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RUSH: Folks, I’ve got some lighthearted stuff I have here that I want to get out of the way before we get on to the more serious stuff. Rather than lead with Donald Trump today, we’re going to lead with Jeb Bush. We’re going to be fair. We’re going to spread it around. Jeb’s in the news. There’s no reason to ignore what Jeb is saying, things that are happening with Jeb out there. Trump’s in the news, too.

We do have the sound bites from yesterday’s appearance by Trump on MSNBC where he systematically rips everybody he’s asked about, from Jonah Goldberg to Charles Krauthammer to… Well, you name it. But before we get into all of that, I’ll just give you a little heads-up about Jeb. Jeb is having to walk back a comment that he made about people needing to work longer hours. That’s not what the low-information crowd wants to hear, and it’s not what the Millennials want to hear because they don’t understand what it means.

They don’t want to be told they have to work harder. That’s not what America is all about to them, and when they hear Jeb say, “People need to work longer hours,” they think Jeb is criticizing them for not working hard enough. That’s not what Jeb says he meant. Jeb said that he was actually promoting full-time work rather than part-time work. So he’s trying to walk that back.


RUSH: Let’s start here with Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush… Let’s just do this with the audio sound bites. Rather than me just report the story, let’s go straight to the audio sound bites. Last night Fox News Channel Bret Baier, interviewing Bush, said, “You had lunch with the Romneys recently. Did you get any advice from them?”

JEB: I got a lot of good advice from the last candidate who I wished was president right now, the last Republican candidate, and he validated a belief I have, which is that at some point we have to start campaigning in a way that’s beyond the base. I think you have to be respectful of conservatives, and you have to campaign hard, convince them that you’re the right guy to unite the party. But there also always ought to be an eye on the ball of the next group of people that actually decide who the president’s going to be.

RUSH: That is so… Folks, do you realize the brilliance of that? Oh my God! That is so smart, the Republicans have tried that the last three elections. That’s how smart it is. Oh, wait. It hasn’t worked. But it gets the approval. It gets the approval of the inside-the-Beltway Republican and media establishment. Well, let’s take a look at this. What did he actually say here? “I got a lot of good advice from the last candidate who I wished was president right now … and he validated a belief I have,” which means this isn’t his idea. I’ve always thought this.

“[A]t some point we have to start campaigning in a way that’s beyond the base.” Well, okay. I mean I’ve had Rand Paul tell me the same way in different words. Rand Paul says we cannot win elections with Republican votes alone. That’s what he said to me. Jeb here is saying, “We need to find a way to start campaigning that’s beyond the base,” and then he said, “I think we have to be respectful of conservatives.” That’s cool. They’re going to throw us a bone, Snerdley!

I feel better already. They’re going to throw us a bone. They’re going to acknowledge they respect us, as then they move out and try to get votes of people they really want. Okay. “You have to be respectful of conservatives,” he says. “I think you have to be respectful,” damn it. No, no, I shouldn’t say that. I shouldn’t. “You have to be respectful of conservatives.” When is the last Democrat that you heard say, “You know, we’ve got to be respectful of the George Soros crowd. (chuckles)

“But we can’t win with just them. For crying out loud! We’ve got to be respectful of people on moveon.org, but we can’t win with just them. We’ve got to move beyond. We’re going to have to go out and get some Republicans and get some conservatives.” How long do you think that Democrat candidate would survive? Okay. Now, this next one, Jeb has been in Twitter back and forth all day with a number of people over this one. Manchester, New Hampshire yesterday.

New Hampshire Union Leader, that’s the newspaper there, had an editorial board meeting. It’s perfunctory. Every Republican has to meet the editorial board. It used to be you had to go meet Nackey Loeb. But now it’s the editorial board. They had a Q&A, and a member of the board, the editorial board at the newspaper, said, “You mentioned lowering taxes. Did you have anything flat tax, anything specific about taxes?”

JEB: My aspiration for the country — and I believe we can achieve it — is 4% growth as far as the eye can see, which means we have to be a lot more productive. Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that, um, people need to work longer hours, and — and through their productivity gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.

