BRIAN KILMEADE: What is the state of the race, from Rush Limbaugh’s perspective?
STEVE DOOCY: Well, let’s ask Rush Limbaugh. He’s joining us live from somewhere out there in TV Land. Good morning to you, El Rushbo.
RUSH: ‘Somewhere out there in TV land,’ indeed, down in the sunny climes of south Florida, you guys. Great to be with you on Fox & Friends.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: Thank you.
DOOCY: It’s great to have you.
KILMEADE: Congratulations on the 20 years. Rush, a lot of people are saying the distance that Senator McCain is now from Senator Obama is the same thing Al Gore was from Senator Bush — from Governor Bush at the time. Do you see a lot of similarities there?
RUSH: Well, I heard you guys talking about the polls just a minute ago with Chris Wallace, and I actually — you know me. I have a more cynical view of people in what I call the Drive-By Media. The Drive-By Media do these polls, and for the longest time — whether it’s a presidential opinion poll or whether it’s a poll of the American people’s opinion on anything — we all know now these polls are used to shape opinion, not reflect it. But now we’re getting to the point where, you know, all these pollsters have their credibility to be concerned about; and they want to be right at the end of the day. And I think that’s why, with a couple of exceptions, you’re seeing a lot of polls tighten now, because the race is tight. It’s not over. Nationally, of course, is one thing. You do have these battleground states to be concerned about. It’s not looking all that bad for McCain out there, so I don’t think this is anywhere near over. There is an onslaught in the media to make it seem like this has been long-ago over, and I think the purpose of that is to suppress and depress Republicans and their vote turnout.
CARLSON: Right. So you talk about shaping voters’ minds, and that’s something we were discussing earlier, what the polls actually do. Because who wants to go out and vote for a loser, right?
RUSH: Precisely. The media coverage of Obama in this campaign, this is the most irresponsible journalistic exhibition I have seen in my life. I’m 57 years old. They’ve always been liberal, and they’ve always been biased, but I’ve never seen them in the tank like this.
RUSH: And I think the purpose of that is, they’re doing two things. I mean, they know there’s a New Media out there and there’s competition with the New Media, and they’re trying to show themselves they can still move public opinion; they’re trying to show themselves they can still get the country they want. And now they’re not even hiding the bias. They’re just profoundly in the tank, and the purpose is, I think, to really depress people into thinking this is over, that McCain has no prayer.
DOOCY: True. Well, Rush, when you talk about shaping opinion, you know, traditionally, historically newspapers do it on the opinion page where they say, ‘We’re behind this guy.’ Well, today in the pages of the New York Times, the Old Gray Lady, she’s endorsing Barack Obama. The same day a poll comes out from the Times where they’ve got Barack Obama up by 13 points. We’ve talked to pollsters who say that you can effectively kind of drive a poll toward the answer you want, the result you want. Do you think the New York Times is doing something like that here? Because —
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. Let me say two things about the Times.
RUSH: I think it’s classic that yesterday Standard & Poor’s officially proclaimed the New York Times as ‘junk’ on the day they endorsed The Messiah: the Lord Barack Obama, the Most Merciful. Number two, why is the New York Times junk? Why is their advertising revenue down? Why are their pages down? Why is their circulation down? It’s because they’re no longer the New York Times; they are the public relations department for the Barack Obama campaign and the Democrat Party.
KILMEADE: Hey, Rush, could you give me… Give John McCain… I know you guys aren’t on the best of terms, but I know you’re a big fan of Governor Palin. But if John McCain was to have two themes in these final 11 days, what would they be?
RUSH: This is about the economy, you guys. Right now people do not care about all these ancillary things about Obama. It’s sad. I wish we could make ’em care about Wright and William Ayers. See, I think Obama is the radical in this group. I think Obama moved to Chicago and found these people. He didn’t arrive there as a waif and these people found him. He is a radical, and he has a lot of bitterness about race in this country. But this is about the economy, and the thing that really frustrates me, you guys, is this economy is directly traceable to the Democrat Party. If they could find a Republican that was responsible for this, they’d have strung him up and had him before congressional hearings for the last two months. This Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac thing, the mortgage crisis, is directly traceable starting to Jimmy Carter and then go to Bill Clinton, Barney Frank.
DOOCY: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: McCain will not criticize Democrats ’cause he’s afraid that will make independents mad. That’s maddening to me. The idea that independents get mad at partisanship on the Republican side and then defect to the most partisan, mean-spirited, extremist Democrat Party in my lifetime, it’s just absurd. If he can’t tie the Democrats to this economic mess, because right now Bush is being blamed for it — that means the Republicans — and it’s a sitting duck, you guys. He could have done this a month ago, six weeks ago, but he just, for some reason, doesn’t want to go there. He wants to go populist and blame ‘Wall Street greed,’ which is what Obama’s doing. So, big difference.
CARLSON: But he gave an interview, McCain gave an interview yesterday where he did pretty much bash President Bush and try and distance himself, and I guess his supporters would say, ‘Finally during this third debate, he turned to Barack Obama and said, ‘I am not George Bush. If you wanted to run against him, you should have run four years ago.”
RUSH: Look, let… You know, Gretchen, that is another thing. You just keep mentioning things that frustrate me.
CARLSON: Sorry. (chuckles)
RUSH: There’s no reason right now to run around yesterday and talk about how, you know, the Bush administration goofed things up. That’s just agreeing with Obama! You know, Obama is the opponent here, not George W. Bush. McCain’s problem is consistency. When he finally named Dodd and Barney Frank at one of these campaign appearances out in Waukesha, Wisconsin, everybody thought, ‘Okay! He’s finally going to do it!’
RUSH: ‘He’s on message.’ Then next day he’s blaming Wall Street greed and Bush. So he hasn’t been consistent. He’s gotta get consistent these last 11 days.
RUSH: We can drag him across the finish line, guys. We can do this.
DOOCY: Rush, real quickly, let’s go back to the New York Times for a second. They’ve got a great big item about ACORN. ACORN is saying, ‘You know, yeah, we told you that we registered 1.3 million. Eh, it turns out that was wildly exaggerated. It’s closer to half a million.’ Kind of sounds like spin coming out of the New York Times to explain, ‘Hey, you know, a lot of people have been worried voter fraud. Don’t worry about it.’
RUSH: Of course they’re going to say don’t worry about Democrat voter fraud and they’re going to try to downplay this.
RUSH: I think… Look, my reaction to this is, why does Obama have to cheat? If this is ‘in the bag,’ why does he have to spend any more ad money?
DOOCY: Mmmn. True.
RUSH: Why does he have to go to these states that are still battleground states? If this is in the bag, why does all this stuff have to happen? You know, it’s not what it appears to be.
DOOCY: All right.
RUSH: There’s a false reality being presented, and people gotta get a grip.
KILMEADE: Congratulations on the 20 years, Rush.
RUSH: Thanks much, guys.
KILMEADE: You sure can talk.
KILMEADE: You’re very good at this.
DOOCY: Noon Eastern time across the land. Rush Limbaugh, thank you very much for joining us.
RUSH: Hubba hubba. See you next time.
KILMEADE: All right.
CARLSON: All right.
KILMEADE: Join us again definitely before the election, because we have to find out what the future lies. He actually can see the future.
DOOCY: He’s not working yet. He could tune in every day.
CARLSON: We’ll take him any time he wants to come on the show. Thanks a lot, Rush.