RUSH: We are gonna go back to Mike in St. Louis. Mike, great to have you on the EIB Network via KMOX. How are you, sir?
CALLER: I’m fine, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet. You bet.
CALLER: I wanted to make a comment about Carly Fiorina. I think that the environment from which she comes, which is corporate America — and I worked in corporate America for more than 20 years — is the most politically correct environment you’re gonna find. I mean, we had diversity training, mandatory diversity training. We were measured. We had to take tests on diversity. And I’m not saying that’s bad. I’m just saying that it creates an attitude towards political correctness, just to use diversity as a particular example, that she would carry into a position like the White House. So that’s why I like Ben Carson and Donald Trump, because they’re standing up against the forces of PC, and I can’t see Carly Fiorina really standing up to the forces of PC.
RUSH: Now, you having said that, I’ve had a lot of people, and I’ve read, too, a number of people who watched the last debate, which was universally decided in her favor, that she mopped the floor with those schlubs. And some people said that, “Wait a minute now, she threw the gender card down there. She’s got this victim chip on her shoulder, and she’s not at all restrained in using it and playing it.” Now, given your sensitivity to diversity training and CEO and corporate human resources stuff, did you see that yourself? Did you think that when you watched the debate, if you watched it?
CALLER: Well, I didn’t watch it. I mean, let me just say that I would prefer her certainly to Hillary Clinton. I mean, there’s no question about that, to any Democrat.
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: There’s a lot of things about her that I really admire. It wouldn’t be a show stopper for me to not vote for her because I think that she’d be soft on political correctness, but I just think that if you have other alternatives to her, like Trump and Carson, I would prefer them, based on the fact that —
RUSH: Well, while I’ve got you here, I have two sound bites. We can listen to these with you on the other end of the phone here. She was on The Tonight Show last night with Jimmy Fallon and we have two bites. The first one Fallon says: “Ben Carson is in a lot of trouble now because –” he’s not in a lot of trouble. He’s in trouble with the screwballs in the media. He’s gaining support. He’s not in trouble. Anyway, the question, “Ben Carson’s in a lot of trouble now because he’s saying he would not advocate a Muslim being president.”
FIORINA: I think that’s wrong. You know, it says in our Constitution that religion cannot be a test for office. I actually believe that people of faith make better leaders, whether they’re Christians, whether it’s a person of Christian faith or Jewish faith or Muslim faith or other faiths. I think faith gives us humility and empathy and optimism and I think those are important things.
FALLON: So you would be fine with that.
FIORINA: Yes, I would be fine with that.
RUSH: Okay, your reaction to that, Mike. Is that a little diversity on parade there, political correctness, or is that okay?
CALLER: Yeah, I think it’s political correctness. I think that it’s really only a half statement. I was reading on the Web what she said. “It says in our Constitution that religion cannot be a test for office,” but she doesn’t mention that religion cannot supersede the Constitution, particularly when you take an oath to up hold the Constitution, when you take an oath for any office, I suppose.
RUSH: Yeah, I don’t know where it says in the Constitution that religion cannot be a test. I don’t know, I’ve not seen that. I know she’s talking about separation of church and state, but it seems to me that Ben Carson’s right on this. Hey, look, if you have a religious belief that makes the Constitution secondary or even third-rate status to your religious beliefs, sorry, bud, you’re not wanted. The oath of office is to defend and protect the Constitution, not to subordinate it.
CALLER: Right, right. And Sharia law would subordinate the Constitution.
RUSH: Subordinate it? (laughing) It’d be lucky if it got away with just being subordinated. It’d be lucky if it still existed in the National Archives.
CALLER: Right. And I think that the fact that she did not say that is an indication of —
RUSH: Oh, well, it’s politics. She’s trying to capitalize on what she really hopes is something that tripped Carson, ’cause, remember, in the polls it’s her and Carson who are rising and Trump supposedly is falling. Trump’s all ticked off, by the way, people that report that. He’s got another boycott of Fox News going on now because they’re reporting a poll that shows him losing ground. Here’s the next Carly sound bite. Question from Jimmy Fallon. “Vladimir Putin is saying he wants to meet with Trump when he comes here and that he wants to sit down and have a conversation with him. Have you met Putin?”
FIORINA: I have. Well, the two of them have a lot in common, actually, but — (laughter) — we’ll just leave it at that. I would describe him as a formidable adversary. He’s very confident, he’s very — he actually can be quite funny and charming, but he’s a KGB guy, you know, we should never forget this.
