RUSH: Yesterday when I heard about this, I did not know that it was Bill Cunningham who was the talk show host in Cincinnati who had warmed up the audience for McCain. Of course, he kept talking about — and I guess he mentioned three times — ‘Barack Hussein Obama,’ and McCain claimed after Cunningham finished… McCain did his remarks at the rally, then, after that when he was told what happened, he immediately apologized, threw Cunningham under the Straight Talk Express and disavowed it and said this kind of stuff is not going to happen in his campaign anymore because Obama and Hillary are honorable people. Here is a little of what Cunningham said in Cincinnati yesterday warming up the crowd — and, by the way, Cunningham says, ‘This is what they asked me to do. They wanted me to warm up the crowd. Go out and get people ready for McCain.’ You know, McCain is trying to build his bona fides with conservatives. They hire this conservative talk show host to go out and warm up the crowd, and this is what Bill Cunningham said.
CUNNINGHAM: At some point in the near future, the media — the stooges from the New York Times; CBS, the Clinton Broadcasting System; NBC, the Nobody but Clinton Network; the All Bill Clinton Channel, ABC; and the Clinton News Network at some point — is going to peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama. That day will come. At some point, the media will quit taking sides in this thing and maybe start covering Barack Hussein Obama the same way they cover Bush, the same way they cover Cheney, and the same way they core every Republican. I look forward to that day when truth comes! I look forward to that!
RUSH: Okay. So in that bite, Cunningham says Barack Hussein Obama twice. There have since been a number of people saying this is not a wise thing to do. Now, I commented on it yesterday. We don’t harp on his middle name on this program for a host of reasons. Even Karl Rove has come out today and said don’t do this; it’s not productive. It’s not going to accomplish anything. My reaction is, we’re getting dangerously close here to where the liberals are telling us what we can and can’t say. We can’t use the guy’s name. We also cannot call him a liberal. He doesn’t want to be called a liberal. He says he’s not a liberal. We can’t call him a liberal, and we’re not supposed to talk about his ties with Farrakhan — not his ‘ties,’ but Farrakhan endorsing him — and we’re not supposed to really talk much about his pastor. We’re not supposed to talk about those things, and with the Republican National Committee writing all these memos, ‘Eh, we gotta be very careful about how we go after Barack Obama because we don’t want to be perceived as racist or sexist or what have you.’
This is why, just to repeat myself, I’ve wanted Mrs. Clinton to stay viable and in this, because Obama needs to be bloodied up politically, and it’s clear that our side isn’t going to do it. Now, I admit it’s going to be tough because I said last hour: He’s not leading a campaign. He doesn’t have a bunch of people that are supporting him because of his stand on the issues. Even though his stand on the issues is discernible, that’s not why they support him. What he has is a movement going on. It may be exaggerating to say it’s a cult, but it makes the point. He’s got people that don’t care. Look, I saw this. I saw this with Perot back in 1992. The people that were following Ross Perot early on, did not care to hear anything negative. They didn’t register, bounced right off. They thought that people were trying to do unfair damage to their guy. It’s going to be the same thing here with Obama — and the Republicans going to have to be careful about making fun of Obama’s supporters, too, because that’s not going to drive ’em away. It’s going to be a delicate balancing act, because all the restrictions now that are being placed. You can’t call him Barack Hussein Obama. You can’t use his real name.
Can we call him BHO? You know, presidents have initials. W is Dubya, JFK, RFK. We referred to Reagan, President Reagan. Jimmy Carter, we didn’t call him Jimmy Earl Carter, but sometimes presidents are known by their three initials. BHO. Are we going to call him BO? I don’t think we’re going to do that. If he becomes president, we’re not going to say, ‘BO! BO!’ We’re going to say BH? No, we’ll say Barack or Obama. But we’re being told can’t use Hussein. We’re being told we can’t talk about his being a liberal. But I want to get Bill Cunningham off the hook here a little bit. Bill, apparently you’re not to blame for this; I am. On CNN, The Situation Room last night, Wolf Blitzer is talking to John King, reporter, and contributorette Gloria Borger. John King said, ‘They say that they knew they were taking a risk by having Cunningham there, but they wanted him on board the campaign. And now they say that the risk backfired. Senator McCain obviously having to come out. It’s embarrassing. He wanted to talk about Iraq and the economy today. Instead he had to repudiate one of his own supporters.’
BORGER: I think John McCain would take every conservative radio talk show host he could get (snort) right now on his campaign, given where Rush Limbaugh stands on him. So this fellow is a conservative radio talk show host, except he ended up embarrassing the campaign — and now, of course, he’s disowned the campaign completely. So this is something, you know, if they want to be ready for primetime, they gotta watch out for this.
BLITZER: But, you know what? I’ve known John McCain for a long time, and it does underscore that he is a decent, decent person to so quickly go out and repudiate what this conservative radio talk show host had to say. He didn’t mince any words, saying he doesn’t want to run a campaign against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama using this kind of language.
RUSH: Yeah. There’s a translation for that, and that is that my criticism forced McCain to associate with talk radio hosts, and it got him in trouble. But still he’s a great guy now, because he threw a talk radio host under the bus. So people like me… I made McCain’s camp go out and try to get the support of a talk show host. They got the support of a talk show host, and they threw the talk show host under the bus. So translate what CNN was saying. Here’s, by the way, what McCain said. He rushed to the microphones to apologize after his rally yesterday.
