Frontline, Part Two: Guy on the Radio Ruins the Obama Presidency and Destroys the GOP Establishment
Jan 19, 2017
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, remember yesterday we had some sound bites from the PBS show Frontline, the documentary by a filmmaker on Obama presidency, a retrospective, and the narrator? The essential theme was that Obama was one of greatest presidents ever but he was held back by me. Obama tried, and worked harder than anybody ever had to unite the country and to rebuild the economy, to save health care and jobs. But at every turn, our young first African-American president was thwarted by me. Now, they only mention my name once, but I was in every sound bite that they played, every clip of the opposition to Obama.
Part 2 was last night. It was a four-hour documentary. Part 2 was last night, and in the episode last night, I, your host, Rush Limbaugh, am alleged to have basically ruined the Obama presidency. But not just that, I also destroyed the Republican establishment. I take them all out, and, in the process, set the stage for Trump who once again, it is said, spent hours and hours studying talk radio so he could take over the world. There are 11 of these sound bites. I’m not gonna have a chance to play all of them because it would take up too much time.
Okay, popular demand requests, emails are coming in. We’re gonna start here with the audio sound bites from the second half of a four-hour documentary on PBS Frontline last night. The first two hours were Tuesday night. Then the last two hours were last night. And I am all over this. I am constantly in this documentary. In the episode that aired last night, I, your host, am accused of essentially ruining the Obama presidency and ruining the Republican establishment. I am blamed for taking them all out.
But the real problem with all that is that I set the stage for Trump, who, while all this was going on — and you’ll hear ’em say (sinister whisper) “Meanwhile, Donald Trump was in Trump Tower studying thousands of hours of Rush Limbaugh and talk radio. Meanwhile, Donald Trump was in Trump Tower…” As though he’s in there in some dark room sneaking around, lurking and studying tapes, plotting and conspiring to take over the world! (sinister whisper) “Meanwhile, Donald Trump was in Trump Tower taking it all in, plotting strategy to destroy everything we’ve built.” So let’s get started here. This is the first bite. They start off recapping part 1. So you’ll hear the narrator talking about Obama’s first two years in office.
NARRATOR: (sinister whisper) In his first year, he faced unexpected populist anger from what was called (dramatic pause) the Tea Party over health care reform, Wall Street bailouts, and Obama himself.
RUSH ARCHIVE: How about being able to call half the country racist? What’s that gonna do for your fundraising?
RUSH: (laughing) They use me this way throughout this show. Can you all hear this? I’ve got a transcript and can follow it. There’s a lot of… I hear a lot of noise. The narrator says (sinister whisper), “In his first year, he faced unexpected populist anger for from what was called the Tea Party over health care reform (Gasp!), Wall Street bailouts (Gasp!), and Obama himself. (Gasp!)” And then they cut to me, “How about being able to call half the country racist? What’s that’s gonna do for your fundraising?” Okay, the next bite. Paul Ryan. He “took on Obama backed by a chorus of voices on conservative talk radio.”
NARRATOR: (sinister whisper) One of their first jobs would be to get behind a tough new budget that would radically change the size and scope of the American government. (scary music) It was written by Cantor’s friend, Congressman Paul Ryan (dramatic pause) and was called the Ryan budget.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Ryan is, no doubt, an upcoming star.
NARRATOR: Backing Ryan and the Tea Party class (dramatic pause), a chorus of voices on conservative talk radio and websites.
RUSH ARCHIVE: They’re clearly threatened just as they are threatened by Sarah Palin and the others.
RUSH: (laughing) It’s laughably funny here. This is paranoia! They… I’m not gonna try to disabuse them of their notion. The Ryan budget? There was never a Ryan budget. An Obama budget. (impression) “One of their first jobs would be to get behind a tough new budget that would radically change the size and scope of the American government. It was written by Cantor’s …” Notice how dramatic, dark — deeply dark — these conspiratorial Republican efforts are to sabotage Barack Obama? And then Obama gave the speech where he ripped in to Paul Ryan. Again, they include my reaction. Listen carefully.
NARRATOR: (sinister whisper) As the White House staff gathered Washington’s A-list, they made an error. They accidentally invited Paul Ryan (dramatic pause) and gave him a front-row seat.
DAN BALZ: Ryan was deeply offended by having been put into that position, and his Republican friends were even more angry.
RUSH: That was a personal bitch slap. Primo insult.
NARRATOR: The Republicans were outraged.
RUSH: (laughing) “A personal bitch slap.” But did you hear this? “They accidentally invited Paul Ryan and gave him a front-row seat.” They accidentally put somebody in the front row? Accidentally? They had a… It was purposeful. That’s why I called it a bitch slap. This was Obama shooting Ryan down between the eyes in the front row, belittling him and telling him who’s running the show and who’s boss, who won and who lost. And these clowns try to tell us that the White House goofed and accidentally invited Ryan and gave him a front-row seat? Meanwhile, while all of this was going on (dramatic whisper), Donald Trump was in Trump Tower listening and plotting and calculating.
NARRATOR: (sinister whisper) In New York City, a political outsider was watching and listening.
RUSH ARCHIVE: This election was about defeating Obama. It was about stopping Obama. It was about stopping the Democrats. It was not about —
PETER COSTA: Donald Trump saw a vacuum in which he could step into and have some kind of influence. Trump saw an opportunity.
NARRATOR: The real estate developer and reality TV star (dramatic pause) was looking for a way to raise his political profile.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Back to this birther business for just a second.
RUSH ARCHIVE: If you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding it?
RUSH: (laughing) I love this! The way they take things I’m saying out of context. And they throw it into the context they want to use. I’m not complaining, folks. I’m loving it. I am eating it up. So we’ve got plotting going on by Trump. Now this this is not Trump’s presidential campaign he’s plotting. Well, it is, but nobody knows that. (dramatic whispering) “Trump is now plotting his birther movement. Meanwhile, a populist businessman is in Trump Tower plotting…” (laughing) Here. The next bite, thanks to Rush Limbaugh, the Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling and this put the nation in peril.
NARRATOR: (dramatic whispering) That spring in Washington, the president had a more pressing problem.
RUSH ARCHIVE: We do not need to raise the debt ceiling. There is no crisis.
RUSH ARCHIVE: This is stimulus all over again. This is TARP all over again. This is the same line repeated over and over again, the same attempt to make you think your country is coming to a screeching halt and is ending, unless… (fades out)
NARRATOR: With time running out, the president decided to act. He’d reach out directly to the ultimate insider: The Speaker of the House, John Boehner.
RUSH: Ha! Ha! Ha! (dramatic whispering) “He had to act. Limbaugh was taking too much control of the process while not even a member. Limbaugh was correctly telling his listeners that the debt ceiling is simply a phony number that could be moved at any time.”