RUSH: He’s also quite buff, and he wants everybody to know it. Okay, what’s your reaction to that one? Mike, I don’t mean to put you on the spot here, but you did make a statement about her and diversity and the corporate world and so forth. How are you reacting to this?
CALLER: Well, let me respond in a more general way. Let me just say that I was struck by the competence, you know, the ability of the women that I worked with in the corporate world. I thought they were marvelous. I think that she would make a great president. I just wanted to make the point that in terms of political correctness, I prefer Trump and Carson, and I think that kind of shows a little bit of a weakness in her getting support from people that are against PC. Makes her more of an establishment candidate, to me, I guess, is what I’m getting at.
RUSH: Well, another question here on Carly Fiorina and her time in corporate America, as you have spent some time. Are you aware of — was it Fortune or Forbes, a really devastating piece on her time at Lucent Technologies before AT&T spun it off?
CALLER: Funny you should mention that.
RUSH: You sound like you’re hyperventilating out there. What did I do?
CALLER: Well, you know, corporate America is cold. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, when your project ends, you get laid off and you have to find another job in the company if you’re lucky, okay? I mean, I’m not saying that that’s bad. That’s capitalism. And I guess that’s what’s made the country great.
RUSH: But are you aware of what the allegation is against her at Lucent?
CALLER: I don’t know. Could it be any worse than what politicians have done to America —
RUSH: Well, you tell me. I’ll tell you what it is.
RUSH: There was a practice that evolved in that particular area of the tech world, they were laying — this is back in the days of WorldCom. Does that ring a bell?
CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
RUSH: Okay. And Global Crossing. Does that ring a bell?
CALLER: Yeah. Hm-hm.
RUSH: Okay, well, Global Crossing is Gary Winnick, who was a Clinton buddy, who ran the company in the ground and walked away with a hundred-some-odd million dollars for it because of his donations to the Democrat Party. He’s got a $65 million house overlooking the Bel Air Country Club, and I have to look at the damn thing every time I go out there and play and think Winnick’s inside the damn thing. It ticks me off. It shouldn’t, but it does. So you have WorldCom, you know those guys?
RUSH: Well, they were laying fiber optic cable all over the country in preparation for massive economic growth, massive Internet growth, much more growth than was indicated, and of course the .com bubble came along and blew up. What happened was, Lucent, under Fiorina —
RUSH: — not the only company, they start, in order to sell the products and services they had, they started loaning customers the money to buy the products.
RUSH: Well, that’s not really selling anything. That’s padding the bottom line. That is exactly what happened in the subprime mortgage crisis. You have customers that cannot afford a mortgage, so you give them the money anyway, you pad your bottom line if you’re the lending institution, and then you sell that debt to some unsuspecting schlub who thinks he’s got a steady income stream coming.
Well, according to this magazine story, that’s exactly what happened, and Lucent, on paper, looked great, but the stock price plummeted because of all of this, and it was said to have been one of the biggest managerial blunders. And Trump referred to this in the debate, but he didn’t refer to the specifics. He said, “If you think she was bad at Hewlett-Packard, you should look into what happened at Lucent.” And this is what he was talking about.
CALLER: Okay. So, what was she, the CEO, or what?
RUSH: She was CEO of Lucent, yeah.
CALLER: Okay. But I mean —
RUSH: Before HP. (crosstalk)
CALLER: — the board of directors? I mean, she’s not completely culpable for it, is she?
RUSH: No, but she was the CEO. They started listing this loaned money as profit.
CALLER: As revenue?
RUSH: Yeah. As profit, profit revenue, that they were loaning money. In other words, their customers were not interested in buying the product. They had overmanufactured, had a glut of supply.
RUSH: So they started loaning the money to customers to buy it, and they padded the sales figures and then reported that loan money as profit.
CALLER: So is that illegal?
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: Unethical, possibly?
RUSH: I don’t want to label it. I’m not of that world.
RUSH: But it doesn’t sound — all I know, what I try to apply to things like this, what would happen to me if I did it and it was found out about? That’s how I think of things like this. (laughing)
CALLER: I don’t know —
RUSH: What if every advertiser on this program was being given the money by us to buy the commercials, and we were reporting massive profits if we were publicly traded, which we’re not, but that’s essentially what was going on. It’s exactly what happened in the subprime crisis.
