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RUSH: Marco Rubio was here on Tuesday and we had, ah, a twenty-minute interview — maybe a little bit longer — on immigration. He’s part of Gang of Eight. Four Republican senators and four Democrat senators have this brand-new bipartisan plan to move forward on the path to citizenship for whatever number of millions of illegals are currently in the country. During the interview, Marco Rubio made it plain, and in previous interviews he made it plain, that without border security, all the rest of it was academic; he wasn’t gonna support it.

If there wasn’t border security, if that wasn’t done first, then all the rest of this stuff, to him, would not get his support. He would not vote for it. During the course of the interview and near the end — well, actually throughout the interview — one of the things that I liked and one of the things that I praised was Senator Rubio set himself apart (in my mind, anyway) from practically every other Republican on Capitol Hill, either in elective office or in the punditocracy or whatever.

He was fearless in telling the truth about President Obama. He was fearless in his criticism of President Obama on this issue and any number of things. I saw fit to compliment him on that. It is that compliment which is either being misunderstood or purposely misunderstand and then purposely misreported. As I say, this is a minor thing. But after this interview — I don’t know if you people noticed it; you probably did and you probably got scared — the mainstream media all of a sudden liked me!

That’s a red flag, understandably so, to all of you. I mean, TIME Magazine said that the most important thing that happened on Tuesday was Rubio’s interview with me, not Obama’s speech in Vegas. A number of websites were talking about how I’d started out hostile with Rubio and he had, by the end of the interview, converted me to supporting the “grand bargain.” Now, “grand bargain” is an inside-the-Beltway term. “Grand bargain” was also how Boehner described negotiating with Obama on the fiscal cliff.

“Grand bargain” means, “We’re gonna do a lot more than just the fiscal cliff. We’re gonna fix spending. We’re gonna fix the budget. We’re gonna do all kind of things. A grand bargain is not just one little isolated item,” and the same thing here with this immigration. The grand bargain is both parties getting together and coming up with all kinds of solutions. It was reported by a number of people that I had been “converted” during the course of the interview by Senator Rubio into supporting the grand bargain.

One place it was reported this way: “Like I said yesterday, whether or not a bill ends up passing, he’s already achieved something significant by getting Rush et al. to acknowledge that ‘recognizing reality’ in terms of a grand bargain on immigration is something ‘admirable and noteworthy.'” So whoever wrote this interpreted my comment to Rubio at the end of the interview that what he had done in the interview, and what he was standing for and saying was “admirable and noteworthy,” was me agreeing, essentially, with the whole concept of this comprehensive immigration reform.

Which is amnesty.

That’s not what I was complimenting him on.

Now, I can understand how people might have misunderstood this, and I don’t want to make too big a deal about it, so don’t tell anybody. This is just between you and me, here. But I just want you to understand. If you go back and listen to the interview, at that point I said that he had just raked Obama over the coals for his phoniness and for his artificiality, for his insincerity on not just immigration but the way he’s running his whole administration. I had praised that and I told him, “You’ve got guts. That’s courageous. That’s admirable. What you’re doing is noteworthy,” because nobody else has the guts to criticize Obama, and that’s what I was praising him for.

I was not signaling that he converted me to amnesty.


RUSH: Now, look, folks, I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time on this because I did yesterday. But I do want to set the record straight. Look, just keep this between us. Don’t tell anybody. I’m not really getting any grief. I’m just trying to be the new, less-threatening Rush Limbaugh, the low-profile Rush Limbaugh, and it’s being misunderstood out there. I’m trying to be civil and polite, and these guys think I’m changing my mind on things. I haven’t done that, and it’s created a lot of chaos out there.

People are scratching their heads now over what they think I’m thinking. Here, Jonathan Tobin at Commentary magazine writes this little excerpt in a long piece. “Why Rush Loves Rubio” is what it’s called, and I do like Rubio a lot. I admire Rubio profoundly. But I didn’t end that interview a hundred percent all-in. I believe him. I took him at his word. He says, if he doesn’t get border security and workplace enforcement and that kind of thing, then he’s not voting for this thing. Well, that’s fine. I take him at his word.

It’s interesting. Obama goes on Univision (I’ve got the sound bite coming up) and says, “What do you mean border security? We’ve already done that!” Obama thinks the border’s already secured and there doesn’t need to be anything done on that. This is gonna be a huge fight. I don’t want anybody to misconstrue where I am on it now, but Mr. Tobin writes in this excerpt: “Rubio’s ability to cause Limbaugh to moderate his position somewhat illustrates that the battle on the right over immigration isnÂ’t as one-sided as some would have it.”

Now, maybe I misspoke. I don’t think so. Maybe I’m just misunderstood. You know, I live in Realville, and at the end of the interview, when I was praising Rubio to the hilt and calling him courageous… Let me get the story here. I said what he was doing was “admirable and noteworthy.” In my mind, I was talking about his fearlessness in his characterizations of Obama. Do you realize how few people in Washington will tell the truth about who Obama really is and what his grand designs are? And Rubio did in that interview.

