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RUSH: I want to play you a couple sound bites here of Uncle Bob, the criminal and scandal attorney in Washington, the brother of Bill Bennett, who has been hired by Senator McCain to deal with the New York Times story last December, was on Hannity & Colmes last night shortly after the Times story hit their website. Alan Colmes said to Uncle Bob, ‘Uncle Bob, what could you explain about these allegations in the New York Times?’

BENNETT: Senator McCain did not want a repeat of what occurred years ago in South Carolina, namely, a real smear campaign, and asked me to assist him. And I have been assisting him. What the New York Times did here was shameless, just shameless. It’s almost entirely unsourced. I investigated John McCain for a year-and-a-half at least when I was special counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee in the Keating Five. And if there is one thing I am absolutely confident of, is John McCain is an honest man. I recommended to the Senate Ethics Committee that he be cut out of the case, that there was no evidence against him, and I think for the New York Times to dig this up just shows that Senator McCain’s public statement about this is correct, it’s a smear job.

RUSH: And Alan Colmes said, ‘Well, look, Uncle Bob, the Washington Post reported back in December that you sent prepared answers to written questions submitted by the New York Times concerning the breaking news we’re discussing tonight. Can you elaborate on that, Uncle Bob?’

BENNETT: All of the matters that they allude to, I mean, they’re not even very specific, we answered fully to the New York Times. We showed them that there was just nothing there. And, unfortunately, they have just obviously disregarded all of the hard evidence that we presented.

RUSH: Really?

BENNETT: They certainly have allowed themselves to be a vehicle for a repeat of what happened in South Carolina.

RUSH: No!

BENNETT: And I suspect it’s only because John McCain is winning so much that we are even reading this story.

RUSH: They endorsed him!

BENNETT: What I know is that the members of the staff who were there and dealt with this lobbyist and ran Senator McCain’s office say, no, they say there is nothing to it, and they provided that information to the New York Times, and it just apparently didn’t have much of an impact on them.

RUSH: How in the world can you say that they did this because McCain is winning so much, when they endorsed him? The New York Times endorsed him. Ladies and gentlemen, let me repeat some of the things I opened the program with, because it’s been awhile. So many lessons here, and the real question is, will Senator McCain learn the right lesson? If you want to defeat liberals, you don’t join ’em, you don’t walk across the aisle, you don’t bring them on your bus. Well, bring them on your bus if you want, but don’t expect that when the rubber meets the road, they’re going to support you. You’re a Republican, for crying out loud and, even when their newspaper endorses you, they are not going to vote for you. They’re not going to support you in the general, not going to re-endorse McCain for the general election, it isn’t going to happen. The story in the New York Times is not the story. The story is that the Drive-By has behaved exactly as predicted, exactly as most of us understand they will react. They picked our candidate. We, ladies and gentlemen, the Republican Party, allowed the Drive-By Media to pick our candidate. Part and parcel of that process was their endorsement of McCain, and McCain was happy to get it, I’m sure. And, now, we have the story today — whatever, it’s baseless, who cares.

The whole point of the story is to try to destroy Senator McCain. And he said he’s disappointed in the New York Times. Disappointed? He ought to be outraged. As a caller to the program said earlier, disappointment is something that people in love feel for one another when things go wrong. It’s a family term. It’s just so patently obvious here that this was going to happen, utterly predictable. It’s as predictable as Ted Kennedy finding a bar at happy hour, that the Drive-By Media is going to turn on a Republican candidate, even one they have professed to love, respect, adore, cherish, all of these things. It’s as predictable as the sun rising every morning. And, so if you’re mad at the New York Times, you’re wasting your energy. It’s silly to get mad at something that you knew was going to happen. It’s silly to get mad at something that has happened time and time again before, and you know it’s going to happen again. The real question here is, will the lesson be learned by our party? We want to win, if we really have an agenda that we want to advance, we’re going to have to defeat liberals to do it.

