Talk Radio King Rush Limbaugh on Joe Biden Gaffes

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," September 23, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Well, in the four weeks since becoming Barack Obama's running made, Senator Joe Biden has uttered a series of what some are calling gaffes. He maybe now regretting some of those. The other week, the Democratic vice presidential nominee said paying higher taxes would be patriotic for the wealthiest; he got a lot of flak for that.

He also said, at one point, that Hillary Clinton might have been a better choice for vice president for Barack Obama than he is and now he's denounced an ad that his own campaign ran against Senator John McCain.


KATHIE COURIC, CBS NEWS: And you guys haven't been completely guilt- free, making fun of John McCain's inability to use a computer.

SEN. JOE BIDEN, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I thought that was terrible, by the way.

COURIC: Why'd you do it then?

BIDEN: I didn't know we did it, if I'd have known we did we'd have never done it.


MACCALLUM: So our loose lips going to sink ships. Joining me now on the phone is Rush Limbaugh.

Hi, Rush.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO COMMENTATOR (through phone): Martha, how are you? Great day today. We got some laughs out of Washington today.

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MACCALLUM: All right. Well, let's start with Joe Biden. You know, you've never been a big fan of Joe Biden, as it's pretty well known by all of your millions of listeners. What do you about -- what do you think the Obama campaign is thinking about that choice now?

LIMBAUGH: Well, in the first place, I love Biden, Martha. I begged for them to put Biden on the ticket for this very reason. Let me give you a couple of gaffes that you didn't report. Last night on CBS, he said when the stock market crashed in 1929, Franklin Roosevelt got on TV and didn't just talk about it. Franklin Roosevelt wasn't president in 1929. In 1929, there wasn't a TV, nobody was on TV because it wasn't invented.

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LIMBAUGH: And, I guess, Saturday night in Virginia, he said, "Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns so don't buy that malarkey. If he tries to fool with my beretta, he's got a problem."

Now, I'm wondering if the Secret Service called Biden and said -- did you just threaten the Democratic presidential nominee?

I mean, this is just too good to be true. Here's the thing. If Sarah Palin were saying anything like this, Martha, you know as well as I do, as does your audience, that the media would be all over her. I think that -- they got to be -- in the Obama campaign, they got to be looking and hearing these things and then pulling their hair out and saying, what the hell?

How about the very first one when he's in Columbia, Missouri and the state senator is in the wheelchair and he says, "Stand up, Chuck, stand up and say -- oh, God, oh, my God, what did I do?"

You cannot write this stuff. This is just -- (INAUDIBLE) and you got Mahmoud today echoing Barack Obama talking points, talking about how America is responsible for all the problems of the world, talking about how America defense spending has led to the crisis here. I mean, the Democrats have got to be pulling their hair out because you got Biden doing what he's doing, and you got the leader of Iran echoing Barack Obama talking points.

MACCALLUM: Right. Well, you know, it is still an extremely tight race. So, you can understand the argument from Barack Obama folks where they would say, "Look, we're quite happy with Joe Biden and things seem to be going pretty well. We got a very tight race here."

But since you brought up the financial crisis, I'm curious what you thought about it when you watched the senators grilling, lots of long faces on Capitol Hill today, gee, how did this happen, and a lot of pointing fingers.

LIMBAUGH: Martha, let me tell you. This is very -- this is very serious. It is a serious crisis. And these were not -- these are not oversight hearings today. These are hindsight hearings.

I think that some of these people asking questions today should have been ones that were being interviewed. That we got to fix this, but the very people that broke it, some of them sat on that committee today, and allowing these people to take total control of the mortgage business when they're the ones that broke it is absurd.

I want to give you one observation. The Democrats are the ones -- it maybe hard for you to take here -- but the Democrats, I think, are almost totally culpable here and evidence is that if there was a Republican anywhere in sight that they could blame this on, there would have been investigative hearings two weeks ago to try to drum that Republican and Bush and McCain out of existence. The closest they can come is trying to blame this on Phil Gramm and a piece of legislation he offered back in 1999 that Bill Clinton signed.

I think this is really a crisis, and the people that lead to this are the ones being put in charge of fixing it and it's a disaster in the making, and this is important, because we do have to fix it, but we cannot sit here and let the people who broke it act like spectators and innocent bystanders and have all these people asking what went wrong when they wrote the laws that made all this happened.

MACCALLUM: Right. Interesting point.

I want to touch a little bit about Sarah Palin because the press was very upset today. They were not allowed in to, you know, take pictures of her, to ask questions of her, I guess, they did ultimately take pictures and then they finally said, "We're not going to take pictures of her unless you let ask a question," and they were allowed in for 29 seconds. Is this right? And why won't they loosen up the reins on her a little bit?

LIMBAUGH: Well, I'm not totally sure what's going on here, but I've got a guess. I played a little sound byte of Sarah Palin today that was just rock 'em, sock 'em, that was fabulous. But they have her mirroring McCain. She was now talking about reform and this kind of thing, and Obama hasn't reformed anything, and I think really, the reason that there sequestering her is not -- had nothing to do with the fact that she's not competent, because she clearly is.

I would say turn her loose. But I think that they're doing this to make sure that she doesn't get off message and make sure that McCain's message is what she echoes, which is what a vice presidential nominee's job is to do. But she's bright. She's incredibly smart, and capable. And I wish they'd turn her loose.

MACCALLUM: You know, I think that the reason that she helped him so much in the polls was her freshness, her candor, her ability to, you know, just sort of shoot from the hip and talk about what she thinks. So, I agree with you that it might be a mistake politically for them to be keeping her under wraps the way they are.

But, Rush, as always, it's great to talk to you. Thank you very much for making some time for us tonight. All interesting stuff.

LIMBAUGH: Just never long enough, Martha.


LIMBAUGH: Just never long enough.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Rush. Ten minutes, next time.

Rush Limbaugh joining us by phone from Palm Beach, Florida tonight, and thanks very much to him for making some time for us this evening.

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