RUSH: President Bush just finished a speech, and he just finished the Q&A right at 12 noon Eastern, just in time to make way for this program. He spoke to the Economic Club of New York on the economy. It was a great speech. It was a home run. I have one excerpt from it to just share with you, sort of an overall example of the president’s tone and remarks today. In these seesaw economic times, it’s really nice to have a president who’s dumb enough to understand the real world up against all of these smartest people in the room, the really, really smart crowd that don’t understand the real world. He said something that I guess I had missed in watching the news this week, but he said, you know, all these foreclosed homes out there. He says, ‘Somebody in Congress has proposed a bill for state and local governments to buy up those houses that are sitting empty.’ He said, ‘I can’t think of anything stupider. Those are golden opportunities for first-time home buyers. Get the government involved in all of this, and it’s only going to make a problem. One of the problems, if you’re driving around and you got bad road conditions and you start spinning out, the biggest mistake you make is starting to overcorrect, and when you overcorrect, you end up in the ditch.’
Now, I’m sure most of the people in the audience haven’t driven a car in, I don’t know how many years and probably have never ended up in a ditch, but average Americans — and you average Americans know who you are, watching this — it was an excellent point. Don’t overcorrect. The market is correcting itself. Don’t become protectionist; don’t block trade agreement; the trade agreement that’s in Congress with Colombia. Here’s a little bit, just to get the flavor of the president’s attitude and tone today.
THE PRESIDENT: In a free market, there’s going to be good times and bad times. That’s how markets work. There will be ups and downs. And after 52 consecutive months of job growth, which is a record, our economy obviously is going through a tough time. I want to remind you, this is not the first time since I’ve been the president that we’ve faced economic challenges. We inherited a recession, and then there were the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, which many of you saw firsthand, and I made the difficult decisions to confront the terrorists and extremists on two major fronts: Afghanistan and Iraq. And then we had devastating natural disasters. And the interesting thing, every time this economy has bounced back better and stronger than before. So I’m coming to you as an optimistic fellow.
RUSH: He went on from there, and he got mild applause at various points in the speech.
RUSH: The president was asked about prices at his press conference. I don’t have that transcript in front of me, but I think what those two bites are. The price of gasoline, the price of food. Prices, prices, prices. Damn well I know what the price of food is. Do you think I don’t eat? Of course I know what the price of food is! Do you know what the price of jet fuel is? Okay! Don’t give me $4.85 a gallon stuff. If you can find a contract buy, you can maybe do better than… (sigh) Don’t even get me started. Nobody listens to my complaining, anyway. Look, we have these two sound bites of the president from the Economic Club of New York today, when he gave a speech. Here’s the first of two.
THE PRESIDENT: One bill in Congress would provide $4 billion for state and local governments to buy up abandoned and foreclosed homes. You know, I guess this sounds like a good idea to some, but if your goal is to help Americans keep their homes, it doesn’t make any sense to spend billions of dollars buying up homes that are already empty. As a matter of fact, when you buy up empty homes you’re only helping the lenders, or the speculators. The purpose of government ought to be to help the individuals, not those who speculated in homes. This bill sends the wrong signal to the market.
RUSH: That is exactly right. Do you know how many of these foreclosures happened to guys that never lived in these houses they were buying? They were buying them to flip ’em, and they got caught, and it went south, and they start (crying), ‘Oh, we need a bailout!’ Bear Stearns needs a bailout? Let Bear Stearns go under! Well, no, I guess you can’t do that, but, for crying out loud, did you hear what the president said? The American people make the economy work. Don’t put more obstacles in their way. Don’t put more shackles on them. The American people… If you start thinking that the economy is nothing but the Dow Jones Industrial Average and you gotta stop the bleeding there… Yeah, it affects more and more Americans than it ever has, but still there’s a lot more to the economy than that. Here’s the second excerpt from the president’s speech today.
THE PRESIDENT: [A] lot of folks are worried about their neighbors losing work. … [S]ometimes, if you’re going to lead this country, you have to stand in the face of what appears to be a political headwind. … I’m troubled by isolationism and protectionism. … [W]hat concerns me is, is that the United States of America will become fatigued when it comes to fighting off tyrants, or say it’s too hard to spread liberty, or use the excuse that just because freedom hadn’t flourished in parts of the world, therefore it’s not worth trying, and that, as a result, we kind of retrench and lose confidence in our — the values that have made us a great nation in the first place. But these aren’t American values; they’re universal values. And the danger of getting tired during this world [sic] is any retreat by the America — by America was going to be to the benefit of those who want to do us harm. Now, I understand that since September the 11th, the great tendency is to say, we’re no longer in danger. Well, that’s false. That’s false hope. It’s either disingenuous or naive, and either one of those attitudes is unrealistic. And the biggest job we’ve got is to protect the American people from harm. I don’t want to get in another issue, but that’s why we better figure out what the enemy is saying on their telephones, if you want to protect you.
RUSH: Now, the question actually had to do with immigration, and whoever asked the question said, ‘Mr. President, it’s been said that a nation that is afraid of immigration has lost its confidence. What did you think about it?’ That’s where he delved off into the answer that he gave.