RUSH: Back to this Trump business. You know, the cable networks are running headlines, something like, “Romney Victory Lap Overshadowed by Trump.” And they’re all on this theme. Last night Trump was on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. Yeah, here it is. It’s quite telling. After a report about Trump questioning Obama’s place of birth, ’cause he’s still out there talking about that, Wolf Blitzer said, “Donald, thanks very much for joining us.”
TRUMP: I thought that your introduction was highly inappropriate, but that’s okay because I’ve gotten to know you over the years.
BLITZER: Well, listen, Donald, I never said we weren’t gonna talk about the birther issue. We had a conversation earlier today. We didn’t discuss at all what we were gonna talk about. I don’t know — (crosstalk)
TRUMP: — very much and I will tell you it’s not an issue that he likes talking about, so what he does is uses reverse psychology on people like you so that you’ll report like, oh, gee, he’s thrilled with it. He does not like that issue because it’s hitting very close to home.
BLITZER: I don’t understand why you’re doubling down on this birther issue after the State of Hawaii formally says this is the legitimate birth certificate, he was born in Hawaii. Why are you going through all of this, Donald?
RUSH: Trump then answered the question.
TRUMP: A lot of people don’t agree with that birth certificate, a lot of people —
BLITZER: But if the State of Hawaii authorizes it, if the State of Hawaii says this is official, he was born in Hawaii, on this date, here it is, why do you deny that?
TRUMP: A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate —
BLITZER: How can you say that if the — (crosstalk)
TRUMP: — don’t report it, Wolf, but many people do not think it was authentic. His mother was not in the hospital. There are many other things that came out and, frankly, if you would report it accurately I think you’d probably get better ratings than you’re getting, which are pretty small.
RUSH: Yes, Trump finally got in on the CNN fact that nobody watches anymore. And if you guys would just report the truth or be a little bit more open to opposing points of view than the standard administration line every day, you might have more viewers. Now, by the way, just so you know, Trump, the very first sound bite he made reference to the fact that Blitzer didn’t tell him that they were gonna be even talking about the birther issue. What happens is you agree to go on one of these shows, I don’t care what it is, show like this, the Today Show, they always have somebody call you and do a pre-interview. I have been suckered by this, not too many times because it didn’t take me long to figure it out. The first time I was on a show like this, it was Crossfire where this first happened, the old Crossfire. At the time it was Robert Novak and it might have been Kinsley.
Anyway, they called and told me what they wanted to talk about. It was nothing close to what they wanted to talk about. The whole purpose of the show was to beat up — I mean this was the late eighties. I flew down to Washington for this. Bob Lassiter, another talk show host, he was on the left, I was on the right. We were talking about issues, and the pre-interview was all about the issues we were gonna be discussing. We get down there, the whole show is about how irresponsible talk radio is. The next time I was asked to be on a show, I did the pre-interview, same thing happened. They asked me a bunch of stuff, and I told ’em what I thought. I thought I was being helpful. But it’s actually helping somebody put together this interview segment. The show comes, I show up, sit down, and the discussion has nothing to do with the pre-interview.
There was nobody to advise me on that. I had to learn all this stuff myself. Which is fine, not complaining. Just telling you. This is how I know it. I know it ’cause it happened. It’s not because somebody poisoned my mind with it. So I finally figured what the purpose of the pre-interview is twofold. One is what happened to Trump here, set you up, set you at ease that something you may not want to discuss isn’t gonna be. You start the interview thinking you’re not gonna be talking about it and then they spring it on you. And the second thing is to find out what really ticks you off.
They start asking questions or they make comments and depending on how in the pre-interview you react to it, is how you’re going to be asked about it if at all during the actual appearance on the show. But the pre-interview is never about actually assisting the guest or the host in finding something to talk about that would make a good segment. It’s not that. It’s all trickery. It’s all deceit. I would think Trump, he probably does know it, went through it just for the exercise of it. So Trump has just said to Wolf Blitzer, “If you’d report this birther story accurately, I think you’d probably get better ratings than you’re getting, which are pretty small.” And now it’s Blitzer’s turn.
BLITZER: Donald, have you seen the actual newspaper announcements within days of his birth in Honolulu? For example, the Honolulu Star Bulletin, we’ll put it up there, you see the birth announcement back in 1961. (crosstalk) Listen to me, Donald. Honolulu —
TRUMP: Can I talk?
BLITZER: — can I ask the question? (crosstalk)
TRUMP: — stop defending Obama.
