RUSH: Greetings, my friends. How are you? It is the one and only Rush Limbaugh program on the even EIB. We are making progress. I actually think we’re making progress! I’ll explain in just in time. But first it’s Friday, so let’s go.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: Greetings to you, music lovers, thrill-seekers, conversationalists all across the fruited plain. Open Line Friday, wrapping up an amazing, spectacular, busy broadcast week. So great to have you with us today. Here is the telephone number, if you want to be on the program. 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com. Open Line Friday means that you are not constrained by the normal rules imposed on callers Monday through Thursday, and that means that you don’t have to talk about anything I particularly care about. I mean, that’s the best way to describe it. So have at it.
Okay, as you know, I’ve been trying to really emphasize — and I know I’m running at risk of sounding repetitive, but please bear with me on this. It’s crucially important. I have been focusing on one take in terms of defining the meaning of the election. That was: This was a vote giving the Republican Party a single mandate. Stop Barack Obama. Stop the implementation of policies authored by Democrats, Harry Reid, Pelosi, Obama, anywhere, just stop it.
Now, I do not watch cable TV at night, and this is not a criticism. I just don’t. It’s partly my way of getting away and having balance in life. There’s some other reasons, too. Other things I prefer to do. It’s not a criticism of anything. But this leads to some very frustrating evenings for me sometimes, and last night was one of them because I wasn’t watching, but I started getting e-mail after e-mail after e-mail from people who all assumed that I was watching. Therefore they assumed that I knew what was being said about me. And of course I didn’t, because I wasn’t watching.
Whenever somebody assumes a bunch of things that you already know — this is why I say it takes six weeks of listening to this program to fully understand. It takes six weeks, minimum, to get the context of this program so that you can tune in any day of the week and understand why what is being said is being said and what’s going on. Well, I didn’t know how I was being discussed last night, and I didn’t know who was discussing me, but people sending me e-mails were trying to warn me or to praise me or to alert me, but they all assumed that I was watching, too. And so the e-mails contained no information. And it got to be very frustrating.
I’m writing them back, “Look, you guys, I’m not watching. You gotta start at square one and tell me what’s happening.” And I didn’t know until I got here today what was going on. And let me boil it down for you. My take — and the audio sound bites bear this out. This is important. This is not ego, folks. Now, stick with me on this. My analysis of the election results is all over the place, and it’s predictably being shot down in a number of places, and others are agreeing with it somewhat but it doesn’t go far enough. Understandable in all cases. The left, their opposition to it, is fascinating. There are, I think, two primary reasons why Democrats find it so objectionable.
By the way, to avoid being confusing to you, let me again ask a simple question: What in the heck was the mandate if it wasn’t to stop Obama? We’ve got the exit polling data to prove it now, by the way. Sixty-one percent, stop Obama. There’s no question, what else could it have been? The Republicans didn’t run on a mandate. Individual Republican races did, but the Republican Party did not have a national brand or national identity. What could this election have meant? It could not have meant anything but stop Obama.
Now, the left can’t afford that. Stopping Obama is stopping liberalism. This was deep. This was big. Folks, this was a shellacking I think even broader and wider and deeper than 2010. This is huge what happened on Tuesday. It is major. It’s gonna be a long time before the Democrats recover from this, and therefore they can’t afford there to be an accepted explanation for this election result that means anything like what they believe in was rejected. They simply cannot let that stand.
So I am being assaulted and criticized and what have you at all the left-wing places that you can imagine, because that’s something they just can’t tolerate. I mean, even in this moment of great despair for them, even in this moment of just total rejection, they are going to maintain the notion that the premise of every issue is liberalism or just changing the degree here.
They’re not gonna admit, they will not allow, at least as far as they can go to control it, the perception that they, Obama, liberalism was rejected. They can’t afford that, as you can understand, they can’t afford that to happen. They can’t let that set in. Which is another reason why it’s so important to keep pounding and reminding people of it.
There can be no other conclusion. It is major, and it reassures us in so many ways we haven’t lost the country. That the country has not been taken over by a majority of people who want a welfare state, for example. And it wasn’t just Republicans saying “no.” Do you know that 29 Democrat senators who voted for Obama are gone? Twenty-nine senators who voted for Obamacare are gone. They either retired, died in office, there are three of those, or they were defeated in their reelection campaigns. But all told, 29 Democrat senators who voted for Obamacare are gone, sayonara. The majority of them were defeated. Some retired, some died in office, Lautenberg, Daniel Inouye, and I can’t recall the third.
