RUSH: We go back to Eureka, South Dakota, this is Charlie. I'm glad you waited, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Rush, thank you very much.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: I am totally honored and humbled by being able to wish you, sir -- the supreme conservative commander of the world -- mega dittos and Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Thank you very much, and the same to you, sir.
CALLER: I have a number of things about Mike Huckabee that I really, really love and I'd like to push one really neat idea. When my kids were in school, I told my children that if your science teacher wants to talk about evolution, you raise your hand, you stand up, and you say, "Sir, if you want to think that you came from apes, my father has instructed me to let you think that, but the Hoffmans do not, sir," and Mike Huckabee's conservative response to the creationism on national television to millions and millions of people, just put fear into the hearts of all the liberals who want to think that there is somebody else out there besides God running our lives.
RUSH: All right, I'm very curious. I'm glad you called, Charlie, because you're an avowed, committed Huckster, and I want to ask you, what is it primarily about Mr. Huckabee, Governor Huckabee, that excites you? Is it that he's a Baptist minister, former Baptist minister, and is saying things that resonate with you on matters of like you just said, creation and God, is that the primary reason he's attractive to you?
CALLER: Really what I'm attracted to, Rush, is he is kind. He is thoughtful. He is the quickest man on his feet with the correct answers that I think have a moral basis, better than all the other candidates.
RUSH: What all do you know about his policies and the things that he did as governor, the things that he said policy-wise during his presidential campaign?
CALLER: I do not know a lot about what happened in Arkansas. I -- I know that he took on the Clinton machine and he beat them.
RUSH: Well, okay. I actually think he's a populist like Clinton is. I think one of the ways he was... In some states, and Arkansas is one of them, they're really not Republican or Democrat. They're populist in a lot of ways, and Clinton mastered that. I think Huckabee did, too. I think he was able to win the same way in Arkansas that Clinton did, with populism. He's under some fire right now, Charlie, for something. A little piece he wrote in Foreign Affairs, which is the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, and I want to read to you the opening two paragraphs and just get your reaction to it. I'm not trying to put you on the spot -- and if you'd rather not, I won't -- but, if you'd like to hear them, I'll read them to you and get your reaction.
RUSH: This is the only two paragraphs. "The United States, as the world's only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised. American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight today does not pit us against the world, but pits the world against the terrorists. At the same time, my administration will never surrender any of our sovereignty, which is why I was the first presidential candidate to oppose ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, which would endanger both our national security and our economic interests." What's your reaction when you hear those two paragraphs?
CALLER: I would have to say that I would agree with the latter part, being that I don't think it's in our best interests to follow what the UN is doing. I think we should be autonomous from that.
RUSH: Well, that's the Law of the Sea Treaty, but he didn't just attack the UN. He aimed at the Bush administration, and he said it's an "arrogant bunker mentality that's been counterproductive at home and abroad." He also said that America, "like a high school student: If it is modest about its abilities and achievements and generous in helping others, it's loved." Now, I think there's no more generous country in the world than the United States. I don't know what he means by that.
CALLER: I agree a hundred percent, and I would say, too, though, to that, the decrease in deaths in Iraq today would be a firm commitment to that we are following the correct path and George Bush did do the right thing by going in and taking Saddam out.
RUSH: So Huckabee writes this piece basically savaging the Bush administration's "arrogant bunker mentality." Now, one thing I know, I remember back in the '92 campaign, Ross Perot came along, and I had my instincts. I had misgivings about it from the get-go, and I shared those misgivings, and I tried to talk the Perot people out of it. "You people are being fooled. He's not even serious about wanting to be elected. There's something else going on here. I'm going to get to the bottom of it and find out." I found out what it was. When it looked like he was going to win, he pulled out, then he got back in. He basically gave the election to the Democrats and Bill Clinton. But what I remember is that all during that period -- when I was so intense and so purposefully desirous of trying to get the Perot people to see the light -- they didn't want to see it. They were like cultists, and I learned that you cannot talk cultists out of their cult. You just have to let 'em see it for themselves in the time it takes for it all to unfold, and I think with Huckabee, I don't think his people are cultists, don't misunderstand.
RUSH: But I think there are two or three things about him that have drawn people to him, that are going to make them overlook some other things that ought to raise some red flags.
CALLER: Okay. I would have to agree and state that he might be trying to work his way towards the middle, which, in America today, I think if you're going to try to get 54, 55% of the vote and become president, you need to be closer to the middle than the outside.
RUSH: Well, now, what is the outside? Is mainstream conservatism the outside?
RUSH: See, Ronald Reagan didn't move to "the middle." Ronald Reagan got two landslides on straight, down the middle conservatism. It wins nationally every time it's tried.
CALLER: Right. Right. I would say the conservatives today in America aren't out there on the fringe. We do have compassion. We do need to take care of people who are less fortunate than us, but we also can't give money to the government --
CALLER: -- expecting them to do it.
