Rush Limbaugh denies claims he told caller not to watch Fox News

Limbaugh sets record straight


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," July 10, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Well, two years ago tomorrow, "The Five" launched. Over 500-plus shows and we've only had a handful of guests -- Barbara Bush, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, a few others.

It's my pleasure now to welcome the king of talk radio, a personal friend of mine and a friend of freedom, it's Rush Limbaugh.

Rush, welcome.

Before we get into the important news of the day, Rush, the leftists over at Politico spun a headline to make it look like you had an issue with Fox News. The headline says, quote, "Rush Limbaugh tells caller not to watch Fox News."

Now, I know better, but can you explain to the people what you think Politico was up to?

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST (via telephone): Absolutely. And, by the way, Eric, I am the news of the day.

BOLLING: That's true.

LIMBAUGH: So, I'm happy. I'm thrilled to be here. I love your guys show. Whenever I watch TV in the afternoon, this is it.

You know, I had a caller who was just almost just shy of profane. He was angry, spitting, mad, and he finally started telling me why he was upset. He started listing names of people and it turned out the Fox Business Network and a bunch of the names I didn't know who they were which is why I was having trouble.

And he was just kind of off the wall and I said, sir, look, just stop listening to those people. Stop watching those people. And I kept saying those people. I never said, "Don't watch Fox."

Now, I have said, over the course of my career, don't watch ABC, don't watch NBC, and it's never made the news. This I never said, "Don't watch Fox."

But the media, you know, it was only -- I guess they consider me in talk radio and you guys the last vestige of any opposition to the leftist agenda of the country, Obama and the Democratic Party, so they love to drive a wedge and they were clearly trying to. And it's amazing how it took off. It made Web sites all over the country.

So eager are they for you and I to just flitter away and become ineffective. But it ain't going to work.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Rush, can I just point out -- it's Gutfeld -- that was me that called in. I was drinking.

LIMBAUGH: Oh, that was --


GUTFELD: I was drunk.

LIMBAUGH: Well, you didn't identify yourself that way, although I would have handled it entirely differently. I would have told you to stop watching.


BOLLING: Hey, Rush, before we get to the news, Dana has an important question for you.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Well, it's very important question but as you know, Rush, the best way to make front page news is to attack a Republican back and forth. So, I'm not surprised that they did this to you and I think that we all saw it for what it actually was.

I wanted to ask you because you are obviously very successful in the media. We're having our two-year anniversary tomorrow. You say you watch every day and I was curious because we have been asked what makes our show so successful.

I wonder why you think it's successful.

LIMBAUGH: It's real. There's nothing contrived about it. And you all seem to enjoy what you're doing.

And I -- it's got passion. I think passion is the magnet to anything. Particularly talk. If people are speaking about something passionately and if they have a level of intelligence about it and if they're sufficiently informed, it's going to be like a magnet to people.

And you all seem to like each other and even during times where there might be striking disagreement, it doesn't seem filled with stress or friction. But it's unpredictable.

You guys might identify what you're going to talk about but nobody knows where it's going to go and nobody knows who is going to say what when. So it's something you can't predict. It's -- I think it's got all the elements.

But you guys make the show because it's a personality-driven and it's just real. It just happens and it's relevant. It's topical. And all of you are relatively intelligent.

BOLLING: And again, Rush, we want to get to the news of the day. Andrea wants to ask you a very important question also.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: So, Rush, maybe people are a little confused because sometimes it does seem like you might be shooting at folks on Fox. Can you clear something up for me finally please, right here, right now?


TANTAROS: Why do you call me Angela Tarantula?


LIMBAUGH: Do you take that as an insult?

TANTAROS: No, I don't.

PERINO: It's a compliment.

TANTAROS: I just assumed -- I mean, Bob says I have two great legs. Not eight great legs. I thought I'd ask you.

LIMBAUGH: You're not going to like the answer, because it's some sexist answer. You know, I come --

TANTAROS: OK. I'd like to hear it.

LIMBAUGH: I come from a long ago era where men could be men and stereotypical humor didn't offend anybody. And so, you are -- Andrea Tarantula is what, the spider, is a widow. What do black widows do to men?

And you are just -- you are so dominant. You are so certain. You are so confident that I wouldn't want to mess with you.

TANTAROS: All right.

BOLLING: On that note, Rush, on that note --

LIMBAUGH: So, it's a compliment.

