RUSH: It is required that we talk about this hurricane. I’m going to walk you through Saturday, keeping in mind I pay close attention (as does everybody who lives here). We were never originally targeted by the eye of this hurricane, but we were going to be close enough to it that we did have to consider whether or not to decamp, to be able to do the program today. Would there be power failures? Would there be loss of satellite uplinks and so forth, making it impossible to do the program?
So we pay close attention (I do anyway) whether or not to put up the hurricane shutters, what steps to take to protect the property, all these things. So I’m eagle-eyeing this thing, and not just like everybody else does here, too. I’m not just paying attention to whatever the hurricane center says; I try to get hold of as much data as I can. With the Internet, there’s a plethora of it.
The model runs, for example, other analysts besides those at the hurricane center trying to tell you what they think might happen, because nobody knows. There’s worlds of data, trend lines. This kind of thing can show you the likelihood where it’s gonna end up six hours from now, 12 hours, 24, 48. But nobody really knows, so you eagle-eye it. Let’s move to Saturday, because that’s when this really all started happening. And keep in mind the reason I’m taking you through this.
The media is now out there saying that Hurricane Katrina is hanging like a pall over the Republican convention in Tampa. So this whole thing has been politicized, as the Democrats politicize everything, and that’s why we are talking about it. Now, I want to remind you: All last week… And, no, at no time here am I alleging a conspiracy. At no time. With none of this am I alleging conspiracy. All last week what was the target? Tampa. What was going on in Tampa this week?
The Republican National Convention. A pretty important one, too. Introducing the nominee, Mitt Romney. It’s only after the convention that Romney can actually start spending all of this money that he’s raised, so this convention is very important. It’s a chance to introduce Romney to a lot of people who don’t know him yet. And I noticed that the hurricane center’s track is — and I’m not alleging conspiracies here. The hurricane center is the regime; the hurricane center is the Commerce Department.
It’s the government.
And I’m noticing that that track stayed zeroed in on Tampa day after day after day. And the Republicans reacted to it accordingly over the weekend, canceling the first day of the convention. What could be better for the Democrats than the Republicans to cancel a day of this? Even though the media wasn’t going to televise a lot of it anyway, they can’t televise it if it isn’t happening. And the GOP brain trust decides, “Well, you know what? Looking at this forecast track, we don’t want to have this thing on Monday.
“We have delegates flying into town here, the port may be closed. It’s too dangerous. We don’t want people put at risk trying to get there. So we’ll shut it down. We’ll gavel it to order on Monday and we’ll do a bunch of pro forma stuff, but we actually won’t do anything seriously ’til Tuesday.” They made this announcement Saturday or Sunday, I forget which day. Now, Saturday night and all day Saturday I’m looking at the model runs, and the model runs come out every three to five hours, depending on which model. It’s two p.m., five p.m., eight p.m.
And at eight p.m. Saturday night I see one of the biggest, one of the largest shifts in model forecast I have seen since 1997 when I moved down here and started caring about this stuff and started studying it. Up until Saturday night’s eight p.m. model runs, this hurricane was gonna either hit Pensacola or someplace a little further south. Never Tampa. They had moved it away from Tampa by Friday. But they hit the Florida Panhandle, close enough to Tampa. And the primary wind field is on the right side of this thing, so even if it’s 50 or 25 miles offshore, the bulk of the wind is right there over Tampa.
You don’t need a direct hit, in other words. So Pensacola. Saturday at five o’clock Pensacola. Every model agreed. At eight o’clock, I look at the model runs. Folks, only one of them — out of about 12, 15 models — still had it going to Pensacola. Every model had it, at eight o’clock Saturday night, either at New Orleans or Mobile, Alabama, or something in Mississippi. I looked at that. That is a huge spread. That is a huge change in a three-hour period, for the models to move hundreds of miles.
And not once, in all the model runs of the days prior, had New Orleans been in the picture. Maybe a stray model had it going there. Maybe stray model or two over to the Houston area, but outliers. Nowhere near the model consensus. Model consensus was always Pensacola or someplace in the Florida Panhandle, affectionately known here as the Redneck Riviera. Until eight o’clock Saturday night. At eight o’clock Saturday night, Tampa wasn’t even in the picture anymore. There wasn’t a curve to the north, or even back to the Northeast.
This was a beeline. This is gonna follow the coast of Cuba right up to New Orleans, in every model. So I started sending out e-mails to people, politically flavored e-mails, and said, “Uh-oh, folks! I’ve been worried about this. I have been concerned every model now says New Orleans. Now, the next hurricane report will be 11 p.m., three hours later, Saturday night. Let’s see what they do with it. Let’s see what the hurricane center does, because this is a huge shift.” At 11 o’clock Saturday night, hurricane center had not changed. It was still Pensacola. Maybe a little left of Pensacola.
