RUSH: Here’s the Major Garrett question and the Obama response as we go into the bottom-of-the-hour break, and then the media response will be following that. But here again, here’s Major Garrett, yesterday afternoon. This is the question that has everybody else in the Drive-Bys outraged.
GARRETT: Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content — with all the fanfare around this deal — to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?
RUSH: Now, that’s… I’ll tell you, the question is… Sam Donaldson used to ask that stuff of Reagan all the time. This used to be the exact kind of question that happened in every presidential press conference. Here’s Obama’s answer…
OBAMA: I gotta give you credit, Major, for how you craft those — those questions. The notion that I am content as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails? Major, that — that’s nonsense, and you should know better. I’ve met with the families of some of those folks. Nobody’s content, and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out. Now, if the question is why we did not tie the negotiations to their release, think about the logic that that creates. Suddenly Iran realizes, “You know what? Maybe we can get additional concessions out of the Americans, uhhh, by holding these individuals.”
RUSH: Folks, do you realize what he just said here? You know, the idea that the Drive-By Media thinks this is brilliance? That profoundly offends me. This was not brilliance. This is obstinance, it’s defensiveness, it’s passive aggression. It’s all kinds of things, but it is not brilliance! “Nobody is content, and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them…” Where is the evidence for this?
We just concluded a deal that grants them the right to get nuclear weapons, and we couldn’t include the release of four Americans? And Obama says, “Now, think of the logic of that,” you idiot reporter. “If the question is, why we did not tie the negotiations to their release, think about the logic. Suddenly Iran realizes maybe they can get additional concessions out of Americans by holding the…” I gotta break here, but I’ve gotta explain to you what that really means. This is outrageous!
RUSH: Okay, to the phones we go to Cairo, New York. This is Etto. Etto, it’s great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Original-fifteen-people dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Not to mention also that I was there the first day that you signed onto that 50,000-watter in New York City.
RUSH: Ahhhh, that was… Yes, yes, yes, yes. Those are fond, fond days gone by.
CALLER: Fun days. I haven’t had such fun days the last five weeks or so; I broken a leg and have been laying on the couch. But the only good thing about that is that my wife and I have been able to listen to your program virtually every day.
RUSH: Well, you see, that’s the way to look at it. There’s always a positive in everything if you just look hard enough.
CALLER: I believe that. I firmly believe that. I appreciate that you do as well. I write a blog, and this morning just before you came on I was putting together a piece about Major Garrett. I knew you would be speaking about him. One of the elements of what Obama did to him — and I say that in the actual terminology of how he tried to unspin it, spin it, or just be nasty to him in a politically correct way — is he continuously uses the word “notion” for people who have opposite views to his own. Just before your break you played the sound bite of what Major Garrett actually asked him about the four Americans left behind in Iran, and his answer — after being flummoxed for an extended period of time — was that Major Garrett was floating “the notion” that he was content to celebrate American citizens languishing in Iranian jails. The content of my piece has to do with his long-term use of that particular term, and I think it applies here.
RUSH: Well, yeah, he does construct straw dogs, but in this case Major Garrett did accuse him of it. It’s right there in the question. “Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content…?” “With all the fanfare around this deal, why are you content to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?” Now, I’m not sure Obama understood the question. Let me review the question with you here. “Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content … to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?”
What do you think that really means?
He’s not referring to the four Americans as “the conscience of this nation,” although many might assume that. What Major Garrett’s actually saying here, the point that he’s making is (paraphrased): “Can you tell the country why you did not use the vast power, moral authority of this nation to gain the release of these four Americans while you were putting the rest of this deal together?” The question really is, “Why didn’t you use everything in your arsenal to get these guys out?” That’s what this question means.
“With all the fanfare around this deal, to leave the conscience of this nation…” The conscience of this nation is our moral authority, is our power. We’re the good guys! We’re the ones that are granting concessions in this deal. That means we are coming at it from the strength of power, from the position of power, and he’s simply asking (paraphrased): “Why did you not utilize the power you have to get these four Americans released while you’re in the midst of getting Iran to toe your line in other things?” That’s the question.
