Did Obama Proclaim End of US Manufacturing at Commencement?
May 17, 2011
RUSH: Carolyn in Ft. Lauderdale. Hi, welcome to the EIB Network. Wonderful to have you with us. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Well, tremendous, tremendous honor. I have a sad-but-funny story about Michelle Obama's Healthy Choices plan for kids. You remember this where they were gonna send fresh fruit and vegetables to the kids in the schools?
RUSH: (sigh)Yeah, yeah.
RUSH: I remember this.
CALLER: So my sister-in-law teaches at a local elementary school down here, and she has been coming with these stories for the last year about this stuff that they get. They're not giving these kids bananas and strawberries. Last week, they gave them raw beets -- raw beets! They've given them raw tomatoes, raw asparagus, and all of this stuff ends up in the trash. The teachers don't even hand it out anymore half the time. They just throw it directly into the garbage, so when they got the raw tomatoes my sister-in-law went around to the teachers and collected the ones she didn't want and she made like three months of spaghetti sauce with them because it just gets which you couldn't into the garbage.
RUSH: You gotta be kidding me.
CALLER: No, I'm not.
RUSH: Your sister-in-law collected unused raw vegetables and turned it into three months of spaghetti sauce?
CALLER: Well, I'm exaggerating the three months, but, yeah, she went around and collected them 'cause like the teachers are throwing these tomatoes away. The kids don't want eat a raw tomato. Who eats a raw tomato? She took 'em home and made spaghetti sauce. Compliments of Michelle.
RUSH: I know. This is Lunaticville! This is nuts. (interruption) Oh, don't get me started with this "healthy foodstuff." I know there are food desserts, but Michelle Obama demanding be giving way health food stuff? My God, you couple this with the revelation we had today that they're gonna start awarding schools for how well they teach environmental behavior? The education department is working on that. These people, folks, I swear... Liberals, Democrats, this is ridiculous and absurd, the ideas these people have and the things that they think are serious and that matter. Why not just take the kids out at recess and let 'em graze like we do the cows, for crying out loud?
Ron in Memphis. Hello, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. How you doing?
RUSH: Very well, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: Great. Yesterday, Obama was in Memphis speaking at a inner city school. Aschool that won a contest, had him speak at their commencement exercise.
RUSH: I remember that.
CALLER: And for the most part, it was a good speech -- you know, work hard, study hard, all that kinda stuff -- but then he had a quote that just stunned me. He said, "It used to be that you didn't have to have an education. If you were willing to work hard, you could go to a factory somewhere and get a job. Those days are past in America." I -- was stunned. I was like, are we not gonna have any manufacturing anymore? I know that they've tried to eliminate manufacturing in the United States, but is it officially over now, according to Obama?
RUSH: Where are you getting that?
CALLER: That's a direct quote from his speech yesterday to the school.
RUSH: Wait a minute. I must not be hearing you right. How is getting an education equivalent to not having manufacturing jobs?
CALLER: He said in the old days you used to be able to go down, if you didn't have an education, and were willing to work hard and you could go to a factory and get a job. He said now those days are over in America.
RUSH: Well, now, wait just a second. That's not entirely wrong. I mean, depending on how far back you want to go the old days, but that's not entirely wrong. There were things called apprenticeships --
RUSH: -- where your schooling was essentially working at the feet of a master, learning a trade. That's not altogether untrue.
CALLER: It was --
RUSH: What confuses me here is that both Obamas usually tell people to forget about working and go to work in the government. They generally say, "Don't go to corporate America. Don't go get jobs. Stay in the service industry. Stay here in your little town and help other people." That's what they normally say. That's what they both said during the 2008 presidential campaign, and Moochelle particularly was in some Ohio town and she was telling people there, "Don't aspire to go to work for some big corporation. Don't pursue the big money," but it's not altogether untrue that in the old days if you didn't have an education, you could still get a job at a factory. It didn't pay a whole lot, but it was true. You don't know that that's what he was advocating. I didn't hear the whole speech so I don't really have the context of what you're commenting on. I really should have that in front of me to be better equipped to respond to what you're saying. I appreciate the call.
