Drive-Bys Go Nuts Over Trump Axios Interview: “It Is What It Is”
Aug 4, 2020
RUSH: So, President Trump was a guest on the Axios show on HBO last night. Axios is this Millennial website. They’re the people that do a story and they’ll have the first paragraph, and then they’ll say, “What does it mean?” And then they will tell you what the first paragraph means.
Then they’ll write another paragraph, “Why is this important?” And they will tell you why it’s important. And they’ll do another paragraph and say, “Where is it all headed?” And then they will tell you where it’s all headed. Because they figure that their audience is not smart enough to understand paragraph by paragraph what they’re reporting.
Anyway, they’ve got this TV show on HBO and last night Trump appeared on it. I don’t know why. I have no idea why. But the Drive-By Media is now savaging Trump as demonstrating he’s out of touch — it’s about COVID-19 — he doesn’t know what’s going on. They can’t figure out how he thinks, it’s worse than anybody knew. They say Trump was just confused and totally disoriented and telling the host, a guy by the name of Jonathan Swan, that you can’t do that. You can’t interpose numbers like this.
And the guy said, “Why can’t I? I can do whatever I want.” And the guy, the host, figures out how Trump thinks at some point during the — we got sound bites here. We’ll play it for you to give you an idea. But the Drive-By Media is already savaging this as a great living example of how Trump has no idea what’s going on about anything. And I don’t know why he did it. I mean, Axios is not what you would call from the friendly side of the aisle.
But then again I’m sure there are people at the White House who say to Trump, “Look, you can’t just do Fox all the time. You gotta go out there, and especially as we get close to the campaign, you’ve gotta broaden the base, so to speak.” So we’ll get to that here in just a couple of minutes.
First off the headline: “U.S. Sees Fewer Than 50,000 New COVID-19 Cases for 2nd Day.” And you know where this story is? The story is at UPI, United Press International, hardly anybody uses it anymore. They used to be in competition with the Associated Press way back in the day. And they’ve gotten smaller and smaller. They’ve changed ownership over the years. I don’t know who owns UPI now, but I do know that they are not widely distributed. And they are the ones who have the story.
And I think one of the reasons why they are the only ones who have the story is this is the kind of story that has to be buried because it suggests progress. The Drive-By Media is attempting to keep everybody scared, keep everybody alarmed, keep everybody in a state of panic to one degree or another. There is not a single day that goes by that the media will let you have a day off, let you take a break, will let you have a break.
There will not be a day that goes by without you being flooded with news that is designed to panic you, scare you, frighten you, depress you. So that’s why this kind of news is not widely out there today, because it suggests progress. It suggests the economy should not be shut down again. It suggests that mail-in voting isn’t necessary.
The Democrat narrative is pretty much this: It’s too dangerous to leave your home. It’s too dangerous to go to work. It’s too dangerous to vote in a voting booth. It’s too dangerous, almost, to live. But if you follow our guidelines, we can, the Democrat Party, we can show you how living might be worth it. But you can’t leave home, and you must vote by mail. And you must not go back to your job.
The Democrats need fear so they can create chaos, so they can take advantage of a crisis that they like to amplify. But the news is: “For the second day in a row, researchers say new COVID-19 cases in the United States have numbered under 50,000.
“About 45,400 new cases were recorded Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the first time since late June with two straight days under 50,000. There were about 47,500 on Sunday. U.S. cases averaged about 60,000 per day in July,” the number is down by about 15,000, which is trending in the right direction.
And this is one of the areas that Trump got into trouble with the Axios people. Trump is a realist. He deals with things as they are. I am a realist. I’m Mr. Literal. I am the mayor of Realville. You know me. One of my all-time favorite, little, short, philosophical sayings: It is what it is.
Now, some people think that’s become a cliche, and maybe so. But I think that it still sums up the reality of things in as few words and in as penetrating a way as possible. It is what it is. It isn’t what you want it to be. It isn’t what you hope it’s gonna be. It isn’t what you hope it is. It isn’t what you regret that it is. It is what is. And finding people to deal with things as they are is a challenge.
