RUSH: So I have this note on the call screener computer: “On the hotline…” We don’t have a hotline. “On the hotline, you’re receiving a phone call in recognition of your anniversary broadcast. You’ll want to take this immediately.” Okay. So we’re going to the phones and we have a special guest. Who is it?
THE PRESIDENT: So, Rush, I just wanted to congratulate you on 30 years.
THE PRESIDENT: This is your favorite president, and I think you are fantastic.
THE PRESIDENT: I heard about it, and today’s the big day, 30 years. I wanted to call personally and congratulate you.
RUSH: I am floored. I… (laughing) I thought there was nothing anybody could do to surprise me today. I’ve been preparing for anything. Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT: You’re a very special man, Rush, and you have people that love you. I’m one of them. But you’re a very, very special guy. What you do for this country, people have no idea how important your voice is. So I just wanted to personally make this one and I said, “I’ll even dial the number myself if I have to.”
THE PRESIDENT: But I just want to congratulate you. Thirty years in that tough business is incredible — and you’re stronger now than ever before.
RUSH: Well, I — I thank you so much. It’s such a thrill to hear from you.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s a thrill to be on.
RUSH: I told you, any time you want to appear here, you are more than welcome. I don’t want to hound you by asking you because everybody’s doing that, trying to get you. But, man, this is great. I’m so flattered. While I have you, can I say something back at you here?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go ahead, Rush. Go ahead.
RUSH: Are you aware…? I have to think you are when you go to your rallies.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
RUSH: Are you aware of what you mean to everybody who voted for you and I think a bunch of who didn’t who want to the next time around? People have invested their hopes and their futures in this country being made great again and saved in you. Are you…? When you’re alone — which you may not ever be. But when you’re alone in the White House, do you think about that? Do you ponder what you’ve come to mean to people?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I love these people. And, you know, you probably saw last night I was in Florida and we had 9,000 seats in the auditorium.
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
THE PRESIDENT: That was packed, and we had thousands outside and in these rooms all over the place. I guess they had at least 15,000, 18,000 people that couldn’t get in last night — which I hate. So we’re actually starting to put up big screens. I must tell you, it’s such an honor to me to see this. This love! I don’t know if you were able to see it last night, any of them. I mean, there’s such tremendous love. I’m going to Ohio on Saturday, and tomorrow I’m going to Pennsylvania, and it’s the same thing.
It’s like the enthusiasm — and part of it is that they’ve really been mistreated for so many years by the politicians. The country’s been mistreated. The trade deals were so bad. The taxes were so high. The tax cuts are so good; they’ve been so appreciated by so many people. The cut in regulations maybe is just as important as the tax cuts because businesses are hiring like they haven’t, like they’ve never hired before. And, you know, we have a more interesting stat: We have more people working in the United States today than at any time in our history. And it’s been so many different things are happening. So there’s a tremendous amount of love in the room, and I am aware of it; there’s no question about it.
RUSH: Mr. President, it was just a little over year and a half ago where your predecessor said that what is happening now couldn’t happen again, that those days were gone, that those jobs that were lost were not coming back. And he would tell audiences this. And look at what you’ve done with the entirety — seemingly the entirety — of Washington’s political class opposed to you. In a year and a half, you have reversed the direction the country was going. We have 4.1% economic growth. When you promised that, they accused you of misleading people because it couldn’t happen.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s right, Rush. You have a lot of bad people in Washington. You knew that a long time ago. Frankly, before I knew it. I had no idea how evil some of them are, but you have a lot of great people too. And outside of Washington you have the greatest people in the world. And you’re right. You know, I’ve been saying 4%, but it should be much higher than that. You know, if you do good trade deals — which I will. You see what’s going on with China. You look at what’s going on.
I will tell you, NAFTA? They want to make a deal very badly. And, you know, we’re putting ’em back in shape. They’re horrible deals, the worst deals ever made by any country. You do that; you start lifting your GDP numbers way up also. Nobody ever ever talks about that. We’re doing 4.1% with bad trade deals. We have horrible trade deals. And our farmers, we’re gonna open up markets for them. You know, but they’re great patriots. They’re… I watch them all the time where they’re saying, “We trust our president.”
