RUSH: What are…? (interruption) Interrupting for what?
THE PRESIDENT: Hello!
RUSH: Oh, jeez. The president?
THE PRESIDENT: Rush Limbaugh?
RUSH: Yes, sir, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: President George W. Bush calling to congratulate you on 20 years of important and excellent broadcasting.
RUSH: Well, thank you, sir. You’ve stunned me! (laughing) I’m shocked. But thank you so much.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s hard to do.
RUSH: (laughing) I know, it is.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m here with a room full of admirers. There are two others that would like to speak to you and congratulate you, people who consider you friends and really appreciate the contribution you’ve made.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much. Put ’em on.
THE PRESIDENT: How you doing? This is my swan song? If this is all you got for me, I’m moving on.
RUSH: (laughing) No! The show’s yours; take as much time as you want.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’m just calling along with President 41 and the former governor of Florida. We’re fixing to have lunch here, and I said, ‘Listen, we ought to call our pal and let him know that we care’ for you. So this is as much as anything, a nice verbal letter to a guy we really care for.
RUSH: Well, thank you, sir, very much. I’m overwhelmed. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this and how much you’ve surprised me.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that was the purpose of the phone call.
RUSH: You succeeded.
THE PRESIDENT: Good.
RUSH: They were waving at me trying to tell me you were on the line, and I didn’t know what was going on. So you succeeded here in the surprise. How are you doing, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I am great. We’re doing very good, thank you very much, sir. Concerned about our economy, obviously, but know we need to be drilling for some oil and gas in order to take the pressure off the gas prices — and I’m pleased with the progress in Iraq.
RUSH: Have you heard what Senator Obama wants to do? He wants another stimulus check of a thousand dollars to every American paid for by the oil companies.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Well, what we ought to be doing is encouraging oil companies to find oil, and that’s the best way to take the pressure off the gasoline prices. We’re on a very strong push to get the Congress to allow for there to be offshore drilling, and most Americans understand now that an increase in oil, particularly here in America, will help take pressure off of price. And I tell people I’d rather, you know, be buying American oil instead of sending our money overseas.
RUSH: You know, Mr. President, it’s amazing. In 2004 during your campaign, Senator Kerry was constantly criticizing you for not ‘jawboning’ with the Saudis enough to bring the price of oil down. Now, four years later, they’re doing everything they can to keep the price from coming down. They apparently want it to remain high.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, they may want to, but the American people want to see some relief. It would be like a massive tax cut when the gasoline prices decline. So we’re in times of economic uncertainty and the more money people have in their pockets the quicker we’ll be able to recover, in my judgment. You asked how I’m doing. My spirits are high; I’m going to finish strong. I love my family and I’m spending two days here with mother and dad before I head overseas.
RUSH: Well, that’s right. You’ve got China on your agenda.
THE PRESIDENT: I do. But listen, President 41. You might remember him.
RUSH: I do. (laughing) Yes, I do. We all do.
THE PRESIDENT: You know what? He remembers you.
THE PRESIDENT: Fondly, I might add. Anyway, here he is. Congratulations.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much, again.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.
BUSH 41: Hey, Rush?
RUSH: Mr. President, sir.
BUSH 41: How are you doing?
RUSH: I am never better. I’m so glad that you three called me. I’m stunned here. It’s great to hear from you.
BUSH 41: I’ve got some advice for you.
RUSH: Tell me.
BUSH 41: Slow down your backswing.
BUSH 41: (laughing) That’s what I’m doing is giving advice. I remember playing with you and enjoying it. How are you?
RUSH: I’m great.
BUSH 41: Proud of you, always.
RUSH: Well, thank you. I’m doing great. And you? You’re looking well, too.
BUSH 41: Well, yeah. I’m kind of on the sidelines, but I can’t do golf and all that stuff anymore. But life is good. It’s wonderful, and it’s great having the family up here in Maine, and all is well. Do you see our man Ailes at all?
RUSH: Oh, yeah. I saw Roger at Tony Snow’s funeral.
BUSH 41: Oh, did you?
RUSH: And a couple of times earlier this summer.
BUSH 41: Are we on the radio, are we?
BUSH 41: I didn’t know that. I’ll clean up my act here. I’m glad they told me.
RUSH: Yeah, we’re on the radio.
BUSH 41: It’s wonderful talking to you, I’ll tell you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Same here.
BUSH 41: Wait a minute, Jeb — Governor Jeb — wants to speak to you.
RUSH: That’s great.
BUSH 41: We’ve got the whole family lined up.
RUSH: Put him on.
BUSH 41: All Limbaugh fans. Just a sec. Here.
JEB: Hey, Rush, congratulations on your longevity.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much. This is a thrill.
JEB: One of the highlights, one of the great things about your show is it’s broadcast in the Sunshine State, for which a whole lot of Floridians are very grateful, including me.
RUSH: It’s a great place to live, governor. It really is, as you well know.
JEB: We’ve got a few challenges, but it’s not a bad place at all.
RUSH: What’s your future? What are you going to do?
JEB: I’m staying below the radar. That’s what I’m doing. I love policy, and I have an education policy to try to help folks that are running for office be bold on education reform, which I think is a huge challenge and a great opportunity for our country. So my political stuff is really focused on that, which I love.
RUSH: Well, good. Keep at it, because if there’s something that needs reform in this country, it’s certainly that.
RUSH: Particularly public education. Well, thank you guys so much. This is unexpected and a real honor for me to hear from all of you guys at the same time.
JEB: All right. Take care.
RUSH: Thanks, sir, very much.
RUSH: Wow. And as I was saying… As I was saying… (laughing) Anyway, we gotta go to commercial break. See, folks, I got a note from a friend — a little instant message flash — right before the program started that said, ‘You’re going to have so much fun this afternoon.’
I said, ‘Yeah. The thing is, I’m sure there are going to be lots of surprises, and I don’t know what they are, and they always make me nervous.’
When they were waving their arms, they had given me a written note on the computer monitor here: ‘President’s on the line! President’s on the line!’ and I was looking at my story here talking about Obama and his stupid idiot idea for Big Oil to give everybody a check for a thousand bucks. Then, finally, Brian starts waving his arms and so forth, and that’s when I noticed it. So we’re off to a rousing start. Who knows what’s coming? Certainly I don’t.