RUSH: Obama said to the New Republic he’d get a lot more done without Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. The rest of the media’s in the tank. Everybody else has fallen in line. There is no opposition other than Fox News and Limbaugh. The way it works, and what this all boils down to, the Republicans,
I mean, everybody knows they want to get along with Democrats. Everybody knows they want to socialize. They want their lives to have meaning, but Limbaugh is the one standing in the way ’cause what happens? The Republicans are simply afraid that I’m gonna criticize ’em if they do something that is cooperative with the Democrats. And so that’s a problem. He started his first term the same way.
You know, the timing here is interesting. I think within the first week, maybe two, in 2009, Obama convened a meeting at the White House of the congressional leadership, House and Senate, Republican, Democrat. And he said to John Boehner and Eric Cantor, “You can’t listen to Rush Limbaugh. That’s not the way things get done.” And I remember, I talked to Boehner here in the EIB Southern Command offices some short weeks later, and he brought that up, and he said, “Why would he say that to us? We’re sitting in there talking about legislative action coming down the pike in his first year, ‘Can’t listen to Rush Limbaugh. You gotta stop listening to Limbaugh. That’s not how things get done.'”
I said, “You really don’t know why? He was hoping one of you would agree with him, Mr. Speaker. He was hoping that one of you Republicans would go to the microphone after that meeting and agree with him, ’cause his whole purpuse is to eliminate any opposition.”
“Ah, Rush, that’s not what he’s trying to do.” Boehner disagreed with me and said that I was misreading the situation. Here we are four years later, and it’s the same thing. Different words, same thing. “The Republicans would be more willing to work with the Democrats,” meaning, the Republicans would be more willing to cave in. The Republicans would be more willing to compromise their principles. “The Republicans would be more willing to give me what I want if it weren’t for Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.” ‘Cause I’ve got everybody else in the tank.
This is on This Week Needs David Brinkley from ABC yesterday. Martha Raddatz was a cohost and she’s talking to Chris Hughes, who’s the editor-in-chief and publisher of the New Republic. She said, “Chris, you had a pretty extraordinary interview there with President Obama. He pointed out something that he thought was a problem with the Republicans. He said in the interview that certain members of the media are hurting the Republican Party, too. He said if a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see a lot of more of them doing it. I think Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done but it was hard to do so in part because his caucus is more conservative, probably, than most Republican leaders are.”
By the way, Boehner is now saying — well, I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but he’s saying he wouldn’ta done the fiscal cliff deal the way he did it if he had to do it again. Here’s what Chris Hughes, the editor of the New Republic, the guy who did the interview with Obama, said in answer to the question.
HUGHES: The president thinks that the American people are on his side when it comes to immigration, when it comes to gun control, when it comes to fiscal issues and he thinks the Republican Party is increasingly extreme. Another piece of the interview that I thought was really, really fascinating is we asked him about the new kind of politics, the Obama of 2008 and where that had gone, and mentioned two things that had been a real challenge. One was institutional reforms, specifically referencing the filibuster, and secondly, the media environment, the world in which we live where we only really listen to the people that we agree with.
RUSH: Only listen to people we agree with, and the only people that are in my way are Limbaugh and Fox News. Get rid of them, and then I’ve got a clean slate. Martha Raddatz then said, “Sarah Palin even said something this week. She did not specifically talk about Fox, but that we’re preaching to the choir, is what she said.”
HUGHES: There’s a growing sense that there’s a need for a media — for media outlets and media opportunities that are not necessarily centrist, but that have different perspectives and make it easy for us to hear people that we might disagree with and actually engage on the merits rather than just recycling old ideas.
RUSH: Do you realize, ladies and gentlemen, that……..