I Spent the Weekend Playing Golf with Trump and Watching Football, While the Media Spent the Weekend Talking About Me
Dec 12, 2011
RUSH: Good grief. I didn’t even have the television on over the weekend and I — (interruption) no, for football I had it on. Well, barely for that. I was in Dallas, and I went to the Cowboys-Giants last night and I went out to dinner at Nick & Sam’s on Saturday night. I didn’t watch the debate, and I watched a little football on Sunday before we went to Cowboys Stadium, but I got the sound bite roster here, and, again, I’m all over it. I’m being blamed for all kinds of stuff again. I’m being blamed for Newt. I’m being blamed for the lousy Republican field. I’m being blamed for everything. It happened all over the Sunday shows. (interruption) I don’t know. I haven’t listened to these. I just now got the transcript of all the sound bites.
And David Frum: “Rush Limbaugh killed my TV career, is responsible for lousy GOP field.” It then says: Rush Limbaugh’s the reason the GOP field is weak. See, I told you so. Obama thinks he’s above the job, above the country, I said that. We’ve got a couple sound bites here from Jon Meacham and Mike Barnicle, who say that Obama feels America is not commensurate with his gifts. So I was right about that. Liberal reporter: Rush Limbaugh, tribal leader. State-Run Media spends all weekend talking about Rush and Newt. I can’t escape it. I wasn’t bothering anybody. I didn’t do anything over the weekend. I was out of sight, out of mind. I mean I met a lot of people over the weekend but I wasn’t involved in this stuff.
I played golf with Trump on Saturday at Trump International here. He and I played in the Trump International member-guest — or member-member, actually, I’m a member of the place, it was a member-member, and Trump and I won it. We won the thing. I had to skedaddle outta there. We teed off at 8:30, the shotgun started at 8:30, we teed off, for a tournament, this was lickety split. A four-hour round, but we finished five or ten minutes before everybody else did and Trump was convinced that we had won so he posed with pictures of the trophy. We just went and grabbed the trophy, we took some pictures holding the trophy, and he gave me the trophy, and I drove away. I had to go home, get ready, get on the airplane, go to Dallas. (interruption) No, he wasn’t wrong, there was a lot of trophies, by the way, because there’s a lot of different places you can finish. So I got an e-mail from a friend yesterday, “I understand you won the member-member with Trump and that you carried the team.” Well, I don’t know about that, but the word spread. So, indeed, we did win it and Trump shot like a 70 or 71. And I know you’re all wondering, I tried.
I tried to discuss the debate. He wasn’t interested in talking much politics. We talked a few minor things, some people, a little bit about Obama, some of the people in the Republican field, and he did say that it was curious, “All these people are calling, wanting my endorsement, and they won’t show up at this debate.” He said, “I gotta praise Newt. I mean Newt’s the first guy that shows up. He’s got guts; he’s got courage. Santorum.” I tried to engage him a couple times, and all he wanted to talk about was how great his golf course was. (imitating Trump) “It’s the best. You ever seen a hole that’s this beautiful? There’s not a golf course in the world that’s got a hole that looks like this, am I right, am I right?” I tried, folks, but he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know. I asked him, “Are you still gonna…” “I don’t know.” He said he didn’t know what he was gonna do with the debate. Really. Really.
I mean, I expected when I got the invitation to play, I expected that there was gonna be a lot of politics discussed. There wasn’t very much at all. It was strictly about golf, you know, stories about some of the people we were playing with. It was what it was. And we won. That’s the first time I’d played in like six weeks. Maybe longer. I was actually hitting the ball pretty well now and then. I would not have scored great if it was just me on my own, but, you know, best ball out of the four. We did play pretty well. I don’t think Trump ever loses these things, though, if he wants to win them, when you boil it all down.
Anyway, folks, how are you? I hope you had a great weekend. We were in Dallas over the weekend, went back to Nick & Sam’s. It’s just a great restaurant steakhouse atmosphere. It’s where we had our Super Bowl party last year when the Steelers played the Packers, and then went the game last night, and we left to fly home mid-third quarter which is what we always do, and we watched the rest of the game and what a finish it was. Snerdley is depressed. Snerdley thought the game was in the bag, he’s a big Cowboy fan and he came in today asked me, “Did you stay for the whole game?” And I really rubbed it in, I said, “You had to be so excited. I mean, what a game for you,” acting like he won it. I was. Anyway, let’s get some of these audio sound bites, since I’ve told you about them. I mean I’ve got a lot of stuff in the stacks of stuff here today to get into but let’s start with the audio sound bites. Let’s go Friday night on NBC. The guest on the show is political correspondent Steve Kornacki from Salon.com and they’re having a discussion about the Republican primary and me, and the question: “Do Republican honchos hold sway over Republican voters anymore?”
