RUSH: Since the subject of Senator McCain has been raised by our caller, Mona, from Lemay, Missouri, let’s go to CNN’s American Morning this morning, McCain’s senior advisor Steve Schmidt is the guest. He’s on there, I guess this is John Roberts, who says, ‘You chose New Orleans as the site for this speech because according to the campaign quota, it epitomizes government’s failure but also brings President Bush into the conversation.’ I guess this is a speech about Katrina. ‘Do you expect that while some people will talk about the differences between Senator McCain and President Bush, people who write about tonight’s speech will talk about what they have in common and that might not be so good for you?’
SCHMIDT: New Orleans is a city that more than any other in the country signifies for the American people what is broken about our government and institutions. Senator Obama’s fond of saying that John McCain represents a third term for George W. Bush. The reality is that Senator McCain has disagreed on issue after issue with President Bush over the last eight years. He is his own man.
RUSH: Now, this just makes me fume, as I imagine it makes you fume as well. By the way, this is McCain’s senior advisor Steve Schmidt. And so, Obama’s out there saying McCain is going to be George W. Bush III. Now, I know Bush’s approval numbers are where they are and I know that politicians follow numbers and polls and this kind of thing. But I thought McCain, in addition to being his own man, was a man. The idea of accepting this premise that his campaign and his presence would be the same as George Bush and would be Bush III, if you will, could be easily swatted away. But, no, the advisor has to go out and say, look, New Orleans is a city that more than any other in the country signifies to the American people what’s broken about our government institution. Mr. Schmidt, New Orleans signifies no such thing. May I tell you in the McCain campaign and the rest of this country what Katrina, New Orleans, signified?
What did we have in New Orleans? We had 60-plus years of unchecked, unfettered liberalism. We had an entitlement community. We had a group of people, a population, the vast majority of which had no idea how to fend for themselves, because they haven’t had to. There’s always been a government program for this or for that. There was even a government program to maintain them in their poverty. Not one thing that was wrong in New Orleans could be traced to the Republican Party or conservatism or the federal government. New Orleans was the mess it was because of liberal corruption in not getting the levees fixed. The money was there, the money had been appropriated, but because of the convoluted political structure of the city of New Orleans, a lot of the money went into people’s back pockets. We all remember seeing the pictures of empty school buses. Those buses could have been used to get people out of town. But, oh, no, nobody thought of that. And so when people are stranded in an area they should not have been, when they shoulda gotten out of town, of course it’s easy to dump on the federal government, but why would anybody think the federal government and FEMA could walk in there and wave a magic wand and in a matter of a week make everybody all better?
Would somebody cite for me the one example, a single example of the federal government fixing a natural disaster of that proportion overnight? Would somebody cite for me the example of a federal bureaucracy fixing anything? From welfare, to poverty, to cable TV prices, whatever it is you’re unhappy about. What ought to be being stated in this campaign once and for all, is, American people, it is time to stop putting all your trust and hope in the federal government, a bunch of faceless, nameless bureaucrats you never meet, people you haven’t elected. They’re not going to make your life better because they can’t. Their lives are probably not all that hunky-dory. You are in charge of your own life, as we all are. You’re much better equipped, you’re much better able to make the most of your life than anybody else is, including your wife, your husband, your kids. You do it. This is not a sin. It’s called greatness. It’s the root to greatness. It’s called individual responsibility. Liberalism erases any notion of individual responsibility, and thus you have a community like New Orleans when a natural disaster hits, of people who have no clue what to do, they have no way to get out. They had no liberal city government that forced them to get out, for their own good. And then when what happened happened, bammo, you blame the federal government, which never succeeds at this kind of thing anyway.
It just grates on me to have a McCain advisor pick up the liberal Democrat theme that the problem in New Orleans was the federal government and that McCain is going to make it all better. New Orleans is a city more than any other in the country that signifies to the American people what’s broken about our government — yes, in a way. What’s broken about our government and institutions is they’re too big, too unruly, too much political correctness, too much paperwork, too much sitting around talking and not enough action. But all that would be obviated, unnecessary, if the people of New Orleans had not lived under 60 years of dictatorial liberal rule and had had the ability to fend for themselves. The ones that got out of there, that had the means to get out of there, knew something the others didn’t. Then to go on and say the reality is that Senator McCain has disagreed on issue after issue with President Bush over the last eight years, he’s his own man, as though that’s a badge of honor? He didn’t say that kind of thing during the nomination process, did he? Neither McCain nor his aides are out there running around saying, (doing McCain impression) ‘I’m going to be different. I’m not going to be like Bush. I’m not going to be like Bush. I’m going to go out there and I’m going to be my own man, Limbaugh, yes.’
You don’t have to throw the president of your own party under the bus, Mr. Schmidt. You just don’t have to do it in a campaign against the most liberal Democrat socialist the Democrats have ever nominated. You don’t have to throw the president of your own party under the bus. If you find that you must distance yourself from him, find a way that does not incorporate the language of the left; that does not appeal to Democrats, because you’re going to find out that George Bush isn’t hated. People may disapprove of his job, but they do not dislike him. And whatever else, Senator McCain and the rest of you people in his campaign think about George W. Bush, the one thing you can’t question is his love for the country and his desire to keep it safe. He may have gone off the path now and then on some of these social things with the Medicare plan and letting Ted Kennedy write the education bill, that’s how he governed in Texas, but you cannot in any way, shape, manner, or form attack George W. Bush’s patriotism or his desire to keep this country safe.
