RUSH: I’m involved in a feud. I’m involved in a feud with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I didn’t even know about it. Let’s go to yesterday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Schwarzenegger appears, and Schwarzenegger and Stephy have this exchange.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Rush Limbaugh does not like your new agenda at all. He looks at what you’re doing on health care, looks at what you’re doing on global warming and says:
RUSH ARCHIVE: This sounds like it’s right out of the liberal playbook. I mean this is no different than what Greenpeace could say if they had somebody that was the governor of California.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, at least we still like to smoke stogies together, so we have something in common. (Laughing.)
RUSH: We do? At least we smoke stogies together. Okay. To refresh your memory of what this was about, environmental ideas are one thing, but the curious thing from California and the state of Washington is health care for all children, health insurance for all children including the children of illegals in the midst of welfare cuts for American citizens. Now, you know, you have to suspend what you think about welfare. Mostly welfare cuts, if coupled with a jobs program are very good, and that’s what welfare reform at the federal level was all about, but if you take that out, “We’re going to cut benefits for Americans and grant them to illegals,” you scratch your head. Then you combine that with the environmentalist wacko policies, taking the lead here on greenhouse gases and global warming, I was scratching my head. Then Stephy follows up and Arnold says my criticism doesn’t bother him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But does it bother you that conservatives like Rush Limbaugh think you’re betraying them?
SCHWARZENEGGER: No. I don’t try to please the conservatives. I don’t like to try to please the liberals. I like to please the people. I am a public servant. I’m not a politician. The people of California want to move forward. They want to have their roads built. They want to have their schools built. They don’t want to get tied up into argument, “Are we building Democratic roads or Republican roads, Democratic schools or Republican schools? Do we breathe Democratic air or Republican clean air?” It’s all the nonsense. We all breathe the same air and we all want to enjoy the schools, end of story.
RUSH: Well, that explains it. This is why I didn’t understand. Arnold is not a politician. He said that he’s not a politician, so that makes all this understandable. Is anybody out there talking about Republican schools and Democrat schools, Republican air and Democrat air, and so forth, likes to please the people. Well, we all make the mistake of wanting to please the people. Generally, you lead the people. Because you can’t please everybody. When you start trying to please everybody, you bomb. You literally will bomb. Then it went on, Stephanopoulos says, “Do you think President Bush would be doing better if he followed your approach? You’ve had very different responses to political setbacks, political adversity. You seem to reach out, President Bush’s critics at least say he’s just doubling down.”
SCHWARZENEGGER: I figured out after the 2005 special election that I have taken the wrong approach by being too pushy, by being personal about things and attacking people and saying “girlie men” and all these things. That didn’t move the agenda forward. But that was my way of expressing myself then. I didn’t know any better. If I would have known any better I wouldn’t have done it, and then I’ve learned that there’s a better way and that is to bring people together, not to insult them, but to actually bring the best out of people, bring the best out of Democrats, bring the best out of Republicans, because we have such brilliant people in our Capitol.
RUSH: Okay, basically let me translate this for you. This is I’m sorry, and that is the most successful route to acceptance, forgiveness, whatever else, in the country today, to say you’re sorry, show remorse, admit your mistakes, whatever. (doing Schwarzenegger impression) “Yeah, I didn’t like calling them the girlie men, it was wrong to call them girlie men.” Didn’t that help get him elected? Now, one of the things about that 2005 special election, I don’t want to get into the details, but that’s got its own dynamic, and the reasons that that ’05 special election, ballot initiatives lost, was because the timing of the election. It was a December election, I think. Nobody votes in December, there was nothing else on the ballot, and, of course, the president was out there campaigning, and Arnold got mad at the president for going out there and competing for campaign dollars at the same time Arnold was trying to get his ballot initiatives passed. I think there’s a lot of payback actually going on here in addition to all that Arnold is saying. But, here, my friends, the pièce de résistance. KGO television San Francisco, ABC affiliate, a montage of anchor Carolyn Tyler’s report.
TYLER: Governor Schwarzenegger is having a feud with Rush Limbaugh. Too big personalities are butting heads over political policy. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been publicly criticizing Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying the governor’s new agenda sounds like something out of the liberal playbook. Schwarzenegger calls it a centrist approach and says he’s his own man, he doesn’t care what Limbaugh labels him.
RUSH: There is no feud! This is not Rosie and Trump. There is no feud here. It would be a feud if I called Arnold a loser and a girlie man. But I haven’t done that, and I don’t intend to. At any rate, this is how these things get started. I just wanted you to hear it.
RUSH: As for Schwarzenegger, one more comment here. Here’s a line since you want a feud out there at KGO TV. We heard him outline his agenda here. We know what it’s going to be, and there’s nothing centrist about it and there’s nothing conservative about it. How is big government and massive spending and massive taxes in the public’s interest? What is centrist about any of this? Arnold’s agenda, he may say he’s culling from the best of the right and the best of the left, but I don’t see any conservatism in it, other than these welfare cuts and I don’t see how that’s going to work. But I don’t see much conservatism in the rest of it, which is fine, he can do what he wants to do, but when he calls it centrist, it isn’t, it’s liberal. I’m sure there are powerful liberal forces arrayed at Arnold in many places he goes in that state.