RUSH: I was on Leno last night. [Full transcript] We’re going to play some sound bites coming up. I’ve always said this about TV, I’ve always said it. It’s not what you say, it’s how you look. That’s what people remember. Well, I did look good. I did look great, but that’s — (interruption) Dawn, if you let me use — I know where my syllables — everybody is trying to tell me what to say here, which is why my staff does not have microphones. I know it’s irritating to you to hear me have one-sided conversations, but trust me, if those people had microphones, this show would be outta control, disorganized. I couldn’t keep up with it. It’s amazing I am able to do this show with all this chattering in my ear these people do throughout the whole thing. Pictures matter. Pictures of these schoolkids. I did Leno last night, and the reviews from all corners are over the top. I’ve only seen two negative — now I’m going to get flooded with negatives — but I only saw two negatives: ‘You needed to slow down, and why did you mention Obama’s name? You’re bigger than he is. You shouldn’t have,’ that kind of stuff. But the majority of the feedback was about visual things. ‘Wow, wow, you really look good. Wow!’
But the most favorable aspect, the most commented upon aspect of my Leno appearance was when I ran over Algore, stopped, put it in reverse, and ran over him again. And when that happened, I wasn’t saying a thing. (laughing) So there are all kinds of lessons to take. Leno was great. The staff was great. I got there two hours before, and you have to because of insurance, you have to for rehearsal in the electric car around the track, but they didn’t tell me all the stuff that was going to happen, so, you know, here comes that pop-up of Gore, and I thought, I’m just going to stop and go over it again, I don’t care about setting a record here. In fact, my thought was I want to have the slowest time possible because I’m driving an electric car. And, you know, before I get in the car Leno says, ‘You can help save the environment.’ No, you will not save the environment driving one of these things. But they were great at the show, and it was a lot of fun.
No, I’m not going to buy an electric car. I did like it. It was fun to drive. The pickup is not quite what you would expect and when you change gears it takes a while, like a second-and-a-half for the gear engage. If you go into reverse, and then put it back into drive you have to wait a second-and-a-half before it actually clicks in and happens. But no big deal. Yeah, I liked it. I got to run over Algore twice in one! What’s not to like about it? But also, how about the audience reaction? In fact, grab Jay Leno sound bite number one. This is the introduction and listen to the audience reaction.
LENO: Now, either you love or you hate my next guest, but you can’t ignore him. He hosts the highest rated national radio talk show in America, with 20 million listeners a week. Please welcome Rush Limbaugh. (music, cheers, applause)
RUSH: We normally cut the applause to save time. We made an exception in this case since the applause was for me. Now, let’s go to Jay Leno sound bite number three — and this is about applause lines again, I want you to hear the audience applaud at the end of this bite. This runs a minute and 38 seconds here. And Leno says, ‘Some people say you are a polarizing figure. Would you agree with that?’
RUSH: No, everybody agrees with me that listens to me. I’m not controversial at all. (laughter) Seriously, this polarizing business. (applause) I’m not — Obama is polarizing, Jay.
LENO: Now, how? Now, why would you say that?
RUSH: Now, remember the campaign. We were gonna have a utopia, postpartisanship, there wasn’t going to be any more red state, blue states postracist, we’re not going to have any racial acrimony. Look at how divided this country is right now. His approval numbers are plummeting. People who voted for him did not think this is what they were gonna get.
LENO: But we’ve always been divided. But you don’t see —
RUSH: That’s right. So why do you ask me about partisanship? Of course we’ve always been divided. The country was founded on that.
LENO: You know what — I think it comes from the way you look at it. There — and tell me if this is a fair analysis.
RUSH: All right.
LENO: Like I tend to come from the, ‘is it cold in here?’ kind of guy, and you’re I think more of a ‘close that damn window.’ (laughter)
LENO: Not what you say? Is that not fair?
RUSH: You’re talking about, you’re doing a Rodney King on me: ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ Well, fine. You give up what you believe in, agree with me, and we’ll get along. Why is it I have to give up everything I believe in for comity? Tell Obama, ‘No, we do not want you owning car companies. No, we do not want you running the banks. No, we don’t want you taking over student loans. And, no, we do not want nationalized health care.’ (cheers and applause)
LENO: Now, what would you have done with General Motors? What would you have done with that?
RUSH: Well, let the market take its course. Let ’em do bankruptcy first or go out of business. That’s —
RUSH: — just the way it works.
LENO: But, see, to me I —
RUSH: But we haven’t saved them. We saved the unions.