At any rate, on the conservative side of things, on the Republican side of things, the mandate of stop Obama, some people like it; some people agree with it; some think it doesn’t go far enough; some people reject it. But the reason why it’s being talked about everywhere, partially is ’cause I’m the one saying it. I mean, I’ll be honest. Take your pick, let’s say a Fox News analyst had said it, it would be applauded as brilliant and genius and everybody would be agreeing with it. But because I said it and I’m talk radio, that presents a problem, even on the right. But especially on the left.
Now, I think the fact that so many people are acting like stuck pigs over this is clear evidence that it’s on point. The left, again, simply cannot afford for people in this country to believe the Democrats lost because the people wanted liberalism stopped and thrown out, Obama stopped, Democrat Party stopped and thrown out. They simply can’t allow that to set in. So they will continue to oppose it with their buddies in the media. (interruption) Are those the new routers? Are you hooking ’em up right now? 1102.AC? Cool! It’s only been how many months we’ve been waiting on the state-of-the-art routers. This is gonna be an even better day than I thought.
The left simply cannot afford for the truth of the meaning of their massive defeat to set in. So their buddies in the media and elsewhere throughout the party are gonna do everything they can to pooh-pooh it and try to call it something else. Minimum wage, you wouldn’t believe some of the excuses they’re concocting. Let’s go to the audio sound bites and start with one of the ways this is manifesting itself on the Republican side.
Last night — and this is what I got an e-mail about and I didn’t understand it ’cause I wasn’t watching. My cousin Andy sent me an e-mail about this, and I read it, had to write him back, “What are you talking about?” He assumed I was watching and I wasn’t. So I had to come get it all today and find out what it was. It’s Karl Rove on Hannity last night, and Hannity was asking Rove what he thinks of my take on the meaning of the election, meaning, the mandate the Republican Party has is to stop Barack Obama. Hannity said, “I agree with Rush. I think the first mandate’s to stop the president because it’s hurting the country. Do you agree with that?”
ROVE: Yes, I do. But it’s insufficient. The country wants more than that. They want positive, optimistic conservative answers. They want to see legislation that will repeal and replace Obamacare. They want to see many of the ideas embodied in the bills passed by the US House of Representatives that would spur greater economic growth, more jobs, more opportunity for all Americans. They don’t want us to simply sit there and say, “No, Mr. President, we’re not gonna do anything.” They want us to stop him from doing bad things and they want us to offer up the agenda —
RUSH: Now, wait. Before you get mad, this is progress. This is progress, folks. This is major, major progress. Now, everybody who’s been listening to this program knows I never said “do nothing” and I never said stop. I am the guy who, for months, has been lamenting that the Republicans did not do what Rove wants them to do here. And I’m not alone. Countless of us, you included, thought it would be wise for the Republicans to set forth an agenda so that they would have a mandate to do these things.
On this program yesterday it was I who suggested — and I’m not alone in this, either — that the Republicans send bill after bill after bill up to Obama, knowing full well he’s going to veto it. And then what I suggested to do, be it individual bills to repeal Obamacare or whatever, do public opinion polls on every bill and find out what the majority percentage is in the American people body politic on it and then attach that to the bill in a letter to Obama when you send it up there.
I used as an example the medical device tax. We’re gonna repeal the medical device tax. We send the bill up and attached to it is a letter. “Dear Mr. President: Here’s our bill. We want to repeal this, and here is public opinion polling data showing that 75% of the American people agree.” And publicize it. Release the letter, release the legislation, send it up there. That’s not doing nothing.
Let me make this very clear. My pounding the meaning of this mandate means “stop Obama” was rooted in something that you and I also know to be true, and that is, most Republicans were running around talking about the need to compromise and to get along and to cross the aisle, to shake hands, to make the system work, to fix the system. That’s what I was saying “no” to. I was not saying “no” to advancing a conservative agenda. Who in the world could think I meant that? Nobody thinks I was saying “no” to advance a conservative agenda. I’m the guy who thinks one should have been advanced the past six months. What I was saying “no” to was don’t compromise with these losers, and don’t treat them like winners.
There’s McCain up there begging Obama not to go outside the Constitution. “Please don’t, just wouldn’t be advised.” You don’t beg the loser not to do something, Senator. Act like winners. That’s not saying get in people’s face and point fingers at ’em. You don’t have to act like you’re subservient or subordinate and beg the president not to do something. Well, you know he’s gonna do it anyway. This notion of mine — and I don’t mind having to say this countless times to make it clear. That’s what this is all about is communicating this exactly as I mean it.
