RUSH: Okay. The media, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney and me. I have a montage here of Drive-By Media elites just upset that Dick Cheney continues to speak out. They are saying things to him like, ‘Shut up!’ The question I have here: ‘If the Democrats are telling us the truth when they say the Republican Party’s committing suicide, and the Republican Party is a party of 13% of the American people,’ why wouldn’t they want what they believe to be the architects of this demise to continue speaking? You know, the old adage: If your opponent’s committing suicide, get out of the way. Let it happen. There’s an old adage in talk radio. If a caller wants to be an idiot, get out of the way and let it happen. But yet Cheney goes out and speaks, the Democrats and the media all say that Cheney and I are the problem with the Republican Party. The Democrats want to get rid of the Republican Party. Why wouldn’t they just shut up and play this stuff? Why do they get so agitated and tell Cheney shut up? Here, listen to the montage.
RICK SANCHEZ: Somebody who can’t stop talking — in fact, says he won’t stop talking and is frankly boastful about it — Dick Cheney!
DREW GRIFFIN: Why not tell Cheney to shut up!
DAVID SHUSTER: Just wish he would go away in some fashion.
JESSICA YELLIN: Get real. Dick Cheney is one of the least popular figures in the Republican Party, aside from Rush Limbaugh.
ROLAND MARTIN: Some Republicans wish the former V.P. would just…shut up!
RUSH: I don’t hear any Republicans saying shut up, Dick Cheney. It’s just the media people and the Democrats. Now, it seems to me that they must be really worried about what Cheney’s saying, otherwise they’d let him go ahead and commit suicide for himself and the Republican Party. Don’t you think? See, they’re really agitated. It’s the same reason that if the kooks in the counterculture left think that Miss California, Carrie Prejean — and her answer was so outrageous and so offended all Americans — why, by all means prop her up and let her be an example for all the goofballs in the country! No, they have to shut her up. They have to destroy her. The left is out to destroy Dick Cheney. The left is out to destroy anybody who speaks out. They are fascists, statists, whatever you want to call them. They’re not interested in debate.
They are interested in ultimate power and silencing people who disagree with them — and the reason for that, folks, is fear. They’re afraid of Dick Cheney. They are afraid of me. If Cheney and I were the buffoons they say (snorts), they’d just be running tapes of us all night with everything we say! They’d be running my CPAC speech nonstop 24/7 on MSNBC to wipe out the Republican Party. They’d be replaying everything Cheney has said — with Bob Schieffer, Sean Hannity. Wherever he’s been, they’d be replaying those interviews. ‘Wow, look! Here’s Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh destroying the Republican Party!’ No! Instead they’re saying, ‘Shut up. Shut up, Cheney!’ Why? Now, Liz Cheney was on Scarborough’s show on MSNBC today, and she wiped the floor with the guest list there. Let’s see. She had Eugene Robinson — who is a Obama hack under the guise of a columnist at the Washington Post — and Mika Brzezinski, also, in this bite that you will hear. And it’s about torture and it’s about Liz Cheney’s father, Dick, and what a rotten, Snidely Whiplash kind of guy he is.
ROBINSON: Torture. Is. Illegal. (snorting laughter) It — it — eh…
LIZ: It wasn’t torture, Eugene. Let me ask you a question, Eugene. So if you knew that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed had information about an imminent threat on the United States — information that would result in the death of your family members, the death of people that you care about and love — and that if he were waterboarded, you would be able to get that information and prevent the attack, you wouldn’t do it?
ROBINSON: (snorts) How would I know?
LIZ: You would let them go ahead and launch the attack?
ROBINSON: How would I know that? How would I…? How would I…? (sigh)
LIZ: This was exactly the situation these folks were in.
ROBINSON: Well, buh… (snorts) But…but…but… I wouldn’t…
LIZ: That’s a choice you gotta make.
RUSH: ‘But…but…but… (stammering)’ just talk sense to these people and you shut them up. But when you let them intimidate you and put you on the defensive (which happens to take too many people who go on these shows) they end up winning, but Liz Cheney not backing down. Look, the situation they face — this is 2002; this is 2003 — is you don’t know what’s coming next. Everybody wants to prevent the next event from happening. If you got somebody who you know has the information, are you going to do what it takes to get it? ‘But…but…but… how do I know?’ That’s what they’re faced with! He’s telling everybody he knows. He’s telling everybody he’s the ringleader! He wanted the fame. Here’s Eugene Robinson (stuttering), ‘B-b-b-b-b-but…but…but… How do you know?’ I think it’s great. Liz Cheney doesn’t back down to them. They had this exchange, too — Liz Cheney with Brzezinski — on this MSNBC show this morning.
