A Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-Shirt Update

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RUSH: I’m gonna take some time, ’cause I have a breather now, too. I have to give you an update to the Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirts. I have been so swamped the past couple of days that I have felt it would be an affront to the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd to deviate away, but I’m almost at a loss to explain this. Well, not a loss to explain it. I’m so gratified. We are so overwhelmed with the response to the Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirts. Next week, we are going to be announcing another substantial increase in donation to Tunnel to Towers.

They are the charitable foundation that we are essentially supporting with the sale of Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirts. Now, let me briefly explain what this is for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about. On the Fourth of July or thereabouts, Nike introduces a new brand of tennis shoes that have the Betsy Ross flag on the heel. It’s the original flag with 13 stars arranged in a circle and the blue quadrant in the upper left-hand corner to signify the founding of the nation, 13 colonies.

Colin Kaepernick — who was made famous not for his great play as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, but rather for taking a knee during the national anthem, disrespecting the flag, joining this cacophony of people claiming the cops are a bunch of murderers and racists. Colin Kaepernick said, “I don’t like that shoe.” So Nike said, “Oh, Colin doesn’t like it? We’re gonna shelve it.” They shelved the shoe just because one of their endorsed spokesmen doesn’t like it. As I say, I’m still not convinced that it’s not a PR stunt, but that doesn’t matter.

On the Fourth of July (it was a Thursday) when this really heated up, I asked my wife, Kathryn, who essentially runs the Rush Limbaugh Store at RushLimbaugh.com, “How quickly can we turn around a Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt?” In four days, she had it designed. In four days, she had a manufacturer arranged — over the Fourth of July weekend — and she had managed to set up fulfillment and warehouse operations to be able to handle what we thought was gonna be a significant response. I mean, our original goal — I’ll tell you — was 50,000.

By this weekend, we will have surpassed 200,000 T-shirts sold in 19 days. So we get the T-shirts made, the original batch. We got ’em made, and we announce on Monday, July 8th, that we are allowing the sale, permitting the sale here, because the purpose was we wanted to allow people the opportunity to push back. And it wasn’t just against Nike. During this period of time, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup, and in their victory news conferences, they started trashing America.

They started talking about how America’s not exceptional, America’s a rotten place, and it just ticked me off. It just ticked me off. Why in the world…? You’ve got this marvelous athletic achievement. Why not…? You want to represent the country in the World Cup. You want to represent the country, and you do, and you win. Why is it not enough to win a significant athletic achievement? Why take the occasion to start bashing the country? So it gave us more fuel for the fire, and it was just made to order.

We decided to pair with a different charity this time, but this charity does something much like the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. It’s Tunnel to Towers. What Tunnel to Towers does is help the families of people who were either killed in 9/11, first responders, military people. In this instance, they are paying off mortgages for homes that were taken out by now a deceased head of household. The first donations that we were able to announce to Tunnel to Towers was $1.5 million, and we were ecstatic. This is not a profit pursuit, by the way, for the RushLimbaugh.com store.

Just so everybody knows, we’re not doing this for our own P&L and bottom line. This is not a pursuit of profit. The proceeds go to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation — and we were thrilled! We were just stunned and excited to be able to announce that we were sending $1.5 million from you. I’m not donating the money. I bought some shirts, obviously. But this is not a donation coming from me as the media, which is graciously and nicely reporting on this… This is not a media criticism, just a point of fact that you are the people responsible for these amazing donations.

They have been able so far to retire six complete mortgages, and they’re going to be able to do more. Now, as this got started… By the way, the Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt is… We had to go out and find the vendor that had the ability to do nothing, as it turns out, but print these shirts. We had to go out and find inventory. If you’re gonna sell a shirt, and you’re gonna mention the unique fabric and material it’s made of, then every one has to be that way.

So Kathryn has literally been scouring the country to make sure we can scale up with that which we are promising, to find inventory in a volume nobody ever anticipated. The fulfillment operation has gone beyond what anybody had planned for. Thankfully, because of the foresight, we can handle it. But it’s still a massive undertaking. In the process of all this starting up originally, we heard about 56 knockoff operations — 56 to 60 fake Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirts.

