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RUSH: Now, McCain has finally had it with Wesley Clark. He was taking questions aboard his Straight Talk Express, the airplane. Did you see what McCain did? He went out and bought a 737, or chartered one or leased one, and painted it with McCain logos and stuff all over it. And he’s decorated the inside of the 737 to replicate his Straight Talk bus, his Straight Talk Express bus. He had people on the airplane the other day, and he said it was time for Obama to cut General Wesley Clark loose. That’s right.

”I think it’s up to Sen. Obama now to not only repudiate him, but to cut him loose,’ McCain said to a small group of reporters somewhere between Indianapolis, Ind., and Cartagena, Colombia. On board the plane, McCain was asked if Obama, who did not reject Clark’s comments Monday, had done enough to repudiate the general.’ He didn’t take the bait. ‘That’s up to others to decide. I’m not going to worry about the comments that General Clark made.” Now, let me find this. Here it is. Go to audio sound bite number nine. Yeah, let’s go nine, ten, 11, 12 looks like it here. Here is McCain on the Straight Talk Express airplane, and this is what he said.

MCCAIN: (airplane noise) I think it’s up to Senator Obama to not only repudiate him, but to cut him loose.

RUSH: Now, it’s interesting. You couldn’t hear what he said? Well, then McCain needs to get a quieter airplane so our sound bites will work. Here’s what he said. ‘I think it’s up to Senator Obama to not only repudiate him, but to cut him loose.’ That’s what he said. You couldn’t hear that? I could hear that, how could you not hear it? I’m deaf! I am deaf and I heard it. This is really strange. So this morning on DNCTV, cohost Mika Brzezinski was interviewing Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass. Now, do you know what Linda Douglass is? Linda Douglass is a Drive-By reporterette. Linda Douglass has worked everywhere. She’s worked at CBS. She has worked at ABC. She used to be on the roundtable now and then with This Week with Brinkley and then This Week with Stephanopoulos.

She’s been at various magazines, and she’s done some time at CNN, and it wasn’t long ago that Linda Douglass said, ‘You know what? You know what? It’s time that I really went to work trying to implement the things I believe. I want to go to the campaign.’ Really? Linda, when did you not do that? Are you trying to tell all of us that when you were in the Drive-By Media you were not trying to influence and implement your beliefs? So she finally, I guess, got sick and tired of the lack of influence, even though she tried to exhibit it. She got out of the way. She joined the Obama campaign, and now she’s a spokesman. So the Drive-Bys call another Drive-By for an opinion or a statement from Obama, and Mika Brzezinski said to Linda Douglass, ‘Wes Clark. McCain is saying Barack Obama ought to cut him loose. Is your candidate going to do that?’

DOUGLASS: The question is what does cutting him loose mean? I mean, he’s not a member of the campaign. He doesn’t have any official role in the campaign. Senator Obama said that he rejected, uh, what he said about, uh, John McCain. There’s not much more that Senator Obama can do about, you know, General Clark, who’s certainly expressed his own opinion on cable several times over and over again, but he’s not part of the campaign. I don’t know quite how you cut loose somebody who’s not really part of the campaign.

RUSH: Come on. How stupid do you think we are? You mean to tell me, Linda Douglass, that if Obama were really distressed about what Clark said — which he’s trying to make everybody believe that he is. The Drive-Bys are already running cover for this operation, claiming that he’s already rebuked Clark, which he hasn’t. You mean to tell me that if Obama really detested this and called Clark and said, ‘Hey, look, man. I know you’re not part of the campaign but this isn’t helping. You gotta dial it back,’ that Clark would say, ‘Screw you, Obama! I’m going to go out there and say what I want to say.’ ‘No, you can’t, General, because you say that stuff, you’re hurting me. You don’t say that stuff about McCain. You can say it about other people. Don’t say it about him,’ and you think Clark would actually argue with Obama about it? The idea that Clark’s an independent contractor and a surrogate is another one of these myths that float around and are attached to the Obama campaign. And here’s Linda Douglass — Drive-By Media extraordinaire, now spokesman for Obama — insulting everybody’s intelligence. ‘Well, well, what’s there to cut loose? I mean, he’s not attached. We can’t make him stop.’ It happens all the time. Yesterday in Zanesville, Ohio, Senator Obama held a press conference. An unidentified reporter asked, ‘I wonder what you think about General Clark’s comments both Sunday and today and even further, I’m wondering if you can say if you really think those kinds of comments are much different from the Swift Boat-types of questions Senator Kerry faced about his Vietnam experience.’

OBAMA: I don’t think that, uh, General Clark, you know, had the same intent as the Swift Boat ads that we saw four years ago. I reject that analogy. But what I’ve also said, repeatedly, is that Senator McCain deserves the utmost honor and respect for his service to our country.

RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. Well, this is a big nonfactor statement. ‘In the first place, I don’t think General Clark had the same intent as the Swift Boat ads?’ The Swift Boat ads were the truth. They are trying to now equate somebody being ‘Swiftboated’ to being unfairly lied about; attacked, if you will; and of course the Drive-Bys are eager to help promote that myth and that revision of a definition. But then he goes on to say, ‘Look, I’ve also said repeatedly, Senator McCain deserves the utmost honor and respect for his service to our country.’ Fine. You have somebody out there speaking for you who’s saying just the opposite, and you don’t want him to shut down. So Obama gets it both ways. Obama gets to have it both ways. He gets to stand on the pedestal. He has the angelic, heavenly light flowing from the mountaintops; the countenance, making him look like he is surrounded by a halo.

He gets to say all the right things, while his thugs head out there and do all of the dirty work. And who are these thugs? They are the standard-issue, regular, predictable Democrat Party hacks from previous administrations. Now, one of two things is going on here. Either Obama is an empty suit intellectually and doesn’t quite know how to deal with this, or this whole thing is an orchestrated plan to have all these things said by people other than Obama. Remember. Remember, my friends. What did Obama do? What was it? Late last week, Obama went out there, and he said, ‘You wait. The Republicans are going to use race against me. They’re going to start attacking me, and they’re going to do racial things, and they’re going to attack my preacher. They’re going to attack my wife.’ Meanwhile, who has been attacked? McCain, who has not attacked Obama on anything, much less race! McCain. And so preemptive strike: Claim you’re gonna get hit while your thugs out there do the hitting. It sounds to me like an orchestrated plan.


RUSH: Yesterday in Zanesville, Ohio, we have Obama echoing McCain, echoing Clinton, saying Clark’s comments don’t keep Ohioans up at night, unidentified reporter: ‘Do you not feel that General Clark owes McCain an apology? And then secondly I’m just being curious, why have you not spoken to him? Have you tried to reach him?’

OBAMA: We’re here to talk about how we can make sure that kids in Zanesville and — and across Ohio get the support that they need in communities that are impoverished and start to rebuild. The fact that somebody on a cable show or on a news show like General Clark said something that was inartful about Senator McCain I don’t think is probably the thing that is keeping Ohioans up at night.

RUSH: Very, very, very smooth, very clever. So let’s throw some money at communities that are drowning in money, and let’s make sure we continue to throw money at education systems that are drowning in money, so much that we know money is not the answer here, and let’s just say what Clark said was inartful. See, I knew he hasn’t called Clark to tell him to shut up, and he’s not going to. There’s another point about all this, though. You know, this campaign is irritating to me in a whole lot of ways. I can’t tell you how irritating it is. This campaign is not getting the substance of anything that needs to be addressed in this country, it really isn’t. But then, above and beyond that, it seems like every day or every week, one of these two candidates is asking for somebody to be repudiated or denounced or renounced. Come on, guys. This is the major leagues. This is as big as it gets in the politics business. To run around and act like a bunch of little namby-pamby college kids that just got out of conflict resolution class is demeaning; it’s demeaning to both of you; it’s demeaning to the race.

I know why Obama is doing it. You can’t talk about anything. You can’t talk about his wife. You can’t talk about his mother. You can’t talk about his middle name. You can’t call him a liberal. You can’t talk about his financiers. You can’t talk about his preacher. You can’t talk about his terrorist buddy that blew up the Pentagon. You can’t talk about his big ears. You can’t talk about anything, and he’s doing that specifically because he’s an empty suit. He wants his image of Messiah to continue to be what is noted about him, and it will be easy because, as our Official Obama Criticizer, Bo Snerdley, said the other day, the Republicans are so afraid in this campaign that they won’t even call nighttime dark, much less getting into any substantive criticism of Obama, other than, (doing McCain impression) ‘I think it’s time they cut him loose, I would renounce, if it was me, I’d renounce.’ This is just like a couple of kids. Here is a conference call yesterday with reporters. Former prisoner of war Orson Swindle said this during the conference call.

SWINDLE: We all know that General Clark, as high-ranking as he is, his record and his last command I think were somewhat less than stellar. The point being, General Clark ought to be ashamed of himself accident talking about a fellow serviceman.

RUSH: He’s not ashamed of himself. He’s doing this on purpose for a reason. He’s a political hack and he’s playing hardball and they’re out there trying to win and they’re trying to take away from McCain the number-one attraction that he has, and that is his character and dignity and heroic war service that has contributed to this status. They know exactly what they’re doing, and then they tell McCain, he needs to renounce some of his supporters that say oddball things. In fact, there’s a story here in Politico.com from last night, and the headline: ‘McCain Game Plan Worries Insiders.’ When I saw that headline, I said, ‘Well, I will be fascinated about this.’ ‘Four months have passed since John McCain effectively captured the party nomination, and the insiders are getting restless. Top GOP officials, frustrated by what they view as inconsistent messaging, sluggish fundraising and an organization that is too slow to take shape, are growing increasingly uneasy about the direction of the McCain presidential campaign.’ Whoa. The insiders? The insiders are worried? Now? How long did it take ’em to catch us and get up to speed? This is laughable. The insiders are getting restless? The insiders got exactly what they wanted! The insiders have a candidate who’s going to go out and appeal to Democrats and independents. That is exactly what they wanted!

