Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I had to fly out to the Left Coast, and when I arrived it was about the time the debate was starting, and I was unable to see or hear the first 45 minutes live, actually, maybe the whole thing, first hour and a half or something like that. And at some point during the debate my e-mail inbox started going nuts and I started getting text messages out wazoo. And it was that Gary Johnson had used my line. I had people from the Huffing and Puffington Post, The Politico e-mailing, “What’s your reaction to this?” And I had not heard it. I didn’t know what this was all about. Then I did hear it, and I thought, if you’re gonna steal somebody’s line, you know, make it a Jewish janitor somewhere in a small state where nobody has ever heard the line used. (interruption) What, you think I’m on thin ice with Jewish janitors? Wait ’til they hear the Official Obama Criticizer. Yeah, that’s coming up in this hour.

Anyway, here’s Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, and this was what he said during the debate Thursday. Yeah, I’m gonna tell you what I thought of the debate. The overview, it was pathetic. Herman Cain and Santorum were fabulous; the rest of it was pathetic. It was embarrassingly pathetic, given all of the meat, given all the opportunities to rip in to the administration and contrast ourselves with what’s going on, not just in the country but in the world. I thought it was a step backward in any number of ways. Anyway we’ll get to all that as the program unfolds. Here is Gary Johnson.

JOHNSON: My, uh, next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.

AUDIENCE: (wild laughter and applause)

RUSH: The applause and the laughter went on and on and on and on and on. It was the line of the night. Now, that was Thursday night. On that same day — earlier this the day, the busy broadcast day — on this program this is what I said…

RUSH ARCHIVE: My dogs have created more shovel-ready work than Obama has. Just this week alone, the new puppy — honest to God — more shovel-ready work, for me, this week than Obama has created all two and a half years.

RUSH: And Gary Johnson. Play it again just so we get the timeline right.

JOHNSON: My, uh, next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.

AUDIENCE: (wild laughter and applause)

RUSH: So even when I am away, I am in the news. Even when I am away, I determine the news. So the big news is that Gary Johnson lives next door to me? No, ’cause I don’t live in New Mexico, and he doesn’t live in Florida. Anyway, the media went nuts over this.

BILL O’REILLY: (music under) Did Governor Johnson steal a joke from Rush Limbaugh during last night’s debate?

TAMRON HALL: (music under) Rush Limbaugh used a strikingly similar line…

JIM ACOSTA: (outdoor noise) The scoop on the poop joke is that Rush Limbaugh made the crack first.

ANDREA TANTAROS: …ripped off from Rush Limbaugh.

MARK SIMONE: It was a great line when Rush Limbaugh said it that morning.

DYLAN RATIGAN: Rush Limbaugh said that first!

RUSH: After the debate, Gary Johnson said that he heard it on a New Mexico radio show, or that the host of a New Mexico radio show gave it to him.

JOHNSON: (laughing) I hope that’s not why I gain national attention is because of that, but if that ends up to be the case, fine. No, I didn’t hear it from Rush Limbaugh; I heard it from my buddy. Jim Villanucci — radio talk show host in Albuquerque — texted me about eight one-liners that maybe I could use. So it was one of those things where, “Wow, that was really funny.” So there copyright infringement then on Rush Limbaugh saying it? I don’t know. I didn’t hear it from Rush. Maybe he did.

RUSH: No, there’s no copyright infringement. People just think, like I say: Nobody stole Johnny Carson jokes ’cause everybody heard the joke. You know, I can’t tell you, Snerdley… I had the Huffing and Puffington Post; I had Brian Maloney, the Radio Equalizer; I had somebody from The Politico — and they thought that I’d be outraged, when I wrote back and said, “No big deal. It happens every day. It happens multiple times a day, and it’s been happening for 23 years, and the last thing I do is get upset over stuff being swiped.” It happens too frequently, and it’s almost impossible for it not to happen.

There’s so much stuff being said out there, it’s almost impossible. It’s very difficult for any other conservative out there to be considered original with me on the scene. So I cut all these people slack. They steal stuff from me all the time. “Do you think it’s a sincere form of flattery?” I don’t even look at it that way. It’s just something that can’t be avoided. You go out there and you speak for 15 hours a week. Now, you’re sucking up a lot of oxygen, a lot of opinion. It’s gonna be very tough for anybody else to be original. So, anyway, the Drive-Bys couldn’t let go of this. This was I guess the next morning, and this was on Scarborough’s show on MSNBC.


GEIST: From Rush Limbaugh. Quote….



GEIST: “My dogs –“

SCARBOROUGH: We love Rush.

GEIST: “– have created more shovel-ready work than Obama has just this week alone.”



SCARBOROUGH: Wait. No. Hold it a second.


SCARBOROUGH: I don’t understand this.


GEIST: He stole it from Rush.

SCARBOROUGH: No, you know… Wait. It’s from this morning, right?

GEIST: The line of the year. Rush did it yesterday. Rush went on to say last night, “I guess I’ve become show prep for the GOP debates now, too.”


GEIST: Gary Johnson says —

BRZEZINSKI: Well, that’s modest.

GEIST: — somebody fed him a line. He didn’t know where it came from.

MIKE BARNICLE: He’s the Milton Berle of the Republican debates.

SCARBOROUGH: With talent on loan from God.

HEILEMANN: That’s so bad.

GEIST: Yeah.

HEILEMANN: How can you plagiarize the line of the year —

GEIST: Stole it from Rush.

HEILEMANN: — from Rush?

SCARBOROUGH: Well, Rush has —


SCARBOROUGH: — got a lot of great lines.

HEILEMANN: I’m just saying. I’m just saying. If you are Republican —

GEIST: Right.

HEILEMANN: — you’re gonna steal from maybe like some obscure source.

SCARBOROUGH: I get your point.

HEILEMANN: You’re stealing from Rush Limbaugh!

RUSH: That’s exactly right. Poor Gary Johnson, he’s got the line of the night, but it wasn’t his and when everybody’s talking about the line of the night, they’re not talking about him delivering it. They’re talking about me delivering it.

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