RUSH: Folks, I have to express complete shock and surprise when I got today’s audio sound bite roster. The first 11 sound bites are me and the Drive-By Media reacting to me and something that happened on this show last week. Now, I do not watch news broadcasts on the weekend, maybe Sunday night just to get back into the flow. I don’t watch the Sunday shows, and I haven’t in a long time, and it’s only because I know what they’re gonna be, even before they air, even before the guest lists are published.
I know what they’re gonna do. I just… It’s not arrogance; I just don’t learn anything from them anymore, and they’re not entertaining to me. So I don’t watch them. What’s new is that nobody tells me about it anymore, either. I don’t get emails from anybody saying, “Did you see what happened on Meet the Press?” No. “Did you see what just happened on Fox News?” No. It used to be that people would email me about things. But now that doesn’t happen.
The point is, I spent the last 2-1/2 days totally ignorant of how much something that happened on this program last week became the subject and focal point of so much in the Drive-By Media. Now, here’s what it is. Last week, whatever day it was… It seems to me it was Wednesday, but it doesn’t matter. It could have been Tuesday; could have been Thursday. Whatever the day was that the Drive-Bys put out the news that Trump was flip-flopping on immigration and was going to rethink his mass deportation effort, the Drive-Bys began laying the case that Trump was flip-flopping and that they had all predicted it.
And that it was going to add up to being amnesty. And that Trump’s followers had been duped. But then the Drive-Bys said, “You know what? Trump’s followers don’t care! Trump’s followers/supporters are staying with him no matter what.” So I, upon hearing what the Drive-Bys were saying — and as a result of my own investigation of what actually was happening in the Trump campaign — was unable to control my laughter at the idea that… (laughing) I’ll start laughing about it again now.
After all the efforts that so many in the Republican Party have made to get everybody to sign on to amnesty, who would have believed that it was Donald Trump who’d come along and have the Republican base essentially saying, “So what? No big deal.” There was another story that day, whatever day it was. Snerdley brought it in to me. It was the New York Daily News with an absolutely psychotic reaction to my reporting the news that the agriculture department was granting funding and grants — financial grants — to lesbians so they could go out there and become farmers.
Those two things happened, and I was unable to control my laughter. It took a considered effort on my part to regain my composure here and present this program in a professional manner. Well, anyway, the Drive-By Media caught up on all this, and the first — actually, the first 10. There’s 11 sound bites total. The first 10 sound bites are about that. And, of course, the Drive-Bys have misunderstood what I was laughing about and what my laughter meant. But that’s okay, because that’s common. It causes me to laugh.
I’m gonna share all this with you we get back from the break here the bottom of the hour. But I don’t know how to… I get here, and I didn’t know this until Cookie sends me the sound bite roster at 11:30. I had no idea any of this has happened. I know some of you people ask, “How can you go through the whole week…?” ‘Cause I don’t watch, folks, anymore. I just don’t. But then I added: Nobody tells me. As I say, it used to be, “Rush, they’re talking about you!” That doesn’t happen anymore, ’cause I guess it happens so much that that’s all people would be doing, and they know it’s no big deal to me anymore anyway.
RUSH: Okay. Here we go. We’re just gonna start in the order in which I was furnished the sound bites. First off, to set it up, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we have a montage of people from NBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and the AP discussing my reaction to Trump’s apparent flip-flop on amnesty.
CHUCK TODD: Rush Limbaugh broke out in laughter over this.
JOHN BERMAN: Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh trying to compose himself.
STEVE SCULLY: Rush Limbaugh this past week laughing.
DAVID MERCER: Rush Limbaugh going, “Who’d a thought that he’d a brought on amnesty?”
LOUIS BURGDORF: Rush Limbaugh could barely contain himself.
JOHN KING: Rush said, “Give me a minute to regain my composure.” I mean, he was like (crosstalk) hysterical.
JULIE PACE: I could understand why (crosstalk) Rush would be cracking up.