BOLLING: You are the news of the day.

But let's get to some of the news of the day.

Hang in there, Bob, go ahead. Bob wants to go.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Hey, Rush, I'll back off. I wanted to see if you remember something.

I remember, you came to do our show with Tony Snow way back when it's called "Off the Record", and you and Snow went out to eat. And you said, Bob, if they elect Bill Clinton president, I'm going to be the biggest talk show host in history. Do you remember that?


BECKEL: You turned out to do it.

LIMBAUGH: Was that the TV show down in Washington?

BECKEL: Yes, it was.

LIMBAUGH: That's where I met Jane Mayer, and P.J. O'Rourke was on that show.

BECKEL: That's right.

LIMBAUGH: Yes, and I remember that day well. It was a late Friday afternoon and I flew down and it was -- I don't know, you were -- you were early -- the McLaughlin Group back in that days was what everybody was feeding off of and that was your effort to get in that game and I liked it.

And I -- the one thing about Clinton, it is said that Clinton helped me to -- actually made me -- but, you know, I was already at 500 radio stations before Clinton was elected. I had been on the air four years and when Clinton, I added another 112 to finish it up. But really my success had nothing to do with Clinton per se. He didn't harm it, but I didn't need -- I didn't need Bill Clinton in order to prosper.

BECKEL: All right. Go ahead.

BOLLING: Let's move on.

Rush, news of the day dominating cable news -- the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial. It's all over the place.

Rush, talk to us a little bit about -- this is George Zimmerman on trial or is it race in America on trial? And specifically, talk to us about the media's role in all of this.

LIMBAUGH: I think the media -- you all excluded, of course -- I think the media is invested in a guilty verdict and they're invested in a guilty verdict that's racial. And "New York Times" called this guy a white/Hispanic and CNN has picked up on that calling him a white-Hispanic. What is a white Hispanic?

I mean, that's a desire to categorize this as entirely racial when it probably had nothing to do with race, the actual event and when it happened. But everybody wants to make it that because there are just -- I think race, as I have gotten to know liberals over the course of my career here, something about race and the civil rights movement is -- it's almost a right of passage to be a liberal in the media. You have to have that perspective that this country is racist and has not recovered from slavery and it still mistreats everybody of minority skin color.

You're invested in that. This country is immoral and unjust on that basis and every opportunity to prove it, you're going to take it, even if you have to make it up. And this was -- this is like the Duke lacrosse case. There was no evidence what so ever to support any of the contentions the media made or the faculty at Duke. This is the same thing.

I had a story today, Judicial Watch got ahold of documents from Justice, the Freedom of Information. And there's a community relations service, part of DOJ, which, by it's name, is supposed to go down and help facilitate community peace, coming together and so forth.

These people, from the DOJ, were down sponsoring rallies prior to this trial, sponsoring people getting together, bus protestors in the Sanford, Florida, from nearby universities. The DOJ, Eric Holder, was invested in this being seen as racism and unfairness and unjustness against this kid Trayvon Martin, and they can't let go of it. And that's why there's wall-to-wall coverage.

This trial, I don't even think should be taking place. I don't even think there's a case here.

TANTAROS: Rush, it's the Tarantula. Do you think that this wouldn't be a national story if the president wouldn't have weighed in and if Eric Holder wouldn't have made such a big deal out of it and actually spoke about this case?

LIMBAUGH: Well, clearly, that helped it. But I think the media would have made this a cause celebre, whether Obama said anything or Holder had not brought Al Sharpton down there and called him "Reverend Al" and agreed with him. I think the media is perfectly capable of making this a nationwide issue and covering it within the framework that they hope everybody sees it and Obama was icing on the cake and Eric Holder, ditto.

BOLLING: All right. Rush, let's move to the other story that's making the rounds now. Immigration, some are calling it amnesty. Where do you come down on this one, Rush?

LIMBAUGH: Well, everybody says the immigration system is broken. And the only thing that I can see that's broken about the immigration system is that we're not enforcing existing law. I don't know what couldn't be fixed if we just did that. I don't think we need a whole new set of laws.

What we're being told today is exactly what the country was told in 1986. It was Simpson-Mazzoli. If we legalize these 3 million, we grant them amnesty, we'll never have to do this again.

And there's been all kinds of promises about border security first. That was taken back. There's no effort to secure the border. Therefore, there's no effort to stop the inflow.

