Maybe the Best State of the Union Speech I’ve Ever Seen
Jan 31, 2018
RUSH: Here is the only number you need to know from last night, the only number you need to know. Forty-three percent of Democrats watching the State of the Union liked it. That’s the only number you need to know. That number is going to shock, perplex, stun, and panic elected Democrats all across the fruited plain.
Greetings, my friends. Great to have you. Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network, and we’re raring and ready to go.
I just want to warn you. You’re gonna get the most unique and comprehensive reaction, analysis, coverage of last night’s events right here on this program, but it’s gonna take more than the first segment to get it all in. So be patient.
I have to laugh. The media will do anything to avoid having to cover this today. And, lo and behold, they’ve had a godsend. A train carrying Republican members of Congress on the way to a retreat somewhere somehow ran into and wiped out a dump truck.
Now, on CNN, they are televising tweets, and the tweets all read, “GOP train crashes into dump truck.” It’s as though the Republicans driving the train saw a dump truck and probably thought that an illegal immigrant was driving it and so steered the train into the dump truck to wipe it out. That’s an exaggeration, but this is going to be how this story is positioned.
Admittedly, it’s an exaggeration. But when you say “GOP train” instead of “train carrying GOP members,” “GOP train,” that means you can picture Paul Ryan as the conductor and they’ll probably put Louie Gohmert there as the engineer, and they see a pickup truck, and they see trash and they see an illegal immigrant, a-ha, and they go off the rails to wipe it out. And of course the news is the driver is receiving medical treatment. Members of Congress are okay. Dot, dot, dot, ho-hum.
I just saw this. I know these people, folks. This is why I know how they are. In the CNN Newsroom and at the MSNBC newsroom, I know how they’re reacting to this. They see this as an opportunity to paint the Republicans in a heartless light. A singular little dump truck, some guy that the Trump economy has bypassed because if he hadn’t he wouldn’t be driving a dump truck. And it wasn’t just a train that wiped out his little dump truck. It was the GOP train.
Anyway, that will not prevent us from — there is a fatality now, one fatality related to the crash. See, Fox News is just saying “train carrying Republicans.” And now CNN on their graphic say “train taking GOP Congress members.” But some infobabe has been tweeting about it and they’ve been televising her tweets, “GOP train.”
At any rate, that number, 43% of Democrats. And this is a CBS News flash poll after the event. You want to know something else funny about this? All of these media people are trying to tell us to ignore their polls from last night. CNN polls will say 80% of the people liked it on CNN, 70, 75% CBS liked it. And they’re trying to tell us “but that doesn’t matter because it’s only people who watched the speech.” Oh, really? So a better poll would include people who didn’t? Is that what you want us to believe, Drive-By types?
Here. Grab ’em. Sound bite number 14, John Dickerson, CBS This Morning reporting about the new CBS poll. Here’s the full number. Ninety-seven percent of Republicans watched it and liked it. Seventy-two percent of independents liked it. Forty-three percent of Democrats. That’s the number. Here’s John Dickerson, CBS.
DICKERSON: A CBS News poll shows three-out-of-four Americans who saw the speech approve of the president’s message. Eight in ten Americans who watched say they believe Mr. Trump was trying to unite the country rather than divide it. The audience, according to our poll, was 42% Republican, and 25% Democrat.
RUSH: Right. So that means, of course, the results are gonna be skewed because there are many more Republicans who watched it because it was their guy in office, and people tend to watch people from their own party. So they can’t avoid the numbers. By the way, the CBS poll that I cited is a combo YouGov poll. Dickerson’s reporting on an exclusive CBS poll, so the numbers are different.
In the CBS/YouGov poll, 97% of Republicans liked it, 72% of Independents, 43% Democrats. Now, Dickerson here, in the CBS exclusive flash poll, 75% approved the message. This is more than just “do you like the speech?” This is approve the message. Eighty percent of Americans said they believe Trump was trying to unite the country, that coupled with the 43% number. ‘Cause I’ll tell you why.
