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RUSH: He even prayed for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the media is having another conniption. Have you heard about this? Schwarzenegger keeps dumping on Trump for his executive order. Schwarzenegger is part of the never-ending chorus that we are a nation of immigrants, and if we do not let immigrants in — And he’s misrepresenting Trump’s executive orders. So Trump today asked everybody at the prayer breakfast to pray for Schwarzenegger’s ratings.

Schwarzenegger’s the new host of The Apprentice, taking over for Trump. Trump made a big deal of pointing out that Schwarzenegger’s ruining the show, that the ratings are down in the cellar compared to where they were when Trump was the host. He called out Mark Burnett, who was the partner creator of The Apprentice and said that Mark knows the score. And Mark is very protective of the show, and everybody knows that Arnold’s ratings are tanking. Big Hollywood star, thought they’d do better than Trump with a Big Hollywood star, Trump says, and they’re dying. So he asked everybody to pray for Arnold.

Now, the Drive-Bys have literally no levity, no possibility of levity, they have no sense of humor whatsoever. I watched two different panel discussions on CNN about this today where they had a bunch of think tankers in there, and history professors, and political science experts from Princeton and Yale and whatever, wringing their hands over Trump; being distracted by irrelevant concerns, questioning Trump’s mental stability, whether or not Trump is literally mentally disabled.

Because they say he can’t let go of the past. He has to continue to tell people everything he did in the past was bigger and better than everybody else, even going so far as to point out failures, people that replace him who fail and they say he is obsessed, and they can’t laugh. Now, part of it wasn’t funny. I mean, Trump, he said so on this program and he says it every time he’s asked, if you hit him, he’s gonna hit you back. If you attack him, he’s gonna retaliate. If you impugn him or his family or his policies, he’s gonna fire rat-tat-tat right back at you.

This is something people are not accustomed to, particularly on the Republican side. The Republican side, you just take it, turn the other cheek and you act gentlemanly about it and understand, “Well, this is the price one pays for entering public life, particularly when you’re president of the United States, everybody’s gonna be coming at you. You have to just accept it and not respond to everybody.”

That’s not Trump. But you add that to the fact they don’t have any sense of humor. I laughed myself silly when I saw him asking people to pray for Schwarzenegger’s ratings.

And the audience at the prayer breakfast, they weren’t offended. Did you think they were offended? (interruption) No way! (laughing) They looked at that… (interruption) They might… (interruption) They might have been stunned? (interruption) But wait a minute, why do you think some of them might have been stunned? (interruption) Because you think it’s a crazy thing to pray for…? (interruption) Well… (interruption) Oh, don’t… Don’t be so… (interruption) Don’t be so foo…? (interruption) You…? (interruption) What do you mean at the prayer breakfast? (interruption) Are you…? (interruption) Are you…? (interruption)

Are you telling…? (interruption) Yes, of course the prayer breakfast is always solemn, but it was a solemn request for a prayer for Schwarzenegger. But if you’re thinking it’s an odd prayer, it’s not an odd prayer. I once dated a woman who prayed for parking spaces when she went to the mall. I said, “What? You really…?” I had to be very careful with this. I said, “You might think it’s a waste of God’s time.” “No, the Lord says ask anything.” So she did! She asked for parking. Didn’t always get them, but sometimes they opened up. I’m not making it up.

So a prayer for Schwarzenegger’s ratings (laughing), I guarantee you, would not be out of the mainstream. (laughing) Ahem. The real question is: Did Trump really mean it? Does he want Schwarzenegger’s ratings to get better or not? That… (laughing) That would be the question.

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RUSH: Now, let’s go to the audio sound bites, because Trump brings all this up in his own fashion at the prayer breakfast today. We’re gonna start here with audio sound bite number 11. And let’s just take these in order because they are self-contained and some of them relate to things I’ve mentioned, some haven’t, so let’s just get started and deal with them as.

THE PRESIDENT: Today we continue a tradition begun by President Eisenhower some 64 years ago. This gathering is a testament it the power of faith and is one of the great customs of our nation. And I hope to be here seven more times with you. (applause)

RUSH: Ho! I think Trump just announced he’s running for reelection in 2020. I guess Trump made news at the prayer breakfast. And here he says that people are always telling him that they’re praying for him.

THE PRESIDENT: But most importantly today I want to thank the American people. Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times. All around America I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement have been a constant source of strength. What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words that never, ever fail to touch my heart: That’s, “I am praying for you.” I hear it so often. “I am praying for you, Mr. President.”

RUSH: They loved it. They loved it. And then they loved this.

THE PRESIDENT: It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty.” Jefferson asked, “Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs.” That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that. Remember. (applause).

