This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," February 8, 2006, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Syria and Iran deliberately fanning the flames of Muslim anger over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. That is the accusation today from no less than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
President Bush meeting Jordan's King Hussein, the violence at the top of their agenda, both calling for an end to the bloodshed. And now the anger is turning toward America.
Police in Afghanistan shooting four protesters dead, stopping a large group from marching on a U.S. military base. Could this all boil over, threatening our way of life and our markets? You wouldn't know it today — the Dow up about 100. Nevertheless, we will ask about the future of those markets with the future of terrorism.
And joining me now, the most listened to radio personality on this entire globe, Rush Limbaugh.
Rush, good to have you.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thanks Neil. Great to be here.
I mean, everybody has got to be some place.
CAVUTO: What a great place to be.
LIMBAUGH: Not a bad place to be here.
CAVUTO: I didn't know you were such a big golfer, by the way.
LIMBAUGH: Oh. I have been playing since 1997, when I moved to Florida to escape New York state taxes. Well, I'm honest about that.
CAVUTO: Yes, right. Right.
LIMBAUGH: And you are an economics guy. You understand that.
CAVUTO: That's right. I know. I know.
LIMBAUGH: And I just have gotten caught up with it. I love it.
It's a way to measure improvement in things. Everywhere you go to play is beautiful. And I'm very fortunate to have these opportunities to play.
CAVUTO: And you are pretty good, right?
LIMBAUGH: Well, no, no.
LIMBAUGH: I'm a 17 handicap. Playing in these things — I was telling him earlier — is a triumph of emotion over common sense. But I come out. I do it anyway.
CAVUTO: I told you about the 92 I shot, right? And then, on the second hole, what I did get on...
LIMBAUGH: We have all been there.
CAVUTO: We have all been there.
Let me ask you, though, Rush. I mean, it comes on a day, as this tournament kicks off — you wouldn't know it. We have got this world rocked by violence, this growing escalation, responding to anger, Muslim angers over the cartoons. Now a lot of people are saying it's going to affect even our society. Is it that bad?
LIMBAUGH: Well, it's got the potential to.
I think one of the biggest problems, as you watch all this that you showed, the cartoon anger is just the latest. These people hit us on 9/11. They hit us back in 1993. Yesterday, and the day before, there were hearings about whether or not we should actually try to find out if they are going to hit us again.
And one of the things that amazes me is that, while we have all this glaring evidence of the threat that's posed, and just who these people are — and I don't think — as I look at this, I don't think there is any way that they can be acculturated into peaceful societies.
I mean, look at that cruise ship that went down. The Israel navy offered search-and-rescue assistance. And Egypt basically said, no, our people would rather die, instead of being saved by you.
Now, you want to talk about Middle East peace with an atmosphere like that? You have got the Democratic Party looking at President Bush as the big enemy to national security, trying to impeach him, trying to embarrass him over the spying scandal, which they have miscast. It's not domestic spying.
They have made it look like they are interested in an Al Qaeda, terrorist bill of rights. So, yes, I think we are in a sort of a trepidatious situation, because the country, apparently, is not unified on the existence of the threat.
CAVUTO: You know what I was thinking, knowing you were coming? This is Denmark we are talking about. I mean, Denmark is a pretty peaceful country. It certainly means the world no harm, right?
LIMBAUGH: And I will bet you Denmark, up until now, has gone out of its way not to irritate or agitate these people, like Spain thought they were going to get a pass.
This just illustrates, it is worldwide.
CAVUTO: Do you think that this has actually, in a perverse sense, Rush, helped the president's push for wiretapping, for the kind of things he wants to do protect us?
LIMBAUGH: I don't look at this politically. When you say help the president's push, I mean, if you are looking at this from a standpoint, is this a good thing to do, it's a wise thing to do, something we need to get done, yes. All this stuff obviously is convincing the American people.
I don't think the American people remain to be convinced after 9/11. The Democratic Party and the American left act like they remain to be convinced that we even have an enemy. So, I think, in case of George W. Bush, where this is concerned, foreign policy, national security, the heck with the polls and all. He is going to do his job. To heck with what the media is saying about him or what Jimmy Carter says at a funeral about him. He is going to go do his job. And we are thankful for that. I think we all ought to be.
CAVUTO: But, you know, it's funny.
