Mitch McConnell Stands By Rush Limbaugh

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 3, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, no rush from Rush. So far, there are no reports of advertisers bailing on Rush Limbaugh. His boss over at Clear Channel continues to defend him, this as Democrats blast the conservative talk show host over his "phony soldiers" comment.

My next guest is also supporting Rush. And he's a pretty powerful guy in his own right, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senator, they still whack him. Any body blows?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., MINORITY LEADER: Look, I read what he had to say. He's got nothing to apologize for, and he certainly said nothing to be condemned for.

The Democrats are just trying to — to move past this outrageous ad in The New York Times by calling General Petraeus, in effect, a traitor. I don't know — you know, when we actually voted on that, about half the Democrats in the Senate voted with us to condemn the ad. They had a similar vote over in the House, and more of than half of thee House Democrats also voted to condemn the ad.

That was something worthy of condemnation. Rush Limbaugh didn't say anything that he should regret or that we should condemn him for.

CAVUTO: All right, but it's a battle of images, I guess. And do you think either your speaking out now or Harry Reid going to the floor of the Senate to speak out against is a constructive use of time?

MCCONNELL: It doesn't take much time. And, you know, what we do every day is go on record on one thing or another. That's what we do here in Washington.

We have had, it seems to me, excessive numbers of Iraq votes. As of last week, it was about 55 in the House and Senate this year. I think most of the American people think all we do is have Iraq votes and investigations, which is probably why this new Congress is now down to an 18 percent approval rating, which ought to be in the Guinness Book of Records for the quickest squandering of a new mandate given just last fall.

In a mere nine months, down to 18 percent is really quite stunning. And I think the reason for it...

CAVUTO: Do you think, then, Senator, that that is what could hurt Democrats at the polls in November, that people extrapolate from that, we don't think must of Congress; it's under Democratic control; we will take it out on the Democrats? Do people go through that process?

MCCONNELL: Yes, they certainly do.

And I think the Democrat — the new Democratic Congress, by refusing to cooperate on virtually anything, by refusing to solve some of the big problems in the country, like Social Security, for example, you know, are clearly sending a message to the voters that the election never stopped. You know, we had it last November and continues every day as a new chapter.

I really think the American people would like for us to turn off last year's election and accomplish some important things for the country. They don't see this Congress having done anything.

And this very week that you and I are talking, Neil, is illustrative of the problem. We're in the first week of the new fiscal year, and not having passed one single spending bill on time — by September 30 — not one on the president's desk yet. We're not doing the basic work of government here.

CAVUTO: Well, it seems to me that if you're the party that's trying to take the White House, right, Senator — you know more about these political machinations than I do — you sort of run out the clock, right? Is that what they're doing?

MCCONNELL: Well, I think it's a mistake. They're assuming next year's election is going to be about the current president or the current situation in Iraq .

I think next year's election is going to be about the future, not the past. President Bush is not going to be on the ballot. We're going to have dramatically fewer troops in Iraq and on their way to a different place in Iraq.

Next year is going to be about the next four years. And this new Congress, Neil, has been busily at work sending signals that they want to raise taxes on everyone, that they want to get rid of the secret ballot in labor union elections, that they don't want to pass any trade agreements.

Add it all up, you have got higher taxes, you know, more unions, and protectionism. That's what we will be running on next fall.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator. We will see what happens. Always good seeing you.

MCCONNELL: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much.

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