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RUSH: On this program yesterday we opened with a short review of the Trump press conference. It turned out to be very adversarial, Trump and the media.  And, apparently… Folks, I’m telling you, I didn’t watch any cable news yesterday or last night when I got home.  Not one second.  I watched the latest episode of Person of Interest, one of my favorite shows. That’s been canceled.  It was at 10 o’clock last night.  I flipped around and finished a couple things that I’ve been looking at on Netflix, but I did not have cable news on once. 

I paid no attention to cable news this morning when I got here.  So I got the audio sound bite roster, and I find out I’m half of it.  And it’s because I, apparently, am the only person in major media who had the take on the Trump press conference that I had.  Apparently, virtually everybody in the cable news universe that cable news networks go to for analysts and analysis and so forth, thought that Trump stepped in it big time yesterday.

“He made one of the biggest unforced errors of the campaign, to treat the press that way, to deal with them that way, to have this adversarial relationship with them.”  And so because apparently I am the only one who had the take that I had, my take became fodder for reaction all over cable.  And I didn’t know any of this until five minutes before the program began.  I know many of you are thinking, “Rush, are you really telling us that you don’t know what the audio sound bites are gonna be until five minutes before?”

Yes, folks. I’m telling you that.  We have a smooth, well-oiled machine, after 27 years. It’s the same people that were here on Day One, and they know exactly what I want and don’t want. I don’t have to tell ’em, which is the way it should be.  I don’t have a producer ’cause I don’t want the distraction of having to talk to one or deal with one.  I don’t have a producer ’cause I don’t want anybody questioning, “Are you sure you want to do that?”  I just do it.

Koko up at the website? I don’t have to tell ’em what I want there every day; they know.  They’ve been doing this long enough. They know what I like, don’t like. They know what I say that I want up there, things I don’t.  So I take what Cookie gives me.  Sometimes if I see something on TV, I say, “Cookie, I just saw something at X time frame. Here it is. Make sure I have that tomorrow.” But that happens so rarely ’cause she’s gonna find it anyway. 

I mean, the number of days that I get the audio sound bite roster and what I’m looking for isn’t there, I count on one hand.  So, yeah, I found out five minutes before the program about all this.  Let me take a break; we’ll come back and get started, ’cause the reaction to it is what’s interesting.  Not what I… Well, you already know what I said.  The fact that I’m the only one that said it is interesting in its own way.


RUSH:  Okay.  Let’s start with Fox News this morning on the program they call America’s Newsroom.  Martha MacCallum was speaking with Karl Rove.  Now, keep in mind that Rove and the Bush White House never responded to the Democrats when political allegations or slime or defamation occurred — and it was constant.  The Democrats — amplified by the media — destroyed the George W. Bush second term.  People were frustrated throughout that the Bush administration never responded. 

I asked the president about it numerous times.  He said, “I’m not gonna sully this office.  I’m not gonna take this office down to the gutter where those people are.  I have too much respect for it, too much reverence for it. So they can go all political on me; I’m not responding to it. I’m not gonna get down in the gutter.”  And that’s why he didn’t do it.  Karl Rove later admitted that that might have been a mistake to have this blanket no-response policy.  But that just is a setup, because Rove is asked to respond to this as one of many who did. 

So it begins this way…

MACCALLUM:  It’s hammering the press, and it’s something that may work well for Donald Trump.  We’ve seen this happen time and time again.  Let’s listen to this sound bite from Rush Limbaugh…

RUSH ARCHIVE:  [H]ow many years have people been begging for a Republican to just once take on the media the way Trump did? All the way from the premise, to the details, to the motivation? … Near the end of it a frustrated journalist (paraphrasing), “Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, is it gonna be this way, are you gonna be attacking us after you become president?”  … [P]eople at home watching this — (laughing) ’cause, folks, in the age of internet trolling, manners are out the window.  It’s a waste of time asking for manners here.  

RUSH:  Is a waste of time asking for propriety and so forth. Internet trolling defines how people interact with each other.  And of course, “Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! Is gonna be this way…?”  Trump, “Yes, it is.  Yes, it is.  You’re the host dishonest people ever dealt with.”  So then Martha asked Karl Rove to react to it, and this is what he said…

ROVE:  I think Rush is right that it helps him, but who does it help him with?  It helps him with the 10 million people who voted for him in the Republican primaries.  In the general election, there will be 130, 135 million people who turn out to vote.  I’m not certain it helps him with the people who are swing voters up for grabs, and it certainly is very unpresidential.  It would not be a good spectacle for our country to have a President Trump acting like Candidate Trump acted yesterday afternoon.  You can have your disagreements with the press and you can make pointed arguments, but the bullying and the threats and the mean tone and the angry comments, they don’t serve him well over the long haul and wouldn’t serve our country well, either.