I thought that was noteworthy, and that’s what I was praising him for. I didn’t start that interview opposed to amnes… Well, I did start it opposed to amnesty. I didn’t end that interview in favor of amnesty. I didn’t end that interview in favor of a grand bargain. I did not mean to leave that impression. So as I did yesterday, let me very briefly state my position on immigration at large. I’m not opposed to it. I agree with everybody who says that this country was built on immigration. I, however, believe in legal immigration.

But more importantly than that, I believe in assimilation. I believe in the maintenance of a distinct, unique American culture. In the early days of the twentieth century, the massive immigration that occurred pre-World War I all the way postwar through post-World War II, people were fleeing tyranny and oppression and bondage. They wanted to come to the greatest nation on earth. They wanted to come here and be Americans. They wanted to come here for liberty and freedom; they wanted to escape where they were.

They wanted economic opportunity.

They wanted everything this country had to offer, and they were proud to be Americans, and when they got here, the first thing they did, other than trying to find employment, was to assimilate into this culture. They wanted to be Americans with a capital A. That’s not what’s happening now. What’s happening now is the Balkanization of our culture. On the illegal side of immigration, we’ve seen an evolution, to the point now that a good percentage of the illegal arrivals are not interested in assimilation. They’re not interested in this distinct American culture.

They’re setting up their own subcultures within our borders, and we’re being Balkanized. Now, I’m not gonna attach any theories to motivation here. I’m just telling you what’s happening. I don’t support illegal immigration in any way, shape, manner, or form and I haven’t changed my mind on that. I think everybody in this country ought to speak English. Not because it’s punitive, but because it’s the simple and best way to make something of yourself. It’s the simple and best way to access the opportunity — economic, political, social — that exists in this country.

I think the border is gonna have to be secured.

I think that has to happen first, and not until then should there be any discussion as to what to do when the people are here. That is an entirely different matter. Whether you call it “amnesty” or “a path to citizenship,” there has to be an assimilation component to it. I am not interested in illegal immigrants as potential voters. Politicians are. That’s where I separate myself from ’em. The Democrat Party… Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to go through this again. I’m sorry to be redundant if you heard this yesterday, but I want to go through it again.

The Democrat Party needs a permanent underclass. The Democrat Party is demographically in trouble if left to its own devices. The vast majority of abortions in this country are done by Democrats, so a lot of future Democrats are not being born. They have to be replaced somehow. In addition, prior to Obama, the way America worked was you started out in your life… This is for most people. There are exceptions to everything. But you started out with a low-wage, entry-level job. You got experience. You went to school.

You became educated. You had a dream and you had a passion, and you were free to put as much into whatever job or career you wanted. If you wanted to be the best, you could shoot for it. If you wanted to be in the top 50, you could do that. You were free to do whatever you wanted to do, get whatever level of education you thought you needed, work as hard as you want to do to advance — and eventually you did. You started out in lower levels of middle class and you worked your way up.

Upward mobility was the American dream.

The American dream was not just a house or a car or a series of possessions. The American dream was upward mobility, the opportunity to better yourself, the opportunity to improve your standard of living for you and your family and for your neighborhood and community. Because, as that happened to you, it inspired others, and it was all a wonderfully working system. Well, the problem for the Democrats is that as people are upwardly mobile, as they become more self-sufficient, as they become more self-reliant, and as they become wealthier…

I don’t mean rich. But as they acquire more disposable income, as they amass more wealth, they have less need for government, less need for the Democrat Party. That means less power for the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party exists, particularly today, on millions of Americans feeling hopeless, helpless, not confident in themselves and relying on government as the source of prosperity. We know that 75%… This is scholarly data in academic reports: 75% of illegal immigrants in the country also believe that government is the source of prosperity.

So they’re naturally gonna be inclined to vote Democrat.

That’s why they’re interested in them. All the talk about “human concerns” and so forth? That’s, I think, a crock. On the Republican side, let’s face it, there are a bunch of people who are interested in the arrival of new waves of low-skill, low-wage labor. Labor costs are the highest in any business. Whatever you can do to limit them, the better. “There are certain jobs Americans won’t do.” You’ve heard that riff. So both parties have their vested interest in this, and at the end of the day both of them are looking at this pool of illegal aliens as potential voters.

There’s no question the Republicans are, too.

After the election, what did the Republicans think? They were talked into believing that they lost because Hispanics don’t like them, and why don’t Hispanics like ’em? Well, they were told Hispanics don’t like ’em because they are not for amnesty. So the Republicans, scared to death over the election results, think that they’ve gotta have “Hispanic outreach,” which to them means amnesty. They think every Hispanic citizen in this country and every illegal alien in this country is solely focused on immigration. The fact of the matter is they aren’t. In terms of Hispanics, both illegal and citizens, immigration is not even in the top ten most important issues to them.

