TODD: One of my very favorite lessons from Professor Limbaugh was Rush defeated cancel culture from the actual White House, an attempt to cancel him from the White House before that was even a phrase. And it happened after Rush gave the Wall Street Journal four words about Obama’s first term. Let’s hear this, and I’ll explain how Rush defeated it.
RUSH: Now, you Millennials are young enough, you may not have been listening to this program January 16th, 2009. On January 16th, 2009, the day before, I had been contacted by the Wall Street Journal. Obama was yet to be immaculated. That would be five days later. The Wall Street Journal was asking highly reputed, relevant commentators to submit 400 words on their hopes and dreams for the new Obama administration. And I came here to the Golden EIB Microphone, and I told my audience my reply to the Wall Street Journal, sound bite number one.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I don’t need 400 words, I need four: “I hope he fails.” What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.
RUSH: And they did. They headlined it exactly that way. “Limbaugh: I hope Obama fails.” What they purposely got wrong was they reported that I was hoping America failed, that I was so rank partisan that I was willing for my country to suffer in order for Obama’s presidency to fail. And it was the exact opposite. I wanted Obama to fail so that my country would not. I wanted Obama’s liberal agenda, his socialist community organizer agenda to fail.
I did not and never have and never will want America to fail. Never. No way. This was my point of trying to articulate the difference. I wanted Obama to fail implementing things like Obamacare. I wanted Obama to fail in letting the Iranians have nuclear weapons. I wanted Obama to fail at keeping our borders open. I wanted Obama to fail at everything he did. I wanted Obama to fail at the stimulus. I did not want America to fail. I wanted America to be saved.
Well, I made that distinction every day for a month. Even my first nationally televised address to America at the CPAC convention in February, I went through it there on national TV, four networks, just as I did to you here, and it continued to be misrepresented, it continued to be portrayed as I was hoping America would fail. And it still is. Nine years later, folks, and they can’t let go of it.
TODD: That was Rush December 4th, 2017, remembering earlier what he’d said. I absolutely adored the lesson from Professor Limbaugh after the White House went at him and the Democrats. They took out billboards trying to attack Rush. The White House, the president was attacking a media figure — albeit the biggest talk show host in history, most-listened to — and I remember Rush’s response on the air.
He quoted Alinsky. He said, “Mr. President, I get the playbook: Pick a target, cut it off from its support base, isolate it. But the problem is you think that my target is my advertisers,” and advertisers have been very loyal to Rush. He said, “Look, I’m family with my listeners. You can’t separate us.” He also said, “President Obama, I’ve prepared all my life for people like you.
“You know? There’s nothing you can give me. Therefore, there’s nothing you can take from me,” and he offered a peace treaty of sorts or a meeting. Our Maha said, “Listen, why don’t you fly Air Force One down here and we’ll have a meeting and see if we can come to some sort of agreement.
“Or, better yet,” Rush said, “I’ll tell you what. I’ll come and pick you up in EIB One because it’s a better airplane, and on the way back, I can talk to you about what it feels like to purchase things like this with money you earned.” Rush canceled that attempt to cancel Rush Limbaugh.
And there’s a lot of people who could learn a lot of lessons from that to this day