This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 4, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight, we continue with my part two of my exclusive sit-down interview with Rush Limbaugh, where Rush reveals whom he has chosen to take his place as the supposed head of the GOP and why President Obama could soon own the national media. Let's check this out.
HANNITY: You came on the air one day and you said, "I resign as the head of the Republican Party."
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Titular head.
LIMBAUGH: Titular head of the Republican Party.
HANNITY: Quoted accurately, yes.
LIMBAUGH: Because I was not the head of the Republican Party. I was named the head of the Republican Party by the White House, by the Obama White House. What they were trying to do was get Republicans, elected Republicans, to throw me overboard, disavow me.
What they would love to do, Sean, at the White House level is really marginalize mainstream conservatism and mainstream conservatives, because that's the primary opposition to Obama. And if they could gotten a couple of Republicans to go out and say, "Yes, Limbaugh is off the reservation, he's a nut, he's a wacko," it would have been a success and a homerun. So, that's why they named me the titular head.
So, I decided to resign as the titular head of the Republican Party and anoint Powell as — since so many of our brains in the conservative, quasi-conservative media and Republican Party, think he's the model Republican. OK, he's the leader.
HANNITY: Well, if he was so accurate in America's desire for more government, more services, higher taxes, they're willing to pay for them — those are the comments he made — then he seems to be out of sync with even the voters in California, of all places.
LIMBAUGH: Well, that's a — I'm glad you reminded me of that, because he did say Americans want to pay higher taxes and they want bigger government, and then the California vote came. He's clearly — this is my point — he's clearly out of touch, as most people inside the beltway are.
The longer you live in that town, that town becomes your world. And Washington is not America. I mean, it's a great city. There's great things to do there. I don't want people to misunderstand. But the political and social structure of Washington, D.C., there's no resemblance to how life in this country takes place.
Government and everything there is number one, two and three in everybody's lives. And out in the country it ain't.
LIMBAUGH: It's their job. It's their kid's future. It's these kinds of things. And so, the idea that somebody who believes government ought to grow and grow and grow is the ideal candidate or identity factor of the Republican Party is absurd.
HANNITY: Do you see any leaders emerging, some people that you're watching, that you like? You were pretty disposed towards Bobby Jindal for a while.
LIMBAUGH: Yes. You know what I've learned? I'll tell you something. I am — because of this profile, high profile that has been bestowed upon me, I'm not going to mention names.
HANNITY: But are there people you see?
HANNITY: There are?
LIMBAUGH: There are.
And I think others are going to emerge as Obamaism continues to happen.
Yes, there are. I think others are going to emerge as Obama continues. I think President Obama is an angry man. They say he's cool and calm and. I think he's cold. I think he's angry.
The people that he ran around with and who mentored him, that matters. You tried to call attention to it. You were the first out of the box with the Reverend Wright and the Bill Ayers stuff. And people didn't want to hear it because they have a cult-like association and attachment to Obama.
But the fact of the matter is, the way to understand him is he wants to return the nation's wealth to its rightful owners. He comes from a belief that those in America who have succeeded have done so on the backs of the poor and the disadvantaged. They've had their wealth stolen from them. That's why he wants to cap CEO pay. That's what he doesn't want them to be flying their jets to Las Vegas. He can take two G-5s and three helicopters to New York for a date that you and I pay for, but if I pay for it, even myself on my airplane, I get castigated because it's somehow not cool.
I think he just — If you want to understand what this man is doing, what his policies are about, returning this nation's wealth into its rightful owners. That's how the UAW, the union, ends up with a major ownership stake in Chrysler and GM.
HANNITY: And debt holder are put aside. Hang on a second. If Karl Rove is right, and he's arrogant, and Rush Limbaugh is right, and he's angry, and Sean Hannity is right, and he's radical — you made the same point as I have — that's frightening for America.
If all of that — because I think it is. I think the America we knew, Rush, I think it is going away, and I don't think people see what's happening. I think by the time it's all finished, we're going to have trouble.
LIMBAUGH: You know, I'm not yet fatalistic about the country. There's still time for this to be stopped. There are the elections of 2010 and there are the elections, of course, of 2012.