If I could ask it in a different way: “Why did you not care about these four guys?” If you really want the basic question, it’s, “Mr. President, why don’t you care about these four Americans?” Now, that question to Obama? I guarantee you, he’s in a celebratory mood. He knows the press… I mean, they’re looking at him the way women looked at Bill Clinton. They just love him. They just think he’s the greatest thing. My God, the love in that room… It’s not love. It’s idolatry and groupie-ism, and he knows it and he’s capitalizing on it.
Here comes some interloper? Here comes some guy who used to work at Fox News? (That’s who Major Garrett is to him.) Major Garrett may be at CBS News now, but he used to be at Fox. “So here comes this Fox News traitor, and he dares rain on my parade? And he’s asking me why didn’t I use my power to get these four guys out?” He’s essentially saying, “Mr. President, did you not care that they are holding four Americans?” So Obama comes out and he hems and haws. “Well, I’ve gotta give you credit, Major, on how you craft the questions,” and he means that.
He knows that Major Garrett’s got him here, so he’s gotta think fast and act fast and do some quick dancing. “So the notion that I am content is nonsense, and you should know better.” But that’s not what Major Garrett asked him. Major Garrett asked (paraphrased), “Why are you content with the fanfare around this?” In other words, “Why are you doing a happy dance? Why are you taking all these accolades? Why are you celebrating? There are four Americans they’re still holding!” That’s what he asked him.
He didn’t ask him, “Why are you content with the fact four Americans are still being held.” He asked him (paraphrased), “How in the hell can you have a celebration when there are four Americans being held hostage by the very people you’re up here praising?” That’s the question, and that’s why everybody’s mad at Major Garrett. That’s why the Drive-Bys are mad, because this is just not done to this president! This kind of calling out, this kind of accurate portrayal of a president’s mind-set and activity is just not done anymore. Not with this president. Not with the first African-American.
“No, we do not embarrass this president! We do not go there, and Major? You’re gonna pay the price.” So Obama says, “Nobody’s content. Our diplomats, our teams are working diligently to try to get them out.” What do you mean, “try to get ’em out”? The whole point here is, why should we have to try? It should be a demand, and if they’re not released, nothing else happens! Why wasn’t that part of? Well, Obama answers it. “If the question is why we did not tie the negotiations on nuclear weapons to their release, think about the logic there,” you idiot Fox reporter.
“Suddenly, if we demand the release of these prisoners at the same time we’re getting a nuke deal with them, Iran realizes, ‘You know what? Maybe we can get additional concessions out the Americans by holding these people.'” They did! Actually, they didn’t even have to do anything regarding these prisoners to get the concessions. The Iranians got every concession they wanted! They got the sanctions lifted, they’ve got nukes in ten years or sooner, they’ve got no inspections, no verification anywhere/anytime. They got everything they wanted!
There was no reason to release these four. But for Obama, the real giveaway to me in his answer here is, “Suddenly Iran says to themselves, ‘We can get additional concessions out of the Americans by holding these people.'” So Obama thinks he’s pulled a fast one on ’em. Obama thinks by not caring about these four, that the Iranians didn’t get as much as they otherwise would have. In the process, he has admitted that we made concessions. We! We are the lone superpower in the world.
We are the ones that hold the cards in the talks — or should have.
We can prevent Iran from getting nukes if we want to. It’s a question of how far we want to go, but we can if we want to. This bunch doesn’t think we have the right to, is the bottom line! The reason we’re not doing it is because they don’t think we have the right to. Just like this guy on Eyewitness 8 News in Washington said, “Well, what right do we have demanding to inspect them? We wouldn’t let them inspect us!” It’s the same manner of thinking.
