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RUSH: To the audio sound bites, Tuesday night, CNN Live, this is the debate. Barack Obama said this about being president.

OBAMA: As commander-in-chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests, and if Al-Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad.

RUSH: Yeah, this is after Obama had said he’d pull everybody out of there. He’d pull all of the troops out of there, and then he was asked, ‘What happens if Al-Qaeda goes in there and starts remaking a base?’ ‘Well, I’ll reserve the right to make sure we’re looking out for our interests. If they’re forming a base, we’ll have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad.’ Which is pure pap, and McCain took the opportunity to attack Obama.

MCCAIN: Senator Obama made the statement that if Al-Qaeda came back to Iraq after he withdraws, then he would send military troops back if Al-Qaeda established a base in Iraq. I have some news. (audience laughter) Al-Qaeda is in Iraq. It’s called Al-Qaeda in Iraq. And, my friends, if we left, they wouldn’t be establishing a base, they’d be taking a country. I will not surrender to Al-Qaeda.

RUSH: All right, so then this gets back to Obama in Columbus at a campaign rally.

OBAMA: McCain thought that, you know, he could make a clever point, like I wasn’t reading the papers, like I didn’t know what was going on. I said, well, first of all, I do know that Al-Qaeda is in Iraq, and that’s why I said we should continue to strike Al-Qaeda targets, but I have some news for John McCain. There was no such thing as Al-Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.

RUSH: That’s manifestly not true, but more than that, do you hear how, as far as his supporters are concerned, remember, we’re talking about people who were attached to him by virtue of faith. Facts don’t matter. This was a deft turn on McCain’s charge. He didn’t answer the charge. What McCain was trying to do was to say this guy is a fool. He’s going to pull us out of Iraq and then put us back in if Al-Qaeda tries to establish a base. They are already doing that, they’re in the process of being defeated in that effort, by the way. McCain was trying to point out this guy doesn’t know what he’s doing and barely knows what he’s talking about and is going to pose great risks to our country if he’s in charge of these kinds of things. But Obama got to turn it around and say, well, we wouldn’t even be talking about this if you hadn’t gone along with Bush and sent ’em there.

The retort to that, if I were McCain, or if I were Obama’s opponent, ‘Senator, with all due respect, that was then and this is now. And the reality is, we are facing this enemy not just in Iraq but we’re facing them everywhere. They have made no bones about their intentions, and whether you disagree with how we ended up in Iraq, the fact is we are there and we are the United States of America, and we do not lose unless we have people like you in charge.’ Now, I don’t know if McCain responded further to this, but this is clear, on the facts and on the competence experience, this is a clear slam-dunk for McCain, but as far as Obama’s supporters, they think that Obama just wiped the floor with McCain, without any concern for any fact, without concern for any of the relevancy and importance of what the whole debate was about.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here’s Michael in Northridge, California. Michael, it’s nice to have you here. Welcome.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call. This whole thing with Obama — and actually liberals in general, I’ve had this conversation, and it makes me sick — that if we hadn’t gone into Iraq, there wouldn’t be — if ‘George Bush’ hadn’t gone into Iraq, there wouldn’t be Al-Qaeda in Iraq. First of all, George Bush didn’t go into Iraq. I recall there were a number of countries that went into Iraq. It was based on their intelligence, the UN’s, the inspectors being booted out, the 9/11 new reality, the fact we no longer had the luxury to connect the dots after the fact. There were all those kinds of things. The DOJ and Bill Clinton, regime change.

RUSH: Hey, don’t forget all the Democrats that voted to go into Iraq.

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: Mrs. Clinton included.

CALLER: Yeah, absolutely, and how they tried to weasel out of their vote, too, which is sickening. Second of all, Al-Qaeda is in Iraq because of the nature of war, and in wartime there are strategic movements of enemy fronts, trying to beat one side after the next. What’s not here today could be here today. What’s here today could be gone tomorrow.

RUSH: Sounds like an Obama speech.

CALLER: Okay, but it’s absolutely true. They weren’t here today — and the big point here — I mean, there’s lots of points on this — but the big point, everyone was so concerned after 9/11, ‘Where we going to find these guys? They’re in caves,’ and I say to myself, thank God, we created a magnet called Iraq, brought them all down from their caves and now they’re in the killing zone. I’d rather have them on the ground than in the caves.

RUSH: Excellent point. Excellent point.

CALLER: You can’t shoot what you can’t find, and here they are criticizing us that we didn’t get Obama in Afghanistan in the caves.

RUSH: Ah, ah, ah, we didn’t get Osama.

CALLER: Osama.

RUSH: Yeah, see how easy it is?

CALLER: You, you know what? But here’s the bottom line. I think we got him anyway. But even if we didn’t, he was in a cave. I think we got him. We just can’t say we got him because it wouldn’t be strategically sound to do it. It’s better not to create a martyr; it’s better to let the bad guys think their boss is still in charge and we can do all kinds of stuff to them.

RUSH: I happen to agree with you. I’ve doubted all these tapes.

CALLER: You never see a high def tape of him. You always see these grainy pieces of crap, never see high def number twos.

RUSH: Yeah, the stuff that Karl Rove puts together.

CALLER: (laughter)

RUSH: That’s what the Democrats think. Anyway, excellent point. All this illustrates, folks: If you take seriously the notion that we are at great risk and that we have an enemy seriously targeting us and that they are all over the world; if you accept all of that, you have to conclude when Barack Obama talks about Iraq, it’s dangerously incompetent and ignorant. I don’t know whether it’s born of lack of intelligence or just lack of experience, and, frankly, I don’t care. It’s ignorant. (interruption) Well, of course, it’s flip, but that’s his style; that is his way of deflecting serious incoming fire. He did it throughout the debate on Tuesday night with Mrs. Clinton.

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