RUSH: So went to Mike Pence to get clarification. We’ll have expansion on all those. Mike Pence here on CNN’s State of the Union, Jake Tapper yesterday, to try to put all this in perspective. Here’s how that went.
TAPPER: It’s Rush Limbaugh, it’s Governor Sarah Palin, it’s other people who want Donald Trump to win who are saying, wow, it sounds like he’s really backing away from this deportation force removing 11 million, and you’re not saying right now, Governor, you’re not saying, you’re not pledging, that there will be removal of all undocumented immigrants. You’re not saying that?
PENCE: No. What I’m saying, Jake, I want to be very clear, there will be no path to legalization.
PENCE: No path to citizenship. People that want to gain legal status, you heard Donald Trump say again and again, will have to leave the country.
TAPPER: What about the millions in this country right now? What happens to them?
PENCE: I think Donald Trump will articulate what we do with the people who are here.
RUSH: Okay, we keep going. This interview continued. And Tapper said okay, “You’re saying that he’s gonna be unveiling it in the next few weeks, 72 days ’til the election — I think it’s this week, in fact, I think this week Trump’s gonna unveil this new immigration policy in the speech.”
PENCE: What you see going on right now, and I think at a certain level it’s very refreshing ’cause it’s the Donald Trump that I see every day, is you see a CEO at work, you see someone who is engaging the American people, listening to the American people, he’s hearing from all sides, but I promise you he is a decisive leader, he will stand on the principles that have underpinned his commitment to end illegal immigration in this country, and that’s what people will learn more about in the days ahead.
RUSH: Back to F. Chuck Todd on the Meet the Press show, this was yesterday. And he used me and my laughter to set up a question for Reince Priebus.
TODD: After a week where an attempt to moderate on immigration turned into a muddle.
TRUMP: There certainly can be a softening, because we’re not looking to hurt people. I’ve had people say it’s a hardening.
TODD: In five days, a dizzying number of positions on immigration.
RUSH ARCHIVE: (laughing) Who knew that it would be Donald Trump to come out and convert the GOP base.
TODD: Trump’s latest confusion may be an attempt to soften his image without alienating longtime supporters.
RUSH: And here’s what Reince Priebus said.
PRIEBUS: You’re gonna find out from Donald Trump very shortly. He’s gonna be giving prepared remarks on this issue I think very soon. I don’t want to give a date. Here’s what I know. His position is going to be tough, his position is going to be fair, but his position is going to be humane. He’s a guy who’s gonna be tougher on this issue, tougher on illegal immigration than any politician that we’ve ever had as a nominee or ever could have as a nominee.
RUSH: Okay, that’s Reince Priebus. Just to be clear, folks, I don’t think there’s been a flip-flop here at all. I think Trump’s Trump. I think Trump says what he’s thinking day to day, and if it sounds different from what he said the previous day, people make a mistake if they think Trump does not have rooted principles, if they think he doesn’t have certain beliefs that are unwavering. I don’t have any doubt that what he has said about immigration combined with what he said about free trade, he means it.
I think where this is all gonna end up — and I made this point Friday — I think where this is all gonna end up, the argument’s gonna be whether they come back after being sent out of the country or touch-back amnesty or whatever. Where this is going, mark my words right now, where this is going is everybody knows what this is all about.
On the Democrat side, the only reason this is happening is because the Democrats need a permanent underclass and they want whatever number of illegals are here to be able to register to vote. If it’s 11 million, 12 million, the assumption is they’re all gonna vote Big Government, they’re all gonna vote dependence, they’re all gonna vote Democrat.
The Republicans a little bit muddier water but essentially the Chamber of Commerce donates, the donors rule, and they want cheap labor. And some others in the Republican voting bloc also want the cheap labor aspect. I think the Republican Party too would like to have a stab at these people as voters. And I think that’s where this is gonna shake out. Somebody, besides me, somebody is gonna make the suggestion, the proposal, ’cause people are gonna have to be flushed out on this.