So we got the legal department in this, and we sent the legal department in to shut as many of these down, and we had a better-than-hoped for success on that. But now we’re up to over 220 knockoffs. There are over 220 fraudsters out there on their website claiming to sell the authentic Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt with my signature underneath it with the American flag. But they’re not. There’s only one place to get the authentic shirt, and there’s only one place where you buy it that the proceeds go to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Now, I got a note here this morning. The reason I’m making a big deal with this is we got a note from Tunnel to Towers. “Mr. and Mrs. Limbaugh, we want to thank you for what you’re doing for our foundation. We know you’re aware that there are sites out there trying to sell your shirts, but I wanted to alert you that there is a specific store that is doing so — selling your shirts — and people are being charged $1,500.” The scam has now gotten to the point that this one website — and I’ve got the link here.

I’m hesitant to give the link. I don’t want to generate any more traffic to this outfit. At the same time, I don’t want to mention any of them. I just want to impress upon you: Don’t go anywhere else. If you want to do this, if you want to buy a shirt or two to benefit Tunnel to Towers, or if you just want to buy a shirt to push back… That was the original idea: Push back against Nike. Push back against all of these people that are, for inexplicable reasons, finding it necessary to rip to shreds the greatest country on earth.

What they’re really doing is ripping us to shreds. It’s such that it’s hard not to take this personally when you love your country and you think it’s the best place on earth and you love everybody in it, and then this stuff starts happening. And it’s not new. You see what happens to Black Lives Matter accusing the cops of being mass murderers of innocent African-Americans. Now you get the situation in New York where the cops are disrespected, water thrown on them.

They walk away, because, if they engage, they’ll get in trouble with their lunatic mayor, who admits telling his son to be wary of his own police force growing up! I mean, it’s absurd and it’s obscene what is happening. So we wanted to push back against it. But now there’s a knockoff that is charging people… They’re not listing the price at $1,500. That’s what you’re being charged when you buy the fake shirt. The best thing to do is just not buy anywhere but RushLimbaugh.com. Let me remind you again: This is not a profit pursuit for us.

This is an entirely charitable effort that we are engaging in here for Tunnel to Towers and for people who participate to be able to accomplish that while pushing back at the same time. Now, as to the status, folks, we are so overwhelmed. Like I say, we’re gonna be over 200,000 shirts this weekend, and they keep coming in! On days I don’t mention this, we’re getting thousands and thousands of people ordering shirts. We are printing them as quickly as we can.

We are getting shipments from our vendor every day. We are getting entire UPS trucks delivering to our warehouse and our loading dock every morning. The vendor has had to suspend all other jobs in order to keep up with the demand here. We are fulfilling orders as quickly as we can, and we’re to the point now where we’re having to say that we’re accepting pre-orders, because the shirts that are sold today and through the weekend, we don’t have ’em yet. We’re in the process of fulfilling orders that we’ve already had.

We get them out as quickly as we can. We have an excellent customer service department. We have the most patient customer service. We had some funny people this week. You know, whenever you do something like this, not everybody is clean and pure as the wind-driven snow. Some angry guy writes in that he hadn’t gotten his shirt. So we looked at his account and he had not furnished his address! So we got back in touch with him.

“Sir, your address is not on the form here.”

“Oh! Oh.”

He was all prepared to blame, I think it was Chloe in this case. Anyway, we got it all settled. We’re tackling every aspect of this, and meeting the demand as quickly as we can, as quickly as time permits — and, on the website, if you go to the Rush Limbaugh Show Store at RushLimbaugh.com, it’s noted when pre-orders will ship. I think, if I’m not mistaken, the ship date now is either the end of this month or early August. It’s all great. I mean, there aren’t any problems here. There are just situations to deal with.

The massive number of orders that continue to come in and the ongoing process of finding inventory, then sending that inventory to the printer — the T-shirt vendor — and then having him make them. His presses are running 24/7; then he has to box ’em up, load ’em up, call the traffic department, and have them send over a truck. The truck takes it to the post office. The post office or UPS ships it, gets it to our loading dock. We unload it. We have to catalog it. We have to make sure that we order the right sizes and the right percentages.

Not everybody wears the same size. Not everybody’s a 4X. Not everybody’s a small. So we’re having to do all of this on the fly. The workdays are 18 hours, as of now, to keep up as best we can with meeting the demanded. So I just wanted to update you on how this is happening, how wonderfully great it is, the volume here in terms of gross sales and the amount sent to the charity. Again, next week sometime we’ll be able to update you, but it’s a massive addition to the already $2 million that we have been able to share with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

It’s all because of you, folks.