BLITZER: Donald, you’re beginning to sound a little ridiculous. I have to tell you —
TRUMP: No, I think you are, Wolf. And let me tell you something. I think you sound ridiculous. Many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefits of being so-called born in this country. Many people did it. It was something that was done by many people, even if they weren’t born in the country. You know it, and so do I —
BLITZER: So explain why —
TRUMP: — and so do a lot of your viewers.
RUSH: Yeah, so do a lot of your viewers. So Blitzer finally says, “Let me tell you who hates this subject, Donald. It’s Mitt Romney. He totally disagrees with you on this, including today. He issued a statement. Is Mitt Romney a Democrat, is he an Obama supporter?”
TRUMP: What I speak to Mitt Romney about is jobs. What I speak to Mitt Romney about is China, because he’s got a great view on China and now they’re trying to destroy our country by taking our jobs and making our products and manipulating their currency so that it makes it almost impossible from our companies to compete. What I speak to him about is OPEC. I don’t speak to him about this. You bring it up because you feel it’s probably going to get a few more people watching your station, which, unfortunately, they’re not.
RUSH: See, go back to the pre-interview. When they talked, nobody at CNN told Trump they’re gonna bring this up. They probably told Trump that they’re gonna talk about OPEC and China and jobs and the economy and the advice that he’s giving. That’s probably what they told him. That’s how this stuff works. That’s how they reel guests in. That’s how they utilize the deceit. And then they get you on there and look, the whole interview was about the birther thing, which Trump, now, a smart guy, I’m sure he expected it, not surprised by it, but they didn’t tell him. My only point, they didn’t tell him that’s what they were going to discuss. And he says, “Look, I don’t talk to Romney about this.”
RUSH: I just got a note from our official climatologist, Dr. Roy Spencer, University of Alabama, Huntsville. He is sitting down soon for a pre-interview with Chris Wallace for, I guess, Fox News Sunday. And I was reminded that I may have left something out about this pre-interview stuff. The hosts don’t do the pre-interviews. Chris Wallace is rare. If he’s doing his own pre-interview, it’s rare. It’s usually some obscure producer, sometimes the line producer, and rarely (but it’s possible) the exec producer will do the pre-interview, and it’s on the phone.
They interview you on the phone.
But the host is never part of it.
I’ve never had a host pre-interview me for anything. I’ve had hosts beg me to come on. I don’t do pre-interviews any more. Well, I don’t do these appearances. When I’m on Greta there’s no pre-interview. I just don’t do ’em anymore. But look at what happened here. It’s clear. So they get Trump on last night, and yesterday is the day that Romney officially became the nominee, the night he gets enough delegates with Texas. So they get Trump on, they do a pre-interview with Trump, and they talk about a lot of things that might come up — and they leave something out.
They don’t tell Trump that they’re gonna talk about the birther issue. When they get Trump on, that is the dominant topic, and they get Trump on record — and then that serves as the media narrative all day today. And the media narrative all day today is, “Trump steps on Romney’s big day! Trump takes glory away from Romney!” Meanwhile, we we’re told, “Stay away from Reverend Wright! Don’t go there again! Don’t bring it up! It’s not productive; the independents don’t like it.”
I checked my e-mail and I’ve got e-mails, “Rush, you better get off this Dolores Huerta stuff. People aren’t gonna understand it. They’re gonna think you’re anti-Hispanic.” See, this is how it works. I’ve not said, “I hate all Democrats.” I’ve not said half the stuff, one-tenth the stuff, that Dolores Huerta or Toni Morrison have said. But I’m the one that’s gotta play it close to the vest. These people can say anything they want and we’re not supposed to talk about it. We’re not supposed to tell anybody. No siree, Bob! Not at all.
Here’s the AP headline: “Romney Clinches Nomination, but Trump Overshadows.”
New York Times: “Romney Finds Himself Upstaged by Trump on Big Day.”
Reuters: “Trump Birther Remarks Overshadow Romney Appearance.”
Los Angeles Times: “Donald Trump Steals Limelight from Romney Campaign.”
Detroit Free Press: “Donald Trump Overshadows Romney Nomination.”
Yahoo News: “In Vegas, Romney Claims the Nomination; the Focus is on Trump.”
And there’s another AP story: “Trump Overshadows Romney with Birther Talk.”
Now, it was clearly a setup. But, in saying that, Trump ought to know, and I’m sure he figured this was gonna come up. So he takes at risk going on the show and he knows it’s gonna happen.