RUSH:  What do you think about that?  You know, if this were a… Don’t misunderstand.  I’m not being Pollyanna here.  If this were a level playing field and the press treated everybody the same, you may have a point here.  But, of course, that has never existed and won’t exist.  The Democrats have no reason to bully the press.  Obama, by the way — if you listen to certain media people — is more disrespectful of the press than they say any other president in their memory.

But they don’t talk about it much and they don’t call him on it because, of course, they want him to succeed. They’re pushing. I mean, they’re Democrats. You know, journalism is their cover. They’re agents for the Democrat National Committee, the Democrat Party and so forth.  It’s not a level playing field, and something has to be done here in order to keep your supporters revved up, for one thing.  


RUSH:  So during the break Snerdley is saying, “You don’t think a producer could be helpful?”  There’s no way.  What, do you want the job?  Let me tell you, folks, I don’t want a producer here because a producer is gonna want to have his job validated.  A producer is the guy that wants to take credit for what happens on the program.  I’ve been there, done that, and I don’t want any part of that. The main reason, though, is a producer is gonna want to have everything slated out, planned out, this at this time, this at that time, and I don’t know when I’m gonna do what. 

This whole thing every day is improv.  And I have never, ever, in 27 years, other than the broadcast engineer, tell him what sound bites I think are coming up.  And oftentimes I change on the fly and what I’ve told him doesn’t happen anyway.  But that’s it.  So no producer because I don’t want to have to tell everybody what’s coming ’cause I don’t know what’s coming.  I don’t know what I’m gonna do next.  Like I didn’t know I was gonna be saying this.  “You mean you’re really that strongly against a producer?”  Yes.  If I wanted a producer I would have one.  There’s no need. 

Why would a show like this need a producer?  Why does any radio talk show need a producer?  Why does any radio talk show need a consultant?  You can either do it or you can’t do it.  Well, okay, if you’re defining a producer as somebody who lines up the guests, then fine, I can see that.  But since we don’t do that here, why do I need a producer?  (interruption) No, no, no, I’m not insulting anyone.  Why do you think I’m insulting anybody?  I’m not insulting a soul here.  Just answering your question why there’s not a producer here.  There never has been.  (interruption) I don’t get it?  What do you mean, I don’t get it?  Oh.  Oh.  Well, I can’t say that.

Snerdley is talking inside baseball stuff.  See, I can’t say that.  If I were in the sewer looking up at everybody, I can say that.  But from the top down you can’t say stuff like that.  That would be poor manners, talk about manners. 

Okay, back to me having the only take on the Trump presser that I had.  I am a little surprised. Apparently I’m the only prominent national voice that had the take I had.  That’s why this sound bite’s all over the place.  It was on MSNBC, too, but we’ve got a ban there, so we’re not gonna have any sound bites from there. But Greta Van Susteren, she’s sharp, and she comes close to getting it here.  This is her show last night and she’s talking about all of this, and she again starts her segment by playing my audio clip.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Conservative radio host and the king of radio, Rush Limbaugh, even saying this was the news conference Republicans have been waiting for for decades.

RUSH ARCHIVE:  How many years have people been begging for a Republican to just once take on the media the way Trump did, all the way from the premise to the details, to the motivation. … Near the end of it a frustrated journalist, “Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, is it gonna be this way?  Is it gonna be this way? Are you gonna be attacking us after you become president?” … ‘Cause, folks, in the age of internet trolling, manners are out the window.  It’s a waste of time asking for manners here.

RUSH:  One of Greta’s guests was Nina Easton, former bureau chief of the Boston Globe and now she’s a Fox News contributor.  I think she writes for Fortune. And Greta said, “If he gave one to the wrong veterans group we would be all over him. I assume they were investigating these groups.”  She’s talking about the media and the way they were harassing Trump or investigating Trump or scrutinizing Trump or whatever they do. And here’s what Nina Easton said in reaction.

EASTON:  I thought it was a very interesting moment today because you saw this, what you thought would have been a general election candidate, right?  More presidential, giving to veterans groups, doing great work there.  Instead, it turned into the primary candidate of attacking, name-calling.  And, look, everybody hates the news media.  I get it, got it, good.  This follows attacks on his fellow candidates, it follows recent attacks on fellow Republicans.  And it also goes to this question, while people don’t like the media, people in a general election in particular I think want candidates to undergo scrutiny.