CALLER: I don’t know. I’m sure that there’s somebody out there right now that’s yelling at the radio saying, “What about this, and what about that.” I can’t think of anything right now, but it sounds like the way they run the government with their budget and everything.
RUSH: Well, in that case we may be talking about perfect qualifications, too, so you just never know.
RUSH: By the way, there is a name for that practice of loaning money to your customers so that they can buy your product. It’s called vendor financing. And Carly Fiorina, well, Lucent, said in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they had no choice, because all of their competitors were doing that and that’s the only way they could stay viable. I mean, their competitors were out doing this stuff, so we had no choice. We’re talking about big sums of money here.
From the Fortune magazine piece: “In an SEC document filed just after FiorinaÂ’s departure, the company revealed that it had $7 billion in loan commitments to customers — many of them financially unstable start-ups.” They essentially were giving, they call this stuff loans, but if it’s not paid back, what are you doing? They were giving money away and calling it profit. They were giving money away to create the illusion of sales. And when that was discovered, that’s when the stock price, naturally, plummeted. That’s not a solid foundation.
It was loaned money, but I’ll tell you what it sounds a little bit like is Obama and Solyndra, except in Obama and Solyndra, you’ve got a political issue actually taking place. What you’ve got is money laundering for money to end up back in the Democrat Party coffers. It’s a way to pay back donors by having the government invest that totally fraudulent, nonexistent, phony business, like solar power. It’s got all the goodies. It’s got great intentions. It’s got clean renewable energy, got wonderful people, it’s got Obama lowering the seas. The problem is it’s all a scam. It starts out with people donating to Obama to get him elected. Here comes the payback, a loan from the Treasury, not from Obama, to the guy who lent the money, and he started this company called Solyndra.
It’s ostensibly the wind business, solar business, but of course there’s no business there, really. There’s a building with a sign on it, but there wasn’t any business. It eventually goes bankrupt, so nobody that it owed money got paid to, but it got some of the money it gave Obama back, clean. And it ended with everybody, “Oh, man, what a great effort. They’ve tried, man, really tried, solar energy, trying to clean up this putrid, evil planet made filthy by Bush.” So, see, it all works out. It was all political.
At Lucent and WorldCom — well, WorldCom and Global Crossing were Solyndra type. I mean, the CEO of WorldCom, jail, prison. (interruption) Terry McAuliffe ended up getting $15 million. I think that was a Clinton finder’s fee on real estate. But Global Crossing was the fiber optic cable that really never had anything, that Winnick is the guy that made out like a bandit in that during the Clinton years. And all of this is all about money.
Now, I don’t think Lucent has anything like those kinds of political connections. It’s just that the model, whatever Lucent was doing, vendor financing, is essentially what the subprime loan program was.
RUSH: Here’s Ellen in Liberty Township, Ohio, great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. I almost jumped up and down. You were exactly right about Lucent and what Carly did there. She may not have been in the — she was certainly the proprietor of that whole effort — I’m nervous, I’m sorry.
RUSH: I know, you’re so excited because I nailed something that you know to be true and you’re calling here —
CALLER: ‘Cause my husband worked at Lucent.
RUSH: That’s right, your husband worked there and got probably shafted, so you want to explain that.
CALLER: Yes, he did, because one of her big policies when she came in was everybody in management had to have a college degree. They had people come up — it wasn’t only my husband — come up through the ranks who were very, very good. They worked up because they were hard workers. They knew what they were doing. They had a knowledge of the technology. They may not have had a college degree, but they all had lots and lots of training.
RUSH: How old was your husband when this happened?
CALLER: How old?
CALLER: Oh. He was in his thirties, forties.
RUSH: How long had he been working there?
CALLER: Well, he started working for Western Electric, which was decimated by the government and basically put out of existence, and then it became Lucent after AT&T, and anyway —
RUSH: But how long had he been there before he got let go because he didn’t have a degree?
CALLER: He wasn’t let go, but he never went any further.
RUSH: Oh. Oh, oh.
CALLER: You see? They had all sorts of people who didn’t even have a high school diploma who were promoted because they had ability, and that’s how it used to be. People were promoted because they had ability and they worked hard.
