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RUSH: Orlando in Miami, Florida, nice to have you, sir, on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hello.

RUSH: Hello.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Maha Rushie. Greetings from south Florida. I’m a legal Cuban immigrant who applied for American citizenship the very first day I was able to do that back in 1974.

RUSH: Congratulations, sir.

CALLER: I’m a proud American citizen. This is the best country in the world.

RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.

CALLER: And to prove it is that the whole world wants to come here, not many of us want to get out.

RUSH: I don’t know anybody that wants to get out. The liberals threaten to leave, but they never do.

CALLER: Yes, that’s what I’m saying. That’s the proof of how good we are. Now, we, your students, hear you day after day exposing Dingy Harry’s real estate unethical deals, Mrs. Clinton’s unethical campaign funds must be deals, too. And unfortunately, I have seen several presidential campaigns here, and I’m afraid that when the real debate becomes real between the real candidates, the Republican candidate will not expose all the things you say, and the left will continue to get away with murder.

RUSH: Well, look, I understand this defensive nature that Republicans have. It still exists in a lot of people’s minds that the Democrats are aces; that they are in total control; they get everything done; they never goof up; they never screw up; they never make mistakes; they’re going to outsmart Republicans at every turn and Republicans aren’t going to have the guts to call Mrs. Clinton on the fundraising. I don’t think that’s true here. I think in the case of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, and McCain especially, given his love for McCain-Feingold, and whoever, you know, Fred Thompson, I think, folks, we have not seen the kind of campaign we are going to see next year. And because of the front-loaded nature of these primaries, we could possibly have the nominees in both parties chosen by February or March.

It’s going to be a long drawn-out knockout slugfest, and we can’t predict the direction the filth will fly, the dirt will go. But if Rudy’s the nominee, make no mistake, they’re already hammering Hillary. This whole debate last night was about Hillary. I don’t think our guys are going to shy away from it at all. In fact, I think most of our guys in the Republican field want to run against Hillary precisely because of things like this, because it is a gold mine, it’s a golden opportunity. She already has 49% or 50% negatives. So I think that this is something that they’re looking at as made-to-order. I’m going to use your call here, Orlando, as a transition into some of these debate sound bites. We first have Fred Thompson here. The question from Chris Wallace, ‘Senator Thompson, have these two guys,’ meaning Mitt and Rudy, ‘convinced you that you are wrong and that, in fact, they are both consistent conservatives?’

THOMPSON: Actually, Mitt, I didn’t know there was any room to the left of Ted Kennedy, but maybe there… (laughter) In fact, I didn’t know there was any room to the right of him, either, but maybe… (laughter) I was conservative as soon as I put down ‘Conscience of a Conservative’ when I was in college. Mayor Giuliani believes in federal funding for abortion. He believes in sanctuary cities. He’s for gun control. He supported Mario Cuomo, a liberal Democrat, against a Republican who was running for governor; then opposed the governor’s (bell) tax cuts when he was there. So I simply disagree with him on those issues. And he sides with Hillary Clinton on each of those issues I just mentioned.

RUSH: So they actually started debating each other as to who is the real conservative, who is more conservative. Chris Wallace says, ‘Mr. Giuliani, how do you respond?’

GIULIANI: Fred has his problems, too. (laughter) I mean, Fred, was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform in the United States Senate. He stood with Democrats over and over again. He voted against $250,000 caps on damages, which they have in Texas. He voted against almost anything that would make our legal system fairer, ‘loser pays’ rules, things that would prevent lawsuits like that $54 million lawsuit by the guy who lost his pants, you know?

RUSH: So they went after each other on this. I thought they all were good last night. I thought that it was a pretty interesting debate because it was more like a debate finally. By the way, news flash, we’re hearing a rumor that the subject matter of Osama Bin Laden’s new audiotape is, in fact, the SCHIP program, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and how that money could better be spent from Iraq, take it from Iraq and spend on that program. Later on in the debate, Chris Wallace said to Mitt Romney, ‘Governor, is Hillary Clinton fit to be commander-in-chief?’

