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RUSH: I want to go back to McCain’s response to Wesley Clark. He was at the National Association of… Now, wait. Come on, I don’t want to get the wrong bite. This is today. He was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and he was responding to Wesley Clark’s attacks on Sunday on Face the Nation, in which Clark said (paraphrased), ‘Hey, he never ordered any bombing. He’s never been a boss of anything in the military. He was never a squadron leader. He was never in combat. None of that. Dropping bombs on people, getting shot down, that’s no qualification to be president.’ He responded to it. After you listen to this, I have a question.

MCCAIN: I think that that kind of thing is unnecessary. I am proud of my record of service, and I have plenty of friends and leaders who will attest to that. But, the important thing is, if that is the kind of campaign that Senator Obama and his surrogates and his supporters want to engage in, I understand that. But it does not reduce the price of a gallon of gas by one penny. It doesn’t achieve our energy independence or make it come any closer. It does not help an American stay in their home who are in risk of losing it today, and it certainly does not do anything to address the challenges that Americans have in keeping their jobs and homes and supporting their families.

RUSH: Okay. Quick question — and this is important to me. You’re John McCain and you have just heard your whole reason for existence, the whole foundation on which you seek the presidency has just been said to be irrelevant. The Obama campaign has sent somebody out there to say, ‘Getting shot down? Big deal! Prisoner of war? Big deal! That doesn’t qualify anybody. John Kerry is more qualified than McCain ever was. I mean, he’s never ordered anybody into combat. He’s never had to take risks. He’s never had to bomb people he didn’t know were down there.’ You’re McCain, you hear that and you go out and you respond to it this way: ‘I think that kind of thing is unnecessary. I’m proud of my service. I have plenty of friends and leaders who will attest to that. If they want to run that kind of campaign, I understand it, but it doesn’t…’ blah, blah, blah.

Does McCain sound hurt? Does he sound like his feelings are hurt in that bite? You think so? Well, I’m not sure. I think… ‘I’m proud of my record of service. I have plenty of friends and leaders who will attest to that.’ Because here’s the thing. If he is hurt by it, it’s the wrong attitude to have, number one. Number two, if he is hurt, he’s surprised by it — and if he’s surprised by this kind of attack, that’s not good. If he really believes, if he still believes that somehow he can make this campaign an ‘honorable’ campaign on the issues as he wants it, then he’s going to have some problems. These people are out for his scalp. These people are out for his neck. They’ll cut his throat. There’s nothing honorable about what they’re doing. There’s certainly nothing honorable about the last two days, the way they’ve spoken about McCain.

I just wanted to ask you if you thought this response was what you would expect or what you would hope for. I mean, isn’t it true, ladies and gentlemen, that we on the right under constant attack and assault, don’t have leaders that give a rat’s rear end and don’t respond to it and don’t take it to ’em in return? Now, I understand it’s a fine line here when you respond to something like this. You can sound very defensive, and if you take it personally and if your response is anger based on you’ve been hurt personally, that’s not the way to do it. But there is a way to respond to this stuff. That’s right. You clean your opponent’s clock with this. You talk about the phoniness. What I just said! ‘We don’t need lectures from Mr. Obama on patriotism. We don’t need failed generals commenting on my war service.’ There’s any number of ways to do it here. Just my two cents, folks, and I’m just a talk show guy. No big deal.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Jack in Cincinnati. You’re up next, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s an honor to speak with you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: If the McCain camp doesn’t make a joke out of General Clark’s comments about Obama’s strong points as being character and judgment, they missed the boat, because those are his major flaws. And, of course, the Democrat strategists like to take and go to the issues, but without character and integrity, anything that’s discussed in that is a moot point.

RUSH: What specifically, Jack, are we talking about here? Are we talking about the Reverend J. Wright?

CALLER: We’re talking about all of his associations and his judgments.

RUSH: Like with the real estate fraud artist, the scam artist. The guy who wanted to blow up the pentagon.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: And the Reverend J. Wright, who hates America and is a blatant racist, and Obama said, (paraphrasing) ‘These are not the people I’ve known. I’ve known J. Wright for 20 years and didn’t know any of this.’ But you’re making a great point. When Ashley Wilkes, who is a hack, starts talking in disguise as a general, starts talking about Obama’s character and qualifications, I’ll guarantee you McCain is not going to say a thing about that because it wouldn’t be honorable.

CALLER: Right. Right.

RUSH: The Republican Party, as our official Obama criticizer said the other day, the Republicans are even afraid of calling nighttime dark. They’re so afraid of any criticism being a reaction to racism and the historical nature of the Obama campaign. But let’s not forget about the historical nature of the Obama campaign. Don’t forget the Southern Christian leadership guy. He’s not authentic. He’s not the first slave blood black to seek the White House. The wife is, but he’s not. And the guy said this just to give the race industry in America a reason to exist after Obama’s election to the White House, to the presidency, if he is. Excellent point, Jack. Jack’s out there saying if McCain doesn’t respond to this, I mean, of all things, the one area where Obama is totally assailable is his character. Jack said he’s got to respond to this. This is a hanging curveball. Jack, don’t expect it. Maybe a surrogate, a far removed surrogate will. But it will not come from the McCain campaign. I know if somebody too close to the McCain campaign were to say something about Obama’s character, the next thing you know McCain will be out there denouncing the guy saying this is not what his campaign is all about, blah, blah, blah.

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