MCCAIN: I regret any comments that may be made about these two individuals who are honorable Americans. We just have strong philosophical differences, and, uh, so I want to disassociate myself from any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them. I will take responsibility and any offense that was inflicted, I apologize for. I will take that responsibility. Whatever suggestion was made that was in any way disparaging to the integrity, character, honesty of either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton was wrong, and I condemn it — and if I have any responsibility, I will take responsibility, and I apologize for it.
RUSH: Now, I haven’t heard everything Bill Cunningham said, but he was probably more disparaging of the Drive-Bys than he was of Obama. See, all he did was use Obama’s middle name. Now, again, I didn’t hear the whole thing, but I’m wondering if McCain heard what he said, either. I know McCain wasn’t there when he said it, but I mean I’m wondering if McCain got an accurate portrayal of what he said. You know, Rob Portman, who is director OMB, former congressman from Ohio — and I know Bob Portman and his wife, and they are great people — and Portman was the guy went out and got Cunningham and asked him to do this, from what I understand. One more bite because McCain also had said yesterday he’d never met Cunningham, but Cunningham was on CNN’s Election Center last night, and said he has met McCain. John Roberts said to Cunningham, ‘Have you ever met John McCain?’
ROBERTS: He said he’s never met you.
CUNNINGHAM: He’s got a bad memory!
ROBERTS: When did you meet him?
CUNNINGHAM: I met him at the home of Bob Rhine who is a friend of mine in Cincinnati and I met him at it Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the presence of Senator Mike DeWine. I met him twice! His people called me specifically! His people said, ‘You’re the guy we want because you’ve met John,’ but I’m not going to meet him again! I’ve had it up to here with McCain! He’s off the list! I’m joining Ann Coulter in supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton!
RUSH: He also said that McCain threw him under the Straight Talk Express. So anyway, it just keeps on. It just keeps on.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, that Cunningham guy, yeah, that’s so awful what he said. So awful. I mean, daring to speak Obama’s full name? Who does Cunningham think he is? And, then, after making that mistake, Cunningham then had the audacity to say that Obama is tied to the Chicago political machine. How over the top was that? We can’t have this in the Republican Party. We can’t go anywhere if we’re going to name our candidates, our opponents, if we can’t talk about their names, if we can’t talk about the fact that they’re part of the Chicago political machine. You know what I think Senator McCain would be well advised — far be it from me, I mean, advise comes from me, he’s not going to accept it — but Senator McCain should start pretending that liberal Democrats are conservative Republicans. Then he can cuss them out and throw them under his bus because if anybody needs to be thrown under his bus, it’s liberal Democrats. Remember, ladies and gentlemen, there was a campaign event, this might have been back in South Carolina, I forget the state. But there was a woman in the audience talking about Hillary when McCain was on the stage, and the woman called Hillary a b-i-tch. Do you remember this? And McCain chuckled. I think the woman said how we gonna beat the b-i-itch? Said it right in front of McCain. I don’t think he denounced this babe in the audience, but he denounces Cunningham, who he didn’t even hear, for saying Obama’s middle name.
So, I don’t know. You just gotta stop accepting the premises of the left, folks, and I’ll tell you this business of going out of your way to please the Drive-By Media, throwing your own supporters under the bus. If McCain was unhappy with what Cunningham said, there’s a better way of dealing with this than to go out and throw him under the bus this way. There’s a better way of dealing with it. (doing McCain impression) ‘I didn’t hear it, so I can’t tell you, but I’m going to find out. I’m going to find what was said, talk to this guy, and I’ll get back to you.’ But no, throw the guy under the bus.
RUSH: David in New Haven, Connecticut, thank you for the call, sir. Great to have you with us.
CALLER: Rush, I’ll tell you, this is a banner day for me. I’m a fan of the show, although I am a liberal Democrat. I think there’s a lot more that we agree on than disagree, and, you know, this is indeed an honor. I’ve been listening to you —
RUSH: Well, very nice, thank you, sir, it’s nice to have you here.
CALLER: Now, first of all, I want to share my condolences with you on the passing of William F. Buckley. I’ve read quite a bit of his stuff, and although, again, as I disagree with quite a bit of it, I think he was a fine American and a brilliant conservative mind, and my condolences on the loss of him.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Now, one thing I really wanted to just touch on is, you know, I listen to you, I listen to Sean, I listen to a lot of the different conservative talk show hosts now that they’ve cancelled Air America pretty much for all intents and purposes —
RUSH: Well, they sold it again.
CALLER: Well, you know, I kind of lost track of it after they dropped it locally here, but that’s what brought me more to listening to you, so it can’t be that bad. You know, I just want to commend you for sticking with your guns and not following the Republican Party. I understand and I listen to you every day, that you are a true conservative. And John McCain is so far from that, he’s actually somebody I would vote for. (laughing) So, you know, I just want to commend you and Sean and everyone else who’s just sticking to their guns and demanding more from the party, and just wanted to get your thoughts on that.
RUSH: Well, it sounds like you want us to win, and you’re a liberal.
CALLER: Yes. Well, I want you to stick true to who you are just as I plan on sticking true to who I am and backing my candidate, and I just think it’s refreshing. I don’t see four years ago as George Bush being a true conservative, and I wish there was bit more of a uproar and a demand for change, outside of —
RUSH: Well, I’m running out of time here, but if you guys — not you — but if the liberals had let him alone on this war stuff, liberals unified people around George W. Bush. Wish I could respond in greater detail here. I simply don’t have the time.