BRZEZINSKI: Love having you on the show.
LIZ: Great to be here.
BRZEZINSKI: We’d love to for you to come back.
LIZ: I love your show.
LIZ: You guys are terrific.
BRZEZINSKI: I think we do need to do more than the headlines on this, and more than the radio hosts who are (snickering) sort of bloviating about it. I think we need to really talk about this and get into the details.
LIZ: I don’t want to trash all the radio hosts.
BRZEZINSKI: That’s okay.
LIZ: ‘Cause there’s some good ones out there —
LIZ: — including Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: That was Liz Cheney saying, ‘including Rush Limbaugh.’ But again, you know, Mika, you got your own show. You don’t have to let radio talk show hosts ‘bloviate’ about this. She said, ‘We need to do more than the headlines on this.’ This is like Dan Rather saying, ‘We need to do more to cover the news.’ You have a show, if you want to do more. Sometimes I sit here and I just marvel. I just marvel at the things I hear this, and I really worry that if I work hard to understand it, I’m going to have to lower my own IQ, and I refuse to do that. Let’s move on. David ‘Rodham’ Gergen last night on Anderson Cooper 360 — which is bleeding audience. Anderson Cooper 360 is having a dismal month of May in the ratings. It’s being written about in the television broadcast trades. CNN in general is in a general audience plunge. David ‘Rodham’ Gergen last night spoke with Anderson Cooper, who said, ‘Is it surprising Dick Cheney breaking with tradition and blasting so soon after he left office?’
GERGEN: What surprised me yesterday was the way he went after Colin Powell. That seemed to me just sort of to take leave of his senses. Colin Powell was, you know, during the Bush administration was the single most respected member of that administration. He’s important to the Republican Party. Why would you want to drive him away? The question, ‘Do you choose Powell over Limbaugh?’ or the other way around, you would have said, ‘I’m proud to have both of them in the Republican Party.’ It just seemed to be gratuitous after Colin Powell — and, by the way, I think separated him out from a whole lot of Americans who respect Colin Powell.
RUSH: Now, again, David ‘Rodham’ Gergen is supposedly a smart guy. So I have to ask myself — after I listen to this learned answer, this is an answer that is born of conventional wisdom — what am I, El Rushbo, missing here? Did not Colin Powell endorse and vote for Barack Obama? Did not the Republican Party nominate the exact kind of moderate candidate that Colin Powell says the Republican Party should put forth? Yes. So after the Republican Party did everything that Colin Powell says the Republican Party needs to do to grow, what did Colin Powell do? He endorsed Obama, worked for his election, and voted for him.
Now, as Dick Cheney said Sunday: That, to me, constitutes leaving the Republican Party. So according to the Drive-Bys and David Gergen, what we are supposed to do as Republicans is let somebody who endorsed, campaigned for and voted for Obama tell us how to build our party. Now, does that…? I’m sorry. This does not compute to me. Now, maybe I have failing intelligence, and maybe my IQ has gone south. Well, I do not understand. It’s very simple. You know, being a Republican and being a Democrat to me is very important, and I don’t understand. I’m trying. I’m working real hard to try to understand this. I’ve gone back to my first and second grade textbooks. I kept ’em.
I’m trying to understand how it is that we Republicans are making a mistake by letting somebody who endorsed a Democrat, elected a Democrat, and voted for a Democrat, go. It seems that he’s already left. It seems he’s a Democrat already. Also, you know, I went back to my fourth and fifth grade textbooks, and I remember how Colin Powell did his best to undermine many in the Bush administration while not only was he secretary of state but after he left, along with his aide-de-camp Lawrence Wilkerson and his old buddy (what was his name?) Armitage. Colin Powell, Armitage, and Lawrence Wilkerson basically let Scooter Libby hang out to dry, knowing full well that he was guilty of nothing. So we’re supposed to…? Sorry, it doesn’t make any sense to me. We’re supposed to let somebody who sabotaged his own party…?