So I read the discussion, which is where they tell you how they arrived at their forecast track and other data. And they acknowledged that the model data had moved “precipitously to the west.” But for the purposes of continuity with the previous forecast — and this is almost a quote — they’re gonna leave the track unchanged. And I said, “Okay, well…” Again, I’m alleging no conspiracy. I don’t want anybody thinking I’m going somewhere with this. I’m just telling you what happened.
I’m sharing with you my thought process, ’cause I know full well that if you give these people the slightest chance and they’re gonna turn this into Katrina and they’re gonna scare the hell out of New Orleans and they’re gonna revive, “Bush doesn’t care about people” and revive all of it. They’re gonna politicize everything ’cause they do it. And now they had the model runs allowing them to do it.
Now they had these model runs allowing them to start scaring the hell out of people in New Orleans and make political connections to Bush.
It was all there.
The Republicans had not canceled Monday yet, I don’t believe. Find out for me when they officially canceled Monday. My thinking is it was Sunday afternoon, Sunday morning, but they coulda done that Saturday night. I don’t want to be wrong about that, or anything else. So I went to bed Saturday night and said, “Okay, let’s see what they do at the five a.m. hurricane center track on Sunday.” I got up Sunday morning. I had my iPhone set on the track. All I had to do was get up and hit reload.
And, lo and behold, I guess they figured out that they didn’t need the continuity with the previous track, because now the official hurricane center track on Sunday morning at five o’clock was anywhere from New Orleans, to Biloxi, to Mobile, Alabama. But clearly nowhere near Pensacola anymore. And with each hurricane center track since five a.m. Sunday, it’s inched closer and closer to New Orleans. Now, I’ve continued to watch the models. The models are now, many of them, west of New Orleans.
They’re not dead center New Orleans. They keep moving west. The forecast track, National Hurricane Center, is right at New Orleans. And the Republicans canceled the first day of the convention. Today it isn’t happening. And there’s nothing going on in Tampa; there’s no reason not to do anything in Tampa today. They’re probably getting weather not as bad as we had on Sunday. And it was cool. You know, we made a decision not to leave.
I didn’t even fly the airplane out. I kept everything here. I knew it was gonna be okay. I wanted to live through it. It was gonna be cool. Big storms, you get prepared for them. Lots of rain and wind. You know, the wind on the beach never got any higher 35 or 40 miles an hour. Yeah, I had to take the dogs out. Of course I went out. I’m not a wuss. Of course I went out there. Damn straight to take the dogs out! What do you think I’m gonna do, say, “Here, dogs. Use the garage”? No. The dogs went out there and we toweled off when we came in. Yeah, it was cool.
Anyway let’s go to the audio sound bites.
Last night on NBC Nightly News, the anchor Lester Holt is speaking with the chief White House correspondent F. Chuck Todd about Tropical Storm Isaac and the Republican convention. And Lester Holt said, “You have this storm churning offshore. It may not make a big deal in Tampa, but is there some concern about the tone of the convention if we are seeing communities along the Gulf Coast suffering some heavy damage?”
Now, why would that have anything to do with the Republican convention? In the real world, why would a hurricane striking anywhere in the Gulf have anything to do with the Republican convention? With the tone of the Republican convention? You realize how loaded that question is? Or you go to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: He cares about you, Obama plus 22.” So Republicans are cold, heartless, mean-spirited, they kill guys’ wives and they don’t care about it. Meanwhile, while all this is being alleged about the Republicans, what do they say? Obama’s one of the nicest guys in the world. He’s just incompetent. And so now the Republicans cancel their first day and still we get a news story on how the pall of Hurricane Katrina hangs as a tone over the Republican convention. And here’s what F. Chuck Todd said.
TODD: There are folks with the Romney campaign who think, boy, Romney can’t catch a break. Ever since he named Paul Ryan, got a little bit of momentum after the Ryan pick, and then he’s disrupted by two storms. One a political storm in Todd Akin which we just brought up, but now an actual storm. And you think as this storm moves to — and closer to Louisiana, the specter, the sort of shadow of Bush and Katrina does hang over this convention. It is something organizers are concerned about, and don’t be surprised if Tuesday gets changed again, basically out of sensitivity.
RUSH: Okay, so the move is on now to force the Republicans to cancel Tuesday in order to be sensitive to whoever might get pounded by Hurricane Isaac. What do you think that is? Here’s F. Chuck saying, (imitating Todd) “It’s something organizers are concerned about. Don’t be surprised if Tuesday gets changed again, basically out of sensitivity. So Republicans, you better think about canceling Tuesday of your convention because you don’t want to be reveling it up and having a great old time in there while people are being destroyed in the Gulf.”
So on Saturday night, I’m telling people, this is exactly where this is headed. And by the way, I should say, nobody is listening to me. They think I’m full of it.
“What are you drinking?”