I was flat-out amazed last night because the White House, you know, they had Wolf Blitzer and a bunch of them up there for lunch, which is a tradition. You bring in the Drive-Bys and have lunch with them in the White House, the president does, before the State of the Union. They all came out of there, and the White House facilitated this. They said the president’s gonna reach out tonight, the president’s gonna seek unity, cross the divide.
Well, that means different things to different people. To the Drive-Bys or the Democrats it meant Trump was gonna cave. It meant Trump was going to dial it back. It meant Trump was going to wander off of his agenda reservation and embrace Democrat ideas. When the White House says Trump is gonna try to unify, that means to them that Trump is giving up and Trump recognizes he can’t go on the way he has been. So to get anything done he’s got to include the Democrats and let their agenda have a significant role.
So that’s the way speech was portrayed all day yesterday. And that’s the way it was portrayed last night. And then we got the speech. And, folks, I’m telling you, it was I think maybe the best State of the Union speech I’ve ever seen. And I will explain why as the program unfolds. But in the aftermath of the speech, you know, I’m watching, I’m flipping around on the networks, and I haven’t watched cable news steadily in I can’t tell you how long. So this was kind of like going back to school after summer recess. And I was taken aback.
I wasn’t surprised, but I was amazed. It didn’t matter which network I watched. The initial reaction from most of the commentators was that Trump blew it! That Trump did not unify, that he didn’t even attempt to unify, that he didn’t reach across the aisle, the White House must have lied to us all day today.
And they thought it was a dud of a speech. Juan Williams thought the speech was a gigantic letdown. It’s amazing what these people see that the American people don’t see. And it’s just stunning what the American people see in a speech like this that the media and others inside the Beltway in Washington do not see. How that speech could be seen as anything other than unifying and uplifting is beyond me.
Who would not want to celebrate the unemployment rate dipping to an all-time low? Who would not want to unify behind the idea that African-American and Hispanic unemployment is at a record low? Who would not want to unify and be thrilled by and excited by and supportive of the president’s report last night in general of the state of the union, which is kick-butt! And yet there were the media and there were the Democrats thinking that Trump had failed, the White House had lied, and, as such, it was a dud of a speech.
The way the president last night utilized his guests in the audience is the best it has ever been done. They were not trophy appearances last night. They were not pawns. They were not used as props. They were used to illustrate who, what America is. They were used to help explain and define what America is.
Their stories, who they are, the achievements, the adversity that they overcame is distinctly, uniquely American. It is why they were chosen. They were chosen to inspire! The young man from North Korea waving his crutches, the single best statement against North Korea and a positive statement for the people of North Korea that could ever be made.
And the Democrats sat through all of it. And it wasn’t that they just sat through all of it. They looked befuddled and confused and angry. During stories and illustrations of the greatness of America, they genuinely seemed befuddled by it. They were looking at each other in a confused way, and it wasn’t just because the entire Republican side was standing and applauding. They don’t get it. Telling great stories about America.
In the Democrat worldview, the definition of greatness in America is a minority, a victim overcoming some American obstacle, usually conservative hate or bigotry. You know, with Obama or Clinton putting people as guests and props, they’re not examples of great American achievement. They’re examples of people who overcame the inherent bigotry in America. And so the Democrats in that room last night, and probably many of them around the country, just looked a combination of befuddled, looked at each other kind of curiously, confused, and some of them were even angry at every expression of American greatness.
It was mind-boggling to witness. James Clyburn, who is the father of “Steak” Clyburn, James Clyburn a member of the Congressional Black Caucasians, do you know what he said the low point in the speech was for him? I’m not gonna make you guess because there are too many things it could be. The low point for him, by his own admission, was when Donald Trump said, “Americans are dreamers, too.” James Clyburn, who is a ranking leader of the Democrat Party in Congress said that was the low point for him.