RUSH: All right. So he was very clear what he was talking about, but his choice of words created an opportunity for his enemies. He cited everything that he meant trying to put this comment in context: Labor force participation rate. By the way, 4% economic growth, that’s correct. But what do you need for 4% economic growth? What do you need? Quick! It’s a simple answer. (interruption) Yes, that’s right. You need people working! If you’re going to have…

We’re growing barely, folks. Our economy, the country, barely growing at just under 2%, and that’s on a good reporting period. The first quarter of this year we had negative growth. Now, one of the reasons economic growth is dwindling is because the labor force is shrinking. We are now approaching 100 million Americans not working, and that’s been climbing ever since Obama became president. It started out, I think, at 91 million, 92 million Americans not working. It’s just barely now just under 94 million and rising.

Investor’s Business Daily today, in a piece, actually used the number 100 million Americans not working. Whatever the number is, it’s way too high. As I always point out, “They’re all eating.” And all I mean by that is there isn’t immediate pressure to get a job in America when you lose one. Now, for our economy to grow twice as fast as it is, we’re going to have to start creating jobs, and that’s what Bush was talking about when he said, “We need people to work longer hours,” and he was talking about part-time versus full-time.

We all know that full-time jobs, many in this country have been converted to part time so that businesses can escape having to provide Obamacare benefits. The cutoff is 30 hours a week. So the 40-hour work week has pretty much waved bye-bye in many places so that companies can escape Obamacare. This is all by design anyway. It’s not the stupidity of the Democrats creating this. This is what they want to happen. The long-term goal is single payer with government being the single payer.

They want, in the long term, to get rid of insurance companies and the middle men. All Jeb was trying to say here was, “We need people working full-time jobs.” But he didn’t say that. He said, “We need people working longer hours.” Well this has just caused a conniption fit out with people out there including Bernie Sanders, who says, “Americans already work longer hours than employees in most other countries and they shouldn’t be forced to work even longer hours than they currently do.”

Sanders was jumping on these comments that Jeb Bush made, that Americans need to work longer hours. Sanders said, “The sad truth is that because the middle class has declined over the last 40 years, while almost all new income and wealth have gone to the people on top, Americans already work the longest hours of any people in the western industrialized world. In fact, 80% of working men work longer than 40 hours a week. What we need now is an economy that provides decent wages and income for the middle class, not demands that people work even longer hours than they currently do.”

What Sanders is getting at is, there’s nothing wrong with the American work ethic. The problem is “income inequality.” But the fact of the matter is we do have people working fewer hours. We have people working fewer hours just like they tried it in Greece, and just like they’ve tried it in France. We are trying the European model. The 40-hour work week is taboo now, for a whole host of reasons. Do you think the American people are working as hard as they ever have?

I mean, just off the top of your head. Forget your own story, whatever it may be. When you think of the country, the economy, do you think people are working harder than ever or do you think they’re not? Do you think they’re working more hours than they ever have like Bernie Sanders says, or are they working fewer hours? I don’t care what you end up thinking. The bottom line is people will have to work more. There’s going to need to be more people working and more work done if we’re going to get back to what everybody expects this country to do, and that’s grow at 4%.

It’s a chicken-or-egg thing. What happens first, the growth or the jobs? The two go hand in hand. But you can’t have economic growth with this degree of labor force participation. You cannot have economic growth with 95 million Americans not working. You simply can’t do it. You can’t have any kind of legitimate growth. So you’re going to have to have means of putting people back to work, and that means you’re going to have to have jobs that feature actual productivity that can be measured.

That’s how wages increase and that’s how economic growth happens, and that’s all Jeb was trying to say. He got all that stuff in there, but the choice of words when he said, “people need to work longer hours…” Even the Washington Post jumped on this: “Jeb Bush raised eyebrows on Wednesday by suggesting that ‘people need to work longer hours’ in order to grow the economy. But he later clarified the comment, moving quickly to quell a fresh assault by Democrats eager to characterize [Bush] as out of touch.”

What a coincidence.

NBC just happens to run a story promoting the 32-hour work week on the Today Show today.

