Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh says no one should be surprised by the New York Times’ report implying an improper relationship between Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, and a lobbyist a number of years ago.
“The story is not the story,” he said today. “The story is the Drive-By Media turning on its favorite maverick trying to take him out.
“The New York Times endorsed that candidate while they sat on this story, and now with utter predictability, they are trying to destroy him. This is what you get when you walk across the aisle and try to make these people your friends,” Limbaugh said.
“Why should any of us be surprised or even angry at what the New York Times is doing here trying to take out John McCain? Those of you who listen regularly should have been expecting this all along because it’s utterly predictable,” he said.
“It’s as predictable as the sun rising in the morning. It’s as predictable as Ted Kennedy finding a bar at happy hour,” Limbaugh said.
McCain denied any romantic relationship with the telecommunciations lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, and described her as a friend.
He said the report by the Times suggesting favoritism for her clients was “not true.”
“I’ve served this nation honorably for more than half a century,” said McCain, a former Navy pilot who has represented Arizona for four Senate terms. “At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust.”
The newspaper’s report, based on anonymous statements, said aides had urged McCain and Iseman to stay away from each other prior to his unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2000.
The Washington Post also quoted longtime aide John Weaver, who broke away from McCain a year ago, as saying he met with Iseman and urged her to stay away.
McCain said he wasn’t told of any such meeting, and wasn’t told of any such concerns.
The published reports implied a number of items while stopping short of asserting there was a romantic relationship. They also alleged McCain pushed legislation that could have benefited Iseman’s clients.
On that issue, however, McCain only urged the Federal Communications to consider the case, not approve the proposal.
Limbaugh’s response was to the point:
“Would you give me a break? You’re surprised that Page Six-type gossip is on the front page of the New York Times? Where have you been? How in the world can anybody be surprised at the New York Times?…,” he said.
“What have I always said that today is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt? It is this: If you let the media make you, you are subjecting yourself to the media being able to destroy you. Sen. McCain – the important thing about what has happened here in the New York Times, the only important thing to me – I don’t care what’s in this story. The story is not the story. The story is that this paper endorsed McCain, sat on this story and now puts it out just prior to McCain wrapping up the nomination,” he said.
“And McCain says he’s disappointed. Why? Why is anybody disappointed or surprised by this? They are who they are. A snake is a snake. A tiger is a tiger. The New York Times is the New York Times. Folks, if you expect me to be angry about the story and angry at the New York Times, you have tuned to the wrong radio show. I refuse to get mad when something I have predicted is going to happen, happens. I refuse to get mad when something I know is true, is true. It’s a total waste of energy,” Limbaugh said.
The more significant issue, he said, is whether McCain is going to “learn the right lesson.”
“The lesson is liberals are to be defeated. You cannot walk across the aisle with them … You cannot welcome their media members on your bus and get all cozy with them and expect eternal love from them. You are a Republican. Whether you’re a conservative Republican or not, you are a Republican. At some point, the people you cozy up to, either to do legislation or to get cozy media stories, are going to turn on you. They are snakes.”
Limbaugh, in fact, told his audience that the Times actually participated in the process of eliminating other GOP candidates.
“You let the New York Times pick your candidate,” he told his audience. “The media picked the Republican Party candidate this year, folks, whether you want to believe it or not, they did. Republicans didn’t, and so you see what happens.”
He cited from his own program archives, on Jan. 25, when he predicted an eventual race between Sen. Hillary Clinton on the Democrat side and McCain.
“And the New York Times [is] going to write an editorial endorsing who? Gotta get out of this mode here that our acceptance or our arrival or the fact that we’re making progress can be tracked by whether or not Democrats like some of us. … In November on Election Day, they’re not going to vote for any of us, or our guys. So who cares what they say about them ever? The more they praise them, the more suspicious you gotta get, because they do not want our side to win.”