Nobody in Media Understands Trump Better Than I Do
Feb 17, 2017
RUSH: As you know, the president cited me in an early-morning tweet today in the 7 a.m. hour thanking me for my characterization of his press conference yesterday, and by virtue of that, I think acknowledging that he is appreciative of the fact that I get it, that I understand who he is, where he is, where he came from, where he’s going, how he survives, how he works.
I frankly don’t think there’s anybody else in media that understands Trump any better than I do. And I say that with no braggadocio. I say that with no airs of anything. I just factually believe it to be the case.
There’s a Politico story on Trump tweeting me. There’s TheHill.com story and a Daily Mail one. The Daily Mail, interestingly, is a little snarky. Even though we constantly refer to the Daily Mail and we hype them here and praise their work, they were a little snarky. Not big snark. It was minor snark. And then CNN. This is a story I also want to get into. “Most Memorable Lines From the Trump Press Conference.” And it’s classic. The lines that they cite are the lines that they think everybody should be appalled by.
The quotes that they put from Trump in this story are obviously quotes that they think everybody’s gonna be appalled and offended and outraged by, because they are. And what they don’t understand is that just what I felt people who read this story are gonna be laughing themselves silly and they’re gonna be applauding while CNN thinks that they are doing great damage to Trump. That also reminds me of something that has happened to me along the same lines, almost identically except with a different group.
RUSH: I mentioned earlier — and you probably have seen it — that the president tweeted out thanks to me today for my comments on his press conference yesterday. It was, “Thank you for all of the nice statements on the press conference yesterday. Rush Limbaugh said one of the greatest ever. Fake Media not happy.” Now, this has been written about in several Drive-By news sites. The Politico has made reference to it in a relatively long story.
The U.K. Daily Mail has characterized it in a bit of a snarky way — very, very tiny snark, but nevertheless — and TheHill.com has written about it. Not only that, it became fodder for many on morning television today. We put together a brief montage of people from CBS, ABC, CNBC, and C-SPAN all talking about the Trump tweet quoting me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: This morning he’s already tweeted that Rush Limbaugh told him it was “one of his greatest.”
PETER ALEXANDER: (background noise) Praising his own performance, (whoosh) he writes, “Thank you for all the nice statements on the press conference yesterday. Rush Limbaugh said one of the greatest ever. Fake Media not happy.”
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: (background noise) This morning he said, “Thank you for nice statements. Rush Limbaugh said one of the greatest ever. Fake Media not happy.” So the president had a strategy here. Did he succeed?
JOE KERNEN: (haltingly) “Thank you for all of the nice statements on the press conference yesterday. Rush Limbaugh said [it was] one of the greatest ever. Fake media not happy,” exclamation point.
MARK HALPERIN: ”Thank you all for the nice statements on the press conference yesterday. Rush Limbaugh said [it was] one of the greatest ever.'” He’s got Limbaugh!
PAUL ORGEL: (whispering) ”Thank you for all the nice statements on the press conference yesterday. Rush Limbaugh said one of the greatest ever. Fake Media not happy.” They came out at 6:43 this morning.
RUSH: Right. It’s amazing to me that, of course, makes news. Actually is not amazing to me. Presidents have been talking about me ever since I have been doing this program. Remember this one? Grab audio sound bite number six. This was really one of the… Well, it also happened during the campaign, but this was when Bill Clinton was already president. This was June 24, 1994, and Clinton’s aboard Air Force One, flying into St. Louis. He was gonna dedicate some new something or other somewhere, and he’s on the phone with the morning team at our blowtorch affiliate in St. Louis, KMOX, and he says this…
CLINTON: After I get off the radio today with you, Rush Limbaugh will have three hours to say whatever he wants.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Would you like to leave a message?
CLINTON: And I won’t have any opportunity to respond, and there’s no truth detector. You won’t get on afterward and say what was true and what wasn’t.
RUSH: (laughing) Here’s the president of the United States on Air Force One. He’s the most powerful man in the world. He can say whatever he wants whenever he wants! He’s got the Drive-By Media in his pocket and he goes on KMOX to complain that I have three hours unfettered to say whatever I want to say and there’s nobody at KMOX that will correct what I got wrong. And then this Obama, he had his own references to me.