When Americans are polled on this subject, Rush, they are all for polling the bad guys, and tapping the bad guys. When they are asked, if it were you, they are dead set against it.
LIMBAUGH: Well, they want to poll me, or spy on me?
CAVUTO: Tap me, right.
CAVUTO: Not you specifically.
CAVUTO: You know what I'm saying?
LIMBAUGH: No, no.
Well, Neil, the problem, I think, again — and I don't want to sound excessively partisan here, even though I love partisanship, because I think it's defining. You know who are dealing with.
I mean, one of the problems here is these polls. I mean, the media uses polls to create news stories. I think polls are just an extension of the editorial page, an excuse to get them on the front page. You can ask any question you want, get any answer you want, and then run around with that as a news story.
What I'm telling you is, President Bush — when it comes to this issue — it's irrelevant to him. He is going to do what's necessary to do.
CAVUTO: You know, I was thinking of President Bush and how he must have felt yesterday at that Coretta Scott King funeral. A lot of people were dumping on him, including a couple of former presidents.
LIMBAUGH: I will tell you how he felt, happy.
These people are embarrassing themselves. These people, the Democratic Party, — that funeral yesterday, it had everything. It had everything in it. It had a "Brokeback Mountain" moment in it, when Bishop Eddie embraced Bush, or Bush embraced him, gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Then, you had a bunch of Wellstone memorial moments. Do you remember the movie the "Wedding Crasher"? Two guys crash weddings to pick up dates. The Democratic Party crashes... funerals. They are now the funeral crashers. And they are out there trying to pick up votes. And it's absurd, if they think behavior like that, disrespecting a sitting president while he is there...
CAVUTO: Do you think he should have up and left?
CAVUTO: So, he sat through hours of that.
LIMBAUGH: Look it, remember the portrait unveiling with Bill and Hillary Clinton in the White House?
LIMBAUGH: Epitome of class. He's very conscious that this is a unique club, the president's club. He is not going to do anything that reflects poorly on it. Let other people do that.
I was on the air yesterday. Some people said, do you think Bush should have got up and left?
No, no, no, no. Bush doesn't look bad here. Bush looks above it all. These people are the ones that look petty.
CAVUTO: How did Jimmy Carter look?
LIMBAUGH: No different than Jimmy Carter has looked since the days before he was — this is how he got his Nobel Prize. You travel around the world, and you beat up George Bush, and the Nobel Committee will say, you are our guy, and give you the prize.
CAVUTO: But, normally, you have the dignity of not doing it in front of George Bush. He did it in front of him.
LIMBAUGH: Yes, but, you see, there's another thing, still did it with his back turned. Didn't have the guts to turn around and face him and say that. Neither did Joe Lowery.
It's easy as heck to do it when the guy you are talking about is not watching you or looking at you. I think they are a bunch of cowards. I think they think they are entitled to power. They haven't been in power for a long time. They think it's being stolen from them. And they don't blame themselves and examine what are they doing wrong, perhaps, that is causing people not to vote for them or trust them when it comes to national security.
But I will tell you I think Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr., if there was to be any anger from above looking down at that, it would be from them. That is a sacred event, a funeral to memorialize and honor this woman.
And to take the occasion of that to get in these cheap, partisan, childish little shots makes the Democrats look exactly like they actually are. And I think the great thing that we are seeing — and, folks, make — pay attention to this — the Democratic Party is showing you who they are. They don't have an agenda to tell you who they are, because they don't have the guts to tell you they want to raise your taxes and grow government and all that.
But they are so angry, and they're so irrational, that their anger is causing them to shed the camouflage and shed the mask. And we are finding out, they are mean-spirited. They're discriminatory. They're extremist, and they're wrong.
CAVUTO: I had no idea you were conservative. All right.
LIMBAUGH: They are showing they cannot be trusted.
CAVUTO: But let me ask you. You talk about the kind of things that you claim Democrats are. Many in your own party have lashed out at this president because he submits bloated budgets, big deficits, a big Medicare plan that's a social program that would rival anything FDR came up with.
LIMBAUGH: That's true.
CAVUTO: Is he a disappointment to conservatives?
LIMBAUGH: Some of them, sure. There have been a lot of things that I have not been extremely happy about. But you don't get it all. And the spending has bamboozled me. It's been a little bit of a depressing aspect of the administration to me.
Immigration, understand the divide that exists in the Republican Party over that.