A lot of people can’t, especially if it’s at all considered bad news, a lot of people don’t want to deal with that, particularly in politics. They’ll find a way to dress it up or make it look like something that it isn’t. The Democrats will try to find a way to make it look worse than it is, which is literally what we’re dealing with every day with the Democrat Party.
Now, here’s President Trump. Yesterday he repeated that a strategy of a longtime or permanent lockdown was never an option to defeat the coronavirus entirely. He said it’s important that everybody recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path toward producing the result you want, certainly not a viable path forward. Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future. They just don’t. It’s gonna come back many times. It’s gonna come back. Quote, unquote.
There’s not a single thing in that statement that’s untrue. However, my guess is, remember the news that we had last week that the average American thinks 30 million people have already died from the coronavirus. Nine percent of the population. Why do they think that? Because they watch the news. They see all the new cases announced every day. To them new cases equals death. That’s the way it’s being reported. New cases is being reported as some of the worst news that could ever be.
Why is it bad? Well, because everybody gets it dies. They don’t come out and say it specifically. It’s implied. And people are in fact drawing the inference. And so the lockdown, a lot of people believe the lockdown was to stop the spread. The lockdown was to arrest the spread of the virus. It couldn’t do that, and that was not the intention of the lockdown. The purpose of the lockdown, again, was to spare the hospital system, was to give it a break. It was to limit the number of infections so that hospitals would not be overrun with people suffering from the virus, particularly back in the early days when not as much was known about it therapeutically as is known now.
It was not to stop the spread. It was not to arrest the spread. It was not to reduce. ‘Cause nothing can. And Trump is exactly right. All Americans must recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path. Even a second lockdown. The Democrats are pushing even now for a second lockdown. And as you will hear as the program unfolds, Thomas “Loopy” Friedman, New York Times, loves the ChiComs, was on CNN last night.
Wolf Blitzer, “When does this all end? Mr. Friedman, when does all this coronavirus stuff, when this all end?” And you know what Friedman said? He said it ends in November. Exactly as we predicted. It ends in November when the election’s over, all of this panic is over. When the election’s over, we have accomplished our mission or we have not, but that’s when it’s all over. Just flat-out came out and admitted it.
But lockdowns do not prevent infections in the future. Without a vaccine and without therapies, if you lock yourself down, if you quarantine yourself, which you’re free to do, and you decide to reappear, say, six weeks later, two months later, you’re just as exposed as you were before you locked down. Because nothing has changed about the infectious nature. There isn’t a vaccine yet. Nothing’s changed other than you have sequestered yourself. But at some point that’s gonna end. You can’t quarantine yourself for the rest of your life.
So the idea that locking down or sequestering people, quarantining is gonna stop the spread or is gonna stop the virus is nonsensical. Lockdowns do not prevent infectious in the future. Keep that in mind. That’s Trump. It is what it is. Let’s go to the audio sound bites. We’re starting here at number 2. The Drive-Bys are going nuts about this, as I told you, because of how Trump says it. But you tell me after you hear this, is Trump right or wrong?
He makes the point that we’re not eradicating this virus anytime soon. This is the epitome of it is what it is. This is the epitome of dealing with reality. He said we have to learn how to treat it, and we’re making progress. We’re having all kinds of advances therapeutically in how to treat it. So what difference does it make how many cases. What’s important now is deaths per case, but that’s not how Axios and the media want to tabulate it.
THE PRESIDENT: I think it’s under control. I’ll tell you what…
SWAN: How? A thousand Americans are dying a day.
THE PRESIDENT: They are dying, that’s true and it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. Right here, the United States is lowest in numerous categories, we’re lower than the world.
SWAN: Lower than the world?
THE PRESIDENT: Lower than Europe.
SWAN: Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, well…
SWAN: Much worse than South Korea, Germany, et cetera.
THE PRESIDENT: You can’t, you can’t do that. You have to go…
SWAN: Why can’t I do that?
THE PRESIDENT: You have to go by — you have to go by where — look, here is the United States. You have to go by the cases.