KORNACKI: Look what a guy like Rush Limbaugh, who I think has absolute credibility with this exorcised Republican base, and what did he spend this week doing? He spent this week making this a tribal test for his listeners. “Hey, anybody who’s out there trashing Newt Gingrich right now, they’re not one of us. You don’t have to listen to anything they say. If you’re part of our tribe you’re gonna ignore them,” and with that going on, there’s a new establishment, I think.
RUSH: Oh. So I am the new tribal leader. I’ve once again gone from being a worthless entertainer, now I’m a tribal leader again, not just a leader but a tribal leader, and not only that, I am the leader of the new establishment. The Republican establishment has been beat back, it’s been beat down and it’s now me, and I’m leader. This guy has mischaracterized. You people who heard the programs last week, Mr. Kornacki here has mischaracterized it probably because he didn’t hear it himself. Even if he did, you have to have a certain degree of open mind to understand what I was talking about. I was not promoting Newt. I haven’t chosen anybody yet. What I was pointing out was who the Republican establishment doesn’t want and why. And what I was pointing out was how the Republican establishment, both media and elected people, power brokers in the party, have decided to totally redo the formula in selecting a nominee.
Normally, what happens is you have a nominee, all the nominees in the primary tried to secure the base which means in our case, case of conservatives, you move to the right, you’re pretty steady about it. Then after you get the nomination then the presumption is that to win the general you need more voters than just your base so you move back toward the center a little bit. All this is strategic to pick up undecideds, independents, moderates, and what have you. What I pointed out was that what the Republican establishment is trying to do is obviate this whole process and get a moderate chosen from the get-go by splitting the conservative vote in the primaries. That’s all I said. And no matter where you look, we’ve had Perry be up, we’ve had Bachmann up, we’ve had couple of others up. Now it’s Newt’s turn to be the anti-Romney. And right now Newt appears to be the most solid anti-Romney.
But I also said last week I gave some advice to Romney, I said, “Mitt, if you want to win this, flip full fledge to the right. Get to the right of Newt. It’s possible to do that. It isn’t too late. Get to the right of Newt and wrap this up.” He’s not listening to me. I don’t expect him to. This is the big thing. This is the thing these guys don’t understand. I do not do this program with the expectation that these candidates are gonna listen to me. I do not do this program with the hope that they listen to me. I do not have that kind of ego. I’m not in their business. I am a radio guy. I am happy to give them advice, but I don’t expect them to follow it.
Why? ‘Cause I’m not in their business. I wouldn’t let them tell me how to do this radio show, for example. They don’t know the first thing about it. (interruption) No, Snerdley, don’t… This is very important. I don’t want you people to misunderstand something. I am not just offering all that I say randomly and with no purpose. I don’t want you to think that. The program is about you. I’m being honest about what I genuinely think. I’m talking about them, not me. I don’t expect these people to take my advice. In fact, just the opposite, if you want to know the truth — especially when you’re talking about the Republican establishment. I’ll illustrate it another way.
You probably figure — you, in the audience, probably think — that I am invited to attend a lot of things where there are political professionals in attendance. Consultants, pollsters, people of that type, even elected officials; and you’re right, I am invited. What you don’t know is that I never go. Because it’s a waste of time. A, I know what they’re gonna say and do; and, B, I know they’re not interested in what I’m going to say. Pure and simple. I don’t take this personally, don’t misunderstand. None of this bothers me in the slightest. But these guys on the left, like this Kornacki guy and all these others, they think all these people are hinging on every word I say and I’ve become the de facto leader of the new establishment and so forth, and all these Republicans are doing what they’re doing or not doing what they’re not doing because of me.
While that may well be true (I don’t know) it still is not the express purpose of what’s going on here. Now, folks, I’m gonna tell you something: If I took personally whether politicians listen to me or not, I would be in a straitjacket in a very small room with padded walls ten years ago. I woulda gone nuts. I learned long ago not to allow my expectations to get away from me, certainly not to have unrealistic ones. So I do what I do here and I say what I say. You and I know that it’s right, but when I say, “Mitt, you got room to the right of Newt; go there,” I know he’s not gonna do it. That’s not the strategy. I know what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to wrap up this nomination with a moderate, from the beginning to the end. They don’t want to flirt with a conservative, and that’s why they’re ticked off at Gingrich and that’s why they’re afraid of Gingrich. But last I checked, I haven’t endorsed anybody. But they’re assuming now — because they don’t know how to listen to this, they don’t know how to take in context what happens, they’re assuming because of last week — that I’ve endorsed Newt, which I haven’t done. Here, give you an example. We have a montage, State-Controlled Media, all weekend talking about me and Newt.
