RUSH: Monday night on Mess NBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. He and Howard Fineman are blaming me for the Obama Muslim poll. They’re blaming me for the fact that about 20, 25% of the American people think Obama’s a Muslim and that fewer and fewer Americans believe that Obama is a Christian.
MATTHEWS: Rush Limbaugh on the topic.
RUSH ARCHIVE: What is the only proof we have that Obama’s a Christian? Well, okay, his word, his word, but Jeremiah Wright is the only proof that we have that he’s a Christian. Obama described Wright as his spiritual mentor. Well, sorry, media, we’ve heard Jeremiah Wright. We know what Jeremiah Wright said. We know what he thinks of America.
MATTHEWS: Does everybody know what’s happening here? He didn’t answer the question. Rush has an IQ probably as high as anybody’s around. He’s a smart guy. He knows exactly what he’s doing here. He switched the topic from what a man says his religion is to how much do we hate Jeremiah Wright.
RUSH: Well, that’s not what I was doing. These guys are outthinking me by half here. To put this back in context, I was trying to explain to these people why the poll was what it was. Don’t forget, it’s not us that took the poll. I’m in the wake of this. I had nothing to do with the shaping of opinion on this poll. The only time I have referenced Obama being a Muslim was when I was quoting Khadafy. I’ve never put it out there myself that Obama is a Muslim. I’ve quoted Moammar Khadafy for saying so. I’m trying to explain to these people in the media, ‘You want to know why the American people think this, let me help you.’ What do we know about Obama being a Christian? The only thing we know is that he has said so. But we don’t see him going to church. We don’t hear him talk about it like other presidents have. But we do know that his pastor for 20 years was Jeremiah Wright. And the American people have heard what Jeremiah Wright said, America’s chickens have come home to roost and all of that. And we also have heard Obama say he never heard Wright say any of these things. Well, sorry, media. We just don’t believe that a parishioner does not hear the pastor for 20 years. Sorry. We may be rubes, but that doesn’t compute with us. I mean those of us that go to church know what the pastor says. One of the reasons we go is to hear what the priest or what the pastor says.
This Pew poll was taken back in July. Now, I never said anything about Obama being a Muslim until the last few days. Here’s another question. If the Pew people want to do another poll, I got the question for you. Who is it that hates the United States more, Muslim clerics or Jeremiah Wright? The ‘I don’t know’s’ would probably be pretty high in that poll. So Howard Fineman chipped in with his thoughts on what Matthews had just said.
FINEMAN: Everybody who watches this show knows exactly what’s going on, because we’re explaining it to them and this has a deep history of fearing the other, of fearing the outsider. Look, Barack Obama came in as a president representing something new. This scares the heck out of these people and they’ll use any element of fear they can. Sometimes I think Rush Limbaugh’s amusing. Sometimes I think he’s useful in the conversation. This is wrong.
RUSH: I’m useful in the conversation sometimes. Yeah, Obama came in as a president representing something new. But he didn’t. You told us he represented something new. You told us he was something we’ve never seen before in American politics. You told us there is going to be post-partisanship, post-racial, post all this sort of stuff. We were told he was a great unifier. None of it’s shaken out. My question, Mr. Matthews and Mr. Fineman, a question for you: How can America be Islamophobic? We elected Obama, didn’t we? If this is a nation that is Islamophobic, how do we elect a man whose name is Barack Hussein Obama? ‘Cause don’t give me this Islamophobic business. Remember this poll was done back in July. I’m in the wake of this story. It’s not often that I say this. Normally I’m on the cutting edge. But on this I’m at the back of the boat. Obama told us he was a committed Christian, a moderate. And after he does this, he goes out and insults the bitter clingers, people who cling to their religion and their guns and so forth when times get tough. I mean, people in the country simply listen to what they hear, and they’re not rubes. Now, yesterday morning on Scarborough’s program on Mess NBC, the guest was TIME Magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin who said this about the mosque story.
HALPERIN: This story’s gone a little bit underground. It’s not on the network news in the evening every night, it’s not on the front page of the papers to counteract what’s going on on talk radio every day, on Rush Limbaugh and other talk radio, and on the Internet. So how often happens in these stories is, talk radio starts it, it migrates to the old media, all sides get in, then it disappears from the old media, but it continues below the radar. So I think it’s incredibly important for shows like this to talk about it in a way that doesn’t just have the disinformation and the hate.
RUSH: What disinformation and what hate? We’re simply telling about the imam, Alger Hiss 2.0, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. What is the disinformation here? We’ve played videotape, audiotape of Mr. Rauf saying that there’s more American blood in the world than there is Al-Qaeda blood. We’ve played his own words. This is Mark Halperin. This is the guy who advised the Republicans to avoid the 9/11 Hamas battle for their own good, stay out of it, don’t get anywhere near it, it’s gonna harm the Republican Party. I don’t assume that Mr. Halperin or Mr. Fineman or Mr. Matthews are interested in Republican Party success. So when they warn us to stay away from this for our own good, I said, well, they’re not interested in our own good. I mean these guys are on the political left. They’re out to defeat us, conservatives, New Media, what have you. If all we’ve got to go on with Obama is he said he’s not a socialist, he’s not a socialist, right? There isn’t any socialism going on here ’cause Obama has said that he’s not a socialist.