We don’t have the right to tell them they can’t have a nuke. So all of this is taking place under a false perception/premise, anyway. This was never about preventing them getting nukes, I don’t care what Obama says, because he doesn’t think he can stop them. Furthermore, I don’t know that he really wants to stop them. This was all done for legacy, like I said yesterday and the day before. All of this is for legacy.
Major Garrett had the audacity to ask about an honest-to-goodness detail that nobody is supposed to be paying any attention to. Again his question is (summarized): “I don’t understand, Mr. President. You guys are throwing this giant party. You’re having a big celebration. There are four Americans still being held hostage even after this deal. How in the hell can that happen?”
RUSH: The Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, goes to Twitter after Obama’s celebratory press conference yesterday, the Ayatollah Khamenei basically threw cold water on it by telling Obama: Hey, you know, you’re screwing up here. You can’t guarantee the behavior of your side in this deal.
Here we are, we’re all concerned that the Iranians are gonna break this deal as soon as they can, and the Ayatollah Khamenei comes out, goes on offense and tells Obama (paraphrasing), “Look, everybody knows you can’t keep the Chinese in line, and everybody knows you can’t keep the Russians in line. The untrustworthiness, sir, is on your side of this deal, not us.” The Ayatollah Khamenei. His official letter was released as a photo or a PDF file or some such thing. It was hilarious.
And then after that, some egghead living in Norway started talking about, “Man, if I’ve ever seen a reason for a second Nobel Peace Prize, this is it. Obama should already just be given the prize and we should dispense with the voting.” Yeah, so this is all about legacy.
Let’s go to Charlie Rose this morning on CBS, CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose speaking with Major Garrett. This is all about CBS asking Major Garrett, “Are you sure you meant to do that? Do you maybe want to apologize? Do you want to take any of it back?” As you listen to this, I want to see any of you old-timers, if you can imagine Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite or Sam Donaldson going on one of their network shows and being called on the carpet for a question they asked. It would have never happened. Sam Donaldson was celebrated for his questions that many thought were disrespectful of president Nixon, for example, and President Reagan. But, anyway, here’s how it went, Charlie Rose and Major Garrett.
ROSE: Major, you’re a good reporter and all of us have asked questions that we wish we had perhaps asked differently. (Garrett laughs) Second thoughts?
GARRETT: No. Look, the position I’m in, I asked the question I asked and I can’t take it back. What I wanted to drive at aggressively was why in a context where the president conceded many times in that press conference that choices had to be made and priorities had to be established, these four Americans were not prioritized in the context of the Iran deal. Personally, Charlie, I’ve done some soul searching about whether I’ve been aggressive enough as a reporter on behalf of hostages.
RUSH: Yeah, Charlie Rose, did you hear this? “You know, Major, you’re a good reporter, and all of us have asked questions we wish we had perhaps asked differently. You have any second thoughts?” And that was the cue Major was supposed to grovel and apologize. He was given a chance to say he had rethought it, “Yeah, Charlie, I may have been too –” Instead he doubled down. “No, Charlie, I have been thinking about it, you’re right, you know what I realized? I haven’t been working hard enough to get these four guys out, as a journalist.” So Charlie, a little taken aback. When you listen to Charlie interrogating his own reporter, imagine if Charlie Rose had ever interrogated Obama this way say back in 2008.
ROSE: Do you believe that the president is content to leave the conscience of the nation unaccounted for?
GARRETT: I don’t. And the whole point of the question, Charlie, was why were these four Americans not accounted for in the context of negotiating a wide range of issues with the Iranians. Remember, in the final hours of this deal, the Iranians put other things on the table that hadn’t been previously discussed, the arms embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. If those could be introduced it seems to me that it’s reasonable to ask the commander-in-chief if other issues on the American side could have been introduced. I suggested there might have been one: the fate of four Americans. I stand by that.