ROMNEY: The idea that someone wants to be president who’s never worked in the private sector, is really a big question mark. She hasn’t run a corner store; she hasn’t run a state; she hasn’t run a city; she has never run anything. And the idea that she could learn to be president, you know, as an internship just doesn’t make any sense.

RUSH: So this is when the attacks on Hillary then began. Chris Wallace said, ‘Governor Romney says Republicans aren’t going to beat Hillary Clinton by acting like Hillary Clinton. And the point seems to be that on a lot of social issues, like abortion and gay rights and gun control, that there’s not much difference between you, Mayor Giuliani, and Hillary Clinton. Is there?’

GIULIANI: You gotta be kidding. (laughter) You have got to be kidding. Wait a second. There are two things I agree with Hillary Clinton on. First of all, we’re both Yankee fans. Well, wait a second, I became a Yankee fan growing up in New York. She became a Yankee fan growing up in Chicago. Do you believe that? Second, she made a statement last week, and I’ve been very critical of her, but I want to tell her I agree with this. Quote Hillary Clinton: ‘I have a million ideas. America cannot afford them all.’ I’m not making it up. One more time: ‘I have a million ideas. America can’t afford them all.’ No kidding, Hillary. America can’t afford you.

RUSH: Yay! And the applause went on, and on, and on. So, you see, it was a spirited debate, and the focus really was on Mrs. Clinton after they had the debates over who’s the real conservative. But the conclusion that I drew from watching this is that nobody is afraid of her in this field, and they’re eager to run up against somebody with as much baggage as she obviously has. This fundraising thing, the Republicans are going to use it when it’s time. Remember, folks, the election is not for a year, a little over a year.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let’s get McCain — let’s be fair — on the Republican presidential debate last night. Many people think this was the line of the night. Chris Wallace, the moderator, said, ‘Senator McCain, you’re running the closest to Clinton, but you still trail her by three points in our latest poll. The biggest issue between the two of you, clearly, is the war in Iraq. You strongly support the troop surge; she wants to start pulling the troops out. Is that a winner for Republicans in 2008?’

MCCAIN: The debate that I have between me and her will be based on national security, on fiscal conservatism, and on social conservatism. It will be a respectful debate. That’s what the American people want. In case you missed it, a few days ago, Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock Concert Museum. Now, my friends, I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. (laughter) I was tied up at the time. (laughter)

RUSH: Meaning he was in the Hanoi Hilton, is what he means by ‘tied up’ when Mrs. Clinton now wants to celebrate what was going on at Woodstock. A lot of people think that was a great line — and it was. No question about it. Huckabee, he was probably at his best, too, last night talking about Hillary. Chris Wallace said, ‘Governor Huckabee, I’m sorry to say we didn’t call the horse race between you and Senator Clinton, but you say that she’ll win next November if the Republican Party doesn’t do a better job of reaching out to minorities.’

HUCKABEE: There’s nothing funny about Hillary Clinton being president. (applause) Let me tell you why. If she’s president, taxes go up, health care becomes the domain of the government, spending goes out of control; our military loses its morale, and I’m not sure we’ll have the courage and the will and the resolve to fight the greatest threat this country’s ever faced in Islamofascism. (smattering of applause) We’ve got an enemy that wants to kill every last one of us. We cannot be soft. We must be strong. We’ll sign crazy bills like the Law of the Sea Treaty and give away our sovereignty, and that’s why with all the fun we’re going to have talking about it, there’s nothing funny about Hillary being president.

RUSH: There you have it. That’s Mike Huckabee talking about Clinton. You see what I mean? All these guys last night were really on their game. They were to-the-point last night. I’ll give you an example. When I was in Philadelphia on Thursday night, the 11th, I was in a riff on Hillary and the Democrats. I stopped myself in the middle of the riff. That always grabs the audience’s attention. They think I lost my place. ‘Oh, no! Is something wrong?’ I stopped. Of course I never lose my place.

I said, ‘Folks, does it frustrate you as much as it does me, that we don’t hear this kind of thing — the things that I’m saying about the Democrats and Mrs. Clinton — spoken by Republican presidential candidates?’

‘Yaaaay!’

