RUSH: Let’s start with polling data — just to keep you up to speed on things because it’s a little bit conflicting. This is the Pew Research Center, they surveyed more than a thousand people and they asked them if they are following the scandal stories very closely. And the Pew Center poll shows that most Americans are not paying attention to the scandals, according to this. Twenty-six percent said that they are very closely following the IRS story. Twenty-five percent say they are closely following the Benghazi investigation, and just 16% are very closely following the news about the Justice Department subpoenaing AP reporters’ phone records and Fox and all the other things. Not somewhat closely, not moderately closely, just very closely.
Now, I’ve learned. I’m gonna go with the polling data. I’m not gonna sit here and say, “This can’t possibly be true.” Knowing what I know about how Obama is managing all this and how he’s appearing to be — have you noticed, folks, the common theme in all these scandals? I don’t care if it’s the Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, there’s a common theme, and it is that none of the people who were supposed to be in charge knew anything about what was going on. Not just Obama. None of the people. Hillary didn’t know what was going on in Benghazi; Panetta didn’t know what was going on in Benghazi; Fast and Furious, nobody knew anything what was going on there.
In the IRS scandal literally, be it Shulman, be it Lois Lerner, be it… what is this other babe’s name? Uhlman or something like that, whatever, she doesn’t know anything going on. And at the top of the list, Obama doesn’t know what’s going on. Now, I recall there was a Newsweek cover back three years ago in 2010, and it was a picture of Obama, big, bright yellow background, picture of Obama with five or six arms juggling all the things that were going on, health care, whatever the issues, deficit, jobs, unemployment. And the headline, it was a precursor of what of what Axelrod has been saying: This government is just too big for one man to handle anymore, including Obama.
Now, the people at Newsweek thought that they were making a point that the presidency needs to become more powerful. That Obama needs more power to deal with all this. The government’s gotten so big that when we have a great president like Obama, he needs more power. When you got a president like Bush, of course, that would not apply. Of course, the real interpretation is that the government is too big, it is out of control, it is unmanageable, it’s got its own inertia that nobody can stop. And that’s the truth of it. The government needs to get smaller. It needs to become more efficient. It needs to be starved of money and the people of this country need to be weaned off of their entitlement mentality.
So none of the principals in any of these scandals know anything about what’s going on. In Obama’s case, that ends up being a plus. He has managed for that to be something that benefits him within the universe of low-information voters that vote for the guy. Because the way Obama is seen, it’s just so big, man, look at all this stuff going on, that he can’t possibly — this wouldn’t be happening if Obama had enough power to deal with this. This wouldn’t be happening if Obama really could spend time on it. And nobody says, “Well, maybe he should come off the golf course. Maybe he should stop doing concerts for whoever at the White House. Maybe he ought to stop going on vacation, maybe he ought to start working a little bit.”
They don’t think of it that way. The poor guy’s just overworked and he’s got these mean Republicans biting at him all the time, and so forth. So, anyway, the latest polling data is that most people — this does not include you, because all of you, by definition, are in touch with this stuff wall-to-wall. So the next poll is a Rasmussen Reports poll. It’s the Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, and this is the first poll that shows Obama’s approval number starting to slip. Forty-six percent of likely voters approve of Obama’s performance. Fifty-one percent do not. Today’s figures include 25% who strongly approve of the way Obama’s performing and 41% who strongly disapprove.
Now, we’ll have to see if that poll is reflected in other polls, such as Gallup and CNN and the other polling data that is out that’s been showing Obama with a steady, or maybe even a slow, uptick in approval. Stuart Rothenberg, a Washington establishment, well-known Rothenberg Political Report. He’s an analyst. He is a pollster. He is a consultant. He’s a liberal Democrat. He’s all of those things. He’s got a piece in Roll Call: “Senate Ratings Changes: The Political Environment Turns on Democrats — While national polls havenÂ’t shown a shift in the publicÂ’s opinion of President Barack ObamaÂ’s performance, recent controversies have, in my view, significantly changed the political landscape.
“And changes in the landscape have led the Rothenberg Political Report to change its Senate ratings. … The new focus on the Obama administration puts it on the defensive and should boost enthusiasm on the political right throughout this year. While we donÂ’t know how long the focus will stay on the administration — or whether Republicans will stumble over the investigations or matters of public policy –” Speaking of which, have you heard that the word is out in Washington, somebody is whispering that Boehner and the Republican leadership don’t want to go anywhere near Benghazi in terms of an investigation or hearings.
Have you heard that? Yeah, I’ve got it here. I’ll get to it as the program unfolds. Don’t really want to touch that, for some reason. I don’t know why and I don’t know that it’s totally true. Just some scuttlebutt.
RUSH: This is Chris. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program. Great to have you here. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, mega dittos Rush. Great to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Yeah, I was calling about your comment about the sixties kind of causing some of the scandals that are going on here, and I kind of saw it a little different. Maybe kind of a… The need to win. You know, it’s the left versus the right, Democrats versus Republicans. And, you know, watching some of the IRS hearings, there’s kind of an effort to, you know, say, “I didn’t know anything. That was above me. Someone else was doing it,” and it reminded me of the Sandusky scandal at Penn State where you knew everyone knew. They just had a football program to win, and it was kind of win at all costs. I kind of see that happening here, too, where everyone knows what these people are doing in the administration. They like it, though, so they don’t want to stop it.
RUSH: Well, it’s an interesting comparison, although I think there’s a common thread through all these scandals, and that is that none of the people at the top supposedly knew what was going on from Obama on down. Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious. Nobody knew. I frankly think that that is the culture of liberalism, as embodied by the current occupants of power: Obama and his buddies.
They’re liberals. That is a characteristic of liberalism: Not accepting responsibility, it doesn’t matter what happens. It’s doing everything at all costs, politicizing everything, advancing the agenda, eliminating your opponents. It’s all this. You might have something similar mind-set-wise at Penn State. But I think that was not so much political as people just trying to protect themselves, although the program, too. You have admit.