And, you know, they may take a short-term hit. But you look at farm and farming, it’s been going down for 15 years. Soybeans, five years before the election, was cut in half! The price was cut in half. I wasn’t there. So it’s going to… A lot of things are happening that are very exciting. And, you know, you look at the job numbers. You look at African-American, best ever. Hispanic, Asian, women, best ever! And it’s been a lot of fun for me, but I see the happiness and the faces.
Like last night in Florida with that, you know, really massive crowd, you see the happiness and the love — and nobody left. It’s like you. Nobody turns off your show. It’s like you can’t. Nobody leaves. You know, I’ll speak for an hour and 10 minutes, hour and 20 minutes. There wasn’t a person that left that room. It was just… It was an absolute love fest, and it’s going on all over the country, and a lot of it’s the same message. Most of it, I think — probably all of it — is the same message that you give out so well every day, better than anybody.
RUSH: Well, but your key… You know, I do understand it. I understand the bond that those people attending your rallies have with you and you with them. I’ve seen it. I know why it exists. And you are consistent. Things you said during the campaign are things you still say today. You haven’t given anybody reason to doubt you. You haven’t betrayed anybody or made them think that you’re going to. An example: Here you are suggesting that you’d be willing to maybe — you’d talk about — shutting down the government if that’s what it took to get this wall built.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
RUSH: Now the traditional Republican says, “Oh, no! No! Don’t say that!” There you are saying, “Oh, yeah. I’ll be glad to do it if that’s what it takes.”
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I actually think it would be positive.
RUSH: People don’t understand your voters rally to you for that.
THE PRESIDENT: We had Obamacare repealed and replaced, and a man — I won’t mention his name. But a man at 2 o’clock in the morning went thumbs down, and he campaigned for years on repeal and replace. We had the chance. Nobody even spoke to him about it, because it was something that was unthinkable what he did, and because of that… But still, I have just about ended Obamacare. We have great health care. We have a lot of great things happening right now. New programs are coming out.
We got rid of the individual mandate. But that was very disappointing to me that night — and he did it because of me, probably. But that was very disappointing. That was a horrible thing he did to our country. And, frankly, it cost $1 trillion because we would have saved $1 trillion, on top of which we would have had good health care. But we’re doing it a different way. We have to go a different route. But he cost us a trillion dollars. And the other thing is the wall. We’ve started it. It’s like pulling teeth, though, getting these guys to get it done is. You have no idea how tough I’ve been.
I say, “Hey, if you have a shutdown, you have a shutdown.”
Now, the shutdown could also take place after the election. I happen to think it’s a great political thing, because people want border security. It’s not just the wall, Rush, as you know. It’s border security. It’s getting rid of catch-and-release, where you catch somebody, he can be a criminal of the highest order, and you have to release him! You catch him, you take his name, and you release him. And then you have the visa lottery. It’s a lottery system where you pick people out of a lottery. Well, the countries aren’t giving us their best people. They’re giving us people that they don’t want. So we’re taking people out of a lottery that the country doesn’t want. We’re getting some beauties.
THE PRESIDENT: And then you have, you know, so many other things.
THE PRESIDENT: We have to change the laws. We have the worst laws! How about chain migration? One person comes in and you end up with 32 people. The person that ran down 18 people on the West Side Highway, he’s allowed to have — and I think eight died. He has 22 members of his family in the United States because of chain migration. So we have to change this stuff, Rush. And we’ll get it done, but we have to change it, Rush. If we don’t change it, it will just go down, down, down. And it will get done. One way or the other, it’s getting done. But I’d be willing to do it. And you could do it before the election or after the election.
RUSH: Well, speaking of before, as a campaign issue, I saw a couple consultants say… I don’t need to mention their names. They’re Washington, D.C., professionals.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
RUSH: They said that you need to drop this immigration stuff, Mr. President. You’re cruising for defeat if you base the midterms on this.
THE PRESIDENT: I know. I’ve heard that. (chuckles)
RUSH: You need to pivot back onto the economy, start telling people what a great economy we have, ’cause that’s the only way the Republicans can have a chance of holding the House in the midterms. What do you think about that advice?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve heard them. Probably different people than you, but I’ve heard a lot of people saying, “Oh, don’t do it before the election, we’ll upset the applecart,” and because we are doing so well economically we should do well — and, you know, the polls are okay. It’s very interesting. My polls are great, but the question is, “Is it transferable?” Now, it certainly was in Florida because you saw Ron DeSantis, who’s gotten a tremendous — you know, many, many, many points. The governor of Georgia where he was down by five and he won by 40 after I endorsed him. (chuckling) That was pretty good. That was almost like your endorsement.
