RUSH: On the Today Show today, they had a report, a little piece on how I forced the Obama speech. I actually don’t think that I did, but they do, so it’s okay. In their report here they try to demonstrate how my criticism has removed his rock star status. Of course, not McCain’s criticism or any elected Republican. It’s I, according to the Today Show, who caused this. You will hear Senator Obama in this piece, you will hear Pastor Wright, you will hear white comedian Paul Shanklin as Barack Obama, and you will hear me.
REPORTER: Despite a round of cable interviews last week addressing his relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, questions were still dogging him about why he hadn’t distanced himself further and sooner.
OBAMA: The caricature that’s being painted of him is not accurate.
REPORTER: But that kind of response, to condemn the message without condemning the messenger…
WRIGHT: Hillary ain’t never been called a (bleep).
REPORTER: … has been fodder for some critics who say the Illinois Senator is trying to have it both ways.
CLIP FROM PAUL SHANKLIN PARODY: Jeremiah was my pastor, he was a good friend of mine.
REPORTER: Conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh have landed on him hard.
RUSH ARCHIVE: This guy knew and knows to this day, Obama does, exactly what Wright’s all about.
REPORTER: Cable outlets are still playing the most incendiary of Wright’s comments over and over. Headlines over the last several days are in stark contrast to the rock star headlines of just a few weeks ago.
RUSH: And of course they lay the blame for this at the feet of old El Rushbo. Then last night on Neil Cavuto’s show on the Fox News Channel, here’s a montage of a report by correspondent Douglas Kennedy on me and Operation Chaos.
KENNEDY: Rush Limbaugh calls it Operation Chaos, and recent exit polling data suggests it may be working. Nonetheless, it requires Limbaugh listeners to do something almost unthinkable. They’re conservative Republicans, and they’re voting for someone conservative Republicans are supposed to loathe.
WOMAN: Thanks for what you’re doing.
KENNEDY: No, it’s not cooling off for Dante, nor has Babe grown wings. It’s all part of a general election strategy cooked up by the king of conservative talk.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I’m asking people to cross over, and if they can stomach it, I know it’s a difficult thing to do, to vote for a Clinton, but it will sustain this soap opera, and it’s something I think we need. It will be fun, too.
KENNEDY: Exit polls now indicate the strategy may have been successful. In Mississippi, for instance, GOP voters made up 12% of primary voters, and they went for Clinton three-to-one over Obama, a dramatic shift from previous state primaries where it was Obama always getting crossover votes, and in the Texas primary, Clinton garnered 119,000 Republican votes, well over her 101,000 margin of victory. Limbaugh said today he doesn’t care who wins the Democratic nomination at this point, he just wants it to last as long as possible. So, as he says, Bill, whoever does win will end up beat up and broke.
REPORTER: He might get his wish on both counts. We will see.
RUSH: And it kept on going, CNN’s Situation Room, Jack Cafferty’s Cafferty File about Operation Chaos.
CAFFERTY: In Texas and Ohio, more than double the number of Republicans turned out to vote in those Democratic contests than in earlier ones, and Clinton ran about even with Obama in both states. Some loud voices within the party, like conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, have been actually urging Republican voters to go out and vote for Clinton. Limbaugh said that Republicans should vote for Hillary Clinton, quote, ‘If they could stomach it,’ unquote, to sustain the soap opera. So here’s the question: Is it a smart strategy for Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in the primaries?
RUSH: Now, later on, Cafferty read some e-mails, e-mails from panicked, kook left-wing viewers of CNN who are fit to be tied over Operation Chaos.
CAFFERTY: Cindy writes: ‘I had a Republican neighbor admit to voting for Senator Clinton. Her 21-year-old son was with her. I think it sets a bad example, and, to me, it mocks the importance of voting.’ Ken in Seattle: ‘The Limbaugh Republicans know exactly what they’re doing given how much these folks hate the Clintons. Don’t you think it’s odd that they’re voting for Hillary and not lambasting her and Bill as usual? They’re chomping at the bit to have her as the candidate so they can come out swinging. Can you imagine the stuff they’ve been sitting on and can’t wait to start talking about? Marc Rich’s pardon, his ex-wife’s timely contribution to the Clinton library come to mind.’ And Kathleen writes this: ‘Most of my family are Republicans living in Texas. Each and every one of them voted for Hillary Clinton because they think she can be beat. That was 15 votes for Hillary because Rush Limbaugh said to do it.’
RUSH: Operation Chaos, I think it would be safe to say that it is continuing even now and today. And the Democrat National Committee TV, MSNBC, is running a little promo here — just listen to this.
ANNOUNCER: The GOP HRC phenomenon. Are Republicans voting for Clinton because they think she’s easier to beat? Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC tonight at seven.
RUSH: Promoting Matthews’ show on the basis of an investigation. Let me tell you people at DNCTV, if you want to up the numbers on that show, put my name in the promo. The Republican Party has nothing to do with this.