RUSH: Lester Holt, and he is interviewing Barack Hussein Obama. He said, “Given the recovery was as uneven as it was, the people on the bottom slower to recover than the people on the top, didn’t that in some way plant the seeds for the election of Donald Trump?”
OBAMA: Well, what is true is that the — the ability of Republican leaders to rile up their base — helped along with by folks like Rush Limbaugh, some commentators on Fox News — I think created an environment in which Republican voters would punish Republicans for cooperating with me. That hothouse of back-and-forth argument — and really sharp partisanship — I think has been harmful to the country.
RUSH: Right. Now, Obama came into office January 23, 2009, and had the Congressional Leadership Conference in the White House. You’ve got Boehner and McConnell there and their aides, House and Senate leaders both parties. And Obama said to Boehner and McConnell, “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done. That’s just not how it happens in Washington.” So he came into office blaming me and telling the Republicans they have to stop listening to me.
As I have mentioned on a couple of previous occasions, I had a meeting with Boehner right here at the EIB Southern Command headquarters a couple of weeks after that, and he was talking about this, and he said, “I can’t believe it. I don’t know why he would do that. I don’t know why he would say that, Rush.” You know, I was kind of dumbfounded. I said, “You really don’t?” “No. Why would he say that?” I said, “Because he was hoping that you, or Mitch, or somebody in your group would go out to that pile of microphones always outside the White House after a meeting with the president.
“And that one of you would agree that there’s a new day and we need to have a new way of looking at things and Rush Limbaugh has been too whatever. He was desperately hoping that you will agree with him! He was trying to marginalize conservative opposition to him.” Another way he acted, is he had dinner with noted conservatives in Washington. It was at the home of George F. Will. Obama chose the conservatives to be there. Naturally, I was not there. They were David Brooks, George Will, Larry Kudlow, Dr. Krauthammer.
It was at this meeting that David Brooks discovered the crease in Obama’s slacks, and that convinced Brooks that Obama’s gonna be great. People said, “Why did he have that dinner?” It’s because what he was trying to do was designate the official conservative leadership in Washington for the media to follow, and he had chosen many of those — not all, but he had chosen many of them — ’cause they had already been solicitous of him and already been open and praiseworthy and complimentary towards him.
So he was trying to eliminate any opposition. It’s kind of a crock here for the guy (chuckles) to blame me for partisanship in Washington. (chuckles) I’m never there. I’m a guy on the radio. Admittedly, a powerful, influential member of the media guy on the radio. But nevertheless I’m not there. But the noteworthy thing here is how he exempts himself from any of the reasons for partisanship: “That hothouse of back-and-forth argument and — and really sharp partisanship I think has been harmful to the country.” See, none of what he did is partisan.