RUSH: Right. And Obama says (imitating Obama), “Major, think about the logic here. If I’d a brought up those four Americans, can you imagine the other concessions the Iranians would have demanded?” When what they were doing, they had put a bunch of brand-new things on the table that they wanted concessions for, and we hadn’t even brought up the four prisoners. So the Iranians were doing what Obama told Major Garrett they would do if he had brought up the four hostages. Folks, it’s incompetent and it’s irresponsible, and for this to be celebrated and a bunch of people taking credit for this is another example of how out of whack everything in our culture and country is right now.
It’s not an outrageous question, how long does Major Garrett have at CBS. I mean, you heard Charlie Rose (imitating Rose), “Hey, Major, you know,” he-he, “we’ve all asked questions we regret. We’ve all gone over the line. You want to rephrase that question, Major?”
“No,” and then he doubles down on it. So it’s an interesting question.
RUSH: And let’s see. Dana Bash. Audio sound bite number seven, Dana Bash. This is yesterday. CNN, by the way, tried to destroy Major Garrett. He used to work there! Major Garrett used to be a reporter for AP; then he went into TV at CNN. Fox hired him from CNN. He goes to Fox, he stays there for a while, and then ends up at CBS. He was originally an AP print reporter, and CNN yesterday just launched into Major Garrett for his insolence in the way he asked that question of Obama.
Here’s Dana Bash yesterday afternoon on CNN’s Newsroom…
BASH: You do want to be tough, but there’s a fine line, especially — maybe I’m old school — standing in the East Room. Uh, a fine line between asking a tough question and maybe crossing that line a little bit and being disrespectful. So I think that that happened there.
RUSH: Disrespectful! That’s what you people are supposed to do is hold truth to power. There wasn’t any disrespect. It was a question. What does it matter where it is, Dana? (summarized) “Yeah, I was in the, you know, East Room,” which is blue and yellow, “and you’re not supposed to be insolent in there. It’s a special room in the White House. All kinds of honors and metals are bestowed there. You’re not supposed to be disrespectful.”
Don Lemon. Don Lemon wasn’t even on CNN. He was at home. He was watching on TV. And then he came back, saw everything on the air at CNN, and he said this…
LEMON: Let me tell you basically what he was saying was, “Man, look here: Are you out of your damn mind?”
LEMON: That’s exactly what the tone… That’s exactly where I thought he was going.
LEMON: Like, “Are you crazy, to put the question in that form?” I was at home watching it going, “Wait a minute!” You know, it was a little out of school.
RUSH: So Don Lemon’s at home; he’s watching Obama’s presser on TV. Major Garrett stands up and asks the question, and Don Lemon says, “Are you out of your damn mind?” That’s what his attitude toward Obama was. “Are you out of your damn mind? ‘How do you leave those four Americans behind?’ I thought it was really overboard!” These people, I don’t think they realize… Maybe they do, but I don’t think these Drive-By types realize what a bunch of sycophants and groupies they sound like and look like.
Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t care.
Did you hear what Bill Maher said? Bill Maher said that Major Garrett may as well have just called Obama the N-word with that question. (interruption) I’m a kidding. That’s what he said. Bill Maher tweeted out: Hey, you know what? He could have asked that question a much more effective way and just called Obama the N-word. (interruption) That’s what’s in Bill Maher’s mind. That’s not what’s in Major Garrett’s mind. Exactly right. Bill Maher is telling us what’s in his mind about this.
Here’s Gloria Borger, formerly of Newsweek, now with CNN. This was also on CNN’s Newsroom. She was asked a question by Pamela Brown, the fill-in anchorette. “Do you think it was an unfair question, Gloria?”
BORGER: When you look at the language and the way it was loaded in this question — “capitulation,” “Are you content…?” — there are different ways to ask questions.
RUSH: (impression) “I wouldn’t have asked it that way because I think it was unfair. It was a loaded question. It was filled with disrespect — and besides, the question made Obama look bad, and that’s not what we’re here to do. We’re not here to make Obama look bad! We’re to cover that up. So I would have not have asked the question, nor would I have asked it in that way.”