CAVUTO: But what is the defining issue for Rush Limbaugh?
I mean, I have heard those arguments, Rush, that we don't like the way he spends. We don't like the way a Republican Senate in Congress let him spend. But it's terror. Everyone says it's terror. He is the guy on terror. Is that the trump issue?
LIMBAUGH: I think it has to be right now.
National security, you have just shown these videos of what's going on around the world with this cartoon controversy. But it's not to me, not just George W. Bush. I mean, he is a wonderful man. I have gotten to know him fairly well.
But the opposite view of how to run the country that's being presented by the Democrats, just abhorrent to me. You know, we all want the same things, that we all want prosperity. We all want liberty and freedom. We all want a great future for our kids, educational opportunities.
But there are huge arguments over how to bring it about. People like me believe in the free market, capitalism, freedom, people working in their own self-interest.
The Democrats don't trust individuals to make the right decisions for themselves. They need people to be in a state of need, because that's how liberals derive their power. So, they look at average Americans with contempt. Look, I mean, you can't do this. You are not qualified to do that. You are too stupid to do that. You are too stupid, and you are uninformed or whatever.
And conservatives trust average, ordinary Americans. You know, this is a great country. Average Americans, ordinary people, accomplish extraordinary things every day. And in the liberal side of the aisle, those people are targets for punishment. Look at the enemies list of today's Democratic Party, ExxonMobil, any pharmaceutical company, Wal-Mart.
You go right down the list, and it's the people who are defining success in this country. And I think that's a little bit trepidatious and dangerous to entrust the engine of this country to right now, the way they're currently constituted.
CAVUTO: All right.
We are going to take a quick break, pay our bills. More with Rush Limbaugh, his thoughts on the midterm elections coming up, why some say Republicans could be in deep doo-doo. We will ask Rush whether he agrees with that.
Stick around. We are live from Pebble Beach, California — a lot more coming up after this.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Welcome back to beautiful Pebble Beach.
I'm talking right now with radio talk show superstar Rush Limbaugh. That's what he told me to write, talk show superstar.
CAVUTO: Anyway, Rush, so much to get into with you while you are here. And one is the prospect of a President Hillary Clinton.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: All right.
You brought up polls earlier. There is a Harris poll that came out a couple of weeks ago. As a powerful, influential member of the media, I'm sure you saw it. Maybe it was USA Today/CNN/Gallup, all right, one of those two. Fifty-one percent of the American people said they definitely would not vote for Hillary Clinton.
Now, she may be able to get their nomination, but I don't think she can win a national election.
CAVUTO: But, remember — obviously, you are a great student of political history, Rush.
But, in 1980, the Carter folks were hoping Ronald Reagan would be the nominee, because no way — he might get the nomination. No way he could win. We all know what happened.
LIMBAUGH: Well, I don't look at that kind of history repeating itself. I look at her. I look at the personality that she is.
CAVUTO: But what if things are really lousy in 2008? What if Iraq is foundering, the economy is sputtering?
LIMBAUGH: It's going to depend on what she is saying.
I understand what you are saying, that she might benefit from just an anti-incumbent mentality.
LIMBAUGH: Neil, there is a new media out there today that doesn't let the left get away with defining the news, defining the circumstances, defining personalities and so forth.
And they haven't learned how to deal with it. They haven't learned how to deal with people like me, the problems they think FOX News causes, and everybody else. They are still in their 30-year-old playbook, in which they think they still — all they have to do is, you know, portray somebody they want to portray them, and the American people will see it, swallow it, and like it.
You know, who knows what's going to happen, but I think she will probably redefine negative turnout.
CAVUTO: She has moved to the center.
LIMBAUGH: No, she has not.
CAVUTO: Do you buy that move?
LIMBAUGH: She is trying to make people think she's moving. This is the problem with the whole Democratic Party. I have been trying to help the Democrats for eight years on this, and they won't listen.
Just be who you are. Don't make a feint here to the middle on abortion, when you know you are not pro-life.
CAVUTO: Well, it worked for Bill Clinton.
LIMBAUGH: But Bill Clinton had enough people on the left, like Hillary, who were satisfying the base of the Democratic Party is a totally different animal today than it was.
CAVUTO: But Bill Clinton avoided that base, didn't preach to that base. You can argue that he was trying a different strategy. Who is saying that it can't either work for his wife or the other Democratic potentials?
