Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Folks, yesterday we took two calls, and I felt very badly about that. There were people on hold for four hours yesterday who did not get on this program. (interruption) Well, no. There was one good call and one that got us… not in a little trouble, but I have to issue a correction because of the second call. We had a guy call from Detroit. Remember, Snerdley, you put this guy up there who wanted to know…? He didn’t even give me a chance to answer his question. He wanted to know how I felt as a Steelers fan. How did I stay a Steelers fan when the owner of the team, Dan Rooney, dedicated the Super Bowl victory to Obama, campaigned for Obama, raised money for Obama, and gave Obama Super Bowl trophy or replica of it.

He never gave me a chance to answer the question because then he launched into how tough it was for him in Detroit being a Tigers fan given that the owner’s sister [sic] is holding fundraisers for Obama. Well, all hell broke loose shortly thereafter. My good friend Paul W. Smith (who does the morning show at our blowtorch affiliate in Detroit, WJR) is in China. Paul W. Smith is in China for the ChiCom auto show, and the Ilitch family called Paul W. Smith in China to get a message to me in South Florida. So I get this note from Paul W. Smith, who’s at some auto show the ChiComs are putting on. By the way, as an aside… (interruption)

No, no, I’m not gonna tell you what he told me about the ChiComs and their preferences for cars ’cause that will just get me into more trouble with Bob Lutz. Anyway, it turns out that the Ilitch family, Mike Ilitch owns the Tigers. His sister owns other stuff not related to the Tigers. Her businesses are independent. They put out a big press release. It’s his sister who did the fundraiser, 40 grand a head for Obama, or is doing it, I don’t, it’s either coming up or it has happened. The caller assumed that because the sister Denise — Denise Ilitch — is the sister of the Tigers owner, that somehow this is related to Tigers and Obama.

And the press release was put out yesterday because of this guy and his call.

“We understand there was a discussion on the show today regarding a fundraiser held in the Detroit area last week. It’s important to correct erroneous reports regarding our involvement. The media statement below is for your use. We ask that you please clarify this for your listeners. Thank you. There have been several erroneous media reports as it relates to a political fundraiser held on April 18th, 2012 at the residence of Denise Ilitch. Our organization wishes to correct inaccurate information that’s been reported by your caller.

“The following the statement’s available for your use and is attributable to Karen Cullen, vice president corporate relations, Ilitch Holdings, Inc.” Here’s the statement… All this because of a caller, one caller! And they got hold of Paul W. Smith in China to get this to me. “Our organization is nonpartisan. In the 52 years that we have been in business, we have not endorsed or supported a political party, a political fundraiser, politician, or candidate, and we do not plan to moving forward. We respect the personal experiences, values, and political views of all of our customers.

“The political fundraiser held at the home of Denise Ilitch and her husband Jim Scalici was hosted independently by Jim and Denise as private citizens, was not associated with or supported by our organization’s owners, Mike and Marian Ilitch, or any of their businesses.” So Denise Ilitch owns businesses independent of her brother, Mike. She has nothing to do with the Detroit Tigers. Therefore, the Detroit Tigers were not endorsing Obama, and they wanted it clarified. (interruption) That’s right, one Ilitch is not the other Ilich.

And these are not to be confused with Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, also known as Carlos the Jackal, the famous terrorist. (interruption) Well, I had somebody send me an e-mail about that, too. (interruption) No, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez did not have a fundraiser. (laughing) It’s just people wanted me to make sure that I was going to draw a distinction between Ilich Ramirez Sanchez and Denise Ilitch, who did the fundraiser for Obama. Okay, done. (interruption) Well, when we — or a caller — get it wrong, and people are upset, we do our best to correct it. And note when we did it: here at the top of the show. We didn’t bury it on our Saturday replay.


RUSH: Okay, I have another correction. This time from Singapore. Denise Ilitch is a daughter, not a sister. What I got was that she was the sister of Mike Ilitch. Now, I’m told that she’s the daughter. I’ll tell you what, let’s just do the whole show on the Ilitches and the Detroit Tigers and Little Caesars Pizza and Obama fundraiser, until we get it right. We’ll just do two three hours on this ’til we get it right. Okay, so Denise Ilitch is the daughter; is that right? Denise Ilitch is the daughter of Mike Ilitch. Still not related to Ilich Ramirez Sanchez.