If you look at polling data, his approval numbers are pretty steady at 63, 64. That is much, I think, guaranteed by the state-run media, the way they report. But if you look at polls on issues, issue after issue, you'll find that on most of them the majority of the American people, like, don't want Gitmo closed.
They don't want bailouts at General Motors. Most of the American people, a clear majority disagree, policy-wise, with everything he's doing. Yet, has this wildly high approval rating. He's very charismatic, demagogic, and it's not what he says that has people captivated. It's how he says it.
HANNITY: Obama said to the BBC the U.S. can't impose its values on other — you know the quote I'm saying — cannot impose its values on other countries.
LIMBAUGH: Yes. It's a typical Obama straw man argument. He comes up and says, "America, we can't impose our values." Well, when do we?
And what are our values? The next part of the question. What are our values? Freedom...
LIMBAUGH: Democracy. He says those are universal. So after he says we can't impose our values, he defines our values. You can't impose freedom. We liberate people.
Somebody is going to have to tell me, Mrs. Clinton, who's been marginalized, by the way — she's over there at the State Department with nothing to do. She's running around the world, telling other countries they have to do gay rights the way that we do. I think that's imposing our values, his values on the rest of the world.
On other aspect of this, somebody's going to have to convince me I'm wrong. I think Obama has got something against Israel. This — you know, letting Iran do this. Telling Israel it's got to stop imposing values. Hey, Mr. Netanyahu, stop doing your settlements. Stop defending yourself. Who's imposing what on whom?
It's Obama imposing his view of his around the world.
HANNITY: And we continue now with more of my exclusive interview with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
HANNITY: We saw what happened in California. We see the takeover at GM. They want to monitor CEO pay even for companies that don't get any government money.
HANNITY: They're taking over banks. They're taking over financial institutions. It is the definition of socialism. What does this mean — let me give you the debt numbers. You know them as well as anybody. We quadruple them in a year. We quadruple the deficit in 10 years. We'll be paying nearly $1 trillion on interest on the debt in 10 years.
What does this mean? As you stand back — you were talking earlier about the middle class and the impact it's going to have on the middle class. What does this Obama economy look like, assuming he doesn't get a second term, after four years of Obama economics?
LIMBAUGH: Well, most of the stimulus spending, for example, doesn't go into effect until 2010. There's a chance that those elections would dial some of that back. But if this man succeeds, Sean, it's going to be 25 years rolling this stuff back.
And if they get nationalized health care, they are going to be able to control every aspect of our lives, because you get in a car the wrong way, it could impact health care costs. If you eat popcorn with coconut oil, it could impact health care costs.
If they get that, then people have no idea the control over their lives the government will exert. And that's got to be stopped. That is intolerable, to go single payer government socialized medicine.
I want to say one other thing, even if I go overtime here. People ask me about the Fairness Doctrine all the time, and I've been watching something here. Newspapers are losing money. Advertising revenue is down, circulation. But radio companies, too, Sean, television companies, their advertising revenues are down.
Now, individual shows, my show is up.
HANNITY: So is mine.
LIMBAUGH: Yours –- but radio stations ownership groups – advertising as a whole is down. Now what happens if they have to file Chapter 11? What if all these radio companies can't make their debt payments next year or the year after that and have to go Chapter 11? If Obama is controlling the banks, and the banks then will or will not lend to the broadcasters and the newspapers to make them solvent, we could reach a point where Obama controls radio and TV, because he will own it by virtue of the banks he controls owning it.
This is a very stealth way — you don't need the Fairness Doctrine; you don't need localism. And people say that will never happen.
Well, did you ever think that government and Obama would be dictating the kind of cars GM and Chrysler make? Did you ever think Obama would be dictating what people on Wall Street can earn? Did you ever think that the mortgage business would be controlled by a single man, Barack Obama? Nobody ever thought that.
So, if you think that the media in this country cannot also be owned by Barack Obama, think again. Well, that's the path we're headed down.