RUSH: Now, you know how this used to happen? Take your pick, you know, any Republican president would go up there and would never say anything like, “That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak.” That’s not how it would be said.

In the past, it would be said, “And I want to assure you, and I want you to know, that I’m gonna be working with the elected representatives of our party, and I’m gonna be trying to cross the aisle. I’m gonna be reaching out so that we can come up with a unified purpose to do everything we can do to make sure that religious people have the liberty to speak their beliefs.”

That’s how it would happen. And nothing would happen because there would be nothing there when you cross the aisle except a bunch of flat red stop signs and a bunch of people disagreeing with him. My point is there would be commitment, nothing along the lines of, “I will get rid of and totally destroy the pinko Johnson. I will not even allow a word of it to survive,” none of that. “We’ll be working with our elected partners in Congress and doing everything we can.” And applause would erupt, and nothing much would change.

Here is Trump — and this is smart, by the way. He’s telling everybody in his own way what I told you a half hour ago. This is what reclaiming the country looks like, having these spoiled rotten leftist children and the professional rabble-rousers who are being paid to do what they’re doing, this is what it looks like when they raise hell. This is what it looks like, they’re trying to scare you into submission. They’re trying to convince you it’s not worth reclaiming your country. The price is too high, too much strife, too many explosions, too much damage, too many bombs, too much unrest, too much division, it isn’t worth it. Let us have it, the left says, and they want you to back down. Here’s what Trump said.

THE PRESIDENT: The world is in trouble, but we’re gonna straighten it out. Okay? That’s what I do. I fix things. We’re gonna straighten it out. Believe me, when you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it. They’re tough. We have to be tough. It’s time we’re gonna be a little tough, folks. We’re taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually. It’s not gonna happen anymore. It’s not gonna happen anymore.

RUSH: He’s got that speech pattern. He repeats things that he means twice. I actually think he’s actually thinking what he wants to say next when he repeats himself. I’m an expert in this stuff. I’m an expert in the spoken word. I’m an expert in the First Amendment. I know how the mind works when you’re improving, and I know the various techniques and tools that people use, ’cause you gotta keep talking. You can’t stop and make it look like you don’t know what you’re saying next. You can’t stop and then figure out where you want to go next. It has to flow.

And Trump’s technique is to repeat his punchline while he then decides what he wants to say next, or you’re waiting for the applause or what have you. In this case he was waiting for the applause, but his point was we are taken advantage of. This Australia thing is a great example. We weren’t so much taken advantage of as the president at the time allowed us to essentially be the sponge and take up and accept the human debris the rest of the world didn’t want. Bad actors from parts of the world that inspire militant Islamic terrorism, Obama would welcome them. But you weren’t permitted to make any correlation.

You weren’t permitted to ask the cause and effect question. You just had to accept that Obama is smarter than the rest of us and drop it. Don’t you dare ask why. If you did, you ran the risk of being labeled a racist, bigot, sexist, transphobic homophobe or whatever the phobes are now. Can’t keep track of them. The left keeps inventing so many oddballs that I don’t know what all the phobias are about them anymore. It used to be simple. Here is the Trumpster praying for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ratings on the TV show The Apprentice.

THE PRESIDENT: We had tremendous success on The Apprentice and —

RUSH: Stop the tape. Recue it. Set this up. This is the National Prayer Breakfast. Trump has just had solemn messages about prayer, religious liberty and freedom, people telling him that they are praying for him, quoting Thomas Jefferson on the power of God, the relationship of God to liberty, and then at that same prayer breakfast we get —

THE PRESIDENT: We had tremendous success on The Apprentice, and when I ran for president, I had to leave the show. That’s when I knew for sure I was doing it, and they hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place. And we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster. And Mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings, okay?

RUSH: They started laughing, and they prayed for the ratings of Arnold Schwarzenegger. And as I said, I was watching CNN, and they had two different panels of guests assembled to discuss the mental instabilities of Donald Trump as indicated by that comment. I mean, they were grinding their hands, wringing their hands and, “Does it really mean, is he so, so sensitive, is so he egocentric that at the National Prayer Breakfast he just has to tell everybody how great he was? Can he not let go of his past? Can he not look to the future? Oh, my God, what have we done? Have we elected somebody genuinely mentally ill?”

And then another panel guest would weigh in on it, and he… (laughing) It wasn’t a joke per se, but this is Trump! (laughing) Pray for Schwarzenegger’s ratings! I laugh. I’m not so tightly wound that this stuff offends me. And Schwarzenegger, by the way… They went out; they found Schwarzenegger. I guess they’ve taped a bunch of episodes, ’cause they found Schwarzenegger at some rustic home. He had his firewood stacked on the porch, and he’s out there looking like he’s ready to go out and hunt big game or something and they asked him about Trump commenting on his ratings of The Apprentice.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Hey, Donald! I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV — because you’re such an expert in ratings — and I take over your job, and then people can finally sleep comfortably again. Hmm?