We have… Let’s see. We just pick a couple of them here. This is January 13, 2017, NBC Dateline. He was talking… Is it Dateline? It’s Dateline, not Deadline? (chuckles) It could be Deadline if things don’t change for NBC. Anyway, he was talking to Lester Holt, and Lester Holt said, “Given that the recovery was as uneven as it was with the people on the bottom slower to recover than the people on the top, didn’t that in some way plant the seeds for the election of Trump?”
OBAMA: (haltingly) Well, what is true is that the — the ability of Republican leaders to 9pause) rile up their base — helped along by folks like Rush Limbaugh, some commentators on Fox News — I think created an environment in which Republican voters would punish Republicans for cooperating with me. That hothouse of back-and-forth argument and — and really sharp partisanship I think has been harmful to the country.
RUSH: Thirty-one seconds in answer. Trump would have answered a question three different ways in 31 seconds, number one. Didn’t that answer seem slow and rambling and exactly what Northeastern liberals love is faux intellectualism. But nevertheless, here is Obama ripping the media! He constant ripped Fox News he really had it in for Steve Doocy. People may not know this ’cause Doocy’s a happy-go-lucky guy, and Obama in the deep, dark crevices of his mind really wanted to level on Doocy, but he didn’t want to single anybody out there.
But he was constantly ragging on Fox, constantly ragging on me. Did the media ever have a problem with that? I mean, look at the way they’re going after Trump for calling them fake news and this. I mean, they’re beside themselves. They don’t know how to react to this. And I’m gonna tell you… You know, one of the things I said about Trump’s press conference yesterday that Trump obviously didn’t tweet, but some here in the Drive-By stumbled across my quote. I said, “I think it was one of the most effective press conferences ever.”
And to my surprise, there were a couple of news outlets that understood exactly what I meant. When I said it was one of the most effective, what I meant was effective in rallying his voters, effective in rallying his supporters, ’cause they needed it. The Trump supporters, Trump voters have been watching this past month go about with these incessant, endless allegations of incompetence and Trump had been tweeting and reacting to it. But they needed this, and that’s why I referred to it as effective because it clearly, clearly was, and they were discombobulated by it, flabbergasted by it.
And I don’t think that the media is ever going to be on the same stage with Donald Trump. I don’t think the majority of them are ever gonna be even in the same universe. They live in two separate worlds, and they don’t understand Trump’s, and they have contempt for it. They have contempt for people that voted for Trump. They have no desire to understand who they are. They already think they know. They have no desire to drill down and find out why people would reject the woman they loved, Hillary Clinton. It doesn’t compute.
They just decide that these people are not worth of any kind of curiosity or respect, and they continue to hold them in contempt and disgust. So they live in this world… I think this question was fascinating yesterday from Jim Acosta at CNN where he asks Trump — and he’s dead serious — (impression) “Don’t you think that you’re doing a terrible damage to the First Amendment by criticizing the media? Don’t you think that you were undermining the First Amendment? Don’t you think that you are undermining our great democracy by attacking the media?”
So what do we have here?
We have a media that lives in its own universe.
They live in a vacuum where they are able to not just criticize; they’re able to destroy. They’re able… In fact, it’s one of the ways you get a bonus, take somebody out. They are fully fine and hunky-dory with the idea that they may destroy somebody, and they think that’s part of the job description. But you turn around and criticize them, and that’s not permitted in the vacuum in which they live. They have free rein over you, because I guess this is how they define their constitutional responsibility. And since they have constitutional recognition, somehow they’ve all been taught at journalism school that nobody may assail them, that nobody may criticize them.
If anybody ever tries to do an investigative report on a journalist, much like the kind and the way a journalist would do on a public figure, have you ever seen a stuck pig? Because that’s what the journalist looks like. Like, if you assign somebody to follow a journalist around and to dig deep and find out how many illegitimate kids he had, how many times he got drunk in school, did he have any DUIs, how many people hate the guy, how many people from his junior high, high school, college days are willing to go on record and talk about what a bully he was, you try that with a journalist, and you can’t do it.
They go bonkers, they go berserk. “We’re journalists,! I’m just a journalist! You can’t go after me like that. I’m immune.” No, we’re gonna go after you like that. It’s exactly the way you go after people. “We have a constitutional responsibility to hold truth to power,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so the idea that Donald Trump would even deign — you know, a lot of people criticize media, but he’s the president. And in their world, presidents and political people are supposed to defer. Such is their power. Everybody’s supposed to be deferential.
