On his radio program Tuesday, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh provided some evidence of what he described as the Democrats and their allies in the media "panicking" that they are stuck with gaffe-prone, "one-man embellishment factory" Joe Biden as their nominee.
"I think it’s way early, as you know, polling data this far out is genuinely meaningless other than being interesting, it relates to fundraising," said Limbaugh (transcript via RushLimbaugh.com). "But, as we sit here today, and it’s got everybody on the left stymied. Joe Biden is the frontrunner for the Democrat nomination. And it’s not sitting well."
As some of his evidence of this increasing unease on the Left about Biden's seeming inevitability Limbaugh pointed to some pieces from the two papers that most heavily influence the mainstream news cycle, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The Times' piece, published Monday, titled "Does Joe Biden Want to Be Doing This?" admits that "[o]n certain days, Biden 2020 can feel more like a dutiful slog than the last march of a happy warrior." Here's an excerpt from the rather brutal piece:
The former vice president can appear, on some days, like a man longing for the hard-earned retirement he had been enjoying after eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president. He could have easily strolled off into a warm twilight, possessed of abundant good-will, newfound wealth, time to enjoy his family and space to grieve the death of his son, Beau, to cancer in 2015.
Yet here was Mr. Biden again, at 76, trudging through another dog day of August in the extreme heat. He had just finished up a small rally in central Iowa, held in a gazebo-like party space overlooking a pond. He seemed a bit riled up, and not in a good way.
“Where are we going?” the candidate glared down at a young staffer in front of his podium a few minutes after finishing his remarks. “Where are we going,” he said again, more pointedly. He became annoyed at a Fox News reporter who asked him about the relative smallness of his crowds compared to those some of the other candidates were attracting — in this case, Ms. Warren, who had drawn a reported 12,000 at a rally in St. Paul, Minn., the night before. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Mr. Biden said.
Limbaugh also highlighted an op-ed in the Post by Richard Cohen published the same day and titled even more overtly: "It's Time to Bid Farewell to Joe Biden." Here's how the Biden-bruising piece opens:
Bid farewell to Joe Biden. I say that with regret, for the former vice president is the nicest of fellows, lacking malice, who likes people and likes doing something for them. Yet, his gaffes continue feeding the impression that he is a touch gaga, and, worse, no one can complete the sentence: “Joe Biden because . . .”
That’s not the case with Elizabeth Warren, who is an ideologue (that’s not an insult) — or with Bernie Sanders, another ideologue (that is an insult) or with some of the other Democratic presidential candidates, who at the very least benefit from not being white males.
"Now, it’s an op-ed piece, so that’s the excuse for running it," noted Limbaugh in reference to Cohen's piece. "But it is clear that the Drive-By Media, which I have professed to be running the Democrat Party for a long time now, has decided that Biden can’t win, they don’t want Biden to win. Biden has gotta go."
"So the bedbug outlet and the roach outlet have decided to do hit pieces on Bite Me," he continued. "Now, they have a point! They have a point. There were 40 people packed into a college meeting hall. Joe Biden was speaking to them. And he was painting this vivid, vivid scene."
Rush then detailed Biden's infamous, fact-challenged retelling of pinning a Silver Star on a war hero, which he's given repeatedly at his rather lackluster campaign events. The problem with Biden's "moving" story, as the Post made clear in a fact-check last week, is that nearly every detail is incorrect; the Democratic frontrunner has conflated at least three stories.
"Based on interviews with more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders and Biden campaign officials, it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened," the Post reported. Here's the key passage:
Biden visited Konar province in 2008 as a U.S. senator, not as vice president. The service member who performed the celebrated rescue that Biden described was a 20-year-old Army specialist, not a much older Navy captain. And that soldier, Kyle J. White, never had a Silver Star, or any other medal, pinned on him by Biden. At a White House ceremony six years after Biden’s visit, White stood at attention as President Barack Obama placed a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, around his neck.
The upshot: In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony.
“So this is why everybody is worried?" Limbaugh asked. "The New York Times wants him gone. Does Joe Biden want to be doing this? They’re asking. He’s losing his mind. He doesn’t seem to care about getting anything right, doesn’t have any energy. They’re being reminded of Hillary. The inability to go out and do events. When he does do events, nobody shows up, there isn’t any excitement when he gets out there. He can’t remember anything that happened. So he takes elements of his memory from various events and combines them into one fictional story and then tells you don’t doubt him, it’s the word of a Biden. And they’re cringing in the cloakrooms in the deep, dark crevices and the bowels of the Democrat Party establishment."
Limbaugh went on to highlight some more of Biden's gaffes, including his "brilliant idea" to ban gun magazines that hold multiple bullets. "Folks, magazines, by definition, hold multiple bullets," Rush noted. "People are laughing out loud because magazines are multiple bullets. That is their purpose. Biden is just uttering a bunch of words and trying to sound authoritative and compassionate and caring. But the guy doesn’t know what he’s saying. And, you know, Trump said Biden’s lost his fastball. And at his peak Biden’s fastball was a change-up."
Limbaugh also cued up audio clips of various media personalities trying to figure out ways to excuse Biden's fake war story, including Donna Brazile admitting "the bottom line is there is no alternative right now."