Monday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh commented on President-elect Donald Trump’s departure from norms, including his use of Twitter to communicate to the American people.
According to Limbaugh, Trump’s use of social media is an example of him playing by a new set of rules, which has upset many of those in the media and that it suggests that Trump is on offense, unlike other Republicans in positions of power in the past.
Partial transcript as follows (courtesy of RushLimbaugh.com):
The media’s also writing of their outrage over the frequency with which Donald Trump tweets. Leftists, Democrats, communists alike are all saying that what Trump is doing on Twitter is an outrage. It’s not presidential, it’s beneath the dignity of the office, it’s embarrassing, it’s humiliating, we are becoming a laughingstock. A president who gets up at five in the morning and starts tweeting.
You know what Trump says about it? Trump sent a tweet out just a little while ago this morning. He said: “If the press would cover me accurately and honorably, I would have far less reason to tweet. Sadly, I don’t know if that’ll ever happen.” He’s exactly right about that. If the press would cover him accurately and honorably, he wouldn’t have to tweet. He’s tweeting to correct the lies and the dishonesty in the Drive-By Media about him.
We talked to him on this program about three weeks before the election. At that time he was tweeting a lot and reacting to every bit of criticism no matter where it came from. And people on his side, his supporters and supposedly even some in his inner circle were saying publicly that they were trying to get him to stop doing this, that you can’t respond to every bit of criticism, just don’t do it. All you’re doing is elevating it, all you’re doing is amplifying it. Not everybody hears every instance of criticism, Mr. Trump, they were saying, just ignore it, move on.
So I asked him about it. He said (paraphrasing), “Yeah, you’re right. My advisers are telling me exactly that, Rush, they’re telling me to ignore it. But I can’t. I’m not gonna sit here and let my family be dishonored. I’m not gonna let myself, my family be lied about and I’m not gonna let those lies take root and become established as truth. I don’t care. I don’t care what they say is the right way to do this, I’m not gonna let it happen. When people lie about me, when people wound me, when people attack me, I’m gonna fire right back at ’em, I don’t care. And my advisers are trying to get me to stop, and I just can’t.”
That’s why he continues to tweet, and his tweets are effectively going around a dishonest media to inform and connect with everyday Americans. He’s also conducting negotiations with his tweets by informing people what he’s doing. And by doing this, by tweeting in this unpresidential way, not seen anything like this, it’s just not how it’s done, Trump is also capturing the whole idea of unpredictability, which makes Trump a never ending top-line news story and has his adversaries always on defense.
I think this is one of the reasons why Trump’s supporters love him so much, and it’s one of the characteristics that not a lot of people comment on. But people on our side — and by “our side,” I mean, conservatives, some Republicans — admit it, folks, we’ve grown tired and weary of being on defense all the time. We’re tired of getting up every morning and looking at either a person or an idea, something that we hold dear under assault, like marriage, or who can use whatever bathrooms, we’re tired of being on defense, we’re tired having to defend things that shouldn’t need to be defended because they’re under assault.
Well, Trump is not on defense, folks. We are on offense with Donald Trump. And that’s one of the big invisible unspoken reasons why he has such loyalty is because people who support him are just like a lot of you in this audience, fed up with being on defense and being on a team that never fought back, much less went on offense. But these tweets and this erratic or unpredictable behavior keeps Trump’s opponents on defense, and, believe me, it is a delight to see it.
Another thing that Trump is doing with these tweets, he’s leading. And because he’s leading, he’s holding everybody’s attention. What will Trump do next? What will Trump do next? Nobody’s asking, what’s Pelosi gonna do next, what’s Harry Reid? You know, we’re not steeling ourselves for what assault is coming at us next. We’re all looking on eagerly: What’s Trump gonna do next? How’s he gonna bamboozle ’em next? How’s Trump gonna end-run ’em next? That’s what’s everybody excited about here.
And it’s great to see people like Christiane Amanpour or Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington, or any of these other Drive-Bys look like old men shouting, “Get off my lawn!” to Donald Trump.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor