RUSH: Grab sound bite 22. Donald Trump not letting up. Pedal still to the metal. This is still in Bluffton, South Carolina. He’s at a campaign event, and he’s speaking about Lindsey Graham.
TRUMP: Lindsey Graham, a total lightweight. Here’s a guy in the private sector he couldn’t get a job, believe me. Couldn’t get a job! He couldn’t do what you people did. You’re all retired as hell and rich, okay? He wouldn’t be rich. He’d be poor. And then I watch this idiot Lindsey Graham on television today, and he calls me a jackass! (imitating Graham) “He’s a jackass.”
RUSH: You gotta admit, folks, this is not the way you’re used to things happening in political campaigns: A candidate talking about how rich he is, how rich his supporters in the audience are, how stupid-jackass dumb his opponents are. You just don’t hear this. (interruption). Yeah, I saw that go by here on one of the monitors, that Trump apparently gave out Lindsey Graham’s phone number. There’s gotta be a context for that. I don’t know what it is but, yeah. He supposedly gave out Lindsey Graham’s phone number. Then, also, from the same campaign event in Bluffton, South Carolina, this is audio sound bite 23. This is Trump talking about Jeb Bush and Hillary Rodham…
TRUMP: Bush said my tone is not nice. My tone. I said, “No, we need tone. We need enthusiasm. We need tone!” It’s true. But they said — and actually Hillary Clinton said (imitating Clinton), “I don’t like his tone.” We have people having their heads cut off, Christians in the Middle East! We have people that are being dumped in cages and drowned, in the Middle East.
RUSH: (imitating Trump) “And they’re worried about my tone! They’re worried about my tone! Hillary’s worried about my tone.” Yeah, he doubled down. So, Lindsey Graham is stupid, a jackass. He couldn’t get a job in the private sector. As you know, the Des Moines Register came out with an editorial today demanding that Trump get out — that he’s silly, that he’s a waste of time, that he’s a reprobate, that he’s all these horrible, rotten things. So, Trump put a response on Facebook, and it reads:
“I am not at all surprised by the Des Moines Register’s sophomoric editorial. It was issued immediately after the release of the ABC News/Washington Post poll showing me with 24% and an eleven-point lead over my nearest rival. As one of the most liberal newspapers in the United States, the poll results were just too much for them to bear. The Des Moines Register has lost much circulation, advertising, and power over the last number of years.
“They will do anything for a headline, and this poorly written ‘non-endorsement’ got them some desperately needed ink. On the campaign trail in Iowa, a state whose people I have truly gotten to know and love, I have been treated very badly by the Des Moines Register. They were uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest. They would rarely write the facts or report what really took place.
“They never captured the energy of each event and it is a constant battle with them by my representatives to get an accurate count of the large crowds I draw. They know the very impressive numbers and either reduce them or don’t report them at all. It is always wonderful to have the support of a newspaper, even a failing one, but this has only given me more motivation to fight harder in Iowa and Make America Great Again!”
So, the pattern here is whoever utters the slightest critical word of Donald Trump, they are gonna get hit back. He does not subscribe to the old adage of “ignore it and don’t reply to it.” He replies to it. He elevates it. He tells people who didn’t know that the Des Moines Register editorialized against him and he tells everybody that they did, and then he rips ’em. My point again is, we haven’t seen this.
Perot didn’t do this. John Anderson, third-party candidate in 1980, didn’t do this. The American people have not seen anything like this in a long time. And the beauty of Trump staying in for ever how long is we’re gonna find what the American people actually think of this, at least as far as we can trust polling data results, a caveat on that.
RUSH: So here’s what happened. Some time ago Lindsey Graham asked Donald Trump for some help with Fox & Friends. I don’t know what it was. I mean, Lindsey can’t get a job there; he’s a senator. So it had to be to help him get something done or maybe get an appearance with Fox & Friends or some such thing, and Trump he said he would do it. And he, in his mind, helped Lindsey Graham out. And then this stuff kicks up and so Lindsey Graham’s out there with McCain and so forth ripping into Trump, and Trump thinks he’s not grateful. So he gave out Lindsey Graham’s phone number, calls him a stiff, calls him an idiot, calls him a jackass. Here’s the phone number bite where Trump gave that number out.
TRUMP: So Lindsey Graham says to me, “Please, please, whatever you can do,” you know what I’m saying. So I said, “What’s this guy, a beggar?” He’s like begging me to help him with Fox & Friends. So I say, “Okay. And I’ll mention your name.” He said, “Could you mention my name?” I said, “Yes, I’ll mention.” And he gave me his number, and I found the card. I wrote the number down. Let’s try it. 202 — (audience laughing)
RUSH: Anyway, CNN made a big deal just a moment ago that they called the number that Trump gave out for Lindsey Graham and that it went directly to voice mail. The recorded message said that it was a phone number for Lindsey Graham, the mailbox was full, so they next sent a text message to Graham at the same number, and it was not returned.
But, you know, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you. Has somebody ever come and asked you for a favor and you’ve done it for them, whatever it is, and then somewhere down the road they start savaging you or criticizing you or joining others who do, and you say to yourself, “What is this? I helped this guy out. What the hell’s he doing here?” Well, apparently Trump’s sitting there thinking the same thing happened to him. Lindsey Graham wanted him to mention his name, I guess it was when he was on a Fox & Friends appearance. “Okay, I’ll mention your name, I’ll do it for you.”
He did, and here comes Graham jumping on this anti-Trump gravy train and Trump’s saying WTF, what is this? I’m sure Trump, if he were here, would tell you, “Look, I’m not attacking anybody. I’m defending. You know, I get up every day, I’m just doing my campaign and they’re hitting me. Well, I’m not gonna sit here and take it.” His personality is not to rise above it and ignore it. His personality is to deal with it head on and just send it right back at ’em.