REPORTER: Rush Limbaugh believes the more party regulars attack, the stronger Gingrich gets.
REPORTER: They had a rough patch earlier this year. It’s almost like old times now listening to Rush (snicker) talk about Newt.
REPORTER: Rush Limbaugh has come out and said they told us who to vote for last time. Don’t let them tell you who to vote for this time.
REPORTER: Rush Limbaugh! Suddenly singing Newt’s praises!
REPORTER: When Newt Gingrich came out and said that the Paul Ryan plan was “right-wing social engineering,” Rush Limbaugh all but flayed him alive.
REPORTER: First I listened to Rush Limbaugh, I thought he was actually lining up against Newt here. As I look at it, I think, in fact, he’s rolling over Romney here and would prefer to see Newt.
RUSH: So they’re throwing it up against the wall, hoping something will stick, without the slightest idea how to interpret what’s going on. Is there anybody more plainspoken than I am? I don’t speak in codes. I don’t. It’s three hours, unscripted every day. (interruption) What was your question, Snerdley? (interruption) Right. (interruption) I don’t know. (interruption) Well, I can’t explain these people. When I think Newt or anybody else wrong, I call them on it; and when I think they do something right, I praise it. Look, it is a backhanded compliment in a way, but the news media can’t believe that the candidates don’t listen to me. They think they do. I know they don’t.
But they think they do — and even after I’m saying this, it won’t matter. (interruption) Ah, they listen, but… (sigh) Look, they’re gonna listen to a consultant ten times more than they’ll listen to me, and they’ll read polling data far more than they’ll listen to me. Folks, I don’t want to get off track here, but all I’m telling you is that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. These people in the media get all hepped up about it. Here’s David Frum. He was on Reliable Sources Sunday morning with Howard Kurtz. He’s a former Bush speechwriter, former conservative, in fact; and during a discussion of his “television career” and me, Howard Kurtz and David Frum have this little exchange.
KURTZ: A couple of years ago in Newsweek you said the Republicans would regret ceding so much power to Rush Limbaugh. What happened to your television career after you wrote that?
FRUM: Oh, I used to do (snicker) a lot of Fox TV (snicker) and, ummm, every once in a while I would get a call from Fox booking me for a show after that and an hour later I would hear quickly back — I’d always say yes even if I couldn’t do it just to… for the game of it — “We’re going in another direction.”
RUSH: Yeah. Apparently, he wasn’t through. Here’s what Kurtz said.
KURTZ: How was the Republican Party “ceding power to Rush Limbaugh”? He has a very popular radio show, but that doesn’t mean that he is running the GOP.
FRUM: How did the field get so weak? (gasp) That wasn’t an accident. They chose not to run because one way or the other they understood that they would be unacceptable. The talent pool got constricted and even those who do run, who do have the talent, somebody like Mitt Romney who’s good at running things, he has to reinvent himself as something he is not.
RUSH: All right, so you see what I’m talking about here. I’m minding my own business basically having a football and golf week and I get here on Monday find out I destroyed David Frum’s TV career because Fox no longer asks him to come on after he wrote a really irresponsible and wrong piece on me in Newsweek; and then I’m responsible for gutless Republicans staying out of the nomination race. They’re afraid of me. I’m the reason for the weak field (laughing), according to the Frum. By the way, Kurtz’s first question, “A couple of years ago in Newsweek you said Republicans would regret ceding so much power to Rush Limbaugh.
What happened to your TV career after you wrote that?” What kinda question is that? How does Kurtz know what happened to his career? Did Frum say, “Hey, I want you to ask me a question: Look, my TV career really blew up. I need you to ask me about that so I can answer it”? Or has Frum written about it somewhere that Kurtz saw? What kinda question is that anyway? What happened to your TV career after you wrote about Rush Limbaugh? Why would anybody want to admit that? Why would somebody want to admit that I destroyed their TV career? (laughing) He’s on CNN, so it is destroyed, but why would you want to admit that I could do that?