RUSH: Yesterday I reacted to the news that Jeb Bush had decided to seek an exploratory committee examination of whether or not he should run for the presidency, the Republican nomination, 2016. My reaction to this — and you heard it on this program, and there was nothing extreme about it, nothing erratic about it, nothing fanatical about it. It was delivered in reasoned conversational tone and tenor.
And yet the CBS Evening News, “Limbaugh fumed over Jeb Bush.” Mark Halperin and John Heilemann: “Limbaugh up in arms over Jeb Bush.” And then they claim that Republican elites are delighted to see Jeb attacked by me, because that means Jeb’s an instant shoo-in. That sounds like what the Democrats say. But this is being attributed to Republicans. I can remember when not long ago I was honorary member of the freshman class. And now I’m enemy number one. Anyway, folks, I’ve got the perfect ticket. I have the perfect presidential ticket for 2016.
RUSH: Let’s now get to the hubbub, if you will, that occurred in the Drive-By Media in reaction to my reaction to Jeb Bush saying yesterday that he was going to form an exploratory committee. We’ll first start with the CBS Evening News. Scott Pelley is the anchor, and the sound bite doesn’t… I guess he handed it off or passed it off to a reporter, Nancy Cordes, and this is her report about Jeb announcing that he is formally exploring a run for the presidency.
CORDES: It was no surprise when the knives came out today from both sides. On the right, Rush Limbaugh fumed about Bush’s moderate positions on immigration and education.
RUSH ARCHIVE: He’s not gonna pander to the Tea Party. Nope. He’s not gonna pander to conservatives. He’s gonna show that you can win the Republican Party nomination without securing the base.
RUSH: Stop the tape. Stop the tape. Did I fume? Did I say anything about education there? Did I say anything about immigration there? Let me review what they quote me here as saying. Audio sound bite. I did say this. It was me. “He’s not gonna pander to the Tea Party. Nope. He’s not gonna pander to conservatives. He’s gonna show you can win the nomination without securing the base.”
That was fuming?
That was ripping him?
It’s nothing but factual. I’m simply repeating what Jeb himself has been telling these people at the CEO conference he attended put on by the Wall Street Journal. I’m just quoting Jeb! I’m not fuming. I’m fuming now, but I wasn’t fuming yesterday. This is fuming. Yeah, yeah, she also said “the knives have come out.” Exactly right. The knives come out. I don’t have a knife here, verbal or otherwise.
But that’s not… Go to the next sound bite. Yeah, go ahead and play… Never mind. We don’t need her close. Go to sound bite two. There’s a new show now, not the CBS News. This comes from Bloomberg TV, which means nobody saw it, with all due respect. Here’s cohost John Heilemann, who cohosts the show with his buddy, Mark Halperin, and here is their take essentially that I, El Rushbo, was up in arms over Jeb’s announcement.
HEILEMAN: Rush Limbaugh, here’s an edited version of his HOT take today.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Jeb Bush is out telling donors, potential donors, CEOs, and the like that he’s not — he is not — gonna compromise his principles like others have in order to get the nomination, meaning he’s not gonna pander to the Tea Party. Nope! He’s not gonna pander to conservatives. He’s gonna show that you can win the Republican Party nomination without securing the base. Their wildest dream is to render the Tea Party, conservatives an irrelevant factor.
RUSH: Okay. Was I up in arms there? Was I fuming? Was I angry? It seems once again pretty damn right-on factual, to me. But I don’t know how you get “up in arms.” Now, I know. The point here is… Folks, what is happening? I find this — and you’ll hear it in the next sound bite. What’s happening here? You know how the Democrats use me to fund-raise, and the Democrats misattribute all kinds of things to me that I never say just to tick off their own base.
There is a belief out there that you, as a public figure or a candidate or a politician, can achieve credibility by having Rush Limbaugh disagree with you. Because the theory goes: “Rush Limbaugh is so hated, Rush Limbaugh is so reviled, Rush Limbaugh is so yuk, that when Limbaugh attacks you it’s best thing can happen to you.” Well, the change is, the Republicans are starting to say this now, as you will hear the next bite.
This is Heilemann continuing. Halperin will have a voice in this one too.
HEILEMANN: We’ve got an exploratory committee here. We’ve got Rush up in arms. Uh, this was Jeb’s first move. What are his next moves?
HALPERIN: The Rush Limbaugh thing, most people who are thinking of supporting Jeb Bush in the elite class are delighted —
HEILEMANN: M’yeah! Sure!
HALPERIN: — to see him attacked by Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: Yeah. They’re delighted. So “the elites.” Okay, who are the elites? That would mean the money men, the Chamber, big donors, the Republican consultants, maybe the Republican congressional leadership. They’re just happy as can be — and I didn’t even attack him. I didn’t attack. All I’m doing is reacting, which is what I always do. I reacted to what Jeb said, and I merely added meaning to what he was saying, ’cause he is speaking in circles.
