RUSH: Rick Santelli back on the Today Show today with Matt Lauer. We have two sound bites here. Matt Lauer said, ‘Rick, Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, commented — called you out in the briefing room — and after you heard his comments, you said he was threatening you. Are you serious about that?’
SANTELLI: Let’s put it this way, Matt. Matt, you’re married, are you not?
LAUER: Yeah, I am.
SANTELLI: Okay. This is more about the feelings my wife had when she watched the body language and listened to what he was saying —
LAUER: But —
SANTELLI: — and I think you understand —
LAUER: — this is the White House press secretary you think is going to threaten you on national television?
SANTELLI: Well, let’s rephrase the question. Do we think it’s normal to be named by name as opposed to the general media at large, say ‘the cable guy’ or ‘some of the comments’? I find, and my wife finds, and many of my friends find —
SANTELLI: — that the direct confrontation and pointing me out by name just is not ordinary and I’ll leave it at that.
RUSH: Get used to it, Rick. Trust me. It happens. (laughs) Anyway, all Gibbs said was, ‘I don’t know where his house is,’ speaking of Santelli. ‘I don’t know where he lives, but he may not have the picture,’ and he went on to say, ‘I don’t care what this guy thinks. He’s a trader. He works with traders. The fact that they’re unhappy, that makes us happy here at the White House.’ That’s what he went on to say. So here Lauer had this exchange with Santelli. They continue talking.
LAUER: I’m sure your wife is a lovely person. However, what Robert Gibbs said was, he’s not sure that as a former trader and current television personality, you’re living in the same kind of neighborhoods where people are struggling to pay their mortgages. He wasn’t threatening you!
SANTELLI: Well, listen, I’m not saying ‘threatening.’ Just to be pinpointed specifically I find very unusual. And I think that it’s more of a decision for you as the press, for all the people on the lawn that giggled at the joke about caffeine — and it was funny, but how would they like to be pinpointed specifically? I think that’s the issue at hand.
LAUER: The only thing I would say —
SANTELLI: Right. It’s (garbled).
LAUER: — Rick, is if you go out of your way to call out the president of the United States, you have to expect that — that his representative may go out of his way to call you out.
SANTELLI: Well, and I —
LAUER: Doesn’t that go with the territory?
SANTELLI: Well, what we’re really saying is ‘calling out,’ as a member of the press, do I not get to ask a question or question the system. I understand that, but —
LAUER: And as the press secretary, doesn’t he have the right to ask you a question?
SANTELLI: He certainly does. It would be nice if he did it face-to-face, but I don’t know that he needs to throw out my name. I just have an issue with that.
RUSH: Well, now, Rick, come on, now. This is who they are! I mean, how many times did Clinton focus on people? You got… (interruption) This is… (interruption) Oh, I — I — I know. (interruption) I know. I know. (interruption) Matt Lauer is who he is. (interruption) It’s a good observation. ‘Matt Lauer sounds like Robert Gibbs’ ‘butt boy,” Robert Gibbs and Barack Obama’s butt boy. Matt, you do. In the sound bite you sounded like a butt boy. You sounded like somebody carrying out orders. You sounded like somebody defending the realm against one of your own colleagues, against one of your own colleagues who’s out there simply asking a question about, what the hell are we doing having to pay for people who aren’t going to pay their mortgages? Matt, if there were any decency here you’d be siding with Santelli’s original point. But you gotta go out and you gotta defend as a ‘butt boy’ for Barack Obama and Robert Gibbs.