When I said the mandate of this election is to stop Obama, that was stated within the context of hearing so many other Republicans say, “We must cross the aisle. We must compromise. We must work together.” Or hearing Republicans say, “The American people just told us in this election they want us to work with the Democrats. They want us to compromise.” No, no, no! They don’t want any of that. They want you to stop Obama. They do want a conservative agenda, and they do want it advanced. It’s been one of the frustrating things absent in the campaign. But we understood the thinking. Democrats are committing suicide, so don’t say anything, don’t distract anybody from it, just let ’em continue to immolate themselves and be done with it and pick up the pieces later. I get that.
But there was also a fear, let’s be honest, the Republican Party had a fear that if they put an agenda forward the American people would reject it because they don’t have the confidence to think the American people support it. But they do, and they know that now after the election, the exit polls, and some of the data that’s come in. So I have never said “do nothing.” And defining the mandate of the election as “stop Obama” does not equal “do nothing.” What it equals is don’t compromise with the losers; don’t cross the aisle; don’t do half-baked amnesty to get the Hispanic vote.
Don’t do any of that. Don’t compromise on the Democrats with any of the issues that resulted in their defeat. And if I have to, I’ll go get the tape from yesterday’s program where I suggested bill after bill after bill be sent to the White House, make Obama veto ’em. Further illustrate to the people of this country who is the obstructionist; further illustrate to the people of this country who it is that’s really saying “no.” You send every bill up that has attached to it the results of a public opinion survey showing majority support for that bill, you send it up there and make him veto it.
That is not doing nothing. That is a proactive agenda, but it is incumbent that people understand that this has to stop, what Obama and the Democrats are doing has to stop. And the Democrats can’t afford for that take to be understood. They can’t afford for that take to establish deep roots. Liberalism to be rejected? The American people’s votes to mean they want no more liberalism? That’s panic time for them.
Have to take a break. You sit tight. We’ll be back and continue on this roll. Don’t go away.
RUSH: Here’s the next Karl Rove bite. This is Hannity again last night, and Rove had the following to say. He kept going.
ROVE: I disagree with people who say the mandate only came to the Republicans because they said they were against Obama. I listened carefully to what people like Thom Tillis and Tom Cotton and Cory Gardner and Joni Ernst said.
RUSH: Hold it. Stop, stop, stop the tape. Now, I don’t know that he’s talking about me there, because that’s not what I said. I did not say the mandate comes to Republicans because they said they were against Obama. Maybe he’s talking about somebody else. I said the mandate, the reason Republicans were elected is to stop Obama. I don’t know that any Republicans ran around saying they wanted to stop Obama. I’m saying the voters spoke up on their own.
The only way that you can honestly analyze the meaning of this election since the Republicans were not offering and did not offer a national agenda, the Democrats were rejected. Liberalism, Obamaism, it was rejected. And that means people want it stopped. I did not say that Republicans were running around campaigning on the premise they were gonna stop Obama. I, in fact, mentioned yesterday and the day before that it was Republican senatorial candidates running around making an issue out of Obamacare and repealing it.
But let’s not forget. The Republican establishment has been talking all along about how they’re not gonna repeal Obamacare. Not this week, but prior to the election. Context is so important here in understanding what people are talking about. The Republican establishment, up until this week, didn’t seem like they were very much into stopping Obama or rejecting or repealing Obamacare except for the candidates that were running, and they did, which I mentioned. We do want conservatism in this country. That’s part and parcel of stopping Obama and replacing him. It makes perfect sense. I just want to make sure I’m quoted properly here.
RUSH: Here’s Pat Roberts. He was on Fox News Channel Cavuto yesterday afternoon. Cavuto gets it wrong, too. This is why, folks, I’m continually discussing this. You know, last night was a classic illustration. I actually thought about turning what happened to me last night into a teachable moment, but I figured it would be too esoteric and too hard to understand without you being able to see the e-mails. I mean, it was frustrating as hell. I was getting e-mails from people all night assuming I knew what they knew, but I didn’t. And they were telling me what they thought of it and what I should do about it, and I was clueless. I had no idea.