PETER ALEXANDER: Thirty-two hours a week sounds really good! But this is not just a pipe dream in places. (annoying music and noise) Portland-based Treehouse is a growing business with a shrinking workweek. The online computer education company has about 100 employees who all work just 32 hours a week. Yep, for them every weekendÂ’s a three-day weekend. Founder and CEO Ryan Carson says his employees get the same salary and benefits they’d get for working a 40 hour week. Today Americans work more hours than most developed nations, all without any guarantee of a paid vacation.

Dr. Peter Whybrow (thick English accent): We need to rethink what the American dream really is. And it may well be that it’s not working 60 hours a week.

RUSH: There are no coincidences, folks. I don’t care what you think. The left is executing here — and you can’t blame them. This is what they do. This is a coordinated hit on Jeb Bush, and it’s tailor-made for the low-information crowd. The idea that Americans are working longer hours and harder than other Western nations? I’m sorry, just anecdotally you know this isn’t true. What’s happening is, we’re working less. The numbers don’t lie.

One hundred million, 95 million Americans not in the workforce. We’re working less. They had a story in here… We did this story on this Ryan Carson guy who was out on the Left Coast, who tried this “revolutionary” thing of no vacation. You take vacation whenever you want to take it. If you want to take six months, take it. If you want to take a day, take it. “What we find is that people take fewer vacations when it isn’t scheduled,” because of guilt. They think their peers will frown on them. They think their bosses will notice it more. They want scheduled vacations because when they’re free to not work whenever they don’t want to, they still show up.

I remember that story very well.


RUSH: By the way, what is the real mistake Jeb Bush made in these comments that he made when he said Americans “need to be working longer hours,” and we need to get economic growth back up to 4% and we need a bigger labor force participation rate? What is the biggest mistake he made saying that? It was on Fox News, Special Report, Bret Baier, last night, Fox News Channel, 6:00. What did he leave out? He’s running for president, right? Well, who gave us these circumstances?

Did the Democrat Party not give us these policies?

Why not mention that?

How did we arrive at 95, 91, whatever it is, million Americans not working? How did we arrive at economic growth at 1.5%? How did we arrive at a 32-hour or 39-hour, 29-hour workweek? How did this happen? You’ve got to tell people, I would think! You’re running for president. You’re running against the Democrat Party. They’re going to have a nominee. It’s either going to be Hillary or Biden or whoever. You know what I’m afraid of?

I’m afraid that these consultants are telling these candidates, “Do not even talk about Obama. Don’t mention the Democrats. Just go out there and talk about what’s not working and how you can make it better.” That’s not going to cut it. There has to be some education. You can’t just assume that everybody… In fact, we know that a lot of Americans do not associate the economic plight of the country with this administration. In fact, most Americans, especially Millennials, have just lost faith in the country.

Well, you’ve got to build a country back up! Why have people…? You need to tell people, “You don’t need to lose faith in America. This is the greatest place on earth. You live in the best place you could be. You have a blessing. You are an American. Do not lose faith in this country. This country is not what it is right now, this country could be so much better,” and then tell them why! “This is what happens after seven years of Democrat Party domination. This is what happens when Democrats implement their policies.”

What’s so hard about that?

To me, it’s necessary. To me, it’s fundamentally required. We’re not running against just what “is.” There are reasons these things are in messes. There are reasons this country is in the mess it’s in and why things are not working. You think the Democrats don’t define us every damn day? Why do you think the Republican brand is what it is? Why do you think the Republicans are defensive about being Republicans? Because every day they’re lied about.

The Democrats, the media, everybody else spends all day long talking about what a bunch of creeps the Republicans are. So I guess what we’re going to do, “We’re going to be better people. We’re going to stand above. We’re going to reach higher. We’re going to reach beyond the usual politics of division and criticism.” I’m sorry, it isn’t going to cut it. There’s a reason there are sanctuary cities. There are reasons illegal immigrants are here and able to commit crimes, including murder. There’s a reason you can’t find a job. There’s a reason you have $200,000 student debt.

There is a reason why your health care costs more than you’ll ever be able to pay!

There is a reason.

It’s called “The Democrat Party.”

Why don’t they say so?

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