RUSH: Now, Obama, who’s got a five-minute career, has never run a business, is now running the car company. You know more about it, Jay. You own more cars than Obama’s ever seen. (laughter)
RUSH: Now, why did they cut the applause? There was a whole bunch more applause there and they cut that. Anyway, there was a bunch of stuff, things I wish I had said. This always happens, by the way, in a short TV appearance. Like the sit-down interview was nine minutes. But when he talked to me all the money these Wall Street people make, on and on, and what I shoulda said, ‘Don’t you think you have too many cars? You own over 200 cars, Jay. Don’t you have enough? Why don’t you give some of those cars to people who are living under some overpasses on the Interstate 405 I saw driving over here.’ But I didn’t say it. I was not trying to be provocative. Jay is a nice guy, but he’s one of these people that believes whatever the government does is good and it’s compassionate, like Social Security is working and Medicare is working and doing good things for people. The fact that it’s bankrupt and it is guaranteeing no prosperity for future generations doesn’t even come into play in some people’s minds.
RUSH: Naperville, Illinois, and this is Laura. Laura, you’re up first, it’s great to have you here, hi.
CALLER: Hi, it’s an honor to talk to you today. I have a comment and I have a question. First I was going nuts last night when you were on Jay Leno because I was thinking the same thing you just said, you know, where does he think he makes his money and Bill Maher, Michael Moore, you know, they have all these cars and they make all this money it’s like, you know what, I think that they make far too much money for what they do, so can they give me some of that or can we cap their money? That just kills me.
RUSH: Well, yeah, let’s play the answer. This is one of those, as I said earlier, after the show was over and I watched, I watched it on the airplane flying home, you always think of things that you’d like to say or shoulda said. And, yeah, I knew it was a nine-minute interview, and so it was like I was launched from a bazooka last night, looloolooloo, rolling through, trying to get as much said as I could. And this is one of those things I wish I’d have added just a couple things. Here’s the question. ‘I watch Wall Street. Okay, you can make a million, two million a year, okay, you can make ten million a year. But 800, 900 million? Some of these people make a billion dollars. At some point, I mean, how much pie can you possibly eat? I mean where did it go? I mean somewhere it went wrong ’cause when I was a kid Howard Hughes was the richest man in the world with $3.2 billion, and now people have hundreds of billions. Other people have absolutely nothing.’
RUSH ON LENO: The economic pie is growing. It’s not a zero-sum game. Just because somebody has $800 million doesn’t mean somebody lost it. It means the market produced it. It’s none of my business what they make, Jay. It’s certainly none of yours, and it’s certainly not Barack Obama’s what anybody makes. (applause)
LENO: No, but, to me it’s happening because —
RUSH: This whole question of what — you said you believe in the capitalist system.
LENO: But it’s how you make it.
RUSH: No, no, it’s not. If you believe in the capitalist system, then you have to erase from your worldview what does somebody need. It’s not about need. Capitalism is not about need. It’s about providing; it’s about growing; it’s about opportunity; it is about doing whatever you want to do.
LENO: Did Wall Street deserve this —
RUSH: You know what American exceptional is? I’ll tell you about Wall Street.
LENO: Did they deserve the $700 billion that they got from us? Now, using your theory —
LENO: — using your theory, all those guys —
RUSH: You’re talking about —
LENO: — should be out on the street because they screwed up.
RUSH: You’re taking about TARP money?
LENO: — because they screwed up?
LENO: All of it —
RUSH: Giant scam. ‘If we don’t give them $700 million in the next 24 hours the world financial system will crash.’ We’re hearing that if we don’t do health care by August, my God, the health care system will crash. No, we didn’t need to give them $700 billion. The biggest problem we have right now that caused all that was the subprime mortgage crisis —
RUSH: — which was lending money to people that had no way of paying it back, and there were two people that led the way on that, three: Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd.
LENO: Well, I think everybody was in on that one.
LENO: I mean both sides —
RUSH: The Bush administration tried to regulate this and tried to get this brought under control because it made no sense. ACORN was out forcing banks, pressuring banks to lend money to people that couldn’t pay it back, all under the guise of, ‘We must have affordable housing.’
LENO: Well, I tell you what. When we come back, are you ready to take our Green Car Challenge and see how you do?
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
LENO: This will be your first time in a —
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
LENO: — nonpetroleum-based car.
RUSH ON LENO: It will be.
RUSH: I have driven golf carts, and they are electric, but they are not cars. Now, doesn’t matter. Snerdley is shouting again in my ear as I’m trying to do the program. ‘He didn’t even understand your answer.’ Doesn’t matter. The audience did. You gotta understand, the reason why this was so cool last night, this was primetime network television. This stuff doesn’t get said in primetime network TV. So it’s a win-win, but I shoulda said to him, ‘Jay, you have over 200 cars,’ there’s pictures of them all over the studio. I mean he’s got some really old classic, and I must think expensive cars, I shoulda said, ‘Jay, do you need 200 cars in your collection?’ ‘Well, I collect ’em.’ ‘But do you need ’em?’ But the whole notion that somebody has $800 million — you see, I think it’s a good thing. If Howard Hughes was the richest guy in the world at $3.2 billion back in the seventies and now we got many people with much more than that, and not just in this country, I’d say we have an expanding global economy. And I’d say a lot of people that used to be poor aren’t.
RUSH: Okay, Katie in Farmington Hills, Michigan, welcome to the EIB Network, I’m glad you waited and hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush it’s great to talk to you again.