I'll tell you what I really think and I really believe this. I really believe the Democrat party -- and both parties are at fault here -- so don't jump on me yet. The Democrat party needs a permanent underclass. They need a permanent dependent class of people low educated low wage, low skill dependent on government. They need that.

Now, as Americans climb the ladder of success and elevate themselves through the middle class and are less dependent on government, the Democrats have to replace them. The Democrat Party clearly sees 11 million votes here.

The Republican Party -- two things going on -- they're scared to death. They believe -- don't you guys find it funny that Democrats keep telling Republicans: unless you help us with this you're never going to win the White House as though they care? Do you think Obama and the Democrats really want to shares some of their voters with us? I don't buy it.

BOLLING: Rush --

LIMBAUGH: The Republicans are paranoid. The Republicans are scared to death believing a myth that unless they do this, the Hispanics are never going to support them.

The turn out was 7.8 percent. Romney got 27 percent. If Romney had gotten 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, he'd still lost. This is -- this is a giant -- it's a myth. Everything about it.

I think the Republicans have businesspeople who want cheap labor and so forth, but I had a guy call me, I know you're trying to hurry me. The guy call me the other day and made a great point.

He said, Rush, you're missing this. There's so many people in America not working and still eating and still driving and still watching TV and still calling on their phones, they don't need a job. And the American business community needs workers. And that's why the Republican Party is for this. Businesses can't find qualified or anybody to work as Americans want anymore.

I mean, that's how royal this has gotten.

GUTFELD: Hey, Rush, the idea that somehow that it's being floated that if the Republicans embrace this bill, Democrats will no longer call them racist, and I firmly believe that telling a Democrat not to cry racism is like telling Lynyrd Skynyrd not to play "Free Bird." That's not going to change. Am I right?

LIMBAUGH: Right. Well, look, didn't they say, if we elected Obama, then the country would no longer be racist because we would prove that we weren't because we'd have elected the first black president, and we were going to be unified and happy and it was going to be utopia, and everybody can be whistling kumbaya -- and none of that has happened.

I think, the Republicans get tricked by really skillful Democrat consultants and media people. The Republicans -- let's take the way Republicans are intimidated by the media when it comes to independence.

Republicans are told don't criticize Obama, don't be partisan. That just makes the independents mad and they're going to run right to the Democrats the minute you show any partisanship. The independents want bipartisanship. So, the Republicans, they got dazzle and they don't criticize Obama. They play nice. It never works.

And the independents -- the Democrat Party is as mean-spirited and extreme as anybody I've ever seen.

BECKEL: Rush, Rush, this is Beckel. Wait, what are you talking about? It's the Republicans don't sit on the table. They're the obstructionist. They're the no people. These Tea Party people in the house are holding the stuff up.

And, by the way, the 14 million illegal immigrants can't get to be a voter under the Senate bill for 14 to 20 years. So, we're not going to expect to have 11 million or 12 million new voters.

I mean, it is the Republicans that are causing the problem here. It's not the Democrats.

LIMBAUGH: Wait a minute. Bob, just the other day the president of the United States said, you know what? I don't like the individual employer mandate so I'm just going to cancel it.

Well, Bob, I will guarantee you, if this bill passes as the Gang of Eight bill exists today and there's this, whatever it is, 12 to 14-year waiting period to vote, within six hours of the bill's passage, Chuck Schumer will find the nearest camera and talk about how unfair it is that we have granted these people a path way out of the shadows but that they can't vote and the next day they'll be able to vote. You watch.

That's the whole reason for doing this. That's the only reason anybody cares about this. There's 11 million voters to be bought.

BECKEL: You're not going to deny the demographic increases of Hispanics by the year 2030, they're going to be so dominant it's going to effect the Republican Party.

LIMBAUGH: I think the Republican can get anybody by being conservative. If they start pandering, we got a set of policies for this group, set of policies for that group, we are friendly to here, we don't deflect you here, they're going to forever lose because that's the Democrats game and the Republicans can't win being Democrat-lite.

The Republicans are abandoning what they need to do to win. We got the greatest opportunity, Bob, the Republicans do, to contrast themselves with what the Democrat party stands for and they're not using it. They're trying to be Democrat Party lite. They're trying to echo the Democrat Party, be perceived by the Democrat Party, be liked by Democrat Party, be liked by Democrat voters.