They stood up and they cheered and so forth. Well, now all of a sudden, we’re starting to get from these candidates the kind of statements that reflect the views of people who are going to vote for them, one of them who wins the nomination. You know, rather than the policy wonk stuff. This was the best one of the night last night — and, of course, it’s happening on Fox, and Chris Wallace did a good moderator job. He turned these guys into each other. They were actually debating each other. It was a debate. It wasn’t a glorified press conference. This is the network that the Democrats refused to appear on, I think maybe because they’re a little afraid of it, but it’s also because they just don’t want to validate Fox as a legitimate news organization. Now, Rudy continued to hit on Iran. Wendell Goler, who was one of the moderators from Fox News said, ‘Mayor Giuliani, given our experience in Iraq, does the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran worry you more than the prospect of going to war with Iran?’

GIULIANI: Well, there’s no question that the idea of going to war with Iran or even taking military action against Iran, would be very dangerous. It would be something you would not want to do. It would be a last resort, but if you’re asking me the question, which is more dangerous, a nuclear armed Iran is more dangerous — and I think our taking the strong position here would be similar to the difference between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, when he was dealing with Iran. Jimmy Carter had hostages for 444 days. In one hour, the Iranians released the hostages and they saw something different in Ronald Reagan’s eyes than in Jimmy Carter’s eyes.

RUSH: The crowd went nuts on that, too. See, people want partisanship. Our side wants to hear what these people are saying about the Democrats. Does this not tell you…? By the way, the tone of this debate and some of the bites that I played for you…? I made a prediction that this presidential election is going to be based and centered, not on the war in Iraq per se, as the theme or the number-one issue. It’s going to be about the future of the country and where people like Hillary will take it and where people like guys on our side will take it. That’s going to be the fundamental debate. That’s going to be the fundamental thing that this presidential campaign is about. So on CBS on the Early Show today, the co-host Hannah Storm talked with CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, and she said, ‘Bob, who won the I-am-the-most-conservative prize last night at the…?’ with derision and so forth and so on. ‘Who won the I-am-the-most-conservative last night at the debate?’

SCHIEFFER: Well, it was a contest as they all tried to accuse each other as who was the most like Hillary Clinton. (snickers) You know, I was thinking about this, Hannah. Herbert Hoover, the Republican president, presided over the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt started running against Herbert Hoover in 1932, and three decades later Democrats were still running against Herbert Hoover. I think for the Republicans, Hillary Clinton has become the new Herbert Hoover. As you saw last night, they all want to run against Hillary Clinton. They accused each other of being like Hillary Clinton. I came away from this debate wondering, ‘What would they do without her?’

RUSH: You know, that is just stunning, because, Bob, I’m going to tell you something: Half of the Democrats in this country that are going to go vote for president in November next year are going to be shocked when they see that George W. Bush’s name is not on the ballot. Who the hell are the Democrats so in love with running against? Who have they been running against? They’re still running against Bush; he’s not even on the ballot! Herbert Hoover was on the ballot. These guys are not on the ballot, Bush isn’t. They can’t stand it when people attack Hillary. They just can’t stand it, folks! They just can’t stand it so they gotta mock Republicans, make fun of them and all that. Back to the phones quickly, Ron in Portland, Oregon, thanks for waiting, sir, you’re on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Rush.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: Thank you for taking my call. Listen, John McCain is too old, he talks too slow, and he’s too friendly with Hillary. He said last night he respected Hillary. He’s going to have a respectable debate with Hillary. We don’t want that. The country doesn’t want that. Here’s the gal that’s taking money from Chinese dishwashers that John McCain was supposed to fix, and he respects her! Remember, John McCain was considered by John Kerry to be his running mate. Anybody that is that close to those guys, is no friend of mine.

RUSH: Well, I noticed. It caught my ears when McCain said he was going to have ‘a debate with Hillary, a spirited debate, but it will be a respectful debate. That’s what the American people want.’ You know what that is, Ron? That’s just Senate-speak. ‘My good friend Harry Reid… My wonderful colleague Daniel Akaka…’ That’s all this decorum that exists in the Senate and so forth by rule. You’ll note that… Do you know who the last senator elected president was in this country? Take a wild guess. It was John F. Kennedy, right, in 1960. That’s the last time a US Senator has been elected president here. It’s because these guys don’t delegate. They’re in charge of everything; their egos are out of control and that means they can’t delegate to be able to say staffs very well. Their staffs start screwing things up. Hillary is pretty good at delegating because she’s had the war room all along but she’s intimately involved in it as well.