LIMBAUGH: Well, no. How do you triangulate the war? Are there centrists and moderates? This is a bugaboo of mine anyway.
I have gotten so tired over the years. Republicans are the ones that anger me the most about this, talking about how we must move to the center. We must get the great unwashed, the undecideds, the moderates.
I say, screw them. I want people that are passionate. Conservatives win when they are conservative, when they campaign as conservative, and then when they govern as — that's when they win. They don't win by moderating and...
CAVUTO: But what do you think, though, that maybe it's gotten too extreme on both sides? The red states have never been redder. The blue states have never been bluer. And maybe the candidate that wins in 2008 is the guy, woman, who can bridge that.
LIMBAUGH: That may be. I have no clue.
But I doubt it, because I think people today are hungry for ideology. I will give you my personal illustration of this, an example.
When my show started and took off, everybody assumed on the left that I was a pied piper, and I was taking my numbed robots and programming them and that's not what happened. There were already millions of people who thought what I thought. They just never heard that view in the national media.
I came along and validated what they believed. Most people, when it comes to the issues that matter, there is no middle ground on the war. There is no middle ground on terrorism. You acknowledge it or you don't. But there is no middle there to finesse.
LIMBAUGH: If Democrats want to try it, I welcome them to it.
CAVUTO: Could I ask you a personal question? Would you ever do TV again? I know you and Roger Ailes had done that for a while.
LIMBAUGH: Well, I love Roger. Roger was the executive producer of my television show.
I don't know. I constantly am asked this. I guess, in the right circumstances, I would. But it's not something that I am actively pursuing. I am more than satisfied and thrilled with the radio success that I have had and the opportunity of that show every day. It's just me. There aren't any producers.
CAVUTO: You don't need this medium, do you?
LIMBAUGH: Well, it's not a question of needing it.
But I am sort of proud that I think radio has become a dominant influence in shaping public opinion. Good radio paints the picture for the audience. The audience has to be actively involved. Sometimes, in television, you can get lulled into sleep watching the picture, not listening to what you're hearing.
CAVUTO: Well, were you tough talent for Roger Ailes to deal with?
LIMBAUGH: What's that?
CAVUTO: Were you tough talent for Roger Ailes to deal with?
LIMBAUGH: No, no, no, no.
CAVUTO: Because I'm not, myself.
CAVUTO: I'm not myself.
LIMBAUGH: No. No.
It's not tough dealing with Roger. And I wasn't. But the biggest thing he had to do with me was to convince me that I could be good at it, because it was so foreign to me. I have never had a producer. I have never had segments, never had meetings. And television requires all that. And it all sort of constrained me. I felt a little strangled. He said, "No, just open up."
CAVUTO: Just open up, just be you.
LIMBAUGH: That's right.
CAVUTO: We don't have a whole lot of time, Rush.
But depending on the figures I read, you are worth a few hundred million dollars, whatever, which is a lot of money. Where or how do you invest?
LIMBAUGH: How do I invest?
Well, my strategy right now — most of my thinking is, I live off my income. My investment portfolio is very, very conservative.
LIMBAUGH: It's a lot of municipal funds, because I'm not tapping it.
CAVUTO: Do you like the stock market? Is that a sign that you are worried about our stock market?
LIMBAUGH: No. No, no, no.
This has been the case since I first started earning enough money to put away. I'm well over 50 percent in munis.
LIMBAUGH: Yes. Yes.
CAVUTO: That's very conservative.
LIMBAUGH: And real estate. I have purchased a lot of real estate. I have...
CAVUTO: You own Florida, right?
LIMBAUGH: There is one particular county that I will never own.
CAVUTO: We won't go there.
CAVUTO: But you are basically conservative. And that's something you try...
LIMBAUGH: Yes, because I'm patient.
LIMBAUGH: You know, I'm not looking for the quick overnight return tomorrow, because I know I am going to be working for a number of years. And the income that I am fortunate enough to earn is...
CAVUTO: OK. Here is what you do, Rush. You give me your money. I will get back to you in 30 years. I will invest it for you.
CAVUTO: All right? Very good seeing you.
LIMBAUGH: Thanks for having me.
CAVUTO: Rush Limbaugh.
LIMBAUGH: This was great, Neil. I really appreciate it.
CAVUTO: It was very fun. Very fun.
He's great to watch on the links, too. He's slightly better than me at this golf thing.
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