You know where I first heard that line, “Americans are dreamers, too”? From a caller to this program who was angry about the Democrats’ plans for the DREAMers and how the Democrats wanted to drop everything in order to secure citizenship and voting rights and welfare benefits and whatever else for the DREAMer kids. And this guy was on the phone with us, he said, “Rush, my kids dream, too. My kids are dreamers, too.”
And that begot other calls echoing the sentiment. I myself echoed the sentiment, and there it was last night coming out of the mouth of the president of the United States. Here’s another example. This is audio sound bite 15. Here we have David Chalian over at CNN. He’s with Wolf Blitzer, and they are telling us to ignore their poll of how great Trump did last night because most of the people watching were Republicans.
CHALIAN: It’s not! It’s not representative of the country overall. It is a poll of people who watch a speech. Well, who watches a State of the Union Address? Fans of the person giving it. So it is definitely an audience that skews a little bit more towards Republicans than Democrats. In the Obama years, it was the reverse. Here’s what we found out: 48% of those who watched the speech tonight had a very positive reaction to the speech, 22% somewhat positive, 29% negative — 62% of speech-watchers tonight say that Donald Trump’s policies as laid out tonight will move the country in the right direction.
RUSH: Let me go back to this 48% number that Chalian cites there: 48% of those who watched the speech tonight had a very positive reaction to it. The media tried to say, “That’s way below Obama! That’s way below other presidents,” and then people looked it up. And they found out that for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the identical number in the State of the Union Address in a midterm election year: 48% of the people watching it had a very positive reaction to it. It was identical to Obama’s number.
Again, I ask, “Would it have been better if you people at CNN would have polled people that didn’t watch it?” What is the point of telling us that the poll is the result of people who watched the speech? Of course it is! What would be news is if you went out and polled people like Campus Reform did, if you interviewed a bunch of students at NYU to ask them what they thought of the State of the Union speech five days before it was given and they all panned it. So the divide in the country, it is undeniable.
The media continues to illustrate they do not understand Donald Trump. The Democrats never… It’s hopeless; they never will. The reaction to that speech as a failure, “Trump failed to unify! The White House might have lied to us. It was a dud of a speech.” You talk about a disconnect, and it’s more than just expectations. It’s more than the fact the White House told them Trump was gonna try to “unify.” It’s what that means to them. When they’re told by a Republican communications office of the White House, “The president is going to attempt to unify in the speech, bring the country together,” that means one thing to them:
“The president has realized he has to adopt the Democrat agenda,” and then when that doesn’t happen, which it clearly didn’t… I mean, the president continued to hammer the NFL last night. The president hammered the NFL big time last night! Here we are just less than a week away from the Super Bowl, and he hammers the NFL. He didn’t “hammer” the NFL. That’s the wrong way to put it. He paid homage to America and to our flag. It is undeniable this man loves his country. He loves America. He wants everybody to.
That State of the Union speech last night was, among many other things, a list of reasons why. There was not… Did you notice what it was not? There was not a laundry list of new giveaway programs, new spending programs, no promises to cure cancer. There was a promise to reduce generic drug prices. But there wasn’t a laundry list of new Santa Claus-type programs. This was a genuine State of the Union!
It was the state of the union! What shape are we? Where are we headed? And to see the Democrats not only not applauding, but sitting and scowling — and they think they’re gonna win the midterms? How could anybody argue with anything Trump said last night? Seriously, folks. Where was this Trump hatred, and where was the evidence that we need to invoke the 25th Amendment to get the guy out of there? Where was any of this?
He said, “[M]y only thought on this whole DACA, DREAMers Act thing is that the American children have dreams too. My children have dreams. It should have been never done. I feel sorry for these kids, but I also feel sorry for the immigrants who came into this country legally and now are being put on the back burner while the DREAMers get a front row pass. That’s not okay with me.” That comment that Ray if Fayetteville, Arkansas, made back on January 9th has resonated. I’ve had other people tell me they heard it.
