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RUSH: This is Larry King Live last night talking to James Carville, and he asked Carville, ‘What about Sarah Palin?’

CARVILLE: Well, uh, buh — you had our friend, Rush Limbaugh, saying that she’s the most articulate person in the Republican Party. Uh, these, uh, Republicans that were out at dat pizza parlor didn’t want — didn’t want her. They were forced to sort of bring her in after Rush sort of pistol-whipped ’em.

RUSH: Well, this is fascinating, too. This is the listening tour, and I guess, the Jeb Bush and Eric Cantor thing and they went out to the pizza parlor, and I just… Snerdley, this is inadvertent. Snerdley asked me a question, you know, Romney had a comment about the TIME 100 list. He was asked about the TIME 100 list. The only two Republicans on it were me and Palin, and Romney said, ‘Are you sure that wasn’t a beautiful people list?’ He was just making a joke about it, and Snerdley said, ‘Why are they dumping on Palin? Why?’ It’s ’cause they’re afraid of her! So bam-bam! They decided to invite Palin to go on a listening tour, and now the Democrats say I forced it. The Republicans at the pizza parlor didn’t want her, forced to bring her in after Rush pistol-whipped them? So this morning on Scarborough’s show on PMSNBC, had Eric Cantor on. He said, ‘Let’s start with Rush Limbaugh who seems to be mocking the idea of a listening tour. What do you say to Rush?’

CANTOR: This is not a listening tour. What the National Council for a New America is is an opportunity for us to go out across the country to talk about our conservative principles and to appeal to as many elements in our society as we can and to really talk to them at a higher level and say, ‘Look, there are some transcendental goals that we’re all about in this country, and they can best be achieved through conservative principles of freedom and opportunity.’

RUSH: Good. So Cantor says it never was a listening tour. Good! So maybe it was misreported as a listening tour, but the reason it was is because Jeb Bush said, ‘We’re going to listen, we’re going to learn, we’re going to lead.’ Then Cantor added this.

CANTOR: Rush is talking about conservative principles and we’re talking about conservative principles, and say no question, Joe, this president is extremely popular personally, but it’s his policies, once the details are fleshed out, that have proven in the polls over and again to be not very popular at all. That’s why we do need, in the Republican Party, to go out and talk about our conservative principles and how they apply to the challenges that this country is facing and the challenges that people are facing in communities across this country.

RUSH: Now, it doesn’t matter where you go. You could go on Scarborough’s show or any other show on MSNBC if you’re Republican. You can go on Larry King Alive. And they’re doing their damnedest to drive a wedge between these Republicans and me. I don’t know who it is they’re trying to destroy more, me or the Republicans. I’m sure they take both, but I think they’re actually aiming at me here!

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RUSH: I got a note. I got an e-mail from a friend of mine last night who thought that the Republicans at the pizza parlor were on this listening tour, and he was a little bit upset about it. And let me just read to you the note that he sent me. ‘They won’t need a listening tour if they were listening! Did they not hear the roar of applause at your CPAC speech? Did they not see the results of that? Did they not hear the roar of applause at every Palin speech during the campaign? Did they not notice the lack of attendance and lack of applause when McCain was campaigning without Palin? Did they not wonder why McCain had so many events with Palin? Have they not seen your radio ratings? Have they missed the sales figures on Levin’s book? Did they not hear and see the massive protests from their own party regarding amnesty? Did they not hear about or see the hundreds of protests known as tea parties? Did these Republicans listen to the people speaking at the tea parties? Do they not hear Democrats hijack Reagan’s words and pervert them to sell liberalism?’ Does that reflect you, Snerdley? I thought… You know, this is of course something I would never say about myself. This friend of mine says, ‘I can’t understand. What do they need to hear? What more do they need to see out there?’ He also says, ‘Do they not see how scared of you the Democrats are? Do they not see how unafraid of them the Democrats are? What is there to learn?’ he concludes his note. Here. This is a Jack Cafferty montage, CNN’s The Situation Room.