RUSH:  In the first place, just this business about being presidential. George W. Bush was the epitome of acting presidential.  There’s nobody other than he, his father, and Ronaldus Magnus who held the office of the presidency in such reverence, such high regard and went to great lengths to never sully it.  George W. Bush was the epitome of what these people are all talking about.  They think Trump should now assume this posture of general election candidate and should become more presidential and more accommodating in the media and more understanding and less critical of people and less bully-like. 

Well, George Bush did all of that and where did it get him?  He may be one of the most currently reviled ex-presidents we’ve got.  And it’s such a shame, so unnecessary.  Bush was a good president, he’s a great guy, he was somebody that fits every characteristic and quality people say they want in a president, in terms of deportment, comportment, behavior, manners, reverence for the office and all this.  Where did it get him? 

Don’t misunderstand.  I’m merely trying to counter these people who are saying that Trump needs to become more like that ’cause that’s what’s expected.  Okay.  If you define being presidential as what George W. Bush did, it didn’t help him.  The image of being presidential, refusing to get down in the gutter, not answering any of the critics, letting himself be lied about, letting his policies be lied about, letting the war in Iraq be lied about, let it be summarily destroyed in the media and all these books about how to assassinate him, none of this reacted to, tell me how it helped him?  It just didn’t. 

Plus, we’re living in a different age here.  I think people are gonna have to realize here it’s a different age.  And people are continuing to try, if you don’t evolve, particularly as you get older, it is such a trap.  It is such a trap.  There are certain things that are universally true, and that is, as people grow older, if they’re not careful, they become completely dismissive of what younger generations think, do, and how younger generations behave. They end up thinking all hell is breaking loose, that we’re all going to hell in a handbasket except there’s a shortage of handbaskets. 

And they long for the old days, and they rely on and live in nostalgia instead of recognizing that things are in constant flux, constant change, and this is a world that is made for the young.  It just is.  It always has been.  It always will be.  And by young, I’m talking about forties, 45.  I’m not talking about 18 to 25 or so forth. The point is, you can get stuck and not realize how society and culture is evolving.  And if the objective is to win an election and to get more votes than anybody else, you have to know the electorate. 

And I’m thinking that a lot of people are still looking at a presidential electorate the way they looked at one 20 years ago, 25 years ago, trying to imagine the population of the country’s expectations of what a president should be.  If that were the case, we wouldn’t have Obama.  Obama would not have been elected a second time, if people had the same standards and desires in a president.  But let’s face it, we’ve shifted.  This country wants a president that’s even more powerful than the Constitution permits. People in this country are totally fine, look at the college students signing on to socialism.  It doesn’t matter they don’t know what they’re doing.  Try to educate them into how they’re wrong and hope that they grow and mature and discover it on their own. But the fact remains that it is what it is.  People are how they are. 

You can’t take this social media stuff out of the equation.  You know, this social media stuff is such a pitfall for people.  I have been trying to warn people for over ten years about this.  But such is the desire for fame among average, ordinary people, they watch and pay attention to certain areas and elements of media, and they easily can end up concluding that life is nothing but the red carpet, the celebrity opening, and the after party. 

Having all kinds of paparazzi follow you around and everybody wanting to know what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, how you’re dressed, what you’re thinking. And so all of this stuff they are vomiting all over social media.  They are casting every bit of privacy aside.  In fact, do you know that there was a ruling that came down yesterday, forget which circuit, it might have been the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, basically said that law enforcement can go to any cell carrier and get any customer’s location data without a warrant. That that does not qualify as a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. 

And you know why?  Precisely because — and it’s not just this court.  A bunch of lower courts have found all the way back to the eighties, that if people are willingly giving up, broadcasting, sharing with anybody and everybody, details of their privacy, then we cannot hold a cellular company responsible for violating it when their customers are beating them to the punch, giving away elements of their privacy and their identity multiple times a day. 

I’ll tell you how this is gonna manifest itself.  Every time you tweet, every time you retweet, every time you do anything, somebody’s got a record of it.  Once you send it out, it’s no longer yours and anybody can take and do with it whatever they want.  A lot of people are doing this ’cause they’re seeking fame, they’re seeking notice, they want to matter. They want everybody to know about them and learn about them. They want to have their followers. They want to have their likes, and they learn what it takes to get all of that. 

And who happens to be the champion of it right now?  Donald J. Trump happens to be the champion of how you do all that.  The behavior patterns on social media are, as we all know and very few of us actually approve of, the behavior on many of these social media sites is reprehensible in terms of what everybody’s standards of good manners and politeness and respect are.  All that’s out the window.  Internet trolling has become its own behavioral mode. 