I don’t know if there will ever be a serious deportation effort. I don’t know how successful it would be if it were tried. But I do know something very simple to do here. And if you want to consider this advice to the Trump campaign, have at it. This is all gonna shake out with, okay, are we gonna make them citizens, is there gonna be amnesty, are we gonna forgive the crimes — that’s one thing, but then are we gonna go further and make them citizens? ‘Cause if we don’t make them citizens, they can’t vote. And that’s where this is gonna shake out.
If somebody on the Republican side would seriously propose, “Hey, you know what? You want to forgive them, you want the admission that 11 million, 12 million, whatever number, are not gonna be deported, fine, but here’s where it ends. They don’t get to vote. They don’t get citizenship for years. This business of having them automatically registered to vote, not going for that. And you’ll flush people out. You’ll find out exactly why this is all an issue in the first place, if that becomes the dividing line, if that becomes the premise under which people support or oppose whatever future immigration policy is.
RUSH: Donna in New Milford, New Jersey. Welcome. I’m glad you called.
CALLER: Rush. First time, first time.
RUSH: Thank you. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Thank you so much. Listen, I’m listening, I’ve been running the Republicans in New Milford for the past six, seven years, running the campaigns, and I’m listening for the last few hours today between Fox News and other media outlets about how Trump is doing a flip-flop on immigration. And I really, really find it really annoying to me because I haven’t heard any word that say amnesty through his lips; I haven’t heard any flip-flop on my end. I find myself supporting him and making sure people hear what I have to say.
RUSH: Let me ask you a couple of quick questions. Is he gonna deport 11 million people, have you believed that that’s gonna happen since you first started supporting the Trumpster.
CALLER: I know that’s impossible, how could you even think that?
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: As a human being, there’s no way on this planet that you can do that.
RUSH: Okay, is he going to grant them amnesty in citizenship?
CALLER: There is nothing like that. You have to prove yourself. The people who are committing these —
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: — horrendous crimes.
RUSH: Thank you. Thank you. Donna, you’ve made my point. We had a caller in the last hour, who thought that there could have been a greater effort on the part of Fox News to alert people to how Trump couldn’t possibly do what he said he was gonna do. My contention about this going back to the primaries — look, I tried, I tried to explain, I went to great lengths, and I did it frequently. I tried to explain to people why Trump’s supporters supported him.
And let me just tell you again, it’s about stopping what is happening. It’s about stopping whole lot of things that are destroying the country in a lot of people’s view. People believe Trump when he says he’s going to fix this and fix that and make America greater. I don’t think the vast majority of Trump supporters care about deporting 11 million people or one million people. I think they care about stopping any further illegal immigration. So they believe in the wall. Even if the wall is symbolic, they believe that Trump is serious about bringing the status quo to a screeching halt.
I don’t think it’s ever been — in fact, as I say, you can go to Trump’s immigration section on his website. You won’t find anything about mass deportation. This whole notion that Trump is flip-flopping, he’s flip-flopping within the confines of standard, ordinary, everyday political analysis. Trump is outside that. It’s another point that I kept trying to emphasize with people, that you cannot judge Trump as you would judge a professional politician. He isn’t one. He’s not focus grouped. He’s not focus group tested. He doesn’t poll or any of that.
Do you know what his debate prep is? Something in show that I read this morning. Trump’s got his people helping with the debate, but he’s resisting what they’re telling him. He doesn’t want somebody to pretend to be Hillary and sit down and actually stand at podiums and rehearse. He doesn’t want to do that. He’s resisting it. The people advising him are coming up with zingers. They’re coming up with things to say to Hillary to bamboozle her. They’re coming up with things to respond to things.
In terms of actual debate prep, Trump doesn’t want any part of it. He doesn’t want to be prepared. He wants to wing it; that’s who he is. He views rehearsal and preparation as a jail cell, as a giant set of constraints on who he is. So he’s got his advisers, some of them I’m sure are trying to arrange actual rehearsals where somebody would play Hillary and he would, of course, be himself and then they would fake a debate, have a debate where somebody would actually say things that Hillary says, the ways Hillary says them to make him familiar with that setting, surrounding, the arena, the media.
