RUSH: Patterson, California. Hi, Clyde. Nice to have you with us on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush! Mega dittos, you narcissistic genius, you.
CALLER: Hey, what prompted my call is yesterday somebody called in and was giving McCain — he wasn’t going to vote for McCain because of McCain-Feingold. Well, George Bush signed that into law, and I think even Fred Thompson voted for it, and it just seems to me like, I don’t know, plenty of Republicans supported that, too, and I’m curious as to why you think McCain gets all the (choking) — excuse me — all the grief on that one.
RUSH: One, let’s go to Fred Thompson didn’t get any grief because he never really rose to any position of prominence enough for anybody to start attacking him on it.
RUSH: But that was his only scourge in people’s minds. Fred Thompson was right… That was the only negative with Fred Thompson in people’s minds.
RUSH: President Bush is a different story — and I mentioned this quite eloquently yesterday in my discussion with Jay Carney at TIME Magazine. President Bush, in fact, did sign McCain-Feingold, and there were those of us at the time who expressed anger about it, and we expressed even more anger because everybody was passing the buck up to the Supreme Court, thinking the court would take care of it. Nobody wanted to do the hot potato of vetoing this or toning it down for who knows what reason. They thought the Supreme Court would overturn it because everybody thought it was unconstitutional. Well, lo and behold, the Supreme Court said, ‘Hey, this is pretty cool! We’re trying to usurp a bunch of executive power from those people, anyway; we’ll go ahead and do it. We’re writing our own laws up here. This is as good as one that we could come up with.’ So we’re left here with anger at the originator. This is McCain’s idea, and the reason he got most of the blame or most of the criticism for this is because he thought it up, and he pushed it, and he was out doing everything he could to counter arguments that it was an assault on free speech.
He was making arguments like, ‘All of us here in Washington we’re decent, good people, but the money has corrupted us. We’re all corrupt, and you people giving us the money are corrupt, and we gonna get the money out of politics with meaningful campaign finance reform.’ They didn’t get the money out of politics. They just created George Soros-type organizations. Another reason why Bush didn’t get a whole lot of criticism is very simple. President Bush was in the middle of prosecuting the war in Iraq, the war on terror, in the post-9/11 era. The Democrats in the House and the Senate and the Drive-By Media, were trying to destroy George W. Bush. Now, a lot of people that loved Bush because of the war were willing to overlook things like campaign finance, illegal immigration. Because Bush is likable, number one. Number two, the Democrats were trying to destroy him — and in the process, trying to destroy this nation’s ability to defend itself. The Democrats were trying to secure defeat in Iraq and in the war on terror, and so people that voted for Bush and the conservatives who cared about some of the other things he was doing, the tax cuts were good, rallied around him because we understood what was happening — and Democrats were making an all-out assault on his presidency.
So that’s why he escaped some of the blame. But McCain gets most of it because his idea, and he was out actively selling it. He knew that members of his own party were very much bothered by it and opposed to it and that just egged him on even more to want to get it passed. So all of that’s totally understandable. I guess, as I say, had Fred Thompson stayed in the race and had he climbed higher in the polls, there would have been some people that had a problem with that, but that was the only thing that I could think of off the top of my head that a lot of people would have had problems with — and they probably would have overlooked it because there wasn’t a single candidate in the original roster of Republicans running for the presidency, who didn’t have something you had to overlook. Some of them had more than one, like Senator McCain. Others had flip-flop issues. There wasn’t one candidate didn’t have something questionable about them — and Thompson, I think that was his only one. I appreciate the call, Clyde.