But this ‘respectful debate’ and so forth is simply Senate speak, and I don’t know whether the American people want a disrespectful debate, but they don’t want phony nice. That’s a myth. ‘The American people are sick of partisanship. The American people want to return to civility.’ All that is, folks, is that’s liberal jive, and what that means is, ‘We’ve gotta shut Republicans and conservatives up. We just have to shut ’em up,’ because they, in their estimation, it is impossible for them to participate in or create or be responsible for any lack of civility or any partnership. It’s going to be the all Republicans. So when you hear people talk like this, it just means that Republicans have to shut up. So when McCain says it will be a civil debate and respectful debate, Republicans cringe over that because they know that Hillary isn’t going to be polite. She might be polite on stage; she might be polite when they have debates, but the campaign is not going to be polite. Nothing about it is going to be polite. Most campaigns aren’t. Learn it, love it, live it. Get used to it!

RUSH: This is like Bob in New Orleans. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. Thank you for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet, sir.

CALLER: You’re lighting the way for all Americans every day, and we thank you for it.

RUSH: You’re very kind to say that, sir, very observant, too.

CALLER: I was excited, very, very excited to see that debate yesterday. I saw a school yard bully step out and say ‘Hey, we’re going to play this game,’ and I saw four politicians raise their hand and wave the white flag and say no, and then I saw my president stand up, I saw my president stand up and say, ‘Hell no, I’m not going to play your game today. We’re not going to play your game today,’ and then I saw the crisis negotiator and the corporate CEO and preacher all get in line behind that leader, behind that president and say, ‘No, that’s right, we’re not going to play that game today.’ And this is the first time I’ve been this excited about a presidential candidate since 1984, Rush.

RUSH: You like what Thompson did with the global warming question I assume is what you mean.

CALLER: Rush, if these guys are going to surrender to somebody from the Des Moines Register, what the hell are they going to do when they’re up against Ahmadinejad and Putin?

RUSH: Especially that babe, term used loosely, from the Des Moines Register. Excellent, excellent point. We have audio sound bites of the debate coming up but I wanted to get some phone calls in first. If you didn’t see it, didn’t hear it, we’ve got some audio of what happened with Fred Thompson and the show-of-hands global warming question. Bob, thanks much.

Jim in Longmont, Colorado, you’re next on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Professor, I have a hypothesis I want to run by you. I think Oprah has more power, and she could probably tank the Clinton candidacy and the Democratic plantation for good, if she just showed some true moral indignation over the way Clinton has been treating Barack. And to top it all off, you know, she was at the rally with Obama, and she said, although she’s backing Obama, she still likes Hillary. I think she’s going to bite her tongue on that one, and maybe the tipping point will be reached.

RUSH: No, look, Oprah is doing exactly what an Oprah is going to do. She’s picked Obama, but she’s gotta cover her bets in case he doesn’t win, because you don’t want Don Vito Clintonleone and his wife as your enemy. You don’t want that. By the way, the first thing that you said, it would be a mistake for Oprah to go out and start trashing the Clintons on what they’ve done to Obama. That would not look good. That would look weak. That would look defensive. Obama’s playing this just right. He’s ignoring it. He’s taking the high road. He’s continuing to talk about his vacuous policy ideas and not getting too specific about things. He’s handling this with his messianic personality, his charismatic personality while Mrs. Clinton continues to look like Nurse Ratched, even more so. But if anybody’s going to respond to this and act outraged about it, it should be Obama himself, not his wife and certainly not Oprah.

CALLER: Well, then shouldn’t his wife come out and say, ‘I cannot stand the fact that Clinton’s husband is claiming to be the first black president’? That to me is such an insult.

RUSH: Well, she may not be able to say that because she might have gone along with it at the time, I don’t know. But if she went along with that whole concept at the time, she can’t go back on it now. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Democrat who didn’t go along with it. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a black person on the Democrat side who didn’t go along with the notion that Clinton was the first black president.