And I’m told he doesn’t want any part of that. Oh, he’s gonna study up on things, but he doesn’t want to prepare. Now, he may be forced into doing a couple rehearsals. I don’t know. But the point here is is that while people over here think Trump is flip-flopping, that’s how you would measure a traditional politician doing and saying what Trump is doing, but you can’t in this case because the people supporting Trump are not supporting him as they support traditional politicians.
So many people are missing this. And I guess it’s hard. I mean, you’re an expert in politics, you love politics, you love political commentary and analysis, and everybody is striving to come up with a unique take on what this means or that means. But everybody is part of the playbook. And Trump isn’t. He’s not in it; he doesn’t use it; so when they think he’s flip-flopping, in his mind he’s not flip-flopping and he’s not changing his mind on anything. He may be changing the way he’s talking about things, who knows.
But all I’m gonna tell you is this. His supporters do not think he’s flip-flopped. His supporters still think that no matter what analysts say he’s saying, they still believe that Trump is gonna cancel all these bad trade deals. They believe that Trump is gonna end mass illegal immigration arriving in the United States. That’s what they believe.
They believe that Trump is going to put America first again. They think that Trump is going to try to make America great again. And they believe that as an overall umbrella under which everything else happens. And the specifics, they’re not measuring him in the way they would measure a traditional politician, say something, wait for the broken promise, because he’s not one of them.
They could be making a mistake, don’t misunderstand now. When I offer you my analysis on this, I’m not saying anybody’s right or wrong. I’m just telling you the way it is. There are a lot of people as I was saying in the last half hour, a lot of Republicans who just can’t fathom voting for Hillary Clinton, who are just as adamant they can’t vote for Trump, they don’t know what to do.
A vote for Trump to them constitutes one of the biggest boondoggle mistakes anybody could ever make. But at the same time they can’t see voting for Hillary. So they are still trying to figure out who is responsible for what they think is this debacle. And they focus on people that didn’t tell Trump supporters the truth about Trump. And my point is — (woman scream) —
WOMAN: It is hilarious.
RUSH: Is Hillary listening to this program and found a way to get in on it? My point is that all of this is designed to separate Trump from his supporters. When the Drive-Bys go on and on for days about Trump flip-flopping, they are trying to separate Trump’s supporters from him, or trying to demonstrate that they can, one of the two. It’s all meant to embarrass Trump supporters. The objective is to embarrass them, by making them think that they’re supporting a guaranteed landslide loser, a phony, somebody lying to ’em, somebody that’s playing ’em for suckers, somebody playing ’em for fools. That’s their objective. And I’m sorry to tell ’em, the only guy who can do that is Trump.
It really does matter. The media did not make Trump. Trump supporters are not there because the media told everybody what a great guy he is. The media has made Hillary Clinton. If the media went on a tear about Hillary, they could really, really damage her. But of course they won’t.
RUSH: Now, back to the audio sound bites. I have 11 bites here. We’ve broken this up. There are 11 sound bites of the Drive-Bys taking a clip from me from last week laughing. Really, I was uncontrollably laughing over two things. One was a New York Daily — I mean, this story was just over the top. The people at New York Daily were literally outraged that I had pointed out that the agriculture department was granting money to lesbians if they would go farm. They thought it was just atrocious what I was saying, and all I was doing was reporting an actual news story. And the way it was written, I couldn’t stop laughing.
Then Trump does his supposed flip-flop on deporting illegal immigrants, and I noticed that it wasn’t hurting Trump among his supporters and I started laughing again. I said, “Who would have believed –” it’s still funny now when you think about it. The Republican Party’s been trying for eight years to get its base to go along with some form of amnesty, and who would have thought that it was Donald Trump that would make it happen? And I was barely able to contain myself. So the Drive-Bys took that and ran with it and started asking other Republicans to react to it. We’re up to sound bite number six on this. This would be John King on CNN Inside Politics yesterday. Julie Pace of the AP is next.