RUSH: Yeah, but, you know what? Let me tell you something. The reason something like that was instituted and this is generic. I don’t know it to be specifically true about Lucent, but it’s like the interview process. Requiring a certain level of education is really, among many other things, a winnowing process. It’s how you eliminate the number of applicants to interview. If you say you require four years undergraduate and two years specialty here and there, you’re eliminating a whole group of people you don’t even have to talk to.
I would imagine with existing staff if you put a requirement to be promoted, education requirement, you have to have a degree in order to qualify for being promoted, it just limits the universe of people they have to worry about promoting. And in some instances, it could actually be more substantive reasons. We want people that have been through the college experience and got degrees and so forth in our upper management because we happen to believe that’s the best people.
I don’t know if you could hold that against her per se, although if it happens to you it can embitter you. I totally can relate to that. This is why I finally decided myself that corporate life wasn’t cut out for me. I was never gonna fit the mold in any number of ways, but most important conformity. I’m not one. And you have to be to go anywhere in that universe. I appreciate the call, Ellen.
Perry in Fort Myers, Florida. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Long haired plastic banana, phony baloney good-time rock ‘n’ roller dittos.
RUSH: It’s great to have you on the program, Perry, old buddy, old pal.
CALLER: You started to turn me in 1992 when I was 27 years old. Being a plastic banana, rock ‘n’ roller I ran into the re-airing of your TV show in the middle of the night, and that’s when I first began to have to admit that I was wrong about a lot of things. I want to respond to the lady who was mad at you and defend you for not bashing Trump. You’ve been hitting the nail on the head as to why we support him. We don’t think Trump is some kind of drop-dead conservative at all.
RUSH: You know, I’ve tried to tell so many people that that’s not why Trump is being overwhelmingly supported. It has nothing to do with conservatism. And the fact that you’ve been here that long proves that you know exactly why Trump’s working.
RUSH: Steve in Dallas. Great to have you on the EIB Network, as we head back to the phones. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, thanks very much for taking my call, brother. You’re a true American hero, and I love your show. Listen to it every day. I gotta take one exception, and go back to earlier Carly Fiorina comments. Carly, when she was with Lucent, was president of the consumer products division. She left in 1999. The demise of Lucent that certainly has captured a lot of attention during this recent debate actually started somewhere around 2001 under Henry Schact and eventually Pat Russo, when Lucent finally merged with Alcatel in 2007. So in regard to Carly, she was a phenomenal leader and a person that I truly believe has courage of her convictions, just a tremendous leader during the entire time that I was with the company, which was 25 years and directly — not directly, but under Carly Fiorina for a couple years during that time. So those are my comments, just wanted to set the record.
RUSH: So you think Trump is wrong then when he talks about “If you think it was bad at Hewlett-Packard, wait ’til you hear what happened at Lucent.”
CALLER: I do. And you know what? I’m also a Trump supporter. I’m on the fence between Carly and Trump, frankly, but the time that Trump is referring to had nothing to do with Carly Fiorina. Lucent acquired 21 different companies in the early 2000s, and they overextended. They also, there’s an old adage that goes with the company that’s called Bell heads, and Bell heads are reminiscent of the time when Ma Bell was still around and the government came in and deregulated. Well, Lucent still had some leadership that followed that mind-set, and they were reluctant to change into the new industry. Point in case, John Chambers, president and creator of Cisco, was with Lucent way back in the day. He went to Lucent with a product, and that product was obviously the routers. And Lucent said, “No,” because their vision was not forward thinking. Carly Fiorina had nothing to do with that.
RUSH: All right. Well, fine and dandy. So there you are, those of you — and I’ve been hearing from you in the e-mail. Don’t think I haven’t. I check the e-mail and I’m being roasted in the e-mail by Carly supporters who claim that I am totally misrepresenting what happened there at Lucent, and so here comes Steve in Dallas with an effort to correct the record as reported in Fortune. And did I interrupt him? No. And did I argue with him? No. Had his fair shot at it. So there you are. (interruption) Yeah, they hit me all over the place in the e-mail here. (interruption) No, no, no. This happens during campaigns.
It doesn’t matter, if I was speaking out against, I don’t know, take your pick, well, Cruz or Carson, if I happen to say just the slightest thing critical, you think I wouldn’t hear from their supporters accusing me of selling out and so forth? “We knew it, we knew it, you really haven’t been conservative for 27 years. You were just faking it. Your true colors are showing.” Oh, yeah. No question it would happen. The heightened tensions of a presidential campaign.