“Nothing! I’m trying to warn you what’s coming.”
“Oh, come on, Rush.” They started e-mailing me, have some fun, “Okay, let’s call it Hurricane Hussein.”
RUSH: Okay, 6:45 p.m. Saturday night the Republicans announce that they’re canceling Monday. At 6:45 p.m. Saturday night, everybody is still under the impression that Isaac is making a beeline for very close to Tampa. It was an hour and 15 minutes later that the eight p.m. model runs showed New Orleans. I’m alleging no conspiracy. I’m just telling you, folks, when you put this all together in this timeline, I’m telling you, it’s unbelievable. Total coincidence. And since the Clintons aren’t involved, I believe in coincidence. (laughing) When the Clintons are involved, there is no coincidence. I’m teasing.
You put this in this timeline like I’ve just described, this is incredible. An hour and 15 minutes before the eight o’clock — now, the eight o’clock model runs, that’s when they’re published. I don’t know when they’re actually run. Eight o’clock is when they’re released. They could run ’em at 7:30, could run ’em at six. Hell, I don’t know. That’s one thing I don’t know. They just publish them at eight o’clock and then eleven o’clock and then two a.m. So basically for three hours. Not every model, but the models are being run frequently enough so that every three hours enough of them have been run that you can publish any noticeable changes.
Here’s CNN. This is this morning on Starting Point. We’ve got Ron Brownstein from the National Journal and the Florida Republican Party Chairman, Lenny Curry. “I think the important thing to remind people is this is about nominating, having Mitt Romney as the official nominee so we can get on with spending our money and campaigning.”
BROWNSTEIN: We’re now in a split screen mode. Our top story is understandably, justifiably is a hurricane perhaps hitting the Gulf. This convention already has been affected enormously by the storm and will be the rest of the week. Test for the President too, if it hits New Orleans seven years…
O’BRIEN: Right, right.
BROWNSTEIN: …after President Bush failed that test.
O’BRIEN: A test where we’ve seen a track record before. Much to compare and contrast to.
RUSH: So you’ve got the Florida Republican guy talking about the convention, and he says, “Yeah, we want to get going here. We want to be able to spend the money we’ve raised. We want to get going explaining Romney and our agenda and our policies.” And these guys all respond to it, “Oh, no, look, pal, you may not get it yet, but the rest of this week we’ve just guaranteed it’s gonna be about Hurricane Katrina and Bush and how you Republicans didn’t care about anybody, and FEMA didn’t get there on time. We’re gonna relive this whole thing. It’s just not guys with wives with cancer that die, it’s whole communities that die when Republicans are in charge.” That’s what they’re telling the guy from the Florida Republican Party. Meanwhile, if you want to look at people who’ve really damaged the Gulf, it’s Obama with drilling moratoriums so forth.
RUSH: It was Ronald Brownstein in that clip on CNN who said that Bush failed the test of Hurricane Katrina. That alone illustrates the mistake the Bush people made in not fighting back against these people at all, especially the last four years, second term.
RUSH: I continue on with this theme. The degree of coincidence here is just amazing. And, by the way, folks, I just checked the model runs, the 11 a.m. model runs. I got around to it a little bit late today. The 11 a.m. model runs are starting now to show a westward tack from New Orleans. Not all of them, but a sizeable number are now west of New Orleans. The National Hurricane Center track does not yet reflect that shift, just as it didn’t on Saturday night. (interruption) Well, no, it won’t hit Los Angeles ’cause there’s a lot of… (laughing) That would be good. Hurricane Isaac pummels LA. No, it could hit Texas, though. If this thing doesn’t turn, if it just… look, I don’t want to get meteorological on you here, but if the thing in the way of it that’s keeping it from turning to the north and back to the northeast, if that stays where it is, I think it’s a low-pressure area, I’m not sure, but whatever it is, it could steer the thing further west. We don’t know.
But I want to go back to the CNN sound bite here. This is this morning on Starting Point. They’re talking to the chairman of the Florida Republican Party Lenny Curry, and they’re talking about the convention, the Republican convention. And Lenny Curry says, “I think the important thing to remind people about this morning is having Mitt Romney as the official nominee, so we can get on with spending our money and campaigning.” So he’s talking about the meat and potatoes of the convention. I want you to listen to the two CNN people here react to him this way.
BROWNSTEIN: We’re now in a split screen mode. Our top story is understandably, justifiably is a hurricane perhaps hitting the Gulf. This convention already has been affected enormously by the storm and will be the rest of the week. Test for the President, too, if hits New Orleans seven years…
O’BRIEN: Right, right.
BROWNSTEIN: …after President Bush failed that test.
O’BRIEN: A test where we’ve seen a track record before. Much to compare and contrast to.