Why are they upset? What do they expect? What did they expect? ‘While the practice of second-guessing presidential campaign decisions is a quadrennial routine, interviews with 16 Republican strategists and state party chairmen — few of whom would agree to talk on the record — reveal a striking level of discord and mounting criticism about the McCain operation. ‘It’s not just message or not having just one single meta-theme to compete with Obama,’ said a veteran Republican strategist with close ties to McCain’s top advisers. ‘It’s not just fundraising, which is mediocre. And it’s not even just organization, which is [just] starting or nonexistent in many states.’ ‘McCain’s campaign seems not to have a game plan. I don’t see a consistent message,’ said Ed Rollins, a veteran of Republican presidential campaigns. ‘As someone who has run campaigns, this campaign is not running smoothly. But none of this matters if they get their act together.” It’s not running smoothly. Why is it not running smoothly? These insiders should pay a little more attention to what those of us who really care about winning these elections might have to say.

Let me put this in perspective for you. Some of you are going to get mad at me here, but it’s early and if you want to explain why the insiders are mad and why there’s no game plan here, why there’s no organization, here you go. We know that Obama thinks of himself as a messiah. We know that he thinks that the power and the force of his personality will carry the day. The dirty little secret is that McCain has a little of that in him, too. He thinks not of himself as a messiah but just his existence, just his presence on the scene is enough. There doesn’t have to be a whole lot of organization. In fact, we’ve discussed on this program before, you think McCain’s going to have any GOP coattails? Does he seem interested in running around and helping House candidates either raise money, Senate candidates raise money, get reelected? There are some people who think that McCain has it in for the Republican Party and has had it in for the Republican Party since 2000. That would be tough to prove and tough to quantify.

But if you don’t have a message, and if you don’t think you need a message, and if you don’t have organization, if you don’t think you need organization, then it’s gotta tell you something. It has to tell us something, and that is it isn’t unnecessary, ‘we don’t think we need all that because we have the power of persona, we have the power of our own record, we have the power of my lifetime of public service. That’s what will launch me.’ So you’ve got two massive egos in check here. One of the things that McCain did is farm out all these state party operations to freelancers. There is no national hub organizing all these states, and of course the states said, ‘What do we do?’ Because there’s no leadership or guidance, there’s no memos, nobody is suggesting do this or do that. So everybody’s on their own on the Republican side.

Quick phone call. Who would you suggest first, Snerdley? Bob in Philadelphia. Bob, I’m glad you called. Welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush.

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: Yesterday, I was trying to get through all day, it seemed a bit strange, paraphrase, Obama’s — when he discounted what he said. McCain went through torment for five years. Now, torment to me is when I can’t find my car keys. Being a great Democratic liberal like he is, he refuses to use the word torture. Unless of course you’re wearing panties on your head, and you’re an Iraqi, now that’s torture to them, but for what McCain went through, it’s torment. I can’t believe that no one else picked up on that.

RUSH: I’ll have to check the transcript. I don’t remember specifically — I’m not denying it — I just don’t remember specifically Obama using the word ‘torment.’ Don’t take this personally. But I do know that if he did use it, it’s not a surprise. That whole patriotism speech, do you know what the template for that speech was, the race speech in Philadelphia, where Obama essentially threw the preacher under the bus and his white grandmother under the bus. I still maintain, anybody that has to schedule a speech during the Fourth of July week to explain their own patriotism must have some question about whether or not people believe they are patriotic. I think they’ve got some focus group data, some polling data that shows that a whole bunch of Americans think the Democrat Party has a different definition of patriotism than most Americans. There’s a poll, almost 25% of the American people in a poll suggest there’s a whole big difference in the way Democrats define patriotism and the way average Americans do. So there’s no question Obama had to go out and do that.

In the process of doing his own definition of patriotism, to, of course, match his life and behavior, believe me, there is a concerted effort here to destroy this whole prisoner of war, honor, integrity, service, sacrifice aspect of McCain’s resume. That’s the purpose. So if he did, in fact, refer to what McCain went through as torment, that was just trying to downplay what it was. Do you think they’re not coordinating, if Obama actually said torment, a couple days after Wesley Clark says, ‘hey, riding a jet,’ riding, not flying it, ‘riding a jet and getting shot down and being a prisoner of war, that doesn’t qualify you for anything.’ So that’s what they’re trying to do because they know Obama is small, compared to McCain, terms of life achievements, accomplishment, character, they got nothing. And, as the case with liberal Democrats, they succeed, or they operate, not by building themselves up, rather by hiding themselves and trying to destroy the character and reputations, credibility of their opponents, wherever they might be.

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