You can say, “Oh, that’s horrible.”  And it is.  But it still is happening, and it is what it is.  And those people have a whole different definition of what’s presidential, than people 20, 25 years ago did. 

Now, I don’t want to be misunderstood here.  I am not abandoning my standards or anything else.  But I… The point of this is I think there are still lots of people that are probably of a certain age and might have very high, inflated opinion of themselves, who haven’t the slightest idea yet why Donald Trump is so popular.  And they keep trying to say, “If he’s gonna hold, he better he better turn presidential.” Who did I talk to? Two weeks ago I said, “There are gonna be efforts to change the guy, and he’d better resist them.”

You know, the old saw: You dance with the one that brung ya.  You are who you are, and if that attracts a crowd, remain who you are. But don’t let somebody come in or a series of consultants and tell you that you have to stop being who you are, because now it’s time to switch gears.  You’ve got to follow your gut. You’ve gotta follow your instincts.  At the end of the day, you rise or fall based on who you are.  The more you phony it up, the more it’s gonna crash and burn on you at some point, anyway.

And so all of these people say, “Trump needs to change, be presidential,” that doesn’t apply to him.  “But, Rush, but, Rush, what about what Rove said with be, yeah, 10 million people that vote for him, yeah, they love it but what about the independents and the undecideds and all that?  Well, we’ll see.  They got more votes in a Republican primary than anybody ever has.  You look at the polling data out there. He’s ahead of or even within the margin of error with Hillary, and every “expert” said he’s gonna be a landslide loser when this all began.


RUSH:  I’ll have more on that monologue.  I don’t even think… I don’t think Trump was even avoiding scrutiny yesterday.  That’s not what was going on.  This whole thing’s being misrepresented.  People are not seeing it ’cause they’re plugged into templates. They’re plugged into narratives that are generations old or years old, and they’re missing everything that’s happening right in front of them.  But I’ll explain more on that.  I got two more bites I want to squeeze in here.  First CNN’s Newsroom, Isha Sesay talking with Ron Brownstein of the Atlantic.  Question: “How much of this media scolding that Trump did was strategy and how much of it was him just trying to dominate the news cycle, Mr. Brownstein?”

BROWNSTEIN:  I had a conversation — interesting conversation — during the primaries with Alex Castellanos, who is a longtime Republican consultant.  And he was puzzling himself over why Donald Trump was able to hold so much support among conservatives despite all his deviations from conservative orthodoxy.  And he said what he finally concluded was that Trump was so popular because he went after our enemies hammer and tong.  Rush Limbaugh, you know, describes it as a press conference Republican voters have been waiting for forever.

RUSH:  So here’s Brownstein admitting that it took a Republican consultant to tell him why Trump was popular. He couldn’t figure it out.  And what they’ve concluded: “Yeah, Trump’s popular ’cause he goes after enemies. He’s a fighter.” That’s part of it. There’s no question it’s part of it.  There are many, many, many other reasons. 

But that is purely — and, of course, it was I, your host, El Rushbo, who provided the explanation point to the claim.  And one more. Last night, Fox Business Network, Risk & Reward with Deirdre Bolton, and she spoke with the Trump campaign spokesperson, Katrina Pierson about me and the comments you’re now familiar with.  And here’s that exchange…

BOLTON:  Rush Limbaugh started his radio show this morning with this…

RUSH ARCHIVE:  People been begging for a Republican to just once take on the media the way Trump did.

BOLTON:  So, Katrina, how much feedback on that 40-minute press conference are you getting?

PIERSON:  My inbox is so full right now from so many people across the country saying, “Finally!” People are so fed up and frustrated with the hypocrisy on the way Republicans are covered, versus the way Democrats are covered or lack thereof.

RUSH:  And that’s what Trump was doing.  Trump was not “bullying” these people because they demanded answers on his vet donations.  What Trump was… He was not “avoiding scrutiny.”  He answered their questions.  He’s got these 27-year-old young journalists out there, and all he was pointing out is, “Where is the scrutiny of Mrs. Clinton?  Where is the same scrutiny of Democrat candidates?”  That’s one of the many things that I heard in that press conference.


RUSH:  Oh, yeah, there’s even more sound bites here of me on this.  I just had to break it up.  I mean, it’s over half the sound bite roster today.  Let’s go back to it.  This is Fox & Friends today, cohost Ainsley Earhardt is introducing and playing clip of me and asking other guests to comment on it.  Here’s how it began…

EARHARDT:  Rush Limbaugh was talking about it, and he says that Republicans have been waiting on this type of talk, some honest — an honest — approach, for a very long time.  Listen.