CAFFERTY: Rush Limbaugh suggesting that Sarah Palin is, quote, ‘the most prominent and articulate voice for good old-fashioned American conservatism.’ Limbaugh also insists that some Republican leaders ‘hate, despise, and fear’ Sarah Palin, along with finding her ’embarrassing.’ The embarrassing part I understand. He’s referring to that new group formed by old Republicans called the National Council for a New America. Well, don’t you know, once again Limbaugh speaks; the Republicans snap to attention and salute. No sooner had he said all this stuff than Congressman Eric Cantor announced that Sarah Palin has finally accepted an offer to join the National Council for a New America. Go figure.

RUSH: Why do you care, Jack? This is the question: Why do you people care? If Palin is such a dork, if her family is so embarrassing, if the Republican Party is so laughably irrelevant, why do you care? You’re just jealous. You wish some Democrats snapped to when you said something, Jack. But why do you care? Why do these people care? And it’s like I said: they care because they’re afraid.

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RUSH: Phil in New Haven, Connecticut, nice to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Infinite dittos and first time long time. The reason I’m calling is on April 15th, there were thousands, thousands of us who had never taken any time out of our busy schedules, out of our workdays to go to protest rallies because we are scared, we are overtaxed, and we’re overburdened. And of course I’m talking about the tea parties. And to hear Jeb Bush, who, like you said I do respect him as well, to hear him yesterday say we’re going to go out and listen. It’s offensive to me. There were thousands of people screaming, screaming to be heard, and what I’m hearing from him in that statement is, you know, no one’s listening. And does that mean they’re just doing the political two-step on listening and they’re going to do what they want anyway?

RUSH: Well, now, remember, we just played sound bites from Eric Cantor saying it’s not a listening tour, we’re out telling people about application of conservative principles and ideas to the issues Americans face. I know Jeb said that they’re going to go out and listen, learn, and lead, but Cantor last night on television, this morning on TV said no, we’re not really listening. I understand your point. That’s why I read the note from my friend mere moments ago. What do they need to hear that they can’t already see all over the country? I understand that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I mentioned at the top of the program today that it was kind of depressing going through the audio sound bite roster ’cause it’s all about me. No matter where we went to find audio sound bites, it’s all about me on all these lib networks. And we’ve got some more of them. Here’s Bill Schneider. This is a montage actually of Bill Schneider last night on CNN’s The Situation Room. He’s talking about me and, of course, the Republicans have this listening-teaching tour that they’re doing. The National Council for a New America. Here’s what he said.

SCHNEIDER: The National Council for a New America is not even a week old, and it’s already getting push-back from some leading conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh! The council is trying to revive the shrinking Republican Party by being positive and inclusive! All this talk about a bigger tent bothers some conservatives! They’re pushing back! The Republican Party is their tent! The National Council for a New America held its first event Saturday in a pizza restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington. The message: We’re in the heartland where real Americans go to eat! Not to be outdone, President Obama and Vice President Biden had lunch today in Arlington! And what’s more American than pizza? How about burgers!

RUSH: This is just unbelievable. So Obama and Biden went out to have a burger yesterday in order to show that they’re more real guys than the Republicans who went out and had pizza. This is the way Bill Schneider looks at it. (laughing) This is just laughable. Do you get how obsessed the Drive-Bys are with the Republican Party and the conservative movement? Do you get how obsessed they are? Do you get how desperately they are trying to convince the Republicans to become more moderate and more liberal? Why do you think that is? Do you think these people are really interested in the Republican Party saving itself? Are they really interested in Republican electoral victory? No! They want the Republican Party to destroy itself. They are encouraging it to go out and do it in ways that would get Drive-By approval, which would sink the party.

Now, Mr. Schneider, if I may say — speaking for myself and millions of other conservatives — we’re not opposed to a big-tent party. We’re not opposed to it at all. We loooove it. I wish everybody in this country were conservative and I’d build a tent big enough to house them all. What I don’t think the Republican Party ought to do is have a big tent for the sake of it. What good is a big tent if 30% of the party is going to be no different than Democrats? If 10% of the party is going to be no different than wacko leftists, what good does that do the party? Doesn’t do the party any good. ‘Inclusive’ is one thing, but compromising core beliefs and principles in order to be inclusive is quite another. It will just spell the defeat of the Republican Party.

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