RUSH: Yeah, that is Soledad O’Brien, named after a prison, and she’s in there, “Much to compare and much to contrast to.” Now, if it doesn’t hit New Orleans, is Obama gonna get credit for that for saving New Orleans? I remember this. Years ago there was a hurricane coming up through the Caribbean south of Cuba, and the forecast was for this thing to take a turn to the north and northeast over the eastern edge of Cuba, right to the Pinar del Rio region where is where, by the way, the Vuelta Abajo is, which is, by the way, where the finest cigar tobacco in the world is grown. That’s why I was paying attention to this one. The hurricane track had it right through the Vuelta Abajo. It didn’t make the turn. It spared Cuba.
The Cuban government put out a story that Fidel Castro had walked out to the eastern shores of Cuba and stood there with his arms raised and yelled, “No!” And with the force of his goodness and his personality, kept that hurricane from turning. Now, in this hurricane, if it spares New Orleans and, say, hits a Republican state like Texas or Mississippi, will there be as much concern? You know there won’t be. By the way, folks, the hurricane’s going where it’s going, and there’s nobody that can steer it, and I’m not denying that it looks like it’s headed to New Orleans.
What I spent the first hour trying to tell you was how it was being reported in a way that resulted in the Republicans canceling their convention today when it’s nowhere near there. And that there were model runs Saturday night that showed Tampa was not gonna be hit at all, massive shift of models that was not reflected by the hurricane center for 12 hours. That’s all I’m saying. And now we got the media jazzed like I haven’t seen ’em in a while because now Hurricane Isaac is casting a pall. How dare the Republicans even do a convention with a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast. How do they even do that? How do they have a convention where they celebrate anything when people’s property is being destroyed?
So the effort is on with the media here to try to pressure the Republicans to cancel the whole thing, is what I think is happening. The latest track, see it right there, right at New Orleans. And I’m telling you, the models have now shifted a little bit to the left of it, not reflected in the official track.
RUSHL: First Charles Krauthammer from last night on Fox, America’s Election Headquarters. A look ahead to the RNC. Bret Baier said to Dr. Krauthammer, “This is a challenge for the RNC to deal with now. The storm has passed Tampa. But to deal with the potential of category 1 or 2 hitting the Gulf Coast.”
So this is the advice Dr. Krauthammer offered the Republicans…
KRAUTHAMMER: When you get to Tuesday/Wednesday, if there is a catastrophe somewhere on the southern coast, on the Gulf of Mexico, then what’s the tone of the convention? It’s gotta change completely. It would have to be kind of solemn. It has to be more, “We’re in this together,” more inspirational. So you really have to shift the emphasis of the speeches and the introduction of Romney. That’s the whole point was introducing Romney, but now you have to think of it in larger terms and a lot softer terms.
RUSH: Okay. So the brain trust is suggesting that… And this hurricane’s gonna hit somewhere in the Gulf. Be it Texas or Alabama or Louisiana, it’s gonna hit somewhere in the Gulf. So the brain trust says (summarized), “We gotta totally redo the convention now. We gotta show sensitivity and a little inspiration here and we gotta be softer.” Here is Bill Kristol from the Weekly Standard. He’s on Fox News Sunday during the roundtable. Chris Wallace, the host, said, “Romney’s got a bigger challenge now? What is that?”
KRISTOL: It’s such a temptation — I know this so well — in the Romney camp. “They’re hitting us; we gotta hit them back.” It’s gonna be very hard. They need to be disciplined and say, “The American public does not know Mitt Romney as well as they know Barack Obama. What is the positive agenda going forward?” If this convention, if this week is about the next four years, not about the last four years, I think Romney wins. But the temptation is so great to say, “Hey, look at this thing they did two years ago! That was terrible.” They gotta make it about the future.
RUSH: Right. So, what he’s basically saying is, “Don’t make the convention about bashing Obama. Don’t do that. There are gonna be too many people tuning in who haven’t been paying attention yet, and they don’t want to see the Republicans bashing Obama. It isn’t gonna work. Don’t do it.”
By the way, here’s Obama himself on Saturday during an interview with the AP….
OBAMA: I can’t speak to Governor Romney’s motivations. What I can say is, uh, that he has signed up for positions — extreme positions — that are very consistent with the positions that, uh, a number of House Republicans have taken.
So Romney’s “extreme,” and we can say that. Obama can say whatever he wants, ’cause we know Obama. He can say Romney’s extreme and he killed a guy’s wife. But the same rules that we apply to ourselves, we are not gonna require that the Democrats play by. We’re gonna be softer in tone, melancholy, nice, inspirational, soft. We’re not gonna be critical. “Obama’s a nice guy, just incompetent.” Obama’s out there: “Yeah, Romney kill the guy’s wife! He’s extreme!” And you got Debbie “Blabbermouth” Schultz out there saying he’s extreme. I told you at the top of this program that you are not going to be like what you were gonna hear here.