CALLER: Well, as a white guy, I find that an insulting comment to all my friends that are black, and I just think it needs to be said —

RUSH: Of course, it is. It’s a perversion. It’s like Andrew Young going out there on the Internet, oh, yeah, Clinton, he’s blacker than Obama. Why, he’s been with more black women than Obama’s ever been with. And everybody applauds this. It’s a perversion. All liberalism is essentially a perversion. Jim, thank you much for the call. One place Oprah could do it, is when she gets back to her television show. If she did it on her television show in a very subtle way, such as arranging for a guest of hers to ask her a question, then she could maybe launch into it in that regard.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The Democrats are getting revved up for their debate in Iowa in about 20 minutes, and I was wondering if they’re going to get… I hope the Democrats get that same schoolmarm moderator, that editor from the Des Moines Register. By the way, when that started yesterday, I thought, ‘What the hell is Alan Keyes doing in this debate?’ And the Des Moines Register says, ‘Well, according to our criteria, he qualified, everything. He’s got a number of people here, campaign office and so forth.’ Byron York, National Review Online looked at that and found it may not be true. But I guess they kicked Kucinich off the Democrat debate today! So they add somebody with no chance who they think… See, this is how they work. They think that Keyes is a kook, and one kook, Ron Paul, isn’t enough for them. So they want two kooks in the Republican debate to make the Republicans look like a bunch of freaks. When the Democrat debate starts today, there will not be the Democrat kook up there, Dennis Kucinich. There’s no question that’s what the Des Moines Register is doing. They’re the Drive-By Media, and that’s what they do.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Before we actually get to the debate, Huckabee, last night, Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, got this question. ‘When you asked this question to the interviewer, the reporter who wrote the story, you said this: ‘Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?’ Now, as you know, Mormons say that’s a canard, they don’t believe that, that’s been a canard spread by people who don’t like Mormonism. I want you to explain what you were doing by even raising that question?’

HUCKABEE: After the debate today, I went to Mitt Romney and apologized to him, because I said, I would never try, ever, to try to somehow pick out some point of your faith and make it, you know, an issue, and I wouldn’t. I’ve stayed away from talking about Mitt Romney’s faith. And I told him face to face, I said, ‘I don’t think your being a Mormon ought to make you more or less qualified for being a president.’ That has been my position. Wolf, everybody I’ve talked to just about wants me to come out and say something about Mitt Romney’s faith. I’ve not taken the bait, but if I don’t say something, they say that my avoiding it is really an underlying statement. If I do say anything, then I’m attacking him.

RUSH: Well, you did take the bait because in the New York Times magazine piece on Sunday he asks the question and so forth. But anyway, he apologized, and note the apology came the same day I intervened on this program and told these guys to grow up and stick to the issues that really matter here. And so the apology took place. By the way, Huckabee is going to be on the cover of the next issue of Newsweek magazine. I’ve been on the cover of TIME and when they put me on the cover of TIME they had smoke curling out of my mouth, the snarl, it was a Photoshopped job. No such picture of Romney. So I guess they may be actually trying to promote the guy at Newsweek. Then Blitzer follows up with this question. ‘So how did Mitt Romney react when you went up to him and you said you apologized for that one quote?’

HUCKABEE: Well, he was gracious. You know, I hope he knows it was sincere. But, you know, I’m trying to stay away from everything I can say, I’m being much more cautious now because everything is being parsed.

RUSH: Trying to stay away from everything I can say. Isn’t that sort of like saying it but not saying it? They went to Romney, Hannity & Colmes last night, Hannity said, ‘I understand there was an apology offered to you by Governor Huckabee and it was accepted by you. Can you tell us what happened?’

ROMNEY: Yeah, following the debate, Mike Huckabee apologized for that smear on our faith and the church also put out a statement and said this kind of thing comes up from time to time and that it’s a not accurate perception of our faith and Mike apologized for that. I, of course, accepted his apology.

RUSH: Good. Good, good, good, good. So after the intervention here on this program yesterday, we’re back to what matters. Now, the Drive-Bys, we have a montage of CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, talking about how boring the debate yesterday was. I don’t recall any Democrat debate ever being referred to as boring, not by these guys.