RUSH: Hmm? Now, the people at CNN, they loved that. They thought that one of the best put-downs they’ve ever heard. They thought Schwarzenegger owned Trump with that put-down. They thought Schwarzenegger was great. They thought Trump had to eat it on that exchange. (impression) “Hey, Donald, let’s change positions.” But Arnold’s already done Donald’s job in California. Need we say any more? We can ask, “How did it work out?” (interruption) Trump will double down at some point. He’ll wait for the ratings, the next ratings the slide (laughing), and he’ll have some comment about it.

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RUSH: By the way, the Mark that Trump was referring to is Mark Burnett, creator of The Apprentice. He’s a very religious man. He’s married to Roma Downey, and they’ve done numerous documentaries, docudramas on the Bible. They did the latest version, movie version of Ben Hur, and that’s why The Apprentice even came up. The creator, Mark Burnett, was there to introduce Trump. So the fact that he did The Apprentice… I mean, Trump didn’t just pull it out of the sky. He didn’t just want to insult Schwarzenegger.

He probably wanted to actually compliment Burnett and razz him a little bit. “Hey, Mark, look what’s happening since I became president and you don’t have me on your show,” blah, blah, blah. It’s not hard to understand people like Trump, and the left is just losing their minds because they don’t have… Their lives are so sheltered. They really are. They don’t understand broad-based senses of humor. They don’t understand various personality types, because they’re so damned restrictive in what they permit in terms of behavior.

You’ve gotta comport — behavior, speech — to all the rest of the things they believe to even be in their crowd, to be in their group, otherwise you get send out, excommunicated. So they have a very narrow world, a small world of personality types, opinions. They really have walled themselves off, and what’s funny about it is they think that they represent the vast majority of people all over the world, and they’re in one of the tiniest clubs. Here’s George in Quincy, Illinois. George, I’m glad you called, sir. Great to have you on the program. How are you doing?

CALLER: Great, Rush. Hey, I have a comment. I’ll try to condense this into about 20 or 30 seconds. I know you’ve mentioned quite frequently that Trump might not understand the ideologue part of the liberal attacks against him. But from the Midwest — and I’ve actually talked to friends out in Coronado, California, where I have several friends, and they think Trump’s losing support daily. But people in the Midwest are exactly the opposite. They see Trump as stronger. And I think what Trump’s doing, I think he’s sly as a fox. I think what he is doing on a daily basis — baiting the liberals in the media, baiting the liberals in Hollywood to attack him — it just gets him support. Much like you said every time Hillary Clinton opened her mouth, her support dropped 2%.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: I think this is the same. What he’s doing by every time Madonna says something, Trump’s support goes up 2%. And it’s all about Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio. Who cares what people out in California think? Who cares what they think in Washington, DC, and New York? I think Trump’s playing it very smart, and I think he totally gets it.

RUSH: So you think he totally understands the nature of the liberal opposition and is just tweaking them? He is baiting them? He’s going out doing and saying things designed to drive ’em crazy ’cause when they speak up, Trump’s base loves him even more. Is that it?

CALLER: I think he’s… I think it’s a very nuanced battle, because, really, the future of the party really lies in that upper Midwest. He’s never gonna… Those are the only states now that keep the Republicans in play four years from now and so forth. So I think he’s playing it right. I think, yeah, there’s some things he could do a little bit differently, but I think he’s doing a great job of holding, you know, that area where there is thousands of Trump signs all over the place.

RUSH: Oh, I’m not… No, no, no, no. I don’t disagree with that. My comment that he doesn’t understand ideologically who he’s up against is based on other things, not that.

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RUSH: This is after Trump prayed for Schwarzenegger’s ratings at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Here’s the panel: Ryan Lizza from the New Yorker, Julian Zelizer, he’s a professor of history at Princeton, and Costello, who says, “I don’t even know what to make of this.  He just prayed for Schwarzenegger’s ratings.  I don’t know what to make of it.  Do you?”

LIZZA:  I can’t believe this is what the president’s talking about right now, that he’s engaged in a ratings back-and-forth with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The serious part for people is it points to something deeper, a kind of vindictive nature that we see in Donald Trump, now President Trump, that worries people.  How does this kind of attitude play out on foreign policy or how will it play out on Capitol Hill?  When you hear this I think it can raise some red flags.

ZELIZER:  To me it suggests that Trump is having difficulty adjusting to the role of president and he’s still got a foot in his previous life.  He’s still monitoring and obsessed with the parts of his life before the presidency, which I do find a little unusual.