Some of the local media in Georgia, Wisconsin, and Alabama, where some of these six mortgages have been paid off, local TV is doing human interest stories on the families that Tunnel to Towers is helping, and in all these stories… We get copies because we are powerful, influential members of the media. So we get video and audio of these local media reports. Almost every one of them is crediting the donation to me — “a $1.5 million donation from Rush Limbaugh, $2 million” — and none of it is from me! It’s all from you.

We at RushLimbaugh.com are simply the pass-through here. So keep it up. Keep it up. We are prepared to keep it up. We are prepared to fulfill as many orders as we get. We are prepared to find the quantity. We are prepared to continue to do whatever it takes to get the quantity and then have the orders fulfilled as quickly as we can. A heartfelt and sincere thanks to all of you. If this were a book, we would be on the New York Times best-seller list for the rest of the year — if this were a book.

That is how phenomenal this is — and, folks, it’s impossible to give you exact numbers ’cause it’s not static, and we never intended it to last this long. We had no idea how long this was gonna go. We don’t now know how long. The demand is obviously there, the willingness, the desire to participate. So just keep it up — and keep in mind that if you have ordered or do order, your order will be fulfilled as rapidly and quickly as it is possible to do so.

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RUSH: Dmitry in Houston as we hit the phones. It’s great that you’re up with us today. Hi.

CALLER: Thank you. Good morning. Thanks for taking my call first on this Friday morning. Listening to the opening monologue, it struck me that the reason the media is saying, “Rush Limbaugh is donating $1.5 million or $2 million” to the foundation is because they cannot admit to themselves that close to 200,000 of your listeners have patriotically bought the $27 item knowing that 55 or 60% of that item will go to the victims. It’s easier for them to say, “This rich media mogul, Rush Limbaugh, is donating $1.5 or $2 million.”

RUSH: Ha! (laughing) Dmitry, that’s an interesting thought, except I haven’t seen “rich media mogul” next to my name in these stories. But your point is well taken. They do not want to acknowledge… Just like they don’t acknowledge Trump voters as responsible and involved and intelligent, they don’t want to credit the American people. They don’t want to create — they don’t want to help facilitate — the idea that lots of people are ticked off about Nike and Kaepernick and the women’s soccer team and are pushing back.

So, yeah, it’s easier just to say that the donation is coming from me. But even that’s gotta give ’em problem ’cause I’m, you know, a racist, bigot, homophobe extremist, in their view, and I don’t do nice things like this. So no matter how it’s sliced, they’ve gotta be conflicted reporting this. But you have a valid point. Glad you called, Dmitry.

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RUSH: Curtis in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Great to have you. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, mega dittos, Rush. My favorite teacher. Would you ever consider making a long sleeve Betsy Ross shirt and maybe one for the kids?

RUSH: You know, I’m glad that you asked this. We have had a lot of requests from women to do a V-neck version of the T-shirt. We would love to. Folks, we’re having trouble keeping up with one model. We’re having trouble getting enough of one model manufactured, printed, packaged, and shipped. I’m not trying to sound like I’m making an excuse. And I’m not trying to say “slow down.” I mean, keep the orders coming. That’s the whole point.

We want to blow the roof off now. We are so far beyond our expectations on the Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt. I just happen to have one here. Isn’t that amazing? I happen to have one right here in the drawer next to me. Let me hold it up again here and show you what this is. There it is, Stand Up for Betsy Ross, my signature there at the bottom. That’s the original Betsy Ross flag, 13 stars in a circle to signify the 13 U.S. colonies at the founding of the country.

A Nike tennis shoe with that flag on it so offended Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers that he demanded Nike not sell it. Nike said: Oh, we’re not gonna sell it. Colin doesn’t like it. Colin doesn’t like the American flag. Colin Kaepernick thinks that the American flag stinks, that it’s corrupt, that it stands for being mean to minorities. Nike said “We stand with Colin” so they pulled the shoe.

That ticked me off. So we turned this shirt around in four days, July 4th the idea, July 8th were able to announce it in the store. We have so far donated from the proceeds $2 million to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. We’re gonna be announcing next week that we’re bumping that up. Probably by the end of the day today we will surpass 200,000 T-shirts. It is an amazing thing that has happened here.

