RUSH: I’ve got all these sound bites, and, honestly, folks, the first 11 are about me. I obviously was not here yesterday, and we were not here over the weekend. Eleven of these things are about me, and they’re about how I’m the reason there is partisanship in Washington. I’m the reason there’s division in the Republican Party. I’m the reason the Republican Party is afraid to compromise, negotiate, and be bipartisan. I’m the reason Ted Cruz is behaving the way he’s behaving. Ted Cruz is behaving the way he’s behaving because he wants to be me. I mean, it just never ends.
Oh, and then there is the obligatory, “Limbaugh is just an entertainer and is laughing all the way to the bank ’cause he doesn’t mean any of this. He just knows how to push your buttons and sell advertising. None of what Limbaugh really believes do you even know. ‘Cause Limbaugh would not be that stupid to tell you.” Things like that. And, as you know, I mentioned that I had these. I do not like when this program becomes about me, since everybody else makes what they do about me. But some of these, they’re funny enough that I think we will air some.
RUSH: I have been talked into, during the break, and I’ve agreed to be talked into it since most of the program’s in the can now, to explore some of the sound bites mentioning me that took place since I was last with you on Friday. We start here Friday night in New York City on New York 1’s The Road to City Hall. The host, Errol Louis, interviewed the Chuck-U Schumer. They talked about the effort to defund Obamacare and the government shutdown, and Errol Louis said to Chuck-U Schumer, “How did they,” meaning the Republicans, “how did they so badly miscalculate?”
SCHUMER: The Rush Limbaughs of the world, they had a lot of clout. And so I think most Republicans thought the strategy was flawed from the beginning, but they said, “Well, let’s let it play out and see what happens.” Certainly Boehner did. He was a very poor leader. I think there was an element of fear there that, “I don’t want to oppose the Tea Party.” Pete King, who played a very courageous role here, told me that many of the moderates felt threatened and cowered by the Tea Party early on.
RUSH: Oh, don’t you just love this? So here’s Chuck-U talking about his old buddy Pete King, “Well, the moderates like Pete King felt threatened and cowered by the Tea Party.” Isn’t that a great thing to have said about you? Yeah, they were threatened and they were afraid of the Tea Party and then the Rush Limbaughs — there are no Rush Limbaughs of the world. There is Rush Limbaugh of the world. Yeah, had a lot of clout. Most of the Republicans thought the strategy was flawed but, you know, Pete King, courageous role in trying to help us, Harry Reid and me. He’s not saying I ordered the government shutdown.
Snerdley, it’s now a talking point. Remember the objective here is to discredit me. And so whenever the Republican Party does something that they think has been a boondoggle mistake, blame me. It’s just a talking point for ’em now. Now, here’s a Republican, Steve LaTourette. He is a Republican from Ohio. I hope I’m pronouncing his name right. It looks like LaTourette, as in Tourette’s syndrome. I’ve never heard his name pronounced, could be Tourette, LaTourette. He was on Washington Journal on C-SPAN this morning, and during the call-in segment, a caller, Andrew from Rochester and LaTourette had this exchange about the Republican Party and of course moi.
CALLER: The problem is that the talk radio guys are leading those Republicans around by the nose. Rush Limbaugh, he tries to blame the media, but what people don’t realize is that Rush Limbaugh is the media. He’s not in danger, he is the danger, like Walker White said, remember that?
LATOURETTE: Yeah, I did. People forget that talk shows on the right and the left, these people are entertainers and they’re in the business of selling advertising. They’re really not in charge of either the Republican or the Democratic Party based upon what their ideology is.
RUSH: So Chuck-U Schumer, yeah, I’m leading the Republican Party around, I’m making old buddy Pete King threatened and cowered by the Tea Party. To Republican, LaTourette, I’m just an entertainer selling advertising, not really in charge. This caller says he’s not in danger, he is the danger like Walter White said. Walter White? That’s Breaking Bad. What did Walter White have to do anything with this? Was Walter White in favor of the shutdown? Walter White died before the shutdown. GOP consultant. This is NPR Morning Edition yesterday during a report about Senator Ted Cruz. This is a strategerist John Feehery. I think this guy, if my memory serves, I think this guy was on Denny Hastert’s staff, if I’m not mistaken.
FEEHERY: Depends on what he wants to do with his life. You know, if he wants to be a long-term Senator who actually gets things done, alienating every single other person in both bodies is not a way to do it. But if he wants to, you know, be a talk show host or go the way of Sarah Palin, you know, he’s going the right way. I mean, he’s gonna have a passionate following, people who listen to talk radio shows, people like Rush Limbaugh, but if he wants to actually get stuff done, this is no way to do it.
RUSH: So Feehery is now a Republican consultant. This Cruz is just not the way to do it. Speaking of consultants, I didn’t tell you this. It was Thursday afternoon and I did an interview from our Philadelphia affiliate, and I did an interview with the morning drive personality — (interruption) What? During the interview, it was just supposed to be, “Hey, Rush is coming back. How’s things going? We’re happy to have you back, you happy to be back? Oh, you’re not happy to be back, why not?” That kind of an interview. And he said to me, “Now, Rush, you know the prevailing opinion now in talk radio is that politics is taboo, just gotta get off that and move on to something else.”