RUSH:  You know what I think this is?  I’m gonna struggle to say what I really mean here, not that I’m afraid to say it, I just want to find the right words.  I think these people — two things are going on.  They take themselves so damn seriously, for one thing.  But they also have lived sheltered lives growing up, and they’re continuing to live sheltered lives.  They don’t understand how real people talk and think and do things, and it scares them.

Folks, they don’t hang around with people unlike themselves.  They hang around with other people who are afraid of their shadows.  They hang around with other people who are obsessed with the right way to speak and the right way to dress and the right opinions to have and the right schools to have come from, the right restaurants you attend, the right friends, and they end up living closed-off lives, and they live in a part of the country that’s unlike anywhere else, and I don’t think they know how people — they can’t comprehend how middle America thinks and votes for Trump.

They do not understand how normal people think and how they talk.  And, as such, it scares them, and since they have this air of superiority among themselves, anything other than what they are is lesser than they are, dangerously so. And so now we have this guy Trump who they can’t understand why he would jag Schwarzenegger over ratings.

Is it because these people have never really had to compete for what they have?  Is it because they’ve never really, really had to fight for what they have?  Is it because they’re all in the same club and they all go from newspaper to newspaper to network to network to blog site to blog site earning a little bit more money each time, then maybe they’ll take some time and go work for a congressman, be a spokesman.  But they all live in this tiny little world where everybody’s identically the same in terms of the way they define themselves or the way they speak and their outlook.

And then you have a guy like Trump who is of the real world, people tease each other all the time.  “Yes, Mr. Limbaugh, but this is not proper conduct for heads of state.  Heads of state do not, for example, when Mr. Trump calls the president of Mexico, he doesn’t insult that nation’s military.”  Who says?  Anyway, these people are so arrogant that they assign to Trump the abnormalcy, the irregularity, the out of the ordinary, the odd, the kooky, when I think it’s them who define all of that.

I think it’s these people who are cocooned and shut off. Political correctness determines everything they think and say. As a result they have no sense of humor.  And when you don’t have a sense of humor, if you don’t have a sense of humor, you are never gonna understand Donald Trump, you’re never gonna understand me.  You’re always gonna be threatened by somebody like me.  Too outspoken, too insulting, too whatever they think it is.

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RUSH: This afternoon on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer show, he spoke with the global affairs correspondent, CNN’s correspondent for global affairs. That means whatever happens around the world, this is the reporter they go to. That reporter’s name is Elise Labott. Speaking of which rhymes with rabbit, you know they had Groundhog Day today. And the environmentalist wackos are fed up with it and they want to end it, for two reasons. They think it’s a misuse of the groundhog, and the second thing is the groundhog said six more weeks of winter, and that doesn’t jibe with global warming.

You know what? It’s not even a groundhog. Do you know that? It’s a marmot. Not even a real groundhog that they use. Punxsutawney Phil is a phony, a marketing imposter. Fake groundhog, a marmot, right, exactly.

Anyway, here is the global affairs correspondent on CNN, Elise Labott responding to Wolf Blitzer, who says, “Hey, Elise, there’s no guarantee that those refugees that Australia is kicking out there, there’s no guarantee that they could come to the United States following vetting?”

LABOTT: There were some reports that the president hung up on the prime minister. I’m told that’s not entirely true, but I was told it was a very tense phone call. And I just think it goes to this style of this president. You know, look, his in-your-face kind of bull in a china shop style got him elected, very popular among a large section of the American people.

There’s just a language that you use in diplomacy and around the world and a formality, especially when you’re getting to know these world leaders and forming a relationship with them, that I think is being lost. To say that this is a bad deal and it was stupid and I can’t believe you did it and then to go on Twitter and call it dumb, I mean, these world leaders’ heads are spinning right now.

RUSH: As maybe they should be. You see, there is a decorum here, there is a sense of propriety, and Trump is violating it. You don’t call ’em stupid, you don’t call a deal dumb, you don’t call it bad, and you don’t go tweet about it. Well, what are we supposed to do, then, just sit by and let the deals Obama made happen and have a bunch of unvetted Islamic jihadists or potential Islamic jihadists admitted into the country?

This is what Trump said he was gonna stop. This is an example of what Trump meant when he said our leaders are dumb, we’re being taken advantage of. We, the United States, are bearing much more of a burden of all of these world problems. And that’s fine if there’s a thank-you, if there’s some gratitude, if there’s some assistance, but if it gets down to we just have to do it and we have leaders willing to, I’m not putting up with that anymore. And he’s exactly right about it.

But, you see, their sensibilities are being so upset because it is they who take themselves so seriously, and they’re worried about, oh, what are they gonna do to the United States? You’re looking at it the wrong way, Elise. The other way around is how you need to look at it.

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