We’re not going to advance our agenda by walking across the aisle, sitting down with them, putting our arms around them, and helping them write their legislation so that they will think we are good people. They want to defeat us. They have no desire for us to be anything more than a little Chihuahua yapping at their heels. They have no interest in walking across the aisle and joining us, and, if any of their guys do it, they’d run them out of the party. Ever heard of Zell Miller? Ever heard of Joe Lieberman? And yet because we have this inferiority complex, I don’t know what else you would call it. This desire to be loved and liked. We’ll cross the aisle, we’ll reach across the aisle, and we’ll try to tell them, ‘I’m different. I’m not like those wackos in my party. You can deal with me, I want to get things done.’ And you get on TV, the Drive-Bys love you, they want to go on your bus. They get on your bus, they come away dazzled. You believe that they’re dazzled. You believe that they know you’re different, that you’re not one of those wacko conservatives, and then all of a sudden, as predictable as anything is, they turn on the very people they have elevated in the Republican Party because at the end of the day, they want to destroy the Republican Party politically, which is fine, that’s what politics is, folks, except we’re not playing the game. We are actually helping them do it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: John Weaver, former aide to Senator McCain, he’s the guy in the middle of all this New York Times story stuff involving McCain’s relationship, or lack of relationship, with the lobbyist Vicki Iseman. He’s been watching all this go down all day. He called Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post and issued the following statement: ‘The New York Times asked for a formal interview and I said no and asked for written questions. The Times knew of my meeting with Ms. Iseman, from sources they didn’t identify to me, and asked me about that meeting. I did not inform Senator McCain that I asked for a meeting with Ms. Iseman. Her comments, which had gotten back to some of us, that she had strong ties to the commerce committee and his staff were wrong and harmful and I so informed her and asked her to stop with these comments and to not be involved in the campaign. Nothing more and nothing less. I responded to the Times on the record about a meeting they already knew about. The campaign received a copy of my response to the Times the same day, which was in late December. From the day I first approached John about running for President in 1997 and through today, I have always wanted John to be president. The country needs him at this perilous time. From the moment I left the campaign until today, not one day — not one — has gone by that I haven’t reactively or pro-actively talked with the campaign leadership, with state leadership about how the campaign and how to win. To suggest anything else is wrong, a lie and meant to do nothing but harm.’

The reason for that is that the Times story is causing people to speculate that Weaver might be a disgruntled ex-employee running around telling stories. So this statement by John Weaver, in many people’s estimation, stamps the New York Times story as a lie. His point here, he’s making it sound like she’s sort of a starstruck woman, you know, celebrity worshiper type who was out telling stories of how close she was to McCain and the commerce committee and the staff and the campaign, and Weaver says, ‘That wasn’t true and I went over and basically asked her to stop saying these things.’ This is the whole focal point on which the Times story is based. So where are we now? Here’s where we are. Weaver has said essentially with this statement to Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post, that the Times story is bogus, that it’s a lie. In my mind, that changes nothing, because the story was not the story. Here’s the question the Drive-Bys have to ask. The Drive-Bys have to ask, what the hell is a respected journalist outfit like the New York Times, which is supposed to be fair and objective, what are they doing? The Drive-Bys continually respond to criticism by saying, ‘We’re fair, we’re objective, we’re not liberal, and we get it right, and we don’t have an agenda.’

Now, how are the Drive-Bys going to defend this? What now will be the theories that the Drive-Bys come up with to explain why the New York Times ran the story? Doesn’t matter. It will be interesting, but it doesn’t matter. Weaver’s statement doesn’t matter. The story is the New York Times behaving exactly as we knew they would — didn’t know when because it happens frequently — trying to destroy the Republican presidential nominee. There aren’t any forged documents here, but how much different is this from Dan Rather and the forged documents regarding Bush’s National Guard service? You remember how the Drive-Bys circled the wagons around Rather? Tom Brokaw and all these guys having all these award ceremonies, giving Rather awards for his great work as a journalist and supporting him. This is a bunch that hangs together, folks, no matter what embarrassment pops up, no matter how they get caught in lying, which is apparently what the New York Times story is, it’s apparently a lie. This is something for all of us to never forget, put it in the brain, put it into our own Nexis database, it’s the New York Times, it’s just what it is. The opportunity here is large for Senator McCain to learn a lesson, too, about who his real friends are and who they aren’t, and I think he’s had that question wrong for a number of years, at least months.

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