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RUSH: Yesterday in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Representative John Murtha held a video conference with reporters to talk about his trip to Iraq, from which he just returned.

MURTHA: I — I think — I think the surge is — is working.

RUSH: What? What did I hear? Can we play that again? Do we have that available or did it vanish into the ether?

MURTHA: I — I think — I think the surge is — is working.

RUSH: He said the surge is working. Jack Murtha says the surge is working. I don’t care whether he’s now doing a CYA because the truth is obvious. The fact of the matter is this hurts Democrats. Nancy Pelosi — I don’t know this — my guess is she is furious, my guess is that Harry Reid’s furious, because Murtha was the spear taker, Murtha was out there catching the spears everybody was throwing because he was leading the charges. He’s in a safe district and he was leading the charge and the surge isn’t working and our troops are criminals, and they’re rapists, and they’re murderers, and they’re muggers, and this sort of thing. Now he says the surge is working. This could not be worse for the Democrats. James Clyburn, who is the House whip, and he’s chairman I think of the Congressional Black Caucus, said some months ago, ‘As a party we’ve got real problems if this thing turns around.’ And they do have real problems with this.

Harry Reid, even now, offering legislation, as you know, to try to curb future Iraq funding unless it’s tied to troop withdrawals. He’s just been undercut here by Murtha, as has Pelosi.

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RUSH: All right, here’s a little more on Jack Murtha, from Politico.com: ‘Murtha’s Comments on ‘Surge’ are a Problem for House Democrats.’ Murtha, as you know, ‘one of the leading anti-war voices in the House Democratic Caucus, is back from a trip to Iraq and he now says the ‘surge is working.’ This could be a huge problem for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders, who are blocking approval of the full $200 billion being sought by President Bush for combat operations in Iraq in 2008… a stark reversal from’ previous positions. I know a lot of people think he’s just playing CYA here, because what’s happening on the ground is obvious and it’s at such variance with his prior positions. Whether he’s CYA or not with whatever he’s saying here, he was the spear-taker. He was the guy catching the arrows out there because he was safe. Now, he’s blown the cover here. It does present the Democrats with a problem. Previously, back in July, Murtha had said it’s delusion. In fact we’ve got some sound bites from Murtha in the past. This is Meet the Press, March 4th, 2007. The question from Russert: ‘Do you believe that unless the violence subsides, our troops should come home within six months?’

MURTHA: Yeah, they’re in a civil war! We’re caught in a civil war! Any way you look at it it’s a civil war. I supported, uh, an extra 200,000 troops in Vietnam when I came back from Vietnam. Uh, it did work. This is not working. It — it’s one of those things, the surge just won’t work, and that’s what we believe, and I think in the end, they can’t say you’ll see what will happen. There’s too much optimism about this whole thing. We need to get this thing out of the way!

RUSH: That’s just back in March. And now Murtha is saying, ‘I think the surge is working.’ May 1st of this year, Hardball with Chris Matthews. Question: ‘Why wouldn’t the [General Petraeus] tell the truth? Why is he blaming it on Al-Qaeda, the people who blew up the World Trade Center? Why is he doing that?’

MURTHA: This whole war — ever since I diverted the attention away from where Al-Qaeda started, eh, eh, the Taliban in Afghanistan — the war in Iraq — where we should have stayed. Ever since that time, uh, they — they were trying to tie this in to terrorism. All of us know there’s, uh, there’s, uh terrorism all over the world.

MATTHEWS: But he’s not — but, Congressman, he’s not a PR man. He’s not a flak for the White House. He’s a general in the field. Why would he be…

MURTHA: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

MATTHEWS: You’re saying he’s singing this song of the ideologues.

MURTHA: I’m saying he came back here at the White House’s request to purely make, uh, political statements. That’s what I’m saying. There’s no question in my mind about it!

RUSH: He’s talking about General Petraeus. Now, you know, all this is off the board now. The surge is working. Democrats are fully discredited. As I said earlier this week, ‘We now know, it’s blatant: They are not qualified to lead this country.

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RUSH: Phil in Smyrna, Delaware. Welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. I just want to bring up a quick point about Murtha, you were talking about earlier. I was under the impression that he might be agreeing with the status of the war in Iraq so that the troops come out.

RUSH: I don’t care. I don’t care about their motivation. I really couldn’t care less about his motivation right now. These people do not have a clover’s leaf of credibility to stand on. I don’t care why he said it. If he thinks saying the surge is working is going to help get the troops out, he’s wrong. All he’s done is infuriate Nancy Pelosi and put a cog in the wheel. Remember, it’s still primary period time and MoveOn.org out there is still threatening to find candidates to run against Democrats who are not properly fealty on the anti-war issue, and so you’ve got Harry Reid and Pelosi still offering these meaningless resolutions to de-fund or not provide money to continue, in the midst of success. In the midst of a road to victory, Democrats are still trying to come up with ways to keep money from the troops to force Bush to pull ’em out, and Murtha now says the surge is working. I don’t care if it’s personal. I don’t care if it’s CYA. I don’t care if it’s a dirty little trick to try to get the troops out of there. The fact is, this is exposing the Democrats as incompetent themselves.

Mrs. Clinton is running a competence election. ‘We can do it better. We are this, we are that.’ She hasn’t done anything right, from health care, to managing the Paula Jones case; bimbo eruptions are about it, and she missed a couple. She missed more than a couple. The idea these people are more competent — look at the programs they’ve given us: Social Security, Medicare, the war on poverty, we’re going broke because of these programs, not the military, we’re going broke because of the redundancy of programs that keep way too many productive Americans on the dole. There’s nothing competent about liberal Democrats whatsoever. They’re the most incompetent, destructive people running around. I don’t care about their good intentions, folks. They are ruining this country! They are literally ruining it, and for us to sit around all cowering in the corner in fear because we think she is going to win and so forth and we can’t win a competence election, give me a break! Can’t win a competence election, these people couldn’t spell ‘competence’ if they had to to survive.

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RUSH: Jack Murtha has clarified his remarks, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s go back to the audiotape. This is yesterday in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Murtha held a video conference with reporters to talk about his recent trip to Iraq.

MURTHA: I — I think — I think the surge is — is working.

RUSH: ‘House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-Pa.) has taken the unusual step of publicly clarifying his remark that the ‘surge is working’ in Iraq.’ You just know that Nancy Pelosi had steam and smoke coming out of her ears. ‘The clarification came after House Republicans circulated an article about Murtha’s comments written in Friday’s edition of his home-state Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after a teleconference from Murtha’s Johnstown, Pa., office. In addition to saying that the surge is working, the Post-Gazette reported, Murtha called the Iraqi government ‘dysfunctional’ and said, ‘The thing that has to happen is the Iraqis have to do this themselves. We can’t win it for them.’ … This morning Murtha issued the following statement through his spokesman: ‘The military surge has created a window of opportunity for the Iraqi government. Unfortunately, the sacrifice of our troops has not been met by the Iraqi government and they have failed to capitalize on the political and diplomatic steps that the surge was designed to provide. The fact remains that the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily, and that we must begin an orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as practicable.” Play number seven again, Mister Broadcast Engineer.

MURTHA: I — I think — I think the surge is — is working.

RUSH: That just can’t stand in the Democrat Party. Some Democrats might be able to say it and not have Nancy Pelosi go nuts. When Murtha says it, he has to clarify. So he’s made a pointed effort to get this clarification out, and he has done so, and there will be nobody to convince me otherwise that he was taken to the woodshed. He was taken to the woodshed by Pelosi and her minions in there in the speaker’s office.

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