RUSH: So they’re talking past each other. Trump is comparing the number of cases not as a proportion of population. He’s using it in a much different way. But even before you get to that, the point here, did you notice Trump said, “I think it’s under control. I’ll tell you what -” (imitating Swan) “Under control? There’s a thousand Americans dying a day.”
“They are dying. That’s true. It is what it is. But it doesn’t mean we’re not doing everything we can. Right now we are the lowest in numerous categories.” So both things can be true. The death rate can be what it is, and yet we can be doing everything we can at the moment. We have the ability to use what is at our disposal as best we can. They want you to believe that as long as people are dying, that Trump isn’t doing enough, that Trump isn’t doing anything. As long as people are dying, then Trump is losing and Trump is incompetent.
And, of course, if you start comparing this to the flu, this all falls apart because we’re not even anywhere near the number of people that die from the flu. We’re nowhere near the number of people hospitalized every year with the flu and die every year from the flu. Seriously, folks, we’re nowhere near it. It’s just that with the flu we’ve accepted it. With the flu, it is what it is. We accepted it.
But COVID-19’s something brand-new. It’s a political weapon to be used against Trump. And every death the Democrats and the media can portray as a Trump failure. Trump’s looking at it like realists would look at it. We have people dying every day. We’re doing everything we can to, A, come up with a vaccine, B, come up with therapies, B, treat people who come down with it. But the death rate per capita, the death rate per population, no matter how you tablet it, is coming down with COVID-19.
Who gives a flying you-know-what what Twitter users think? Twitter users are largely robots. They are not representative of a majority of thinking of the American people. But they provide the Drive-By Media with a fake attempt to portray majority public opinion by quoting whatever the hell is going viral on Twitter or whatever Twitter users are saying. A bunch of nameless, unidentified, faceless people.
Twitter isn’t even a poll that they can fake. All they have to do is go look at a couple of feeds, “Twitter users stunned at -” you see how it gives them an opportunity to do a story? What this really means is we at the Huffing and Puffington Post hate this guy. We don’t like this guy, we think this guy, Big Orange Man needs to go.
But they can’t theoretically come out and literally speak this way, so they put what they think, what they want in the voice of invisible, unidentifiable, anonymous Looney Tunes in their basements, in their pajamas, on Twitter. And that is supposed reflect majority public opinion in the United States.
There was no full-blown lunacy in this interview. It’s real simple. Donald Trump is looking at the death rate as a proportion of the number of cases, and the guy from Axios was trying to get Trump to comment on the death rate as a proportion of population. Well, why would that be? Well, because of the news we had last week. And I wish I remembered, what was it, the Pew Research Center, or was it Gallup? Somebody has this poll out that the average American — they didn’t even give us a number — the average American believes 9% of the population has died from COVID-19.
Translated, that’s 30 million. Well, the number is 155,000, 160,000. It isn’t 30 million. So it does matter. No wonder Axios wants to look at this as a proportion of the population. They’ve already got a bogus poll out there that people believe that 30 million people have died. Trump is looking at it as a proportion of the number of cases.
RUSH: I just want to show you the media going nuts over Trump’s supposed meltdown on the Axios show last night.
Again, you know what this is? This breakdown is very simple. Here’s a guy who’s president of the United States who looks at now 45,000 deaths a day and says, that’s what’s happening. You can wish it weren’t. You can pretend it isn’t. If you’re a Democrat and if you’re not in the White House and you don’t have to assume any responsibility for it, you can say anything about it you want. You can blame the people in the White House for it. You can claim that the deaths are happening ’cause the guy in the White House doesn’t care. You can make up anything you want. But Trump can’t.
Trump can’t just pretend that he wishes something else were happening and then act like it is. He obviously believes “it is what it is.” And when he says that it’s under control, it means the number of cases reported are coming down, that we are finding ways to deal with it therapeutically. And the Axios host says, “What do you mean? A thousand Americans are dying a day.”
And Trump says, “I’m defining this, the death numbers, as a proportion of cases.”