RUSH: I have received a lot of e-mails from people who said I misunderstand the guy calling from Memphis that made mention of the fact that essentially I missed: Obama was saying there aren't many manufacturing jobs in America anymore and he was asking me if I agree with that. That's not what I heard the guy say. I heard the guy say -- and I'm not arguing. This is not a point of argument. If I misheard it, it's simply he was on a cell phone and I just didn't hear what he was saying.
It's one of the challenges I have here in being deaf and having to use a cochlear implant with cell calls. They are the most difficult for me to understand. In fact, outside the studio, I cannot use a cell phone to communicate to anybody. I just cannot comprehend what people are saying on one. So we have the bite that the caller was talking about. This was Obama this afternoon the Booker T. Washington High School and the commencement address.
OBAMA: (godlike reverb) We live in a new world now. Used to be that you didn't have to an indication. If you were willing to work hard you could go to a factory somewhere and get a job. Those times are past. Believe it or not, when you go out there looking for a job, you're not just competing against people in Nashville or Atlanta; you're competing against young people in Beijing and Mumbai. That's some tough competition. Those kids are hungry. They're working hard. And you'll need to be prepared for it.
RUSH: Okay, now, I heard that plain as day (including the godlike reverb) and I'm sorry: I don't hear Obama saying there aren't any manufacturing jobs. What I hear him saying is: If you don't have any education, you don't stand a prayer, because everybody else around the world is being educated. It used to be you could go to a factory, not have an education, get a job. That's true! Back when my father was growing up, it was true. World War II, it was true.
They didn't care in World War II if you had any kind of a formal education. They just needed bodies, and as time has progressed... Gee, I remember doing stories on this program, aeronautics manufacturing plant in Alabama where a guy could not find educated people to do his factory work. It was a major, major story. The changing element was that factory work did now require an education. So I don't know what I misheard here.
I don't know where in this Obama bite he is saying that the US has no manufacturing jobs. What I hear him saying is that people competing for work in factories come from all over the world, and they are educated. Now, am I still a lone wolf on this? Let's play it again, 'cause I mean to tell you: In that little period of time, I musta gotten 35 or 40 e-mails I saw just within the break here telling me that I misunderstand this. Here it is again.
(replaying of sound bite)
RUSH: I just hear him say get an education. Now, the danger in that is his version of an education is not gonna help 'em. But we still have factories. It's called General Motors and Toyota. There are television sets made -- or at least assembled -- in this country. It's a myth anyway that we've lost our manufacturing base. We haven't. That's a popular misconception that a lot of people have. It stems from people who are opposed to NAFTA who think that NAFTA caused us to lose every manufacturing job.
We haven't. So I factored that in when listening to the call from Memphis. I know we still have manufacturing jobs. So I just hear Obama (with the god reverb, here) saying there's so much competition for these factory jobs whereas they used to not be, and that you can't get one of those jobs without an education now. Look, he's just saying here what he's said in his book "The Audacity of Me," and that is that is about globalism; we have to compete in a global scale.
Here's the story from the UK Financial Times -- and we had this story back when it came out. This is Peter Marsh, June 20th of last year: "The US remained the world’s biggest manufacturing nation by output last year, but is poised to relinquish this slot in 2011 to China – thus ending a 110-year run as the number one country in factory production." So forgive me, but I didn't go into the call thinking we don't have any manufacturing jobs; so therefore I never heard Obama celebrating that fact.
I don't think that's what his comment was about. So even though I'm deaf, I heard it right. Once again, don't doubt me. Also, look at the effort employed here to get it right. I sent Cookie scurrying to find this bite, and I had 35 or 40 people in the e-mail telling me that I had missed it, and they relished telling me that I had missed it. Now, I will admit this: I still don't understand the condom caller who didn't understand why the rich don't buy condoms and use 'em. This is the guy that kept calling me "Rushie." I'm still in the dark on that one.