I was originally a Thompson supporter.
RUSH: Right, right, right, right, right.
CALLER: My brother is a blogger at Redstate named ‘absentee,’ but he’s been pushing McCain on me like crazy. Now, he’s conservative. And one of the things —
RUSH: Wait a second, I can’t have that. Campaign finance reform will not allow representatives of the McCain campaign to actually campaign on this program because representatives of the Romney campaign cannot legally respond.
CALLER: Oh, okay. Well, can I tell you what it is that he is pushing on me as far as —
RUSH: Yes. I’m eagerly awaiting this.
CALLER: Okay. Well, he says that, you know, he disagrees with McCain-Feingold; that’s fine. He disagrees with some of his immigration policies; that’s fine.
RUSH: I know. A lot of McCain people are overlooking the reasons to oppose him.
CALLER: That’s fine, and I agree with you, you know, there are better people out there —
RUSH: No, just tell me the reason he’s cool and down for the struggle with McCain on the ticket.
CALLER: Four years in office, that’s it, all he’s going to do is not worry about whether or not the Congress likes him, whether or not anybody else likes him. He’s going to cut pork, he’s going to cut spending, he’s going to, you know, upset a few people, but he’s going to clean house, have a VP who is —
RUSH: Wait a minute, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait just a minute. Where’s this four years stuff coming from?
CALLER: This is what everybody’s been telling me. Everybody’s been telling me that McCain only intends on running for one term. He apparently has confirmed this more than once, that he will only run for one term, which is making people at the places where I go and the circles I run in talk more about who his VP is going to be, than him. So you get him in office, you get him to clean house a little bit, he maybe upsets some people, may cut spending, now the VP is in a good position to become (unintelligible) president.
RUSH: I’ve not heard this. If McCain’s telling everybody, how come it hasn’t leaked —
CALLER: I don’t know, but —
RUSH: — that he’s only going to spend four years in the White House? You know, let me tell you what to tell your blogger buddy.
RUSH: If that’s actually true, if he’s got people believing this, then you better tell them we’re looking at a lame duck after the midterm elections in 2010.
CALLER: How is that?
RUSH: Look at Bush. When you’re the second-term president and you can’t run again and you say you’re not going to run again in this case, you’re a lame duck. People forget about you, everybody starts running for president themselves.
CALLER: There’s a difference, which is, let’s say he’s got a VP like Thompson, okay, or even Romney, which I’m not saying that that would happen, but a VP that’s got some major conservative credentials, wouldn’t you say that those four years are going to be leading up to that person’s campaign to be president for eight years, if McCain’s only going to go four?
RUSH: I still haven’t heard this. I think I’ve heard rumors of this and I’ve heard the rumors, you know, the McCain camp wants to slap ’em down. There’s no candidate that wants people to know he’s only going to be there for four years.
CALLER: Except somebody like McCain who claims to be one with his convictions and whatnot. He’s for term limits, is he not? He claims to be for term limits.
RUSH: Right. And how long has he been there? What is this? He’s for term limits, he’s ripping the private sector — don’t get me mad here because I’m trying to maintain an even keel. He’s for term limits and yet he’s sitting out there talking about how people in the private sector don’t have the qualifications to be in government? Has he term-limited himself? (doing McCain impression) ‘Limbaugh, you better squelch it because you, too, you’re running a campaign, and you’re in violation of my bill, and if you don’t squelch it, you’ll pay.’
RUSH: Karen in Morgan Hill, California, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: How are you?
CALLER: I finally get to talk to the real you.
CALLER: Actually, I did talk to you before about the education issue, and it was at the end of the hour, so we’ll skip that one for now. I did find the flaw. You said that the biggest problem with businesses is employees; and that is, in fact, not true. The biggest problem with businesses is that they know how to get the employees to work, but their arms are tied because the government is always supporting the employee and these idiot rights they have, instead of letting business owners handle the employees the way they need to.
RUSH: All right, all right, I understand. I was speaking in a different context than you are, and I appreciate what you’re saying. Let me reset the table here. The context that we were discussing was McCain was suggesting that Romney, because he has extensive private sector experience —
RUSH: — economically is not qualified because you can’t do those kinds of things in government as you do in the private sector.
RUSH: And one of the arguments is that you can leverage people. You can leverage them with salary. You can threaten them. You can fine them. You can get them to do whatever you want to do when you want them to do it.
CALLER: Until they go to the EEOC and complain anyway.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but McCain is saying (impression), ‘It doesn’t work that way in a bureaucracy. You have to know how to manage those things and I do. You can’t do it. If somebody doesn’t want to work, it’s not going to get anything done.’ Nothing gets done anyway!
CALLER: Right. See I wear the Rush Limbaugh shirt that I got, and my deal with you is I’m going to take that risk in California where that’s not a popular shirt to wear. I will take that risk.
RUSH: Oh, don’t be silly!
RUSH: More people love me out there than you would possibly know.
CALLER: Oh, I know. I listen every day, and my parents are listening right now. Because I want to make my point, that since these Democrats listen to you — and these liberals do listen to you — they need to know the EEOC is what’s killing businesses. I don’t want to go to work. I don’t trust my employees anymore because they coddle them and tell ’em, ‘If you get fired because you’re doing a poor job come here and we’re going to strong-arm the businesses’. It’s exhausting. It is exhausting.
RUSH: Look, I think I made that point in discussing all this. I did say that the biggest… I think that Senator McCain doesn’t understand the private sector, he’s never been in it. He doesn’t understand the obstacles placed in front of entrepreneurs. He doesn’t understand the obstacles placed in front of private sector businesses, and among them I listed the EEOC and the EPA and any number of federal regulations. That’s all true. When I made my original statement that the biggest problems you have in business are ‘people,’ I really didn’t mean that. I mean, people have problems. We all have problems, and managers of people have to deal with people in the midst of their problems and so forth that somehow might impact productivity. You got jealousy. If one employee doesn’t like another, you have a little backstabbing going on in there. It’s just for people who run businesses, what I’m saying is the biggest problem is not the machinery in the back. The biggest problem is not your fleet of vehicles. The biggest problem is people, because your business is people — and this is not a criticism. It’s just something that I see. I’m actually trying to say that people who have worked in the private sector and who have succeeded wildly, are very capable of managing and motivating people because the biggest problems you have are people oriented — and if you can deal with the problems people have and still keep ’em productive, then you’re good!
Of course, nobody in Washington… I would say Senator McCain is 180 degrees out of phase. There is a reason that senators do not get elected to the White House. The last one was Senator Kennedy in 1960. It just doesn’t happen, and it’s because they eventually implode on the campaign trail. They have the biggest egos. There are only a hundred of these senators. They all think they should be president and they run around, and when they want something done, they do get it done. In their office, ‘Okay, Schlub A. I want you to read that, and I want you to tell me what my questions before the committee are going to be. Schlub B, I want you to do that,’ and these people run around and do it, and they end up — these senators end up — almost as little dictators. So exactly what Senator McCain is saying about Romney or anybody in the private sector, is 180 degrees wrong. In the private sector, you have to delegate and you have to trust the people you’re delegating to, and you can’t be worried about who gets the credit for what’s happening. Senators want every bit of credit for everything that does happen, and no blame for things that don’t go right. They have their even little fiefdoms up there. There’s a reason these guys — senators — don’t get elected straight to the presidency. There’s always an exception to the rule, but it’s been 47 years since it happened. Governors, on the other hand, have had to delegate. They’ve run organizations, and Romney especially has run businesses.