I have repeated it myself, and it was uttered last night by the president. Now, I’m not making it up. The American Civil Liberties Union has complained that Trump used the word “America” more than 80 times. Complained! Complained about it. And the reason? “After a divisive first year, we hear and feel how exclusionary Trump’s America is,” and it just makes my point, and I’m gonna make it again coming up.
Here’s another interesting roster of word counts. Trump used the pronoun “our” 104 times last night. He used the word “we” 129 times. He used the personal pronoun “I” only 29 times. Barack Obama could say “I” 29 times in a paragraph — and did. Now, I want to go back. There are records of it. I want to find… I want a comparison. Somebody get me a comparison to the number of times Obama used the word “I” in a speech. Just pick a State of the Union speech, and we’ll compare it to this. No hurry. Somebody on the research staff (I’m actually asking one person here) can get it.
Obama used “I” or “me” a hundred times, minimum, in State of the Union speeches, and Trump only 29 times. Now, here is an overall review. I think 43% of Democrats liking this speech is the number. But, my friends, there’s no question that we live in a Balkanized country. We’re not just divided. We live in a Balkanized country. I don’t know how many of you took the time to watch the response speech delivered by Joe Kennedy III who was born on second base. You know, I don’t understand the props these people use. Why would you put a sedan…?
If you’re a Kennedy, why would you put a sedan behind you? I just don’t quite understand that. I feel sorry for the guy because it did look like he was drooling. I didn’t think he was drooling, but it looked like it, and that’s all it takes. You know, you see what you think is spittle coming down out of the left corner of the mouth; it distracts you. You can’t stop… (interruption) No! It’s not… You can’t stop looking. You can’t stop it. It’s like the sweat that was on Nixon’s mustache area during the debate with Kennedy in 1960. You couldn’t miss it.
Of course, sweat equals nerves, and Nixon never had a prayer. Meanwhile, Kennedy’s made up with anti-sweat makeup. He looked cool, calm, collected, and so forth. Nixon looked swarthy with the perspiration on the mustache area. It was over! Poor Joe Kennedy III, he says he used too much ChapStick and that it was (I don’t know) dripping, draining. It may well be because that stuff does shine. It has a shimmer to it. What I thought I was looking at was a reflection.
I didn’t think the guy was drooling. If he was drooling he would do like everybody: Grab his sleeve up there. Pfft! Wipe it off. I don’t think the guy knew, and clearly somebody could have seen that before he began. They had all during the State of the Union speech. I mean, Joe Kennedy III didn’t show up on that set 30 seconds before it’s time to go. Somebody had to park that sedan there. (laughing) I can’t believe that. I just can’t.
Anyway, the vision that he gave of America is one that… (interruption) That’s my point. We’re Balkanized. Joe Kennedy’s version of America, his vision of America is one of pain, suffering, misery, all brought on by other Americans! Their vision of America is that victim groups are besieged by other Americans and denied opportunity. They are discriminated against, they’re laughed at, they are bullied. (That was a big theme of his speech, because they all think Trump is a bully.)
And so to the Democrats, to Joe Kennedy III or whatever, the big problem we face in the world is America. And in Donald Trump’s vision of America and the people that voted and supported Trump, there’s nothing of the sort. America’s the last, best hope. America is the solution. America is the home of prosperity and opportunity and greatness and uniqueness. But not to the Democrats. None of that exists for everybody, even most people. The people that have opportunity and prosperity are the winners of life’s lottery, to Democrats.
But it was just stark, this depiction of this country. I could not get over how lost and confused Democrats were during celebrations and applause during Trump’s speech last night. Yeah, they were angry. I mean, but they’re always angry. But, my friends, I studied it. I studied their faces. They were lost. Pelosi looked like she didn’t put her dentures in right. She was gumming it all over the place. She looked miserable.
Chuck Schumer couldn’t even hold his head up straight. And the only time Schumer appeared to be even halfway interested was when Trump got into immigration, and then he had a wary eye, a raised set of eyebrows, is the only time he seemed to be engaged at all. The rest of the time he was bored. Democrats looked confused when Republicans were applauding time and time again, ’cause they genuinely don’t get it. They don’t see what there is to applaud. They looked befuddled.