We do have those questions about Obama. We do have questions about his foreign policy based on his own words and what it will mean for this country. And you, Senator McCain, you do not have to draw distinctions with yourself on President Bush on national security, defending the country, and loving it. And this is not helping you. You are not going to get Obama votes doing this. You are not going to get Democrat votes by saying, ‘Hey, hey, hey, we’re not George Bush the third. We’ve disagreed with Bush on a lot of things.’ That sounds defensive. I still have one more sound bite to go from this guy, Steve Schmidt. John Roberts says, ‘Campaign: People have written of the ability of Senator McCain that he’s run for the right, and they’re wondering when we’re going to see this maverick, that independent, like so much out there on the campaign trail.’
SCHMIDT: When this war was going so badly, the one person in America who stood up and said we’re losing this war, we have to change the strategy, he was attacked mercilessly for disloyalty by saying that things were going badly. That person was John McCain. When we look at the energy bill that Vice President Cheney was a great supporter of in 2005, the giveaway to the oil companies, Senator Obama supported it, Senator McCain voted against it. Senator McCain is going to talk about his views, his vision, and a lot of times those views and that vision is different than the president’s policy.
RUSH: Yeah, and you’re going to make a big deal out of that. When this war was going so badly, the one person in America who stood up and said we’re losing, we have to change the strategy was McCain? There were a lot more than Senator McCain standing up and suggesting that we couldn’t afford to lose. When we look at the energy bill that Vice President Cheney was a great supporter of in 2005, a giveaway to the oil companies, McCain voted against it? What’s the giveaway? The continuation of the tax breaks that the oil companies get for research and development? What’s McCain said, he doesn’t like excess profits anywhere, when he’s never made a profit? Does he dislike excess profits in beer, I wonder? Should we stop drilling for beer? Should we stop making beer because the environmental damage it causes? I’ve seen beer smokestacks. I’m going to tell all of you Republicans, not just Senator McCain, if you think that you can make hay and be reelected by running around trashing your own president, the president of your party, who is far more beloved than Senator McCain is in this party — he may not be popular nationwide, he may not be popular in these polls, but he is not disliked. He is not considered disloyal. He is not considered somebody who goes against the interests of his own party for his own personal benefit.
If you run around and you make a big deal out of trying to distance yourself from George W. Bush, you are going to pay for it in ways that you can’t understand, because the one thing, of many, that separates Republicans and conservatives from those mealymouthed little creeps and kooks and wackos on the left, they respect a leader who they think has done his best. And they are loyal. And the one person, the one thing that is threatening Republican Party loyalty right now is the very McCain campaign, not George W. Bush. So if you think that you gotta run around and distance yourself from George W. Bush, and if that’s how you have to get elected, think again. You may not have to run around and embrace him, and you may not want to run around and have him fund-raise for you in public, and you may not want to be seen in public with him, and you may not want to have to praise him, but I warn you, do not publicly disrespect him. It will kill you. You won’t go anywhere. The voters on our side are not going to put up with that because he’s not disliked, he’s not despised, he’s not hated. You Republicans that don’t have the guts and the courage to separate yourself from what you read in the media and listen to the Democrat candidates say had better realize, this president is not hated, he is not disliked. Big difference in that and being unpopular.
If you don’t have the ability to read the news or watch television and understand the bilge and the drivel and the propaganda that you are hearing, if you have no more ability to separate yourself from the doom and gloom that the American people have trouble separating themselves from, you’re not worthy of being elected. We expect elected people to watch the news and go on television, ‘This is garbage, this is crap what you people are reporting to the American people,’ about global warming, about whatever the story is, about losing in Iraq when we’re winning. This tiptoeing through the tulips in fear about worrying what people are going to think of you because you’re Republican and you’re associated with Bush, I’m telling you, the more you sidle up to the Drive-By Media portrayal of things and try to reflect that, the American people, you’re going to find out how hated the media is, too, and you’re going to be just as despised, and you’re going to be sitting there wondering what happened the day after the election, why you lost, because you’ll have been told by your consultants to do what you’ve done rather than follow your instincts, which should tell you to be loyal to your party, positive about the country, energetic about our future. But if you think the way to get to voters is to harp on failure and doom and gloom and distance yourself from the president by trashing him and claiming you’re not him, you’re going to come off as a childish, immature Eddie Haskell, and people don’t elect Eddie Haskells.
RUSH: Our buddies at NewsMax have a story from yesterday: ‘Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said that several years ago John McCain came close to leaving the Republican Party and caucusing with Senate Democrats.’ I had people send me this story today and say, ‘I never knew that.’ What do you mean you never knew that? We talked about it on the program at the time. He’s the one that sought out John Kerry about possibly being his vice presidential running mate in 2004. Daschle was on Meet the Press with Russert, and ‘Daschle said in February, ‘It’s true that we were once close to bringing John McCain into the Democratic caucus. There are many who can verify that.’ Russert asked, ‘John McCain almost became a Democrat?’ Daschle answered: ‘Never a Democrat, but an independent. He was so angry at the way he was treated and the problems he had with the Bush administration in 2001, Tim, that he came to us and said, ‘Look, I’m seriously considering becoming an independent and caucusing with you. Let’s talk about it.’ And we did.” This is our nominee this year.
(playing of McCain spoof song)
We did this song back then. Shanklin put the song together back then, precisely because of what Daschle said.
(continued playing of song)