We have to stop and shout, and stop this and oppose it. This is not the America that you and I grew up — I said earlier if Al Qaeda wants to demolish the America we know and love, they'd better hurry, because Obama's beating them to it. I read that in a British column. I think it was the U.K. Telegraph. Now, it resonated with me because this guy is changing the America we've come — I think he's got a big chip on his shoulder.
HANNITY: It's frightening.
LIMBAUGH: It is. It is seriously frightening. And we look out, where are the American people. Sixty-four million or whatever voted for the guy. When are we going to wake up? The Democrats really — the people who voted for him really want this kind of America.
HANNITY: Don't you want the Republicans to wake up. You see, of all the contortions they've been going through about who their head is and whether or not Reagan conservatism needs to be, you know, pushed in the past. And this new modern version of a watered-down conservatism or watered-down Republican Party.
I think Reagan spelled it out pretty well in March of '75 when he said, you know, no pale pastels. Bold colors, bold differences. If they can't distinguish themselves now from Barack Obama and socialism, and Jimmy Carter national security...
LIMBAUGH: Exactly right.
HANNITY: ... This is it.
LIMBAUGH: It is the greatest opportunity they've had to draw that contrast between what Obama represents and what traditionally the Republican Party or conservatism. The problem with the Republican Party is the old guard, country club, blueblood, Rockefeller types are now learning it — the Colin Powell types, the Tom Ridge types. And they want to share in the power. They're content to share it as losers.
The Republican Party right now is not led by conservatives. That's — there are plenty of conservative Republicans in the party, but it's hard for them to get noticed. But you can't wait for the Republican Party, Sean.
LIMBAUGH: At some point, somebody in that party is going to emerge and carry the banner forward. In the meanwhile, there's a population out there that has to be told the truth. And if the party's not going to stand up and do it right now, we have to.
And I think at some point they're going to get over their fear. Right now it's still early. We're just past 100 days.
Republicans are still deathly afraid of being criticized for criticizing Obama. They don't want to attach Obama's policies to him, and Obama doesn't either. You know, Obama is still blaming Bush.
I think he's — I think he's just a sitting duck target politically to score major, major points for the traditions and values that made this country great to triumph again.
HANNITY: Listen, he jokes about the Special Olympics. He gives an iPod to the queen and speeches of himself. He flies an airplane over New York and spends 300 grand. He goes on a date with his wife to New York, as you mentioned earlier.
LIMBAUGH: And he's been to all 57 states, and he said that we need to hoist values. It's — I mean, he's got...
HANNITY: If George Bush did this...
LIMBAUGH: I know. I know. Well, look, we just have to come to grips. There's a double standard. There's a double — he's loved and adored by the state-run media.
Obama's blaming Bush...
LIMBAUGH: ... for all that he inherited. He is escaping so far any attachment to the disasters that he's causing. At some point that is going to change. And that, I think, I'm hopeful, is when the elected class of conservatives and Republicans will rise up and take the baton and run with it.
HANNITY: I don't think there's any way it can't happen. You mentioned earlier I'm optimistic. I think there's going to be a lot of damage done in the meantime, but it's got to happen.
And you know what? A lot of people I think are going to come through and say, "You know what, Rush? You were kind of right about all this stuff."
LIMBAUGH: Yes. You know, I joked the other day. I told people — when I claimed I'm America's pinata. And I said, you know how people always say, "Why didn't somebody tell me?" I'm the guy telling you. And I'm going to keep telling you.
Sean, I'm optimistic, too. You look at FDR and what did we get after FDR? We got 40 years of liberalism. We're not going to have 40 years of liberalism after Obama.
There is an opposition media. There is an opposition to this kind of destruction that's being made to this country, done to the country. Whatever he does, we're going to be able to roll it back. And I don't think he's going to be able to get away with as much as he would like to. There is simply too much attention being brought to bear on it.
So and if — we're America. We are Americans. We still have the freedom to do what we want and to be who we want to be. And you have to be optimistic when you have that kind of ability.
HANNITY: Rush, it's always a pleasure.
LIMBAUGH: Thank you.
HANNITY: I appreciate it.
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