It's a losing game.

BOLLING: Hey, Rush, I don't want to rush you, so to speak. You mentioned something, the employer mandate and Obamacare. Dana has a question for you regarding that.


PERINO: I wondered if do you think that because they did that in, you know, in a slow news weekend, they try to get out -- people, there was a poll not too long ago that said 33 percent of people already think it's been repealed anyway. What do you think -- if you were advising, one of those consultants for the House Republicans or the Senate Republicans, what do you think they should try to do now?

LIMBAUGH: Well, I don't -- see, this is -- I don't know that I'm qualified -- my business isn't politics. And I have opinions about it but I would -- you're going to laugh at me and throw me off the show. I would advise the Republicans just say no. Just stop this business.

BECKEL: That's what they do. They take your advice.

LIMBAUGH: There's nothing -- well, then they need to hold fast to it.

All that's broken is we're not enforcing the law already on the books. All we -- you know, Bob, if these guys would simply secure the border, you'd be amazed at the magic that would happen after that. But nobody wants to do that. Nobody wants to shut down this inflow of illegals.

BOLLING: Rush, there's a group of conservative senators that want to do that. I'm thinking Rand Paul, one, Ted Cruz, two, and some other ones as well.

LIMBAUGH: That do want to do that?

BOLLING: They want to shut the border down first before the other stuff goes through.

LIMBAUGH: Yes, but they're in the minority.

BOLLING: Before the amnesty, you know, giveaway goes happen, and before they get Obamacare.

PERINO: But, Rush, this is Dana, what do you say to the fact that deportations are up and the number of people coming into the country is


LIMBAUGH: Well, see, that's -- more evidence I think for my point of view. It's a net wash, isn't it, from what we know? People leaving on their own is washing out by the people coming in. It's a net number now.

The economy is down. The attraction to come here is not near -- not quite as great. There's no crisis is the point. There's no reason it has to be done right now under the rubric -- every time we do something that's in the middle of a crisis and has to happen now and can't wait, the Republican Party gets the shaft.

TANTAROS: Rush, on Friday, the administration also announced that they would not be requiring people because the individual mandate is still enforceable. They wouldn't be verifying whether or not they had health insurance. They're just going to trust what people say. Do you think this is an opportunity for the Republicans on Obamacare to push back on the individual mandate now?

LIMBAUGH: I don't think -- I think repeal the whole thing.

TANTAROS: But they have 37 times in the House.

LIMBAUGH: But -- I mean, the case can be made to the American people. Look, here's -- what Obama is doing with this -- I laugh when I hear people, you know, it's all falling apart on Obama, Rush. No, it's not. He's getting everything he wants on what you just mentioned.

The honor system, anybody can say I qualify for subsidy. Obama wants two things with this that happen on Friday you're talking about. If you notice, he's out campaigning for a bill that's already the law of the land. He's getting Hollywood, NFL players to get everybody to push this.

Why? 2010 is one key. The Democrats lost down the ballot. They got shellacked. It was deep. It was rotten. They lost the house. And it was because a Tea Party came to life because of Obamacare.

So, they're trying to change people's minds about it. Second thing is, the more people they can entice to come in and sign up these exchanges, the harder it's going to be to take it away. You get this entitlement. You get the webs and the tentacles to this entitlement deep into the fabric of society and it will never be repealed. It will never be taken away.

BECKEL: Hey, Rush, Rush, I've got to try, because you've got to go now. I got one fast question. Do you not believe that this thing -- Snowden did break the law and he ought to come back and go to trial. But is this not an assault on the 4th Amendment by the Internal Revenue Service? I mean, by the NSA?

Didn't they go too far?

BOLLING: Rush, we've got 30 seconds.

LIMBAUGH: Didn't who go too far?

BECKEL: Didn't the NSA go too far by going into everybody's phone records?

LIMBAUGH: Bob, I'm sorry my hearing. They went too far pursuing Snowden?

BECKEL: No, pursuing our phone records. By getting Verizon to give them the list of phone calls we made.

LIMBAUGH: Oh, that's been going on for how long they've been collecting the metadata. This is -- that's I'm sorry my hearing prevented me from fitting your time limit. Let me come back on that.


BOLLING: All right. We're going to leave it there, Rush. We're going to say thank you so much. Thanks a bunch for joining us today. We really appreciate your time.

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