I said, “Wait a minute. Who’s saying that?” And I didn’t even give him a chance to answer. I said, “Who’s saying that? A bunch of consultants saying that? This is the time to get out of politics, this is the time? Here I’ve been doing this for 25 years, ranking at the top doing it. Do you think maybe if it were time to get off of it, I would know it and be leading the way? Who’s saying these things?” And he didn’t answer because I really didn’t give him a chance. But, once again, it’s the consultants and these are people who have rarely done it, but they set themselves up as experts, tell people how to get elected. “I’m the guy that can get you the independents.” They tell radio program directors and stations what to program, what not to program.
And apparently every time, folks, in radio, just so you know, every time it seems that the Republicans lose, every time that happens, consultants in radio tell local stations, “You’ve gotta drop politics. You’ve got to stop emphasizing it. You’ve gotta get back to carrot cake recipes and sewage problems in the local community.” It’s the worst advice they could ever be given. But it’s common, and it happens. And so here’s another consultant telling Ted Cruz, “If you want to be anything, if you want to be big in Washington, you gotta stop acting the way you’re acting. You gotta act more like we do.” Which is what, losers?
Now, Ted Cruz, for his part, he’s getting standing ovations when he goes home to Texas eight minutes long, and he’s telling the audience, and they’re fully aware of this, “Look, we are taking on the establishment. Nobody said they weren’t gonna fight back. Nobody said we’re gonna win this the first time around. Everybody knows this is a long-haul kind of thing.” So, anyway, just a little side note attached to that comment from John Feehery. (interruption) What last quote? Oh. If you actually want to get things done, that’s no way to — that’s what Obama said. That’s right. Okay. So here’s this consultant, John Feehery, who I think he did work on Hastert’s staff, not mistaken. Yeah, his last line is to Ted Cruz. “If Ted Cruz wants to actually get stuff done, this is no way to do it.”
That’s exactly what Obama told congressional Republicans the second week he was in office in 2009. He called ’em up there, Republicans in the House and Senate, and he said, “Look, if guys want to get things done you have got to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh. That’s not how things get done in Washington.” It was reported and I ended up talking to John Boehner here a couple of weeks later, and he was telling me about it. And he said, “Why would he say that?” He was totally flummoxed why Obama would say that to ’em. And I said, “John, because what he wanted you to do, he wanted you or somebody, when you left the White House and went out to that bank of microphones, to agree with it. He wanted just one of you to denounce me.”
“Well, that wasn’t gonna happen. I don’t know what he’s thinking.” He was hoping. So Snerdley, good point. Here’s a Republican consultant offering Ted Cruz the identical advice Obama offered congressional Republicans. Talk about getting things done. Like what? Obamacare? Dodd-Frank? IRS oversight of the Tea Party? I mean, what kind of things are being done here that we want to keep happening? This is absurd.
RUSH: This one you’ve gotta hear. Oh, John Feehery managed the communications operation for Denny Hastert. I was right about that. He started his career as a speechwriter for Bob Michel. And if you don’t who Bob Michel is, there’s a reason. Now, Michael Kranish, deputy Washington bureau chief, Boston Globe, Sunday morning C-SPAN, Washington Journal. He’s got a book out called “Broken City.” It’s a series of articles on Washington.” Steve Scully was talking to him. He said, “Chapter 13, Michael, you write about the partisan media. You take aim at MSNBC and Fox and Rush Limbaugh. Can you ‘splain that?”
KRANISH: If you’re gonna write about why things are broken, you have to look at what is the role of Rush Limbaugh. Obviously, Rush Limbaugh and others, they’re openly partisan. If you go back to 1980, there were about 52 million people watching the evening network news broadcast. Today that number is about 21 million or so, and the cable news networks don’t begin to make up for that. The growth of other media outlets and also how the White House deals with this new environment. They can’t simply call up the networks and say, “We’re going on tonight for an evening broadcast,” and expect 60 million viewers. Those days are over. Ronald Reagan enjoyed that, but Obama can’t. It may be one of the reasons that we do have this broken nature, because the cultural glue is no longer there the way it used to.
RUSH: The cultural glue! Did you hear that — the cultural glue, the evening newscasts. The 6:30, seven o’clock network newscasts were the cultural glue. That’s where the networks had their monopoly. And then along came the EIB Network.
And he’s right about that. I hate to say it, but when I started this show 1988, the only thing other than the networks at the time was CNN. That was it. And there was no conservative national media in 1988. Now he’s right. They had a combined 60 million viewers, and now — 21 million is high. The cultural glue. They used to control what you thought. They used to control what you knew. They used to control what you heard about. They used to control what you didn’t hear about. So he’s right, in his own way, the question is, is it a bad or a good thing. This is why TIME Magazine — this very sound bite is why TIME Magazine did a cover story on me saying am I the problem with America. “Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America?” was the cover. Why? ‘Cause I was bringing too much democracy. There was too much opinion. Too many points of view.