And the Axios guy says, “No, you can’t do. You’ve gotta look at the number of deaths as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad.” So this guy, he wants the country, wants the United States to look as bad as possible. And to do that, then you talk about the number of COVID deaths as a proportion of the population.
But then, folks, let’s throw the flu numbers in there, and the COVID numbers are tiny by comparison. And nobody’s having a cow over the flu numbers. And you know why? We’ve been through this. People have just come to accept it. “It is what it is.” The number of hospitalizations every year, the number of people that get the flu, the number of people that die from the flu, we accept it. “It is what it is.”
Partly, psychologically, we think we’ve got a vaccine ’cause we got flu shots. And we don’t have a vaccine but we do have flu shots, so people psychologically think there’s something they can do to prevent themselves from getting it. But still the flu numbers, the flu numbers just dwarf COVID-19. That’s right. That poll that I cited that shows that the average American thinks 9% of Americans have died, 30 million people, that was from a marketing research group like McKinsey, although it’s not McKinsey. It was K-e-k-s-t, Kekst, a public relations firm founded in 2008.
They’re the ones that did the market research on this. They’re the ones that produced the data. They said the average American believes 30 million Americans have died from COVID-19. So the media is outraged that Trump said, “it is what it is.” And “we got it under control. We’re looking at death as a proportion of cases.” But here’s why, folks. The media is outraged that Trump said this because the media know that if they allow realism to replace pap, then they’re doomed.
And the realism, compare it to the flu, for example, which we’ve done over and over, but the bottom line is this. This is what really frightens the media and the Democrats. I mean, they’re one and the same. If the population of America, if we as a nation, if we as a country learn to live with COVID-19, then all of this hard work at creating daily panic, daily catastrophe, daily chaos will have been for naught. They have to make sure that there is a daily dose of chaos, daily dose of panic, daily dose of mounting fear.
So when Trump comes along, “Hey, it is what it is, we’re actually getting it under control,” and so forth, they can’t let that stand. So that’s why they gotta go to Twitter and portray Trump as losing it, as out of touch or whatever. Here is a media montage to illustrate.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: “It is what it is,” he says about the death toll. It doesn’t have to be.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: “It is what it is,” 150,000 people dead.
GEOFF BENNETT: Saying “it is what it is” when confronted with a staggering death toll suggests to me the absence of a strategy.
DR. JAY VARKEY: When a thousand people die a day it is simply irresponsible to state “it is what it is.”
STEPHANIE RUHLE: You know what he said? “It is what it is.” Other words, ‘C’est la vie. Que sera sera.
RUSH: All right. Well, what, then, is it, if it isn’t what it is? What should he have said? No, I’m serious. I want you people to give me some ideas. What should Trump say if “it is what it is” is not the right thing to say? He’s the middle of a media interview, they’re talking about the number of deaths — the number of cases. And then Swan says, “Well, how can you say it’s under control? A thousand Americans are dying a day?” Trump says, “Well, they are dying, that’s true, but ‘it is what it is.'”
So what is the smart thing to say, then, if “it is what it is”” is so insensitive and so lacking in compassion and if it’s so mean-spirited and extreme, if saying “it is what it is” is the wrong thing to say, then what do you say? “Yeah, it’s so sad, one death is too many, we’re doing everything we can.” Is that what he’s supposed to say, in touchy feely America? That may be. “Yeah, you’re right. One death is too many. We’re not gonna tolerate this. We’re doing everything we can.”
Yeah, well, except he’s president. He can’t pretend that things aren’t what they are.
RUSH: This is Jonathan Swan, after the Trump interview is over, wrapping it up by attempting to tell the audience watching this show on HBO last night how Donald Trump thinks.
SWAN: President Trump has a way of thinking. He’s talked about it, his adherence to a philosophy called positive thinking, which is the idea that if you say something, you believe it —
RUSH: Stop the tape. A philosophy called positive thinking — what is this? “President Trump, he talked about it, he has a philosophy called positive thinking.” What the hell is that? As though that’s some strange, foreign, oddball, alien way of think. Positive thinking? What the hell is that? It’s philosophy. No, it’s not. It’s an attitude. It’s a state of being. Now even positive thinking is coming under assault?