And Donald Trump is not. And he’s not intimidated by them, and he’s not frightened by them, and in fact he loves toying with them. You know, while they’re sitting there wringing their hands and taking things so seriously and it’s the end of the world, Trump is laughing and having the greatest time. He’ll go out and say, “Yeah, and I got more electoral votes than anybody since Reagan. That’s what they tell me.”
And the media started fact-checking immediately, and they just blare, they shout, “Trump lied! Trump made it up! George H. W. Bush got more electoral votes than Trump.” And they think Trump’s gonna be devastated, they think Trump’s gonna be embarrassed that he’s been exposed as a liar. Doesn’t matter to Trump. They don’t understand why Trump says things like that. And what they really don’t understand is how Trump supporters don’t care about any of this. Trump supporters like it. Trump supporters know when it’s time to listen to him and when it’s time to laugh and maybe not take it so seriously. They’re having fun with it. And part of the reason is watch how tightly wound the people in the press corps are and openly, vividly demonstrate their utter inability to understand or relate to Trump.
Let me give you another example here. I have here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a story from CNN. It’s by somebody named Dan Merica. “Most Memorable Lines from Trump’s Press Conference.” The purpose of this story is to appall people. They’re gonna mention these lines, these quotes. They fully expect everybody who hears this story or reads it to be appalled and offended and outraged and demand that Trump, something happen to him. They’re just supposed to be livid that we have a president like this. Here are the lines that they mention. Trump’s most memorable lines. according to Dan Merica.
“On how things are going: ‘This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.’
“On leaks, news: ‘The leaks are real, the news is fake.’
“On picking his next question: ‘I want to find a friendly reporter.'”
Those three lines have been cited by CNN as the reasons you and anybody else should have been appalled. You should have been outraged. How dare a president act this way. And they’re shocked when people are not appalled by it. They’re shocked when people laugh at it. They’re shocked when people are amused by it. They’re angry when people are entertained by it.
And what they don’t understand, when Trump says, for example, “Chaos? I get up, I look at the media every day, “Chaos? There’s no chaos here. We’re running like a fine-tuned machine.” The way a Trump supporter hears that is not at all with Trump’s words. What the Trump supporter hears is, “Screw you and your reporting on me. They want people like Trump and others to fight back on these attempts to damage, the media’s trying to damage Trump, just like they damaged George W. Bush, and George W. Bush and Rove never fought back. Trump does, and people are standing up and cheering for that alone.
I don’t think the press — and believe me, this is fundamental. I know that the Washington establishment doesn’t, and I know the press doesn’t. I don’t think the entire universe outside of Trump and his supporters has any way of understanding how many Trump supporters thought, and maybe still do think a little, that we’re on the verge of losing the United States of America forever. And that is a big deal.
The people that voted for Donald Trump, the vast majority of them really thought that if Hillary Clinton won this election, that was it, that was the country, say good-bye to it. She would have had the Supreme Court nominations for all the people retiring and a bunch of the left would have retired, and who knows who else. It would have been the ongoing opening up the country to outsiders and expanding the government to take care of outsiders, who are called immigrants.
Do you realize what’s been done to this whole definition of immigrants? The way Democrats and the left talk about immigration, immigration is anybody who wants to come to the country. And so if you’re opposed to anybody coming in, then you’re anti-immigrant. The American people love immigration. They just want it obeyed. They want the laws obeyed. They want there to be assimilation. Nobody I know is opposed to immigration. What we’re opposed to is opening the borders and letting noncitizens pour in here and call that immigration. Because that constitutes the diluting of the very foundation of this country, and they saw it being done on purpose. And that’s why we’re on the verge of losing this country.
And Trump represented the giant stop sign. And they’re not gonna throw Trump overboard because he might get it wrong on who won the most electoral votes. And they’re not gonna think less of him because he might have gotten it wrong. And they’re not gonna think less of him because he might jokingly insult a reporter. But in their world, lose the country? Why, we were making the country modern. Why, we were making the country better. Why, we were getting rid of all the old traditions that made this country what it was. It was bad, and we’re modernizing, and we’re turning this country over to the people who really should have it, outsiders who don’t live here, blah, blah.
Two different words. But they don’t understand. They laugh at the idea that you think we might have been on the verge of losing the country. They laugh at it. So if they don’t understand that, if they mock that, laugh at that, they’re never going to understand Trump or why people voted for him. There’s no way they can.