WASHINGTON – The following is a partial transcript of the July 13, 2008, edition of "FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace":
"FOX NEWS SUNDAY" HOST CHRIS WALLACE: Joining us on the phone, Rush Limbaugh, who gave Tony a big early break in his career.
Rush, I know the first time you met Tony you were working together with him on a local talk show here in Washington. And pretty quickly you made him one of your regular guest hosts on your radio show. What did you see?
RADIO TALK SHOW HOST RUSH LIMBAUGH: Passion. Passion. Passion, and he was informed. He was earnest, Chris. He was working at the Washington Times when we met on Beckel's show down there. It was quite a guest list. It was Jane Mayer, P.J. O'Rourke, Beckel, Tony and me.
And he was just earnest, and he had — he wanted to expand his media horizons, not because he wanted face time on television or to be heard on radio. He just wanted to expand his horizons because he cared deeply, was passionate about what he believed and loved his country and wanted to affect it in the broadest possible way.
WALLACE: Rush, what do you think was Tony's role? How important was he in the conservative movement over the last two decades?
LIMBAUGH: Well, that's hard to quantify because it's so much. I'll give you one example of this. I was watching one of his press briefings, and he would unfailingly challenge the premise of many of the questions. I'd never seen this before in a press secretary.
He challenged the premise and told them that they were wrong in the narrative or the storyline that they were tacking, and this caused the president's supporters, those who had seen it, to stand up and cheer, because as you just discussed with the vice president, they had an out-of-the-way shop going on before Tony joined.
And the supporters of the president were desperate for this administration to defend itself against some of the attacks that were thought to be scurrilous, and there's Tony doing it.
And I thought — you know, the A.P. had a story yesterday that — I think the reason that they wrote what they did, which is offensive as it can be to me, is because he challenged them. It was A.P. David — or Douglas Daniel (ph) who wrote that Tony, with a quick-from-the- lip repartee, broadcaster's good looks and relentlessly bright outlook — and what's wrong with a relentlessly bright outlook, by the way?
Then they write, "if not always in command of the facts." Now, why in the world say something like that on this occasion when it isn't the case in the first place?
I think it's because he did take a new tack as press secretary, and I'm telling you, he had a lot to do with keeping the president's approval numbers as high as they were.
WALLACE: Rush, we've got about 30 seconds left. What stands out for you about Tony Snow, the man? Is there some event or some exchange that you keep coming back to over these hours since his passing?
LIMBAUGH: It was his consistent genuineness, Chris, no matter where you saw him — the vice president was just talking about this in his own words. No matter where you saw him, no matter what the event, Tony Snow was Tony Snow. What you expected from Tony is what you got.
He had a joyful way of looking at the world. He believed in America. He believed in himself and his family. He believed in God. Those were the traditions and institutions he supported, and nobody did it better.
WALLACE: You know, I think you're exactly right. I mean, the word that keeps coming back to me is he was a happy warrior.
Rush Limbaugh, thank you so much for coming on and talking about Tony. We sure lost a good one here.
LIMBAUGH: Thank you, Chris. It's my pleasure to be with you, finally.