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GRETCHEN CARLSON: (in studio) This is what Rush had to say about where he thinks health care will be one year from now. (roll taped interview)

RUSH: I hope nowhere. I don’t trust all this news that they’re going to shelve it. I hear Axelrod and Pelosi talk about having to parachute in behind enemy lines to get it done. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go the reconciliation process. They’ve already, Gretchen, illustrated profoundly no problem governing against the will of the people.

CARLSON: The Republicans will be on the hook now for coming up with a plan, won’t they?

RUSH: They’ve got plans. There are all kinds of conservative plans for health care. This is the greatest thing. We don’t want our fingerprints anywhere on this one. This is not even a health care bill. This is a bill that raises taxes 14 times; puts people in jail, potentially, if they don’t have health insurance mandated by the government to buy. This is an avenue to control every aspect of life.

CARLSON: Were you surprised at the downfall of Barack Obama in the last year? And you were criticized, by the way, for saying that you wanted him to fail, and then you clarified and said you wanted his policies to fail. But were you surprised that in one year’s time there is such a different perception?

RUSH: Gratified. I was afraid with that election, the way Obama was being received — ‘The Messiah,’ ‘The One,’ ‘We’ve never seen anybody like this in politics,’ ‘post-racial,’ ‘post-partisan,’ ‘post-accomplishment.’ It didn’t matter what he said. ‘Here’s finally somebody smart who can speak and represent America and the world will love us again.’ I thought, ‘My gosh, if he wins, does it mean the country’s gone socialist?’ That’s what I worried about.

CARLSON: Mmm-hmm.

RUSH: Fifty-three percent of the vote he got. ‘Oh, gosh!’ So my faith in the country was always, ‘No, we haven’t gotten that far gone.’

CARLSON: One thing I like to do at the end of interviews —

RUSH: Yes?

CARLSON: — is quiz the interviewee on a scale of one to ten.

RUSH: Oh, okay.

CARLSON: So on a scale of one to ten, do you think Barack Obama will be reelected in three years?

RUSH: One being no?

CARLSON: Yes.

RUSH: And ten being absolutely?

CARLSON: Right.

RUSH: Uh, one.

CARLSON: One? Really?

RUSH: Yeah.

CARLSON: On a scale of one to ten, will Hillary Clinton challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination.

RUSH: Seven.

CARLSON: Seven?

RUSH: She’s laying the groundwork even as we speak.

CARLSON: In what way?

RUSH: Saying, ‘No, I have no desire to run for president.’ When they say that, it’s like a coach getting a vote of confidence from the owner. (snaps fingers). He gets canned the next day. Saying you don’t want to run is a clear signal that you’re thinking about it and you want to. The Clintons have just as much ambition to get back there as Obama had to get there and they will pounce on this weakness.

CARLSON: On a scale of one to ten, that the tea party will become the Independent Party.

RUSH: Three.

CARLSON: Why?

RUSH: They’re going to come to their senses and realize that all third parties do is guarantee the election to Democrats. The Perot party was the same thing. Let the Democrats do the third-party thing. The success here in the future is going to be conservatism dominating — retaking, if you will — the Republican Party.

CARLSON: Chances on a scale of one to ten…

RUSH: Yeah?

CARLSON: …that you will end up owning an NFL football team.

RUSH: (laughing) Seven!

CARLSON: So there’s optimism there?

RUSH: Oh, absolutely. There’s always more opportunity.

CARLSON: All right. And on a scale…

RUSH: And you learn things from everything that happens.

CARLSON: (laughing) But what would you change about Rush to be able to get past the criticism that you faced the first time around?

RUSH: That criticism is going to come no matter what. Look at where it came from. It came from liberal political opponents in the civil rights movement, and that’s always going to happen.

CARLSON: On a scale of one to ten, chances in your future that you run for political office.

RUSH: Absolute certitude: Zero.

CARLSON: Why?

RUSH: Pay cut.

CARLSON: (laughing) That’s it?

RUSH: No.

CARLSON: You’ve made enough money for life.

RUSH: Getting audience — attracting an audience and holding an audience — is a far different thing from getting votes. You have to go out and raise money. You have to ask people to donate to you. I couldn’t do it. I don’t accept freebies now ’cause I don’t want to be obligated to anybody. That’s the thing about politics that I’m not cut out for. I could not ask people, ’cause you owe ’em something.

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