He’s not gonna come out and say that he’s gonna win this nomination despite the Tea Party. I am telling people what he means by virtue of what he’s saying, and for this I’m in fumes; I’m up in arms. And now they want you to believe that the Republican Party elite couldn’t be happier. The best thing for Jeb Bush is for Rush Limbaugh to be up in arms. It wasn’t that long ago I was a featured, frequent guest at Republican White Houses.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was honorary member of the freshman class. It wasn’t that long ago that I was the titular head of the Republican Party. In 2009 going into 2010, I was prominent, important. One day, I was entertainer. The next day, I was the leader. You know, we have a ban on MSNBC, but Chris Matthews got even on to this in MSNBC last night. You know what his theory is?
His theory is that I want the Republicans to lose so that there will… (interruption) Yeah, yeah. His theory is that I’m running a conspiracy theory, that I’m actually doing things to engineer Republican defeats, because I want Democrats in the White House to further my ratings; that I can only succeed if I’ve got something to complain about, and I can’t complain with Republicans in there, so I want Democrats to win.
So, in other words, Chris Matthews is telling his guests that I am lying. Everything that I tell you all that I deeply care about and deeply want — for America, for our country, for our people — I’m lying to you about. No, I don’t want any of that. I want the country to continue to plummet into the deepest, darkest, dankest depths of despair. I don’t care because all I care about is my ratings.
According to that idiot, the only way I can get ratings is if there are Democrats in the White House that I can attack. So here you have three different examples of the Drive-By Media all on the same page in the soap opera. CBS, this Bloomberg thing with Heilemann and what’s his name — Halperin — and then the lunatic over at MSNBC.
And no matter where you go — Democrat media, Republican media — the biggest badge of honor in America today, the biggest sign that you’re doing something right, the biggest success event in your life is to have me up in arms or fuming over you. My parents, folks… (chuckling) My parents would not believe my life. They would not believe it.
RUSH: Here’s Jim in Detroit. Jim, great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. You’re up first today. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Jeb plans to win the primary the same way Lindsey Graham did, by dividing the conservative vote. He’s gonna have a bunch of people cut each other’s throat and —
RUSH: Okay, wait, you’re the second guy who said this. We had a call yesterday who said that this is how Romney did it, had a bunch of conservatives seeking the nomination and they split the vote. How is Jeb in charge of who else seeks the nomination?
CALLER: That’s irrelevant, because he has more money. He is that arrogant that he has a war chest that he could outspend ’em all and he’ll want —
CALLER: — only people like a phony person to suck away conservative votes.
RUSH: Okay, okay, so your theory is — let’s complete the theory. Jeb hears that Romney is serious. Jeb says, “Uh-oh, if Romney gets in, that’s gonna suck up all the money. I gotta get in now if I have a chance at the money.” And he gets in and uses all the connections and all the family. He just Hoovers up all the money, so there’s none left for Rick Perry. There’s none left for Ted Cruz. There’s none left so those guys don’t even bother to get in ’cause they don’t have any money. Marco Rubio doesn’t get in because he doesn’t have a money because Jeb is Hoovering it all up. Is that what you mean?
CALLER: No. That’s not what I mean. He doesn’t care if there’s a Romney. He thinks that he has a lock. He thinks that he has —
RUSH: No, but he does care if there’s a Romney. I think Romney getting serious is why Jeb made the move yesterday. But if I’m wrong on my theory as announced to you, then you must be talking about he wants as many conservative candidates as possible.
CALLER: No. He wants like a Ken Cuccinelli, how they ran a false conservative. They ran a false Libertarian to suck away the anti-vote, the anti-liberal Republican vote. That’s why he divided the Cuccinelli vote. That’s why we need a multiple choice voting ballot where you could have a first choice, second choice, and a third choice.
RUSH: Well, that’s not gonna happen.
CALLER: Why not? Why can’t it?
RUSH: Even if it did, it’s not gonna get changed in time for 2016. There’s never gonna be a multiple choice.
CALLER: But you gotta look at the long term picture. That way we don’t get liberal Republicans. We could have a Romney as our last choice.
RUSH: But the fact that it isn’t gonna happen — look, I’m gonna sound mean. I don’t mean to sound mean. I’m the mayor of Realville. The fact that it isn’t gonna happen makes everything else irrelevant, other than an interesting talking point. If this all hinges on multiple choice ballots, it may be ideal, it may be perfect, it may be that’s the way we ultimately get rid of libs. But that’s gonna require so many constitutional amendments, and we don’t have anybody to act like Obama and just change it with a signature.
I’m convinced Jeb got in ’cause of Romney. I’m convinced that the news that Romney’s seriously thinking about it, I mean, those two guys are going after the same pool of donor money. I mean, there are Republican fat cats out there, and they’re gonna spend their money, but you start divvying them up. I don’t think that that’s the sole reason. I think that might be a factor in Jeb’s timing in announcing his exploratory committee, the fact that Romney may be, because it’s not a race for votes, as Jeb has made clear. It’s not a race for votes, particularly Tea Party votes. Right now it’s a race for money. The donor class, folks, are running the show here, both parties, which is a pretty good hint of my perfect ticket.