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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Now, what of tonight, ladies and gentlemen, let me be honest with you, as I always am. I’m just a little old talk show host here, and you are the loyal, brave, beloved audience. We all have a vested interest because that convention and this ticket represent our dreams and hope for the future in beating back the forces that we think are trying to redefine Americanism.

This convention, these past two days, has exceeded everybody’s expectations. There were a lot of people whose expectations were quite low, they were quite depressed, because we weren’t quite sure whether this party would have the courage and the guts to try to unify the Republican base into the rest of the party and get us all operating as one. Well, lo and behold, it happened. The last two nights, the McCain campaign has totally unified the party, they have unified that convention, they have electrified it, and they’re ready to go out and hit the streets, knock on doors, raise money, contribute money, I’m thinking for the first time in my life, sending some loot in. I’ve never done that. Not to the RNC, because, you know, media business, but what the hell, folks. I mean, it’s not like nobody knows what I stand for these days. So what of tonight? Now, I don’t think anybody expects Senator McCain to outperform either Rudy or Sarah Palin, but being, shall we say, loyal to the theme that this convention has developed the past two nights I think is crucial. So what I’m hoping is that, because the character and the honor and the person of John McCain has been well established… I’ve heard things about McCain I didn’t know, I’ve heard the story of his POW period in a way I’ve never heard it explained by Fred Thompson.

There’s a lot to build on here. This is just little old me speaking. I’m not issuing orders, no threats here. Sharing my thoughts that are worth no more than yours or anybody else’s with you. The worst thing that could happen tonight — I don’t even want to put it in those terms; the thing I hope doesn’t happen — I hope for one night that the McCain campaign can broom from the speech the notion of how well he crosses the aisle and works with Democrats. They’ve already done that with Lieberman, they got that established two nights ago. That’s fine. For tonight, Senator McCain has got to join all the rest of us under the concept that we want to beat Democrats, and we will be happy to work with any of them who are left over after November. But for tonight, keep hammering on offense what this team is, what this campaign’s agenda is, deemphasizing the notion that somehow the American people are hell-bent on finding two parties that can work together.

This convention is proving that the members of this party, that are the movers and shakers, are not interested right now in working with Democrats. That’s not how they define a successful Republican politician. Just one night, next week, go back to it all you want. Send people out of there tonight on television, around the country and out of the convention hall as fired up as they’re going to walk in. My only, I don’t even want to say hope, it is my only request, it is the only thing that I truly want to see tonight. I think McCain could do it, I think he’s up for it, I think he’s gotta be more up, inspired, thrilled than he’s been in a long time about all this. I’ve seen him, that video of him greeting the Palin family on the tarmac yesterday, just genuinely, just walking up — oh, and there’s a snarky AP story that, of all places, the Washington Times ran, some AP cultural writer saying that McCain made it a point to go out and greet the 17-year-old girl who had been knocked up by her boyfriend, or impregnated, whatever, maybe not knocked up, but that’s how I interpreted it when I read it. That’s not what he was doing, you doofus! What McCain was doing was comforting this family, welcoming this family and assuring them that they’re okay with him and they’re solid because of the unmerciful attacks on that 17-year-old girl and her boyfriend.

So he came on that stage last night, and that place was rocking, and from last Friday forward I’ve never seen McCain as happy as he is. So just broom the talk of working with Democrats, just for one night, just broom it for one night.

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