You see? You’re not allowed to be a realist, and you’re not allowed to think positive. You can only go along with their narrative of chaos, catastrophe, and destruction. Okay, play this from the top and I promise I will not interrupt it again.
SWAN: President Trump has a way of thinking. He’s talked about it, his adherence to a philosophy called positive thinking, which is the idea that if you say something, you believe it, you know, you actualize it, it actually happens. It’s a philosophy that’s sort of very much, you see it among salesmen. And it, you know, it probably does very little harm in the realms of commercial real estate and reality television. This is the first time we’ve ever seen that philosophy applied in real time to the worst pandemic in a century.
RUSH: This is unbelievable. This guy, a Millennial, obviously a stranger to the idea of positive thinking and somehow it is poisonous. And it’s not even real. It’s something that’s might work in commercial real estate. It might work among salesmen, which, of course, we look down on salesmen and reality television. That’s not even the right definition of positive thinking.
I’ll tell you, folks, the disconnect. I wonder if he’s ever heard of Norman Vincent Peale. He wrote the book The Power of Positive Thinking. He became a millionaire on that book alone because thinking positively is a very hard thing to do. Most people don’t. Most people have failure, lockdown. Most people know how to do that without any instruction. We all know how to fail. I mean, you don’t need to go to the library to find books How to Fail, because you know that, but you will go to the library to find books on how to think positively or how to succeed because that, apparently, is not a natural thing.
So you sit around, you think positively and you try to actualize it so that it actually happens. These guys think that they’re the ones immersed in reality and that reality is constantly negative, it’s filled with misery and depression and there’s no way out, and unless you look at life that way, you can’t be our leader.
Boy, when they gotta come around and misdefine positive thinking and then impugn it and criticize it. (imitating Swan) “Positive thinking, very harmless in most endeavors, but when you’re dealing with a pandemic, oh, we can’t have that. We can’t have positive thinking.” Why the hell not? Why the hell can’t you have positive thinking? Screw his definition of it.
Anyway, we’re gonna start with Jay, Columbia, South Carolina. You’re up first and great to have you on the program today. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Trump and his administration have got to stop going on these Sunday talk shows and talking to all these left-wing organizations, news organizations, because they are only looking to take what he says and members of his administration out of context.
RUSH: Yeah, I know.
CALLER: And of course the left and the deep state are gonna say, “Oh, you can’t just talk to Fox News. He’s gotta talk to the mainstream media.” No, he doesn’t. He’s been on your show. He’s spoken with Sean Hannity. He can go on Fox. He can get his message — he doesn’t even have to have press conferences. And going on with Chris Wallace of Fox News, are you kidding me? There is no way he should allow Chris Wallace to be a moderator in any future debate. They will pull a Candy Crowley on him faster than he can say red square.
RUSH: Well, but, you know, the counter to this is a president has got to be able to deal with this. I mean, after all, he’s gonna be dealing with the ChiCom leader, he’s gonna be dealing with Putin, he’s gonna be dealing with enemies of this country all over the world. He cannot act afraid or intimidated by these people. He’s gotta show he can deal with ’em. He’s not afraid of ’em and can triumph over them.
CALLER: It’s always a setup, and you know it.
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: He can talk to you, he can talk to Hannity, he can get his message out. A press conference — he can speak directly from the White House. He doesn’t have to talk to them.
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: Nor anyone in his administration.
RUSH: I know, I know, I know. He thinks — remember, there are a lot of people who think that they know Trump or they’re Trump experts. I don’t know Trump as well as a lot of people who do, but I’m telling you I know him better than a lot of people do. And he thinks that he can smoke these people. He thinks that he can overcome them. He’s not afraid of them, and he doesn’t want to act afraid of them. I understand what you’re saying, that there is no way, that after it’s over they’re gonna impugn and mock and lie and all that. I totally agree with you on that.