Now, you wait. I’m gonna end up being wrong about that and somebody’s gonna say, “You spoke a little too soon.” So Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, no relation to Denise Ilitch, the daughter of Mike Ilitch who owns the Detroit Tigers, had nothing to do with the fundraiser for Obama that his daughter Denise did with her husband. I think I got it. All of this because Snerdley didn’t properly screen a caller. (interruption) Well, if you had vetted the caller, you would have known the caller was wrong and we wouldn’t have been put through any of this. (laughing) See, the staff is so used to me taking all the hits, and I do. Whenever any of them screw up I take the hit, publicly. So they’re not used to being called out. Snerdley’s in there, can’t believe it, his mouth is wide open, can’t say a word. (sipping sound) I had a frog in the throat. I had to sip to avoid dead air. I’m not impolite. It’s radio, and there’s no way you would know that I was sipping from a cup of coffee if I didn’t slurp.

Okay. Snerdley is screaming at me now. “The point of the call was not even the Ilitches. It was you and the Rooneys and the Steelers.” It was the Ilitches. This guy was fed up. He was under the mistaken impression that essentially the Detroit Tigers hosted a fundraiser for Obama at 40 grand a head. But it’s typical of many callers, they call, “Hi, how are you, Rush?” and they keep talking. They never give me a chance to say “fine” or “it’s been a lousy month” or whatever. And then they ask me, “I want to know, how did you deal when Dan Rooney endorsed Obama because,” blah, blah, and I never got a chance to answer it. You said that was the primary point he wanted to make. (interruption) Well, how did I keep my passion for the Steelers? ‘Cause I understood it.

I knew what was going on there. I understood it, and I’m not gonna tell you what I understood. I’d just as soon mention Sandra Fluke’s name as explain this to you. But I knew what was going on there. But the Steelers didn’t do it. The Steelers didn’t endorse. Dan Rooney did, and he’s out there raising money, but it didn’t affect the way the Steelers played. James Harrison, number 92, refused to go to the White House to meet Obama. So that kind of canceled it out as far as I was concerned. So we’re cool.


RUSH: So I just now got another note from Paul W. Smith in China thanking me for straightening this out. So I think we got it figured out. Denise is from the “village Ilitches,” and she is the daughter of Mike who has nothing to do with anything except pizza and the Tigers. Whew. Okay.


RUSH: That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Lenin’s middle name was “Ilyich,” Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. No relationship to Denise Ilitch in Michigan, who was, by the way, rumored to be a Democrat Party candidate for governor of Michigan in 2010 after having met at the White House in early January to discuss it. But she later declined not to run, and she’s doing fundraisers instead.


RUSH: Snerdley keeps hounding me to repeat the answer I gave this guy from Detroit yesterday. He wanted to know how I dealt with the fact that the owner of the Steelers was a big Obama guy, and I told the guy from Detroit yesterday. I told him, “Don’t let Obama destroy the love you have for the Detroit Tigers, and don’t like this woman,” who at the time I thought was the owner’s sister; now I learned is the daughter of the owner. “Owners come and go. Your team is your team. Players come and go. Owners come and go. But the team is the Detroit Tigers,” and I wouldn’t let Obama destroy my passion for the Steelers. I would not let that happen. It couldn’t happen!

And for you in Detroit, I wouldn’t let this little snafu upset your fandom and your love for the Tigers if you love them. By the way, you’re gonna be encountering this stuff all through the election. In fact, I would tell you: If you’re the kind of person… Let’s say you live in Detroit. No! Let’s say you live in Pittsburgh. You live in Pittsburgh, you’re a conservative Republican, and the ownership of the Steelers makes this big deal (and they did) about supporting Obama, fundraising for Obama, endorsing Obama. If you’re going to abandon the Steelers ’cause of that, I don’t know how you could ever go to a movie again, other than one with Tom Selleck or… or… (snorts)

I was gonna say Schwarzenegger, but can we count on that anymore? Charlton Heston is gone. So if you’re gonna let something like the Ilitch family doing a fundraiser for Obama destroy your love for the Tigers, then how are you gonna go to a movie? ‘Cause there’s not one actor or actress that you agree with. You just have to set it aside. But I’ll tell you, when it comes to passions — which are so important keeping your life going. Passion is a key to anything. When you lose the passion, gosh, you lose so much. And I would not let Barack Obama destroy my passion for whatever it is I have just because he likes it, too. Or because, in the sports team case, the owner happens to endorse him. Life’s too short.

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