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RUSH: To the Obama press conference sound bites, from this morning, here is a portion of our president-elect opening statement.

OBAMA: I was as appalled and disappointed as anybody by the revelations earlier this week. I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I’m confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat. I think the materials released by the US attorney reflect that fact. I’ve asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor’s office about this vacancy so that we can share them with you over the next few days.

RUSH: See? He hasn’t had anything to do with this, and I’m confident that when his team gathers all the information, we will see that he was so above this. He’s appalled by it. He’s our president-elect! This is from the question and answer period. Jackie Calmes of the New York Times. ‘Senator — President-elect given the — in your statement, when you addressed the controversy over Governor Blagojevich, you did not repeat what your spokesman said yesterday about having him — that he should resign. Why did you not? And could you tell us what contact, if any, you know that your staff or any emissaries from you have had with prosecutors or the FBI?’ See, now, this is press badgering because Obama said in his opening statement nobody on his staff had ever talked to Blago, and he hadn’t talked to Blago. Nobody talked to anybody about this, and here’s this punk reporterette from the New York Times demanding to know again who on his staff might have spoken to the prosecutors or the FBI. So this is pure media harassment of our president-select. Here’s what he said.

OBAMA: Uh, in terms of our involvement, I’ll repeat, uh, what I said earlier, uh, which is I had no contact with the governor’s office. Uhhh, I did not speak to the, uh, governor about these issues. Uh, that I know for certain. Uh, what I want to do is to gather all the facts about any staff contacts that I may — might — uhhh, may have — that may have taken place between, uh, the transition office and the governor’s office. And we’ll have those in the next few days, and we’ll present them. But what I’m absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat. That, I’m absolutely certain of. And the — that is — that would be a violation of everything that this campaign has been about, uh, and that’s not how we do business.

RUSH: See? See! There it is. Now, some of you — I know some of you — are very cynical out there. You might be asking, ‘How could he be certain that nobody was involved in deal-making if he’s still gathering the facts?’ Well, no, that’s not the question. He’s certain that nobody in his office had any involvement in the deal-making around the Senate seat. But he doesn’t know if they were talking to Blagojevich about anything else. He may find, he may indeed find because, you know, it’s tough. This man is a very charismatic figure, and there are kind of hero worshipers. You know, celebrity hangers-on and so forth. Who knows the kind of people who have convinced him they want to work for him because they believe in his great vision? He may just have a bunch of groupies in there and who knows what the groupies are doing trying to get close and be powerful?

Some of them may get in trouble. Some of them may, in fact, have done something that he’ll be shocked to learn of. In this instance, I would suggest keeping Club Gitmo open because we might need somewhere to put some of Obama’s associates who have been embarrassing him. If that turns out to be the case, to embarrass him like this during his transition, to force him in to answer questions like this? Whoever is responsible for this needs to be hung up, strung up, whatever we do to ’em at Gitmo. He’s going to have a tough time closing it anyway so it will be an ideal place. Now, the next question from an unidentified reporter: ‘Have you or anyone in your transition or campaign been interviewed as it relates to the criminal complaint? And who is the transition adviser referenced in the complaint?’

OBAMA: I have not been contacted by any, uhhh, gov– uh, federal officials. Uhhh, aaaand we have not been interviewed, uh, by them, uh, as is reflected in the US attorney’s report, uh, we were not, uh, I think, perceived by the governor’s office as, ummm, uhhh, amenable to any deal-making. Uh, aaand, um, you know, I won’t quote back some of the things that were said about ME. Uhh… Sooo. This is a family program, I know. Uh, so-o-o-o, uh, eh, uh, eh, uh, uh, you know — so, beyond that, I’m not really certain where the investigation is going forward. I’ll leave, uhhh, Mr. Fitzgerald, uhhh, to address those issues.

RUSH: Now, remember, ladies and gentlemen: it’s not what President-select Obama says; it’s how he says it, and he didn’t say that very well. Even I will have to admit, that came out kind of garbled, jumbled, and with not a lot of confidence, would you not agree, Mr. Snerdley? No, a lot of stuttering in there. ‘Uh, uh, well, uh, there’s — family program. He called me an MF-er, but, uh, I’m not really certain where the investigation is going forward.’ Now, there is a potential problem, and I’m confident that this is not going to directly affect our president-elect, but there was a two-hour conference call between Governor Blagojevich and Democrat and Obama officials, a two-hour conference call when they were in Washington and Blago was in Chicago.

Now, nobody knows who was on the call, and people were coming in and out of it. Nobody was on it full time except Blago. But it went on for a long time, for two hours. Back in November, I believe is when this happened, maybe early December. It was a very, very long conference call. (interruption) Well, that’s what the president-elect is doing. His team is gathering facts to find out who was on that conference call. He doesn’t know who the transition figure is that was named in the criminal complaint. That’s what he was doing. He’s got his team out there trying to get up all the answers to this. We’ll get them when he finds them. He’s been forthcoming… (interruption) Well, because I know the press will continue to press him.

That’s how I know that he’ll tell us. The press will continue to demand answers on this, and I think we should sit back, let them do their work, let Obama and his team do their work, and I am utterly confident that this is nothing. (interruption) Look, I just told you. I just told you, Snerdley! Stop harassing me! The New York Times harassed Obama. He already told ’em nobody was involved and they asked him again who was involved. They are doing their job. They are harassing him. You didn’t see the press conference, obviously. Well, I just played the sound bites. It’s obvious, the press harassment going on. They’re not cream puff questions. They are harassing our president-elect, demanding to know again what he’s already denied. Asking him to say the same thing over and over again, which is that he doesn’t know anything and he didn’t do anything. And if he doesn’t know anything, he didn’t do anything. I am confident he didn’t know anything or do anything. He’s president-elect.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want you to misunderstand here. I am troubled by some of the entanglements here involving the president-elect. I had such high hopes for an administration and a country free of this kind of stuff. I wasn’t hoping for change. I’m not blind. I’m not an idiot. I’m not a naive National Honor Society candidate. I do have a substantive problem here, and it is this. When you make deals, you’re talking substance. Deal-making goes to substance, correct? So if Obama does not know about contacts between his people and the governor’s people, if he doesn’t know about that, if his team is investigating, how can he then say that there were no substantive discussions about selling the seat? He can’t say that if he doesn’t yet know what happened because deal-making is substance. And he says he doesn’t know that yet. There are problems here. It’s sad, disappointing.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Question. Obama is still a Senator. He’s not president. Why shouldn’t he talk to Blagojevich about his replacement? Nothing odd about doing that. Why is he denying that he did it? Why wouldn’t he do it?

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