KRAUTHAMMER: That was the worst debate in western history.

CAFFERTY: It was awful. I mean it was boring. It was hard to stay awake.

BARNES: This was a boring debate.

STONE: Pretty boring debate.

FRANKEN: The most boring debate perhaps in the history of debates.

RUSH: Yeah, it was very boring. Well, whose fault is this? You’ve got a schoolmarm up there — Dawn, she was a schoolmarm. Did you see her? A schoolmarm, frankly, folks, is being kind. She ran that thing like she was running a prison camp, for crying out loud.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right, Alan Keyes somehow made it onto the stage for the Republican debate yesterday, and we have a montage here. Now, remember, the Drive-Bys just got through saying this is the most boring debate that they had ever seen in their lives.

KEYES: We need to stop listening to these phonies. These folks represent the very elites who year after year after year have destroyed our Constitution, betrayed our rights, and undermined our strength created by our people in the world. I’m in favor of reducing global warming because I think the most important emission we need to control is the hot air of the politicians. Do I have to raise my hand to get a question? I’d like to address that question. No, you’re not. They had a minute. Why do I get 30 seconds? If you really want to see a change in government, then we need to restore the credibility of the Republican Party. Join the political army of America’s revival at alankeyes.com and make sure you become part of that change.

RUSH: Okay, the Keyesters are back in the debate. Alan Keyes admitted; Dennis Kucinich kicked off the Democrat debate today. Here’s an interesting answer from Romney. The Des Moines Register editor, Carolyn Washburn says, ‘Are there programs or situations that are so important you’d be willing to run a deficit to pay for them?’

ROMNEY: Well, we don’t have run a deficit to pay for the things that are most important because we can eliminate the things that aren’t critical. We have in the federal government 342 different economic development programs —

RUSH: Right on.

ROMNEY: — often administered by different departments.

RUSH: Right on.

ROMNEY: We don’t need 342.

RUSH: Right on.

ROMNEY: We have 40 different programs for workforce training.

RUSH: Right on.

ROMNEY: There are probably five or six that are really working and a lot that are not working terribly well.

RUSH: Right on.

ROMNEY: We can get rid of some of those. We have 13 different programs to prevent teenage pregnancy —

RUSH: Right on.

ROMNEY: — they’re obviously not working real well, and we could probably cut it down to one or two that are making a difference.

RUSH: I love this answer. We don’t have to run the deficit to pay for the things that are most important, we can eliminate the things that aren’t critical, all the redundancy that we have in these social programs. The next question, Carolyn Washburn says to Romney, ‘Who in this country is paying more than a fair share of taxes relative to everybody else: the wealthy, the middle class, the poor, or corporations?’

ROMNEY: I don’t stay awake at night worrying about the taxes that rich people are paying, to tell you the truth. I’m concerned about the taxes that middle-class families are paying. They’re under a lot of pressure. Gasoline is expensive, home heating oil, particularly in the Northeast, is very difficult for folks. Health care costs are going through the roof, education costs and higher education are overwhelming. And, as a result, we need to reduce the burden on middle-income families in this country.

RUSH: That wasn’t Romney. Who was that? That didn’t sound — play number 15 again, I want to hear Romney’s — just play number 15. It’s my hearing, folks, some voices sound the same. That wasn’t Romney —

ROMNEY: Well, we don’t have to run a deficit to pay for the things that are most important —

RUSH: Okay, it is Romney. Play 16 again.

ROMNEY: I don’t stay awake at night worrying about the taxes that rich people are paying, to tell you the truth.

RUSH: I guess that’s Romney. All right, all right, that’s fine, stupid answer, we don’t need to hear it again. Don’t stay awake at night worrying about the taxes that rich people are paying, to tell you the truth? You better be, because the Democrats are going to soak everybody! Mitt, come on, you gotta be concerned about the taxes that everybody is paying. I know you’re trying to appeal to a much larger group of people, the middle class and so forth, but that could have been done better. On to Fred Thompson, who decided that he would make a couple of jokes at Romney’s expense.

