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RUSH: We’ll go to Pittsburgh, home of the Steelers. Christie, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Oh, hi, Rush. It’s so good to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you. I know.

CALLER: Hey, I have a — well, not a question for you. The media is always going to give Barack Obama a pass. That’s a given.

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: That’s done. I’ve just don’t think that John McCain should. I mean they question his ability to lead and we hear nothing. I mean this is huge for McCain, this should be a commercial.

RUSH: Were you listening yesterday, Christie? We played the sound bite of McCain’s response to this.

CALLER: No, it is just not enough.

RUSH: You sound really, really torn here.

CALLER: I am.

RUSH: Frustrated. I can tell you exactly why you’re torn. You’re torn because you love America, you support conservative values, the things that made this country great, and you don’t hear any elected official defending himself —

CALLER: Nothing.

RUSH: — or us when they are attacked.

CALLER: No, very alone out there, nothing, we hear nothing.

RUSH: McCain’s response yesterday, he sounded a little hurt. It was very low-key, and he said if that’s the kind of campaign they want to run, they can run that kind of campaign, but no attack on me ever put a drop of gasoline in your tank. He actually stole a Clinton technique, you know, in his debate with Bob Dole.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: No attack ever fed a hungry child. You know, McCain is trying to stay above the fray of politics as usual.

CALLER: And he should. I understand that, but it just seems like when George W. Bush ran, I got bumper stickers, shirts, I wanted him to be president. But now I feel like the only reason to vote for McCain is because I don’t want Barack Obama. That worries me, because can a candidate win like that? I don’t know.

RUSH: Yes. Yes. I think that this election — I agree with you — is going to be a referendum on Obama, up or down.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: People are going to vote for or against Obama. There will be some Republicans who are loyal, but not nearly as many as the Republican Party believes, who will vote McCain simply because he’s the party nominee. That’s why the McCain camp’s moving to the center, try to pick off Democrats and independents and all the others that we’ve been through. You know, we were talking about qualifications, too, and I want to get off of this topic without saying this. You know, we’re narrowing this whole concept of qualifications based on military service. Obama sends his surrogates out there to attack McCain, ‘Prisoner of war doesn’t mean you’re qualified to be president. Just because you’ve been captured and shot down and ride the jet and so forth, doesn’t mean anything to me.’ And Obama is saying he’s qualified because he’s got character and so forth. You know what I look at, qualifications. You know somebody has ’em or they don’t.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: In this case, Obama does not have qualifications. He is not qualified in the way I define qualifications. First and foremost he’s wrong on everything. I don’t care how smart he is, I don’t care how lovable he is, I don’t care about the heavenly light and the messianic countenance, he’s wrong! He’s dangerously wrong about things.

CALLER: I agree.

RUSH: That, to me, is not qualified.

CALLER: I know. It worries me, though.

RUSH: McCain, on the other hand, is right about a little. But in terms of qualifications… it’s another way of saying it’s another choice that does not have an active, positive movement behind it. You’re voting against somebody or you’re reluctantly voting for somebody.

CALLER: That’s right. And that worries me. But I’m sticking with him.

RUSH: Well, where you going to go?

CALLER: Nowhere. There’s nowhere else to go. I’m done.

RUSH: We can’t afford Obama, in any number of way, we can’t afford him financially.

CALLER: No, he’s saving the world on your dime. My dime.

RUSH: He’s not saving the world.

CALLER: Well, he thinks he’s saving the world, and the people behind him.

RUSH: No he doesn’t. He may believe that —

CALLER: That’s right.

RUSH: These people are about power. That’s all this is about. They’re as deceptive as anybody else in politics. This is about power, pure and simple, and how to get it. And the liberals know that the only way they can get it is to somehow erase from everybody’s memory who they are, what they are. So that’s why Obama is tacking to the center now. He’s done a flip-flop here on faith-based programs. He now supports Bush’s faith-based —

CALLER: No, he does not.

RUSH: Yes, he does. Oh, yes. I’ll lead off the next hour with it. He’s done a couple 180s on things that’s going to really tick off his left-wing kook fringe base.

CALLER: I don’t know what he’s looking for because I don’t think he can grab the middle. I think he better stick with his left wing.

RUSH: That’s what they think. But, see, the left wing, what are they going to do? They going to vote for McCain?

CALLER: Right. Right.

RUSH: Well, no, it’s not so simple. It’s much easier for the left wing to accept McCain than it is for us to accept Obama.

CALLER: That’s right.

RUSH: And that’s a sad mouthful. Christie, I gotta go. Great to talk to you.

CALLER: Thank you as well.

RUSH: All right. Bye-bye.

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