NBC's Gangel Tries to Broker Beer Summit for Rush and Obama

In the second part of her interview with Rush Limbaugh, on Tuesday's "Today" show, NBC's Jamie Gangel attempted to broker a beer summit between the radio talk show host and the President. Gangel, during the mostly friendly interview with Limbaugh, suggested a meeting between the two to promote "more unity," as seen in the following exchange:

JAMIE GANGEL: Do you think the Republicans can win?

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Yes.

GANGEL: Do you think they will win?

LIMBAUGH: Too soon to say but I think it's entirely possible. We do have Obama, and he's truly polarizing the country. So, there will be a significant vote against. But you gotta have somebody to vote for at the same time.

GANGEL: If he invited you to the White House, would you go?

LIMBAUGH: Absolutely.

GANGEL: And what would you say to him?

LIMBAUGH: Well, depends on what he wanted me there for.

GANGEL: Well if you want to, sit at the picnic table and make up and-

LIMBAUGH: Have a beer? Have a beer?

GANGEL: Less, less polarizing. More unity.

LIMBAUGH: I'd be honest with him. I'd be, look it. The President of the United States is the President of the United States. He's my president, too. I want, you know I want this country to succeed, and if he invited me up there to chat, I would owe him the dignity and honor of being honest.

The following is the full interview as it was aired on the October 13, "Today" show:

MATT LAUER: And now more of our rare and exclusive interview with conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh. This morning, his thoughts on his past addiction to painkillers and some of the most powerful names in politics. He sat down with "Today" national correspondent Jamie Gangel. Jamie, good morning to you.

JAMIE GANGEL: Matt, good morning. Get ready. Here it is, what Rush thinks about everyone from Sarah Palin to Hillary Clinton, what he would say if President Obama invited him to the White House, and why he says his struggle with addiction is actually the best thing that ever happened to him. But we started by asking his thoughts on the next presidential race. Give me your top three picks for who will be the Republican-

[On screen headline: "Today Exclusive: Rush Limbaugh Unleashed"]

RUSH LIMBAUGH: I have no idea. I'm certainly not in charge of picking them. The only thing I can do is, is recite names from 2008 that probably want back in it. Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty is probably gonna go in. But at this stage, as the anointer of the Republican nominee, I'm not gonna go out there now and destroy the chances of three or four other people. I have more compassion than that.

GANGEL: Do you think the Republicans can win?

LIMBAUGH: Yes.

GANGEL: Do you think they will win?

LIMBAUGH: Too soon to say but I think it's entirely possible. We do have Obama, and he's truly polarizing the country. So, there will be a significant vote against. But you gotta have somebody to vote for at the same time.

GANGEL: If he invited you to the White House, would you go?

LIMBAUGH: Absolutely.

GANGEL: And what would you say to him?

LIMBAUGH: Well, depends on what he wanted me there for.

GANGEL: Well if you want to, sit at the picnic table and make up and-

LIMBAUGH: Have a beer? Have a beer?

GANGEL: Less, less polarizing. More unity.

LIMBAUGH: I'd be honest with him. I'd be, look it. The President of the United States is the President of the United States. He's my president, too. I want, you know I want this country to succeed, and if he invited me up there to chat, I would owe him the dignity and honor of being honest.

GANGEL: Never one to hold back-

LIMBAUGH DURING RADIO SHOW: I mean this is a joke of the administration, except it's very, very real.

GANGEL: - we asked Rush to play word association. I say President Obama, you say?

LIMBAUGH: Disaster.

GANGEL: Michelle Obama?

LIMBAUGH: Garden.

GANGEL: Garden?

LIMBAUGH: Yeah, plants a garden out there.

GANGEL: Jimmy Carter.

LIMBAUGH: An utter disgrace and embarrassment. Sorry for the four words, but I needed them all.

GANGEL: Sarah Palin.

LIMBAUGH: Misunderstood and underestimated.

GANGEL: You love her.

LIMBAUGH: Well, no. Love? I admire her. People have tried to destroy her. She's got more of a backbone than any man in the Democrat Party.

GANGEL: George W. Bush.

LIMBAUGH: He's just the most decent, down-to-earth, real man you could ever hope to meet.

GANGEL: Glenn Beck. Do you worry about the new guy on the block?

LIMBAUGH: No. 1988, I'm the only national conservative voice. Now look at conservative media. Look what I have spawned. Glenn Beck to me is right on, daddio. Glenn Beck is a result of my success.

GANGEL: Hillary Clinton.

LIMBAUGH: Nurse Ratched.

GANGEL: Bill Clinton?

LIMBAUGH IMPERSONATING CLINTON: You know I, I, when, when I hear Bill Clinton's name I can't help, I just start channeling the guy, and I can't help. Look it, do you realize how quick and shafty I am, Jamie. Look at what I managed to pull. The Democrat Party is gonna be really, really sad when I'm gone. Because I'm the glue holding them together. I mean, I mean I'm wealthy. I sold a lot of books. I tell people I'm rich all the time. How my tax rate is and I still scored $2 million bucks for that stimulus plan that was supposed to create jobs. Ha, ha! How clever am I?

GANGEL: You're bad.

LIMBAUGH: It's all true. You see great comedy has to have an element of truth in it.

 

LIMBAUGH DURING RADIO SHOW: Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm-mmm-mmm.

GANGEL: Chances of that White House invitation not likely, but President Obama has been good for Rush. His ratings are soaring.

LIMBAUGH DURING RADIO SHOW: The more Obama makes himself known to the public, the more the public rejects what he is selling.

GANGEL: And personally, he says he's never been happier. He's lost 85 pounds and talks freely about his past struggle with addiction to prescription painkillers. Do you struggle with any of it anymore?

LIMBAUGH: With the, the opiates?

GANGEL: Yeah?

LIMBAUGH: The pain pills?

GANGEL: Yeah?

LIMBAUGH: No.

GANGEL: No?

LIMBAUGH: I haven't, I haven't had a craving, which is, is odd, they say, but I haven't. I haven't had any, no struggles with it at all.

GANGEL: What did you learn from rehab?

LIMBAUGH: You know, I actually thank God for my addiction, because I learned more about myself in rehab than I would have ever learned otherwise. There was a time where I, I desperately cared what people thought of me, desperately. Not professionally. I always, somehow, knew that, that didn't matter. But personally. When you're worried about what people think of you, you stop being who you are and you start tailoring yourself to everybody else so that they like you.

GANGEL: You don't worry what people think about you?

LIMBAUGH: Well I'd be insane if I did. I don't even give people the power to offend me. I'm not, you cannot offend me.

GANGEL: As you know Matt, Rush is in the news this week because he wants to buy the St. Louis Rams. It's causing quite a bit of controversy from some of the players and his critics, but Rush says he is misunderstood and he will continue with the bid. Matt?

LAUER: Alright, Jamie Gangel, fascinating interview. Thanks very much.

GANGEL: Thank you.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.