That reality doesn’t matter.

The political perception, the Republicans are somehow anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant, has settled in. The Republicans feel the need to do something about it, and they think that means they’ve gotta be for amnesty or whatever would send the signal that they don’t dislike Hispanics. None of that reflects at all the way I look at the issue. I look at it simply as an issue of law, as an issue of American exceptionalism and tradition. And if we’re gonna have immigrants here, they should assimilate and join this great, distinct American culture, which is what, in the past, immigrants wanted when they came here. A vast majority of them. That isn’t the case.

Then the other side of this, the H-1B visa types, the legal immigrants. The president went out to Las Vegas. He makes this speech about immigration, and he did one of his Jiu-Jitsu things. He left people with the impression that the next CEO of Intel is probably in this pool of illegals. Yeah, he said the problem with America now is that we’re having these people come here and get educated, and then they leave. Well, the CEO of Intel came here, got educated, and stayed. The CEO of Intel was Andy Grove, and he was never an illegal immigrant. Ditto the Instagram guy that Obama talked about. He’s mixing apples and oranges here on purpose to confuse the issue.

What the Democrats need is replacements for the people that they’re losing demographically, or used to. There isn’t any upward mobility right now, so that problem they don’t face. The income tax is going up, and a whole bunch of new taxes are being imposed, and the progressive tax system, progressive income tax and increasing taxes is the greatest obstacle to accruing wealth that exists. You know, the 1% have theirs. The coupon clippers have theirs. The really truly rich who don’t get paid the amount of money they have, nobody pays somebody $5 billion. That money is earned in different ways. It’s not taxed as ordinary income. It’s taxed at capital gains, rates 15 or 20%.

But somebody currently making 50 who wants to make 75 may make the jump, but the tax increases, the disposable income doesn’t rise proportionately, so people are finding it harder and harder and harder today to accrue wealth, to create wealth, especially with this regime, and therefore there is no upward mobility. The economy’s contracting. Therefore, there is no rise in independence and self-reliance. There is instead an increase in dependence on government, because the private sector is being shrunk so fast that there isn’t any opportunity in it. The government’s taking over the role of providing prosperity. Most of the illegally arriving immigrants agree that that’s where prosperity comes from, and that’s our problem.

Our problem here is Obama. Our problem’s the Democrat Party. The fact that they want amnesty is for votes and to make sure that they have a perpetual underclass that needs government, that looks to government as the source of prosperity, therefore looks to the Democrats. Well, I don’t support any of that. I don’t think that’s compassionate. I don’t think that’s humane. I don’t think that’s interested in the humanity of these arrivals. I don’t believe keeping people poor is in their self-interest. I don’t believe keeping people poor helps the country. I don’t believe obstacles on the path to wealth are the right thing to do. That’s what the Democrat Party today and Obama stand for. But I don’t support blanket amnesty. I never have. I never will.

Right now it’s a crisis issue that’s being used and manipulated by the Democrats to swell the number of voters they have, pure and simple. And the Republicans think somehow that if they moderate their position on amnesty, that somehow Hispanics will be less inclined to vote Democrat, which I think is a huge tactical mistake that they’re making. In the meantime, there’s no talk of assimilation. There’s no talk of joining this great American culture, which the legal, the H-1B visa people do want to do. They do want to come here legally, assimilate, become part of the great American society.


RUSH: Mark in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I’m glad you called, sir. Welcome to the program.

CALLER: Well, hi, Rush. It’s a pleasure and honor to talk to the Beatles of talk radio.

RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.

CALLER: The reason I called, I wanted to get your comments on how the left has changed their tactics in dealing with you. For example, in the past they said, don’t listen to you, you’re right-wing, all those type of comments, but what happened is your audience grew. But what I see now is they changed the tactic to interpreting you to the low-informed voter, and that’s why they’ve come out and said, like you commented, “started out hostile” in your interview with Marco Rubio, “Rush was converted.” And my thought is, this is a lot more deceptive because now the low-informed voter, since they know what you’re saying —

RUSH: It’s an interesting point, because what Mark’s saying, the low-information voter doesn’t actually listen, but the low-information voter does watch various mainstream media outlets. If the mainstream mischaracterizes what I say, that’s what the low-information voter ends up thinking. It’s an interesting point. In fact, last night I was telling Kathryn, “I’ve gotta go clear this up. These people think that I came out for amnesty.” She said, “They don’t think that. They heard you. They’re just misreporting it.” Which is essentially what Mark is saying. But it was even people, friends of mine, ideological friends who misunderstood it, which is why I want to take just a brief moment — it only took about 25 minutes — to straighten it out.

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