RUSH: Thank you. Is this ‘the Katie’?
RUSH: Is this ‘the Katie’?
CALLER: From last year?
CALLER: Yes, this is ‘the Katie.’
RUSH: Okay. All right, well —
CALLER: Go ahead.
RUSH: I was going to say welcome back.
CALLER: Oh, thank you. I’m glad to be back.
CALLER: I watched you last night. You were excellent as always. But you owe me for the first 20 minutes I had to sit through that dolt Leno Show. I can’t stand him, but I hung in there because I was waiting for you to come on. But you were excellent. There was one part, though, that bothered me a little bit.
RUSH: Oh, no.
CALLER: And I know —
RUSH: Everybody’s always gotta complain about something.
CALLER: No, well, I want you —
RUSH: There’s always a whiner in every crowd, and Snerdley found you.
CALLER: No! (laughing) But I want you to expound on this because I think your answer was abbreviated because of the time constraint, and you probably would have had a more clear answer if you had had more time.
RUSH: All right, go ahead, what’s the question?
CALLER: What bothered me was the loaded question that Leno gave you, ‘If Bush was a good president.’ I love President Bush. I have been a Bush supporter since 2000. The first time I ever voted I voted for him. And I continued to support his presidency. You said two things. You said, ‘He kept our country safe.’
CALLER: But he was bad for Republicans.
RUSH: Damaged the Republican Party.
RUSH: I said, ‘That’s two good things, Jay, you should be happy about.’ Jay looked lost, by the way. ‘Whoa, why would you say that?’ (laughing) So you’re upset with my answer?
CALLER: Well, I just think it would be horrible to sum up his presidency just — I think there’s so much more to his presidency, and I know you, and I know that, you know, I know from listening to you that you’re not John McCain and you’re not going to give him a verbal public flogging, you know.
RUSH: No, no, no. Here’s my thinking. I knew the Bush question was gonna come.
RUSH: I knew I had nine minutes. I don’t want to talk about George Bush. I want to talk about Obama. I want to talk about what we face in the future. I’m not going to get dragged into debating Bush with these people and waste my segment. So I knew the question was coming, so I tried to come up with a pithy little answer that had some comedy in it since it’s a comedy show.
CALLER: See, I had thought that because, you know, nobody likes dwelling on the past when there’s just so much more pressing right now and in the future, I kind of knew that that was probably the case, but I just wanted to make sure.
RUSH: Plus, I’m not going to join the chorus and start ripping George W. Bush.
CALLER: Okay. I just wanted to make sure because I live in Michigan, and I have to deal with this. I had a woman at Walmart tell me the other day that the reason why Michigan is in the toilet is because Bush, quote, ‘left us sitting pretty.’
RUSH: This country’s full of idiots like that and nine minutes of me on The Jay Leno Show is not going to change their mind.
RUSH: So there were other things, there were so many things — like I wanted to tell the wedding crasher story last last week in Washington, and I asked him, ‘Would you please bring up what Barney Frank said about me on your show the night before.’ ‘Oh, yeah, yeah.’ He never got to it. I wanted to respond to Barney Frank, as I did on the radio, I wanted to respond on Jay’s show. Did you hear what I said on the radio about it?
RUSH: Well, I’ll tell you. I don’t want to waste time finding the bite but Barney was on the other night with Leno and Leno said, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ll give you three names here that you can have dinner with and you tell me who you choose: Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh.’ And Barney Frank, (doing Barney impression) ‘Rush Limbaugh, I want to have dinner with Rush Limbaugh because it would be so painful, but he’d have pain pills, which he has on him all the time.’ That’s what Barney Frank said. So I wanted Jay to remind me of this so I could say, ‘Jay, I was hoping you wouldn’t bring this up, I really wanted to turn the other cheek but then I thought that’s probably what Barney would like.’ But I couldn’t lead him there and pull the joke off. He had to bring it up and it just didn’t happen. He didn’t do it on purpose. There was a lot of stuff that he wanted to bring up that he didn’t get to. The wedding crasher story was one because he had a question for me, he did tell me this. He said, ‘Do you do any research on liberals? I want to ask you, do you do any research on liberals?’ Now, my whole life has been spent researching liberals. That’s what I do. I know them like every square inch of my shrinking yet glorious naked body. What I was going to say, ‘Yeah, Jay, in fact I met one just the other day,’ and then I was going to get into the wedding crasher story but it never came up. There’s a lot of stuff. Reasons to go back on, Katie.
RUSH: But fear not. I didn’t throw Bush under the bus and that’s not my — I love George W. Bush. He’s a personal friend.
CALLER: Yeah. I knew it but I had to be sure because we had so many people defect and, you know, throw him under the bus. John McCain of all people, you know. I had a really hard time voting for him because I remember everything that he’s always said about George Bush.
RUSH: I agree. You’re not alone there.
RUSH: Okay. I appreciate the call, Katie.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: You weren’t whining. I thought you were going to be the one complainer today, but you weren’t. I take it back.