I thought it was just fabulous, and I thank President Trump for not parading a series of victims before the American people last night, which is what we always get with Democrat presidents. The guests of Democrat first ladies sitting up there in the gallery are all victims of some bigotry or unfairness or disparity or discrimination in America. And the tales of heroism and so forth are the great things, the difficult things they had to overcome, say, to get a cake baked for their gay wedding reception.
The contrast was so stark. Every person that Trump cited in the gallery last night was a story of victory, a story of personal achievement, overcoming great adversity. These were stories of devotion, dedication, desire to be American, to become an American, to get to America, to overcome great odds, to help other people in need as first responders or ICE agents.
But every story was a story of personal victory, of great achievement, of personal accomplishment, of overcoming great adversity. I just couldn’t help contrasting that with a typical Democrat State of the Union where guests in the gallery have overcome mean-spirited Americans. That have had to overcome homophobia. That have had to overcome people that want to deny people their rights based on religious freedom, people have had to overcome deep, dark discrimination. The things that Democrat heroes overcome are distinctly identifiable as American and conservative.
There was no apology for America last night. There wasn’t any criticism of the United States last night by the president of the United States. It was uplifting. It was inspiring. And it was one man’s personal expose, personal opening his heart to tell the world how much he loves his country and how great he thinks his country is and how much greater he wants it to be because he loves the people in it.
How could anybody argue with any of that last night? And I mean that. I mean, I know the Democrats are not gonna be happy when Trump gloats about getting rid of the individual mandate and Obamacare. But this was a testament to the greatness and uniqueness of American freedom. How could anybody argue with any of this. The economic results, the tax cut, the wage increases, any of it? I’ll tell you, folks, no one, no one can make Democrats look small and petty and constipated like Donald J. Trump can.
RUSH: Let us sneak a call in here in the first hour. We will go to Costa Mesa, California. This is John. I’m glad to hear from you, sir. How are you?
CALLER: Good morning, Rush. Nice to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I just wanted to say, to me the most heartwarming thing about that speech last night, you know, the fact that Democrats claim he’s deranged and he doesn’t know his butt from a hole in the ground, the connection he had with the people, he knew every name. Didn’t slip up. He knew the families. You can’t fake that. That man has a connection with these people. He must have spouted out 50 names, and he was always right. I mean, that is a true — he truly is connected to those people. And to me he’s a great man. Along with you, you’re the top two most influential, greatest people I’ve ever known. I was heartfelt last night listening to him, and I really felt his heart was there. He does care. People that don’t care, they’re not gonna try to remember all these facts. He never slipped up.
RUSH: I appreciate your compliment. I really do. But I think the important thing of what you’re saying is that you’ve noticed something that I practically begged people to try to understand during the campaign, and that is Trump’s connection with his audience, with his voters, with his supporters.
RUSH: Because I understand it. I saw it, I witnessed it every time, and so many people didn’t. And I’m talking about Democrats, media types, and even some conservatives didn’t get the connection Trump has, because they fall prey to this business that Trump doesn’t care. I mean, one of the things about Trump is he doesn’t listen. You can be talking to Trump and he doesn’t hear you, he doesn’t even pay attention to you. And the next thing he says to you has nothing to do with what you’ve just said.
And that isn’t true. He does listen. If he finds you boring, he won’t react to it. He’ll continue saying what he thinks and wants you to hear him say. But the idea that he is distant and uninterested and is a narcissist, that’s belied by how few times he even used the personal pronoun last night. But that’s a really sharp observation of yours, that he had a personal connection with all those people.
They were not props. They were examples. They were examples of the best America has to offer from the wide spectrum of life. Even the families who were victims of crime were great examples of how to overcome and deal with a family loss. And Trump assured every one of them that every American was with them, that they were not alone. I’ve never seen tears from the pawns in the State of the Union gallery like I saw last night.