THOMPSON: My goal is to get into Mitt Romney’s situation where I don’t have to worry about taxes anymore. (laughter)

ROMNEY: I’d like to get in your situation. (laughter)

THOMPSON: Five percent — well, you know, you’re getting to be a pretty good actor, actually. (laughter)

RUSH: Ooohhhh! Tuppa tuppa tuppa there from Fred Thompson, squeezing it in there a couple of times. Now this is the question that the audience loved or the incident. The moderator said, ‘I want to take on a new issue. I’d like to see a show of hands. How many of you believe global climate change is a serious threat and caused by human activity?’

THOMPSON: You want to give me a minute to answer that?

WASHBURN: No, I don’t.

THOMPSON: Well, then I’m not going to answer it. (laughter)

WASHBURN: Okay. (applause)

THOMPSON: You want a show of hands. I’m not giving it to you.

RUSH: He’s not going to play the game. He’s not going to do this kind of thing. The people there loved this, and then she said, ‘Well, how about 30 seconds?’ He said, ‘No, you ask me a question, I’m going to answer it. I’m not going to give you a show of hands.’ Now, here’s Huckabee. The question is: ‘What do you believe you could accomplish in your first year as president.’

HUCKABEE: The first priority of the next president is to be a president of all the United States. We are right now a very polarized country, and that polarized country has led to a paralyzed government. We’ve got Democrats who fight Republicans, liberals fighting conservatives. The left fights the right. Who’s fighting for this country again? And somehow we gotta quit fighting among ourselves as conservatives and as Republicans and start putting the better interests of this nation.

RUSH: I know you Hucksters are out there. This bothers me. This sounds like Brokaw. ‘I don’t care what the solution is, liberal or conservative, I don’t care.’ I do! Liberal solutions are destroying the fabric of this country. And, as such, conservatives fighting liberals is what this election is about! The left being defeated is what this election is about. That is fighting for the country. Bad answer. Fred Thompson up next. Carolyn Washburn says, ‘Senator Thompson, you’ve expressed doubts that the recent report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities is accurate. As president, how would you decide when to disagree with available intelligence and then what would you do?’

THOMPSON: Well, that’s probably the most important question that’s been asked today. We have a real problem with our intelligence community. It along with certain parts of our military were neglected for a long, long time in this country, and we’re paying the price for it now. The fact is that nobody has any real confidence in the result that they’re getting and the result you’re talking about was directly contradicted by their strong beliefs just two years ago. So you’ve got to rebuild from the bottom up. I think that in the meantime, we have to rely on other people. The British are helpful to us; the Israelis sometimes are helpful to us.

RUSH: Next question, ‘Give me two examples, Governor Huckabee, you’ve not previously given, one on health care, one on education, where your faith would define change you want to see in policy.’

HUCKABEE: The two overriding principles are, you treat others as you wish to be treated, as it relates in health care, that means that we recognize that a person who is sick shouldn’t be treated differently because they’re in poverty than a person who has extraordinary wealth, that we have some sense of balance in how we approach that. That’s the essence of what America is about. The second basic principle is that inasmuch as you’ve done it to the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it unto me. What it really means is that you go back to what the Founding Fathers said, ‘All of us are created equal, endowed by our creator with those rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’

RUSH: Okay. You could get that answer from John Edwards. Poverty, a person who has extraordinary wealth — see, this gets to the notion that health care is a constitutional right and that we’re all entitled to the same health care. Are we all entitled to the same hotel rooms? Are he we all entitled to the same cars? Are we all entitled to the same homes? Are we all entitled to the same shampoo? Are we all entitled to the same Band-Aids? Are we all entitled to the same food? Are we all entitled to a house on the beach? We’re Americans, we’re created equal, God created us equal….life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Are we all entitled to the same happiness? This notion of health care in this mix as somehow a constitutional right — not the case. What are you saying, Rush? Are you saying the poor shouldn’t get as good a health care? No. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that what happens is that you end up, when the government is going to run this, nobody’s going to get good health care, and whoever’s getting the best is going to see it worsen. I’m speaking in a concept of principles in the first place. Here you have a conservative running for the presidency, adopting the class envy of a John Edwards.

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