RUSH: Here’s Warren Buffett on CNBC today.
BUFFETT: I think the secret ballot is pretty important in the country. I’m against card check, to make a perfectly flat statement.
RUSH: That’s Warren Buffett disagreeing with President Obama. Warren Buffett was on CNBC Squawk Box, the co-hosts Becky Quick and Joe Kernen were interviewing Warren Buffett, a big supporter of President Obama. And the question to that sound bite was, ‘Some say that EFCA and card check would — would narrow the disparity, in other words, having unions have more of a say, have more companies unionize. Is that a good idea, or do you think, as a business owner, it would be a negative for the economy?’ Here is Warren Buffett again answering that question.
BUFFETT: I think the secret ballot’s pretty important in the country. I’m against card check, to make a perfectly flat statement.
RUSH: Warren Buffett opposed to President Obama on a fundamental, foundational issue, right? Yet, he’s a big supporter of Obama. Then Warren Buffett had this to say about cap and trade, which is a massive tax increase.
BUFFETT: Anything you put in that effectively taxes carbon emissions is… Somebody’s going to bear the brunt of it. In the case of a regulated utility, the utility customers are gonna pay for it. I mean, it’s going to become, in effect, a tax. (chuckles) I think we should get the economy straight. I think job one, job two, and job three is the economy.
RUSH: Well, see, he’s disagreeing with cap and trade there because somebody is gonna bear the brunt of it. Guess who? The middle class. The very people Obama claims to have all this love and adulation for, the people are going to be helped? They’re the ones hurt. So Warren Buffett here, let’s see. He’s against card check. He’s against cap and trade. This next one’s quite interesting. The question is from a viewer in Connecticut. ‘What are your thoughts on the president openly criticizing the use of corporate jets by CEOs, considering the fact that Berkshire Hathaway owns NetJets and that some of the CEOs are your largest clients?’
BUFFETT: I do have a — a — a dog in this fight. (snickering) So put me down as biased, but I — I do think — I use a jet both personally and with business. I mean, I have my own things I pay for, but I use it in business. Berkshire has been better off by me having a — a plane available to go and do deals or whatever it may be. I think it’s a big mistake to start demonizing anybody in this game. I — I just think that it — it causes the American people to look backwards, and we don’t want villains.
RUSH: What’s going on here? Here’s Warren Buffett. So far now, he’s disagreed with card check, he has disagreed with cap and trade, and now he’s disagreeing with Obama on the basis that Obama’s demonizing CEOs. Warren Buffett does own NetJets — time-share purchase for jets, if you want — and he says I use mine personally and for business, and I pay for it myself. Well, I’ve been able to go do deals. My shareholders need me flying around doing things for them, so I think it’s wrong to villainize these people. These are profound disagreements from one of the smartest men in the world who voted for Obama, and then he said this about the war, the economy as a war.
BUFFETT: Job one is to win the war. Job — the economic war. Job two is to win the economic war, and job three. And you can’t expect people to unite behind you if you’re trying to jam a whole bunch of things down their throats. I don’t think anybody on December 7th would have said that a war is a terrible thing to waste and therefore we’re going to try and ram through a whole bunch of things. It’s just a mistake, I think, when you’ve got one overriding —
RUSH: Whoa, whoa, whoa!
BUFFETT: — objective to try and muddle it up with a whole bunch of other things.
RUSH: Whoa! Fixing the economy should take precedent over all other initiatives? He doesn’t like this notion of ‘a crisis is a terrible thing to waste’? So here are four profound disagreements from Warren Buffett on the economy with President Obama — and then, after all of that, Warren Buffett said this about Republicans.
BUFFETT: The minority has… They really do have an obligation to support things that, in general, are clearly designed to fight the war in a big way. Republicans have a — an obligation to regard this as an economic war and to realize you need one leader and — and in general support of that. But I think that the Democrats — and I — I voted for Obama, I strongly support him, and I think he’s the right guy, but I think they should not use this… When they’re calling for unity on a question this important they should not use it to roll the Republicans.
RUSH: Um, somebody want to explain that to me? It sounded like a two-pronging answer but basically Warren Buffett, after offering four profound areas of disagreement on the economy, then says (summarized), ‘We need support the guy anyway, but the Republicans should not be rolled. I mean, the Democrats ought not be mean to the Republicans but the Republicans ought to support this anyway.’ Now, folks, this is what you call the absence of leadership. Here is a man, Warren Buffett, who clearly knows what’s right and wrong for this economy, but will not stand up for it. (big sigh) I’m The Last Man Standing. I raise my hand.
RUSH: Let’s see, Mark in San Antonio, I’m glad you called. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. Lone Star dittos from the great state. I just wanted to comment on Mr. Buffett —
CALLER: — four points of contention with President Obama. Should we expect to see headlines tomorrow that Mr. Buffett wants President Obama to fail?
RUSH: No, because he didn’t say it. He didn’t say it, see? This is my point. He doesn’t want Obama to succeed with any of this, but then he stops and doesn’t lead anybody to say, ‘I’m right. You should agree with me on this. I’m the smartest business guy in the world. That’s my image; that’s why I’m on this television show on CNBC. Card check is a bad idea.’ All these other things, villainizing CEOs and corporate jets, that’s a bad idea. Cap and trade, the carbon tax, are bad ideas, but you need to support Obama. That’s helping nobody.
CALLER: Absolutely not. It sounds like the most ridiculous line of thinking, and of course being in the position Buffett is in he’s used to talking out of both sides of his mouth at times. But people who want Obama personally to succeed and get whatever he wants and tries to divorce that from policy issues? It doesn’t work, makes no sense at all.
RUSH: Well, you know, I’ll tell you how this whole ‘fail’ business is being spun. It’s being spun in a way that’s grossly inaccurate and incorrect. I don’t personally hate President Obama, but, I’ll tell you what. The left in this country that wanted George Bush to fail, personally reviled him. To this day they personally revile him. The things they said — and there were elected Democrats echoing and repeating the things they said — it was a personal, visceral hatred for George W. Bush. They wanted him to fail. They wanted the US military to fail. They wanted everything about the Bush administration to fail, including the war in Iraq and the war on terror. I have no personal animus toward President Obama. Mine is purely about policy and issues and a country that I dearly love that I see being transformed before my very eyes — and nobody, or very few, are willing to stand up for it.
It’s just sort of mystified in a way that, while a lot of people see what’s happening, they don’t have the guts to stand up and say, ‘Stop.’ This is not good for us. This is not what this country is all about. This is not what presidents swear an oath to do. Presidents swear an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, not to remake the country in their own ideological or personal image, which is what’s happening here. What Buffett’s comments indicate to me is the smart people know what’s going on. They really do know what’s going on, and they’ll gladly articulate their opposition to something. But they won’t lead in the opposition to it. So articulating it doesn’t have much impact, especially if you articulate your opposition what’s happening on fundamental issues like Buffett did and then say the Republicans have a duty to support this, support the president. Well, hell’s bells! The two don’t go together. They defy logic. So once again, it is why I, El Rushbo, raise my hand and say, ‘I’m The Last Man Standing.’