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MACCALLUM: Joining me now on the phone is Rush Limbaugh. Hi, Rush.

RUSH: Martha, how are you?

MACCALLUM: I’m —

RUSH: Great day today.

MACCALLUM: I’m —

RUSH: We finally got some laughs out of Washington today.

MACCALLUM: (laughing) All right. Well, let’s start with Joe Biden. You’ve never been a big fan of Joe Biden, as is pretty well known by all of your millions of listeners. What do you think the Obama campaign is thinking about that choice now?

RUSH: In the first place, I love Biden, Martha. I begged for them to put Biden on the ticket for this very reason. Let me give you a couple gaffes that you didn’t report. Last night on CBS, he said when the stock market crashed in 1929, Franklin Roosevelt got on TV and ‘didn’t just talk about it.’ Franklin Roosevelt wasn’t president in 1929. In 1929, there wasn’t any TV! Nobody was on TV ’cause it wasn’t invented.

MACCALLUM: Whoops!

RUSH: And I guess Saturday night in Virginia, he said, ‘Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey. If he tries to fool with my Beretta, he’s got a problem.’ Now, I’m wondering if the Secret Service called Biden and said, ‘Did you just threaten the Democrat presidential nominee?’ (laughing)

MACCALLUM: (laughing)

RUSH: I mean this is too good to be true. Here’s the thing. If Sarah Palin were saying anything like this, Martha, you know as well as I do — as does your audience — that the media would be all over her. I think that they’ve gotta be, in the Obama campaign, looking and hearing these things and just pulling their hair out, saying, ‘What in the hell?’ How about the very first one, when he’s in Columbia, Missouri, and the state senator is in a wheelchair, and he says, ‘Stand up, Chuck! Stand up, let ’em see you! Oh, God. Oh, my God. What did I do? Stand up for Chuck!’ You cannot write this stuff. This is just fabulous. Then you’ve got Mahmoud today echoing Barack Obama talking points; talking about how America is responsible for all the problems of the world, talking about how American defense spending has led to the crisis here. I mean, the Democrats, they gotta pulling their hair out because you’ve got Biden doing what he’s doing, and you’ve got the leader of Iran echoing Barack Obama talking points.

MACCALLUM: Right. Well, you know, it is still an extremely tight race, so you can understand an argument from Barack Obama’s folks where they would say, ‘Look, we’re quite happy with Joe Biden. Things seems to be going pretty well. We’ve got a very tight race here.’ But since you brought up the financial crisis, I’m curious what you thought about it when you watched the senators grilling. Lots of long faces on Capitol Hill today. ‘Gee, how did this happen?’ and a lot of pointing fingers.

RUSH: Martha, let me tell you something. This is very serious. It’s a serious crisis, and these are not oversight hearings today. These are ‘Hindsight Hearings.’ I think that some of these people asking questions today should have been the ones that were being interviewed. We’ve gotta fix this, but the very people that broke it, some of them sat on that committee today; and allowing these people to take total control of the mortgage business when they’re the ones that broke it is absurd. I want to give you one observation. The Democrats are the ones — it may be hard for you to take here, but the Democrats I think are — almost totally culpable here. And the evidence is that if there was a Republican anywhere in sight that they could blame this on, there would have been investigative hearings two weeks ago to try to drum that Republican and Bush and McCain out of existence. The closest they can come is trying to blame this on Phil Gramm and a piece of legislation he authored back in 1999 that Bill Clinton signed. I think this is really a crisis and the people that led to this are the ones being put in charge of fixing it, and it’s a disaster in the making. This is important because we do have to fix it, but we cannot sit here and let the people who broke it act like spectators and innocent bystanders to have all these people up and say, ‘Well, what went wrong?’ when they wrote the laws that made all this happen.

MACCALLUM: All right. Interesting point. I want to talk to you a little bit about Sarah Palin because the press was very upset today. They were not allowed in to take pictures of her, to ask questions of her. I guess they did ultimately take pictures, and then they finally said, ‘We’re not going to take pictures of her unless you let us ask a question,’ then they were allowed in for 29 seconds. Is this right, and why won’t they loosen up the reins on her a little bit?

RUSH: Well, I’m not totally sure what’s going on here, but I’ve got a guess. I played a little bit sound bite of Sarah Palin today that was just rock ’em, sock ’em. It was fabulous. But they have her mirroring McCain. She was out talking about reform and this kind of thing, and Obama hasn’t reformed anything. And I think really the reason that they’re sequestering her has nothing to do with the fact that she’s not competent, because she clearly is. I wish they’d turn her loose. But I think that they’re doing this to make sure that she doesn’t get off message and make sure that McCain’s message is what she echoes, which is what a vice presidential nominee’s job is to do. But she’s bright, she’s incredibly smart and capable, and I wish they’d turn her loose.

MACCALLUM: You know, I think the reason that she helped him so much in the polls was her freshness, her candor, her ability to just sort of shoot from the hip and talk about what she thinks. So I agree with you that it might be a mistake, politically, for them to be keeping her under wraps the way they are. But, Rush, as always, it’s great to talk to you. Thank you very much for making some time for us tonight. It’s all interesting stuff.

RUSH: It’s just never long enough, Martha.

MACCALLUM: I know. Next time.

RUSH: Just never long enough.

MACCALLUM: (giggles) Thank you, Rush. Ten minutes next time. Rush Limbaugh joining us by phone from Palm Beach, Florida, tonight, and thanks very much to him for making some time for us this evening.

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