So I wrote them back. I said, “Wait a minute. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not watching. Could you start at the beginning?” And some of them were able to explain it to me, some weren’t. Making yourself understood is a very, very important thing to do. I am a professional communicator and I take it very seriously, saying what I mean and being understood when I say it.
Now, I understand satire and parody are guaranteed to be misunderstood. That’s the point — well, it’s not the point, but the humor, the comedy is the people who get fooled by that stuff and their reaction to it. But here’s Cavuto. He says to Pat Roberts, senator from Kansas, “Go ahead and bit by bit sort of shove it back in the president’s face, but not ignore the president, as what Rush Limbaugh advocates.” I did not say ignore the president! How do you get I’m saying ignore the president from the mandate is stop Obama? (interruption) No, it’s not personally frustrating. The point here is, I’ve been doing this 25 years. Look, it’s been six years since I said, “I hope he fails,” and even now there are people who don’t understand.
Two things about that. There are people who don’t understand why I said it, and they don’t understand what I mean. In fact, let me give you an example. It’s a Peggy Noonan column. Let me see if I can find what stack I put it in. Peggy Noonan had a column last night that actually runs today in the Wall Street Journal, and there’s one sentence in her column that illustrates what I’m talking about. But as is the usual case here, I can’t remember what stack I put it in. So while I’m looking for it let me go to the Pat Roberts sound bite here where Cavuto, because he misunderstands, misstates my position to Pat Roberts and then asks Pat Roberts for his reaction to what I didn’t say that Cavuto misrepresented. Here’s the bite.
ROBERTS: Well, I don’t know about shoving anything in anybody’s face. I don’t think you gain anything in Washington by doing that.
CAVUTO: Maybe you just place it before them.
ROBERTS: Ah, we could put it on a plate and offer it to him, you know.
RUSH: Nobody wants to ignore Obama. You can’t. It’s impossible to ignore Obama. Everything is still all about Obama. But this is how these things get started and get misrepresented. “Go ahead and bit by bit sort of shove it back in the president’s face, but not ignore the president, as some conservatives or people like Rush Limbaugh advocate.” How do you get “ignore the president” from “the mandate of this election is ‘stop Obama'”? At any rate, so there’s that.
Brandy in St. Cloud, Florida. Great to have you on the program. You’re up first today. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Mr. Limbaugh! I am so totally geeking out. I absolutely love you.
RUSH: Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
CALLER: You really do have talent on loan from God, and I’m really grateful for your voice, and you totally represent what I’m thinking and what I’m feeling, and I just love you. My question for you is: Why does the Republican Party and its leadership both in the House and the Senate — why do Boehner and McConnell — automatically get to retain the leadership positions, instead of getting someone in there like Trey Gowdy or Ted Cruz that can lead with something other than —
RUSH: Well, these guys are not anointed. They’re elected, and they have power bases like any other leadership does, and they’ve been doing it for a long time, and they haven’t done anything that would make somebody want to oppose them who could win. They don’t have anybody that’s seriously gonna oppose them and therefore — at this point in time, anyway — there simply aren’t the votes anywhere to replace them.
CALLER: So they have to be, like, voted out of there, the leadership positions?
RUSH: Yeah. They run for that office, just like anybody in politics runs for their office. I mean, it’s not an appointed position is the point. They have to run and they have to get elected.
CALLER: Who elects them?
RUSH: Other Republicans in the House and the Senate.
CALLER: Well, why don’t they get rid of them? I’m serious. Like, why are we keeping people in a position…? Like, the first thing that McConnell said in his acceptance speech was that he wanted to get along with Obama. We don’t want that. You are absolutely right. We do not want people in there that are gonna compromise and work with the president to further his agenda. His agenda has been disastrous. We are living his agenda, and we want it repealed. We want it reversed. We want to head in a different direction. And if these people are wanting to work with him, we want them out.
RUSH: Well, he knows how you feel. Trust me. He knows how you and everybody else who agrees with you, he knows how you feel.
CALLER: But does he care? I’m just sick of politicians that —
RUSH: Well, it’s too early. Look, it’s too soon to tell. At this stage, everything that is said is to stake out a position with one group or another. It’s way too soon here, Brandy. You can say, based on your intelligence guided by experience, that your fears are justified and you think they’re gonna cave, and not many people would agree disagree with you. But they haven’t yet. We just have to wait and see. But we’re back to the old question that we had before the election. We’ve won this, and it’s not time to get fatalistic yet. Just hang on. Hang in there and be tough. We’re just getting started on this.