THE PRESIDENT: But, you know, we’ve had tremendous —
THE PRESIDENT: If you take a look at Congressman Donovan from Staten Island where he was down by 10 and he wins by 24. So we’ve had a lot of impact. And that’s why I’m going around. But I have to say that I have heard this theory. I happen to think it’s a good thing politically. I’m not doing it for politics. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. So I’m not looking at politics. But I happen to think that border security would be a good thing before the election, but there are many people within our party that are good people that are like you that agree with you on everything you say. But they’d rather do it after. They don’t agree on doing it before, and I accept their opinion, but I happen to think it would be a good thing to do before. I actually think we’d get more and there’d be more pressure on the other side, because we’re doing it because the Democrats are not giving us the votes.
RUSH: I think immigration is the largest reason you got elected, your consistency on that.
THE PRESIDENT: Well…
RUSH: I mean, it reverberates all across the country. There are people that the media, the inside-the-Beltway denizens are never gonna understand about this issue that you do. You’ve just articulated it, and you have articulated the thinking of what I think is a vast majority of people in this country. It’d be silly for you to abandon this issue now, going into the midterms.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you do it before, there’s a lot more pressure to get a great solution. But it’s riskier. If you do it afterwards, there’s less pressure; there’s less risk. I’m just not sure you’d make as good a deal. I will say a lot of people — good people — you know, would ask me in the nicest of ways, “Could we do it after the election?” So —
RUSH: I’ll bet. (laughing)
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, and they’ve been good to me. I’ve had a lot of good support within the Republican Party, and you saw the poll numbers in the Republican Party. They like me so I have to keep them a little bit happy. But whether it’s before or after? But I actually think it’s a great campaign issue. I think it would be great before. But I don’t want to disappoint a lot of very good people that are working with me — and, Rush, I have to tell you, I’ve got some really good support within the Republican Party, too.
RUSH: Well, you do, and you have your staff. Are you basically…? Are you still following your gut, your instinct, or are you relying more and more on the circle of advisers you trust?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it’s largely instinct. I have some great people. I really do. You know, you heard me tell the story last night maybe where, you know, I’ve been in Washington 17 times. In my whole life, I never stayed here. Now, all of a sudden, I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue and I’m president. So I don’t know a lot of people. Now I think I know everybody in Washington. I never stayed a night in Washington, I don’t believe. And, you know, I’ve probably been here 17, 18 times.
I’m from New York. But very rarely. And, all of a sudden, I’m president. And like Mike Pompeo. What a change that was. Mike is doing an incredible job. What a terrific guy — and I know you like him and he likes you. But we have some great people, and I’ve made some changes. But we’re really close to getting a fantastic — really just a fantastic group of people. We have some really great ones, and I think that’s reflective on the success that we’re having as an administration.
RUSH: Well, I thank you again for calling me today. This is the pinnacle, the greatest thing that could happen today. The last thing I expected was to hear from anybody ’cause I’ve given orders not to do anything unusual, and here you are. You’ve made the day for me. I can’t thank you enough, and God bless you.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. You know, people don’t realize what a great achievement 30 years is in that cutthroat business that you happen to be in. You know, you might not find that ’cause you’re so good at what you do. But that is a cutthroat business, and for you to do this for 30 years is truly an amazing accomplishment, and there’s no voice like it. Even your friend Hannity agrees with that.
THE PRESIDENT: He said, “There’s nobody like this man.”
THE PRESIDENT: So I said, “Oh, gee, I guess. I thought you two would be competitors.” He said, “Nope. He’s the dean.”
RUSH: No way!
THE PRESIDENT: He calls you “the dean.”
RUSH: No way. He was a guest host. He guest hosted for me when we first started. Absolutely.
THE PRESIDENT: No, he’s great. He’s a tremendous fan of yours. They all are. Everybody is. So I just want to congratulate you. Thirty years of… Just do it for another 30 years. After that, you can take it easy, okay?
RUSH: I will do that. Just that. I will stay around as long as you do.
THE PRESIDENT: Okay. You have a deal.
RUSH: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: And thank you very much, Rush. So important what you do. Thank you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, again, very much.
THE PRESIDENT: Take care of yourself. Good-bye.
RUSH: President Trump. We went a little long there, but that’s okay.