From Fox News: ‘State Department officials say they are aware of the controversial remarks Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf made in a 2005 conference in Australia.’ We played the audio of this on Monday where the imam said, ‘We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than Al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims.’ You remember that the US led sanctions in Iraq led to the death of over a half million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations. Wait a minute. I thought we went to Bosnia-Serbia in defense of Muslims. Somehow we’re Islamophobic. P. J. Crowley, State Department spokesman, said, ‘We are aware of those remarks. I would just caution any of you that choose to write on this that once again you have a case where a blogger has pulled out one passage from a very lengthy speech, if you read the entire speech, you will discover exactly why we think he is rightfully participating in this international speaking tour.’
Now, Crowley, as usual, is misinformed. These remarks probably carry even more weight because they were off text. They were not on the prompter. They were not part of his prepared remarks. These remarks about blood and Iraq and Al-Qaeda and so forth, the United Nations agreeing, those are off the cuff, really didn’t mean to say those things. They weren’t on his prepared text. In fact, ‘if you read the rest of Mr. Rauf’s remarks you will be further convinced that he is the wrong man to be speaking for the US in the Middle East.’ He’s an emissary. We sent him out there as an envoy. ‘On the substance of Rauf’s 2005 accusations, none other than former President Bill Clinton has defended the sanctions, some of which took place during his years in the White House.’ These are the Iraqi sanctions that said to have resulted in the death of 500,000 Iraqi children.
‘Clinton and other diplomats assert that Saddam Hussein’s regime corrupted the sanctions and denied humanitarian aid to his own people. Crowley also revealed Rauf’s activities over the next few days, which the State Department had been reluctant to do before Tuesday. Imam Feisal has arrived in Doha, Qatar. He will be giving remarks and attending a traditional event of handing out gifts and treats to children at the Doha youth center. He has a full range of other private events that include a lecture at a university, meetings with government officials, Non Governmental Organizations, and participation in services at mosques and Ramadan activities.’ Wonderful.
Then we have Asra Q. Nomani, The Daily Beast, asking, ‘Is the mosque story one that doesn’t even really exist, is it the new balloon boy story of the summer?’ ‘With less than $9,000 raised and a chaotic PR strategy, the ‘ground zero mosque’ is nowhere close to becoming a reality. As debate rages over the “ground zero” mosque, the media has once again whipped itself into a frenzy over a story that doesn’t really exist. Without money, a nonprofit organizational structure, or a coherent PR strategy, the plan to build an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, dubbed Park51, remains nothing more than a pipe dream. And the growing media brouhaha is a little reminiscent of last year’s storm over ‘Balloon Boy,’ the Fort Collins, Colorado, child whose parents claimed he had drifted away in a helium balloon. … The truth is that the Park51 plan is much more nascent than the story has been played in the media — and that’s nobody’s fault; it’s just the hallmark of any fledgling operation.’ Yet it continues to be controversial.
RUSH: To Pearland, Texas, it’s Greg and great to have you, sir, hi.
CALLER: Thank you, mega dittos, Rush. Good to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: It’s ‘Pear Land,’ Texas. Hey I was just listening that last segment I was in my car and I heard that guy said that the ideas were off the radar when you talk about them on the radio and I almost drove off the road. (laughing) It’s like, you have more people listening to you than a lot of these liberal programs combined. How could anything you say be ‘off the radar’?
RUSH: Well, exactly right. You’re talking about Fineman and Chris Matthews?
CALLER: Right. These ideas exist off the radar? Off their radar, maybe.
RUSH: Go back and grab sound bite number five. Sound bite number five is Fineman. This sums it up. If you want to know how they look at themselves.
(Replaying of sound bite)
RUSH: All right, now, he’s talking about The Chris Matthews Show, which… Oh, forget commenting on its audience size. He says, ‘Everybody who watches this show knows exactly what’s going on because we’re explaining it to them.’ Now, the implication is that you don’t know anything going on because I’m lying to you or because I’m propagandizing you or something. But if you listen to MSNBC, you know what’s going on because they’re the smart people, and they are explaining what’s going on. There’s a giant disconnect because that’s the last thing most Americans think they’re getting from the media. Most Americans think they’re getting… If anybody’s off the radar, it’s these people. Most people think they’re getting propaganda.
When they say that we are ‘scared’, that Obama ‘came in as a president representing something new and this scares of heck out of us,’ what scares us about Obama is his policy. For crying out loud, do these people not see what’s happening to this country’s economy? Do they not see what is happening to the country? Do they not see the fundamental negative change that is occurring precisely because of the policies of Barack Obama? They’re the ones that are ostriches. They have their heads in the sand. They got one of their guys in, and that’s it. There are no questions; there’s no curiosity. There’s just this demand that we all toe the line and go along. We’re bigots; we’re afraid of change? We are opposed to this kind of change — and, by the way, the people that voted for Obama were not told that this was going to be the kind of change they were gonna get. So to say that the opposition to Obama is unbalanced or unjustified or irrational is just wrong. It’s the blind, continuing, unquestioned support for Obama that is off the radar and unbalanced and inexplicable.