By the way, Colin Powell is what he is because of Republicans. He was chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He was four-star general, Ronald Reagan. He was secretary of state because of Republican presidents. As for Cheney ‘breaking with tradition,’ once again, I sit here and I admit that I’m befuddled. Bill Clinton has yet to stop talking about George W. Bush! Algore, within weeks of the 2000 election was talking about how George W. Bush ‘betrayed’ America. It was Bill Clinton and Algore traveling around the world — and Jimmy Carter — to bash Bush. Jimmy Carter got a Nobel Peace Prize for trashing George W. Bush. So we’re just supposed to sit here and we’re supposed to follow the tradition of it is not being critical of predecessors while being attacked at the same time — and then, after all of that, we’re supposed to rally around a guy who fled the party in the last election as our savior and as the guy who’s got the direction for us to follow? Anderson Cooper then said, ‘Well, how important do you think Dick Cheney takes his own legacy?’
GERGEN: Very importantly. You know, he’s worked for some 40 years on behalf of the Republican Party and the conservative causes, uhh, and I think he thinks his place in history is important to him.
RUSH: This is why I asked the question yesterday: ‘What motivates Dick Cheney to speak publicly and get trashed by the very people who are at present writing his legacy?’ I would say right now the last thing on Dick Cheney’s mind is his legacy. I would say the first thing on Dick Cheney’s mind is his country.
RUSH: Let me go a step further. David ‘Rodham’ Gergen said that Dick Cheney took a gratuitous slap at Colin Powell. It was no such thing. Dick Cheney was asked about Colin Powell by Bob Schieffer. Gratuitous would have meant that Cheney launched on his own without having a question be asked, but that wasn’t the case. Let me go even further. The question ought to be, if we’re going to be talking about who should lead, run, direct, inspire, whatever, the Republican Party, the question really should be poised to Colin Powell, ‘What were you thinking in endorsing Barack Obama? Is this what you have in mind for the United States of America? Is this what you had in mind when you supported Obama, Colonel Powell? Is this the kind of country you thought you were supporting in voting for Colin Powell? Did you ever live to see the day where the president of the United States would tell an auto company how much it can spend on advertising?’
The questions, if there are to be questions, need to be asked of Colin Powell. As a Republican, quote, unquote, he’s the one that has some explaining to do, as far as I’m concerned. Now, what did Colin Powell ever do to win anything politically, either? Can I ask that question? He’s never run for office. Dick Cheney was elected to Congress, he was elected VP, public servant for 40 years. What has Colin Powell ever won politically? Last night, Hardball, Chris Matthews with the former West Wing writer, Lawrence O’Donnell about Colin Powell and me. Matthews said, ‘Colin Powell, would you rather have him as the Republican candidate for president if you’re Republican, or would you rather have Limbaugh?’
O’DONNELL: Colin Powell’s a winner, Rush is a loser, Cheney’s a loser. And so the Cheney-Limbaugh party could command maybe 13% of the vote. Every single position that Rush Limbaugh advocated in the last election was rejected by Republican voters in the primaries. Rush was against McCain in the primaries, Rush lost the primaries, then Rush lost the general election in a big way.
RUSH: I didn’t know I was on the ballot. I lost everything. I’m a loser. I’m always on the ballot. I guess I’m just the biggest loser out there. What has Colin Powell won? What Colin Powell has won is the approval of Drive-By Media elites and left-leaning elites in the New York-Washington axis or corridor. What has he won? He wasn’t on the ballot, either. I didn’t endorse anybody in the Republican primaries. Regardless, you see how this is all shaping up. Cheney and I maybe could command 13% of the vote. If that’s the case, I’ll tell you what you ought to do. Here’s what MSNBC ought to do. Whoever runs that outfit, here’s what they ought to do. You’ve got cable channels galore that you own besides MSNBC. What else do they own? They’ve got a cable channel that they show Universal movies and TV shows in HD. Why don’t you guys broom that and just run 24/7 audio and video of me and Cheney and destroy the Republican Party? You could do more damage with us speaking than you could having MSNBC rip us. If we’re doing that much damage, we ought to be all over the place everywhere. Yet what they want us to all do is shut up. It would pay for itself, too. You wouldn’t have to be going to Obama asking how much you could spend for advertising. Juan Williams is a smart guy. But what political argument has Colin Powell ever won?
WILLIAMS: That’s so unbelievable. If you want to win elections, if you want to move the party forward, I don’t think that there’s much of a — from a political perspective, much of a choice between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell. Colin Powell is ranked as one of the most respected American leaders across the political spectrum, and Rush Limbaugh is a very popular entertainer, but he’s not in the same rank and certainly not in the same seriousness. If it was a choice between Powell and Limbaugh, he’d take Limbaugh. And I just don’t think that if you’re concerned about the Republican Party going forward, you would make such a statement.