RUSH ARCHIVE:  [H]ow many years have people been begging for a Republican to just once take on the media the way Trump did? All the way from the premise, to the details, to the motivation? … Near the end of it a frustrated journalist (paraphrasing), “Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, is it gonna be this way, are you gonna be attacking us after you become president?”  … [P]eople at home watching this — (laughing) ’cause, folks, in the age of internet trolling, manners are out the window.  It’s a waste of time asking for manners here. 

RUSH:  You get my point on this, by the way?  I’m not… In certain sectors, with certain people, I’m saying what Trump is doing just is fabulous.  Fabulous.  This is the way people behave now.  Most of them that do it are anonymous, or at least protected because it’s not face-to-face on the internet.  But, Trump, I mean, he’s out there face-to-face with this.  Now, Ainsley Earhardt’s guest was Pete Hegseth, Concerned Veterans of America CEO.

By the way, Pete has a great new book out. It came out earlier this month in May. It’s H-e-g-s-e-t-h. I don’t have the title of the book right in front of me, but I’ll get it.  But it’s fascinating.  He’s a vet. He’s an all-round guy, if you will, and he has his appearances on Fox.  And Ainsley went to him to react to some of that.

EARHARDT:  Right before we went on set, Pete and I were talking about, like, why is it that America loves Trump so much. Like, why is it that network wants this?  And you were saying that long gone are the days where —

HEGSETH:  Yeah, in the age of Twitter and things like that, that game has changed a lot.  There’s also so much angst and frustration about “the process.”  They see press secretaries and presidents talking to the press, and it’s all kind of this safe, shallow conversation; everyone’s bending the truth.  And he’s saying, “I’m done with it.  I’m coming after you.”

RUSH:  That’s exactly right.  Just being presidential stuff? Nobody believes it anymore. It’s BS. It’s perceived as BS.  The press secretary goes out, answers questions, and nobody in the world thinks that the questions are actually being answered.  Every question is an opportunity for presidential spin.  It’s not just tied to Obama.  It’s the whole system.  People don’t think… We’ve reached a point in our country — and it’s serious — that leaders are not trusted.  They’re suspected now, and one of the reasons is economics.  Look, folks, people are not blind.

How is it…? I saw this example the other day.  How is it a poor Denny Hastert…?  Denny Hastert was a coach and a teacher at high school, and then he ends up in Congress, and after so many years in Congress on a congressional salary that’s probably average to be 160 grand a year…? If you average all 20 years, how does a guy like that end up with enough money to pay a multimillion-dollar settlement in a lawsuit? 

Harry Reid, who had nothing when he gets elected to the Senate, is now a multimillionaire real estate baron.  He owns land all over Nevada and in California, and his sons at the same time.  He lives, or did, in a fashionable 10,000-square-foot apartment — I think in a Ritz Hotel in Washington.  How does a guy on a Senate salary do this?  And while all of this is happening — and those are just two of many examples of public figures in elective office becoming multimillionaires in ways that are impossible on what they’re earning, while the American middle class income has remained stagnant for 15 years.

I interviewed Jeff Sessions yesterday for the next issue of the Limbaugh Letter, and we were talking about how the issues of trade and trade deals, how everybody in Washington missed that.  The Trump campaign comes along and it turns out that it’s a seminal, top five issue for Trump people.  And yet everybody in Washington missed it.  They missed the angst over immigration, until they didn’t. They caught up with that until 2007. But on trade? They had no idea that there was so much anger and angst and upset.  They had no idea about all of the jobs that have been lost and transferred out of the country.

They thought people, I guess, just adjusted to it and moved on because where they live everything’s fine economically.  And so this divide that exists between the governed and the elected is deeper and wider than it’s ever been.  And doesn’t matter people — smart, dumb, ignorant — they can see, and they can see that things don’t make sense.  And so all of this is understandable if you have the ability to unplug yourself from the ages-old playbook and formula of politics and try to examine all these new elements out there that contribute to this new era.


RUSH:  Pete Hegseth’s book is called In the Arena — and, of course, I (as a powerful, influential member of the media) had an advance copy. I sometimes share with you things that I’m reading.  Goes in spurts.  But that’s a good one, and Pete’s a good guy. He pops up on Fox News, and I thought, “Who is this guy?”  And now he’s everywhere on Fox News.  He runs Vets for Freedom and some other things. He is a vet.  But it’s called In the Arena.  

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