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RUSH: In the Drive-By Media today — and we did a careful perusal here during show prep, and all of a sudden, within 24 hours, it’s not Limbaugh versus McCain anymore. There are some references to me in fact having lost to McCain again and so forth, but they’re very hard to find. Instead now…. Like here’s the Associated Press, a story by Libby Quaid. It’s no longer Limbaugh versus McCain. It’s the issues. After McCain’s got it sewn up, now the Drive-Bys are telling everybody about the issue problems that conservatives had with Senator McCain; some may still have.

‘While Republican John McCain is urging his conservative critics to rally around his presidential campaign, there is a lot of water under that bridge. Here are the top-ten reasons some conservatives dislike [McCain]: 1. Campaign finance reform. … 2. Immigration. … 3. Tax cuts. … 4. Gay marriage. … 5. Stem cell research. … 6. Global warming. … 7. Gang of 14. 8. Kerry,’ and the vice presidential thing, ‘9. Works with Democrats. … 10. Belligerence.’ Fine and dandy. Where was this before McCain got the nomination, or before he became the presumptive nominee? Prior to that, it was Limbaugh versus McCain. It wasn’t even Romney versus McCain! Now that McCain’s the presumptive nominee, the Drive-Bys, all of a sudden, start telling people what McCain’s deficiencies are. This is the first step in the reporting of the record. Now here’s Libby Quaid, again, in a different AP story. This is about all of McCain’s missed votes! Now the AP is going into an attack mode on McCain. ‘Republican presidential front-runner John McCain has skipped more than half the Senate’s votes in the past year, but he showed up Thursday to help pass a bill to stimulate the faltering economy,’ which, by the way… At CPAC yesterday, Senator McCain was going on and on and on about busting the budget. No more pork! No more earmarks! We’re going to have the government smaller — and then he shows up to vote for the stimulus package.

Look, there’s nothing we can do to stop this, ladies and gentlemen. The stimulus package is what it is. I think they did eliminate the stimulus checks to the illegals, but they’ve added seasoned citizens and who? Disabled vets. Right. They pulled it back to the limits in the House. The upper income people are not going to get anything. So, no, I’m not going to get a check. You’re not going to get a check, Snerdley. You’re not going to get a check, Dawn. Brian, even you are not going to get a check. I know many of you who are going to get checks would love to thank me and all the rest of us who aren’t getting checks because we’re paying for your checks, but don’t thank me. Don’t thank Snerdley. Don’t thank any of us for the $300, $600, or $1200 you’re going to get because I had no say in the matter. Your Congress either wants to save the economy or save their seats, and I guarantee you it’s the latter. I don’t want to begrudge those of you who are going to be getting your checks, the socialist gift of the month, and I and Snerdley and Dawn and Brian, all the rest of us who are not going to get checks; we have no choice whether to pay you your checks or not, but I do wish — I really, for once, I wish — the government would be decent and send the checks out under my name and Snerdley’s name. I wish, if you’re getting a stimulus check, it would say, ‘Courtesy of Rush Limbaugh,’ or, ‘This check courtesy of Bo Snerdley,’ not your federal government, but us. Just once.


RUSH: It’s attack time in the Drive-Bys. This story talks about all the votes that McCain missed. ‘After a speech appealing to conservative activists who have largely shunned his candidacy, McCain voted with 32 other Senate Republicans to pass the stimulus package. Almost every Republican lined up to shake his hand and congratulate him, who only a few hours earlier sealed his hold on the GOP presidential nomination, by suggesting he was going to be a big budget cutter and pork buster.’ Now, this is the kind of thing you better get ready for, folks. This is just the first of the stream. It’s going to start very mild, but now that he’s the presumptive nominee, the Drive-Bys are going to start their little hits, their little attack time. ‘One senator stayed seated and didn’t come to the well to vote until McCain had left the Senate’s center aisle: Larry Craig of Idaho, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last year. ‘It’s very hard, obviously. I’ve missed a lot of votes, and there’s no doubt about it,’ said McCain, during a flight from Phoenix to Washington. … Obama and Clinton have missed fewer votes than Senator McCain.’ I’m reading from the AP here, folks. We’re not being critical of Senator McCain. We’re just telling you what the AP is saying. Obama’s missed about 40%, Clinton’s missed 24%, McCain has missed a larger percentage of votes than that.

What’s the next story here? Oh, yeah. ‘McCain Not Yet Energizing Conservatives.’ Jim Kuhnhenn, the Associated Press. ‘Amid the cheers, there were boos. Placards denounced McCain’s past support for changes in immigration policies. In the halls, public and private arguments erupted over his candidacy. McCain has angered conservatives over the years–‘ whoa, what’s that? McCain has angered conservatives? I thought he just angered talk show hosts. Am I reading this right? The Associated Press says McCain has angered conservatives over the years. I could have sworn, I mean, the last two weeks it was only talk show hosts that didn’t like Senator McCain, or been angered by him. Let’s see, the next one in this stack of stuff. Now, this is interesting. Ralph Reed, ‘So he’s walking a very fine line. But in a closely fought, competitive campaign that I think will be decided by a few points, Senator McCain is going to need the conservative grassroots of the party in the boat.’ Really? Well, I know I’ve said that, but that’s not what the Drive-Bys have been saying. The Drive-Bys have been saying that he doesn’t need conservatives, that he’s going to get in moderates and independents and so forth. And then there’s this. Liz Sidoti, AP: ‘That leaves McCain, whose independent streak rankles many in the Republican rank-and-file–‘ Wait. I thought McCain’s independent streak only angered talk show hosts? What’s happening here in the Drive-By Media? All of a sudden now that leaves McCain, whose independent streak rankles many in the Republican rank-and-file?

I thought it was just these extremist kook conservatives like me and the talk show hosts that McCain rankled? Anyway, just get ready for this, folks, because I warned you about it. Nothing that you can’t deal with. I’m just telling you where the Drive-Bys’ hearts and minds lie, and you will see it very subtly, as I have pointed out to you here, at first, but then it will expand and it will confound and it will be amplified even more.

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