RUSH: Well, here again, I guess I’m just not as smart and loaded with common sense as I thought. We’re talking about a guy here who abandoned the Republican Party, who now is the only one who can unite it, who now is the only one who can lead it? Seriously, Snerdley, what am I missing here? What do these guys not get about the fact that Colin Powell is not a Republican? I know they don’t care. They’re not Republicans, either. But here’s the truth. What these guys know is that Colin Powell leading the Republican Party would lose every election it entered.
RUSH: One more audio sound bite, and this whole Colin Powell, El Rushbo kerfuffle.
But let me ask you this before the sound bite. Does anybody out there who thinks that when the presidential election of 2012 rolls around, that there is any Republican candidate that Colin Powell would endorse over Barack Obama? No! There’s no way. Do you know what really, really, really irritates Colin Powell about me? You probably will not remember this. But it’s back in the nineties, and it’s right after the Gulf War, when we won the war in a matter of two days. And Bush had a 90% approval and Colin Powell’s approval ratings were sky-high. He was in the seventies or eighties.
And he was toying with taking change of direction in his career and running for office. He wouldn’t announce what party he was in, and he wouldn’t tell anybody what he stood for. He had 75% approval numbers based on character and image, but he wouldn’t tell anybody what he stood for, on any issue. He wouldn’t even say what party he was in. Now, there were people like me at the time who thought, ‘It kind of matters what party, General Powell. You’re gonna choose.’ (interruption) Well, okay. Maybe that’s right, Snerdley: ‘No, there weren’t people wondering that, Rush. It was just you,’ and I said… You know, I remember Powell was on Larry King Alive one night. Larry King Alive tore into me. Powell didn’t say anything about it.
That’s what this really is about. This goes back decades, year ago, 14 years ago, 15 years ago. I finally said, ‘Look, what we all know is when he takes a position on something…’ You can’t run for office without taking a position on abortion for example. Once he takes a position on that, that approval number is going to go from 70 to 40, or 70 to 50, he’s gonna… At some point he’s going to lose support based on issues. So when’s he going to take a stand? I kept saying, ‘What do you believe? I mean, this is all great and good if you run for office. What do you believe? Are you a Republican or Democrat? I think it’s kind of important.’ Well, at this time everybody else was fawning and dropping to their knees. He was almost the precursor to Obama. He was being treated exactly like Obama back then.
So that’s the root of this. And then I threw another bomb, when, after he endorsed Obama, I said, ‘There can only be one reason for this. The guy’s a Republican, and the Republicans have nominated the precise candidate he would choose: John McCain, moderate Republican. He’s endorsing Obama. It’s gotta be about race. There can be no other explanation. ‘Well, that’s taboo! You’re supposed to not say that. You’re not supposed to say that, but I said it. And of course the Drive-Bys had the predictable eruption over this. But that’s what this is all about. And, of course, I’m far less popular with the Drive-Bys and the DC elites than Colin Powell. That’s where he’s made his bones. You know, that’s where he’s made his reputation. That’s where he got all the great character attributes and so forth. So last night, Greta Van Susteren had Karl Rove on. She said, ‘When the secretary of state left,’ and she means Colin Powell there, ‘was he pushed out? Was he shoved out?’
ROVE: I think it was clearly time. I don’t think there’s a sense of bitterness here. I’m not even certain that this was something that, upon sober reflection, that Secretary Powell would believe it was the most artfully expressed way of putting this. I mean, again, why get in a fight with Rush Limbaugh? It’s not a very comforting vision to say, ‘My vision for the Republican Party’s future is for Rush Limbaugh to shut up.’ That’s not a very compelling and positive observation. It’s not the kind of people to stand up and say, ‘Yeah, that’s the kind of Republican Party I want: Rush Limbaugh, shut up!’ That’s a very limited and narrow description of what ought to happen.
RUSH: So he makes a good point. What idea is Powell offering the Republicans? The only idea Powell is offering Republicans is that I should shut up. That’s Karl Rove’s point. That’s the future of the Republican Party, for me to shut up. That’s all he said about it, and yet all these Drive-Bys are out there suggesting he’s the guy that the Republican Party needs to rally around to rebuild their party. It’s just nonsensical. There’s no common sense to this whatsoever. This is like schoolgirl crushes. This is emotion. It’s beliefs. But it’s certainly not… There’s no rational thought behind any of this.