KING: If in the media Mr. Trump will concede on this issue, you have to include this guy. I think his name is Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Who knew? (laughing) Can you imagine what it’s like to be Jeb Bush today? Who knew that it would be Donald Trump to come on and convert the GOP base to supporting amnesty.
KING: He says — Rush said, as part of that, “Give me a minute to regain my composure.” I mean, he was like hysterical there.
RUSH: Yeah, I was. Totally was hysterical;. Really was thinking poor Jeb, as serious and earnest as all these people were about it and then Trump along and then the media reports he’s flip-flopping on this and all of a sudden supporting amnesty and it didn’t matter to Trump supporters. That’s the kind of thing that just befuddles. Any other candidate that flip-flops like that and it is over. With Trump it didn’t even matter. That’s what was funny about it. Here’s Julie Pace, the AP White House correspondent.
PACE: It is hilarious. Ever since the day after the 2012 election when Mitt Romney lost, Republicans have been talking about the need to get right on immigration. You had candidates in this race like Jeb Bush, like Marco Rubio at a certain point who actually had looked for policy positions that could get Republicans right. And they get sidelined in a primary where Trump pushes everybody to the right again. Frankly, it is hilarious. I can understand why Rush is cracking up.
RUSH: And up next we go to Friday night CNN, Erin Burnett OutFront. This is Bakari Sellers and Jim Sciutto. This is Trump on amnesty, another bite, same roster.
SELLERS: I’m gonna channel my inner Rush Limbaugh because I had an opportunity to hear Rush, I believe it was yesterday morning, when Rush said it is amazing to him that first they started with the Gang of Eight, and then they tried Jeb Bush, and the person to bring amnesty to the base of the Republican Party —
SCIUTTO: Rush Limbaugh actually laughed when he brought that point up.
SELLERS: I quoted Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: Isn’t it amazing how they love to quote me when it fits their template, when it fits their narrative. All of a sudden I become the most credible person in the country. I become a political oracle when I’m saying things they think fit their narrative.
Now, we’re gonna go back to our old buddy Robert Costa. If you remember, Robert Costa, the Washington Post, was on the Charlie Rose Show some weeks ago. And he and Charlie were in earnest discussion over how difficult it is to ascertain just how much support Trump has. And it was Robert Costa who pointed out that maybe the Drive-Bys are missing a whole lot of people. He used two numbers. You got 70% of the American people think the country’s on the wrong track and 50% of eligible Americans don’t vote. And Costa said (paraphrasing), “What if a bunch of ’em show up? What if Trump has connected with ’em? And what if Trump is the guy to bring ’em to the polling place for the first time in years, maybe in their lives?”
He said we won’t know until Election Day. It’s impossible — I mean, they’re not, well, they’re registered, but they’re not likely because they don’t vote. You know, the likely voter is the primo sample. Adults, hardly worthwhile. Registered voters a little bit better, but likely voters, that’s where they go. And these people, as nonvoters, can’t be said to be likely. So they’re missed. And there are a lot of them. And make no mistake, that has been pooh-poohed by the Drive-Bys and other places. But I’m telling you, in the deep, dark corridors and crevices of the Democrat headquarters, that possibility scares them. Because nobody will know.
They can’t identify them and it is thought that they’re not being found by pollsters. Now, other people think that’s just BS, that’s silly, that if there were that many people that were just hankering to vote for Trump we would know and he’d be doing better in the polls. So Costa is back on PBS. This was on Friday, Washington Week. The host is Susan Davis. She said, “Mr. Costa, over and over we have heard that there’s nothing that Trump can do to shake his sort of fundamental core support, nothing that can break that up. But does changing one of his core positions on immigration, could that hurt him with his most strongest supporters?”
COSTA: We always remember that line, “I could go on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I would still have their support.” For now we’re seeing the right wing of the GOP stick with Trump. They think at his core, if you listen to Rush Limbaugh’s shows or talk to different people on the right, they still think Trump’s Trump and he’s gonna build the wall, but there’s more reservation on that side.