And folks, I’ll be honest with you. It’s a struggle to keep up with every aspect here. Taking the orders, accepting them, and then fulfilling them, because we have to find the exact same shirt. This is a unique T-shirt. It’s unlike any T-shirt you’ve ever worn. It’s not gonna shrink up on you. You can wash it 10 times and it’s gonna look brand-new. It’s a $27 item. Stop and think of this, a $27 item in 18 days has generated enough that we can donate the proceeds of $2 million to the Tunnel for Towers foundation. It’s a stunning story, and it’s all about you.

But we are in the process here — we’ve had to now call orders that come in today pre-orders. The vendor that we have that actually prints and makes the shirts is running around the clock. He has suspended some of his other jobs. We have trucks leaving his shop daily, arriving at our warehouse daily. They gotta sorted. They’ve gotta be allocated, put in the system to go right back out.

If you go to the store website at RushLimbaugh.com and click on the “Store” tab you will see next to your order that there’s a “ship by” date. And it’s into August now. We hope to ship by August. So we’re doing pre-orders now because it’s a never-ending process, the fulfilling of so many orders coming in here. And when I went through this in the opening segment of the program, I was not trying to tell you we’re overwhelmed and to stop. It’s the exact opposite. Keep the orders coming. Keep it flowing.

We would have been happy with 50,000. The original goal, I’ll tell you what it was, it was 50,000 because we saw somewhere that some lone wolf vendor had sold 50,000 shirts some months ago about something. I said, “We can do that.” Well, we’re so far beyond that, we left that guy in the dust.

And there’s one other important thing to note. There are over 220 knockoffs, 220 bootlegs, and the one that was discovered yesterday, there is a fraudulent website that is charging people $1,500 when they buy the shirt. I’m not gonna mention the website. I’m not gonna elevate ’em. I’m not gonna give any publicity. I’m just gonna remind you, there’s only one place to get the authentic Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt and only one place where the proceeds from your purchase go to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. And that’s at RushLimbaugh.com.

(interruption) No, the T-shirt, it’s not listed as costing $1,500 on this fraudulent site. That’s what they’re charging people! I mean this is the worst example of the fraud that’s out there, but 225 bootlegs should give you an idea of how big this has become. And the proceeds to Tunnel to Towers uses the money to pay off the mortgages of homes taken out by heads of households who are killed in action either as military members or the 9/11 victims or first responders or what have you.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right. I got a question in the email — and I don’t mind this. I don’t mind the opportunity to be even more clear than I normally, usually am. I think you people ought to realize how fortunate you are that I am your primary communicator. There’s very little I have to repeat. I oftentimes do repeat just to say it in a different way, but I pride myself on making sure you only need to hear what I say one time to get it. Now, the email question was, “Rush, you’ve been selling the shirts for 25 days. What do you mean, ‘pre-order’?”

Great question. The reason that when you go to RushLimbaugh.com in the store to buy a Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt it looks like pre-order is because the T-shirt you buy is not in stock yet, folks, most likely. I don’t know how to describe this any better than I have. The orders are coming in. We’re fulfilling them as fast if we can. On the website page where you go to order, it’s got a “ship by” date, exactly as if you pre-ordered something that hadn’t yet reached stock, and they have a commitment to ship by a certain date. That’s what we’re doing.

I don’t want anybody to think that we have a whole pile of shirts and we’re just fulfilling them as orders come in. Because some people are writing, “Hey! How come it’s taking so long?” ‘Cause we normally get things out in a day or two, and this is taking us sometimes as much as four or five days. So I just want to be upfront about this. It’s taking a little longer to get all these out, and we’re running full staff 18 hours a day doing this.

I mentioned that we’ve got some videos that we’ve taken of the process, and people have asked, “Are you gonna post ’em?” Nah, I haven’t decided to do that. I mean, there are privacy concerns with staff and this kind of thing. But it’s actually… When I stop and think about it, there was no way anybody involved here thought we would ever be at this level — and yet we’re able to do it. We have been able to scale this up. We’ve been able to get the blank shirts, every one identical. We’ve been able to ship ’em off to the vendor and have them all printed identically.

We get ’em back in a timely fashion. His shop is not stopping. He’s running round the clock printing them and then shipping to us, and it’s been a magnificent experience to be part of. Because when people pay you for something, they expect whatever it is they’ve bought to be on hand pretty quickly, and we are well aware of that. So you can trust that we’re working as quickly as we can to get everything that you order back to you ASAP.

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