RUSH: Conservatives have the compassion to tell people less fortunate than us how to change their circumstances, how to educate them, how to teach them. Because we believe, as conservatives in the full potential of every human being, based on how much that human being wants it, and that's what we try to do. We count compassion by how many people don't need federal assistance anymore.
CALLER: I agree.
RUSH: That's our definition of compassion.
CALLER: I agree. We get up everyday. We have one thing that we need to work on. That's our own attitude. We can either make to or break it --
CALLER: -- in the first five minutes of the morning.
RUSH: My only point to you is that -- and I'm not going to repeat what I did with Perot, because it's not going to work. The only thing I'll say to you is, "I think if you dug deep, you would find..." Well, you admitted it. You think Huckabee is "moving to the middle," because he's moving to the middle, he's abandoning what? The right. He'll stick solid on certain things on the right because he knows that he is attracting a portion of the population based on religious and moral and ethical values, which is fine, but on some of these other areas that also define conservatism like taxes and so forth, he doesn't have the pedigree. But I'm not going to try to talk you out of it. No, I don't even think about it. I'm not trying to talk you out of it. I'm not attacking you because I know you can't, because you called here and you think he's the one true conservative out there because of the things that matter a lot to you, he's right on the money on them. So we'll see what unfolds in the few short weeks ahead to when we finally get nominees for both parties. In the meantime, Charlie, thanks for the call. It's great to talk to you. Thanks for enduring my, quote, unquote, "challenge." You're a gutsy guy.
RUSH: Pete Wehner, who used to work in the White House (he was on Karl Rove's staff, number one behind Rove) has a piece today on Huckabee. It's at National Review Online, and he also wants to take issue with the first two paragraphs of Huckabee's essay that he wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine, particularly the claim by Huckabee that we're too mean around the world; we're trying to dominate the world, and we need to be more like a top high school student, modest about our abilities and achievements, generous, and then we will be loved. If we keep dominating people, we'll be despised, and "the Bush administration's arrogant and bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad." Now, understandably, Mr. Wehner, is a former member of the president's staff working with Karl Rove. So keep that in mind as I share with you just some brief comments from his essay today.
"The fact is that the United States has sacrificed an enormous amount of blood and treasure to help other nations. Any suggestion otherwise is wrong and even offensive." This animus against the US. "We have, for starters, liberated more than 50 million people from two of the most repressive regimes in modern history (the Taliban and the Baathist police state in Iraq)." That doesn't count all the others that have been liberated over the course of our existence. "The global AIDS initiative qualifies as among the most humane and generous acts in the history of American foreign policy. We give billions in additional foreign aid, including the enormous generosity America displayed in helping Indonesia and other nations in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami ... The United States, while imperfect, ranks as perhaps the most benevolent superpower (to say nothing of its status as a benevolent nation) in human history. Unlike past empires, we are using American power and influence for great good instead of as a means of advancing oppression.
"Beyond that, the belief that if we are modest and generous we will be 'loved' by other nations, and that anger at America is based on our attempts to 'dominate,' is both naive and foolish. Some nations (like Cuba, Syria, Iran, North Korea, and others) will oppose us because they are totalitarian states that hate our efforts to curb their ambitions and advance freedom and self-determination. They are not the loving kind. Other nations (like France under Jacques Chirac) will oppose us because they can't stand the idea of a unipolar world and want to counterbalance it. And other nations (like [the ChiComs] and Russia) will oppose our efforts to end genocide in Darfur and keep Iran from gaining nuclear weapons because of their economic interests. Memo to Mike Huckabee: Sometimes we are despised for all the right reasons" -- Pete Wehner. That's just an excerpt from his piece at National Review Online today.
RUSH: I got something for you to think about here before we go to the break. If you really want the world to love us, really want the world to love us, stop foreign aid. Just cut 'em off! You'll see every country on this planet look at us with love, affection, open arms. They'll come begging on bended knee.
RUSH: I'm serious, and I remember proposing this way back in the early nineties: a drastic change to foreign aid. We have two lists. We have the list of supportive, good countries, and we have the excrement list -- and if you're a country, you don't want to be on the excrement list. How do you get on the excrement list? Very simple. All you do is trash us. You run around, and you criticize our country, you criticize our president while you're taking billions in aid from us, you get on the excrement list, and you get cut off -- and you don't get off the excrement list until you've done two years of praising this country and thanking it and so forth. I guarantee you, it will never happen, but it would make us the most loved nation on the face of the Earth -- until about a year after they get off the excrement list, then if they start trashing us again, then we'd have to put 'em back on the excrement list, and we'd have to have the guts to keep doing that.
RUSH: This is No-dra in Palm Desert, California, or Nah-dra. How do you pronounce your name?
CALLER: Nah-dra. [Spelled "Nodra."]
RUSH: Nah-dra. I got it right the second time. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thank you, and Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Same to you.
CALLER: Huckabee, there is a [George C. Scott] movie that was made quite a few years ago. It was called The Flim-Flam Man.
RUSH: (laughter) Yes.
CALLER: That's Huckabee.
RUSH: I thought you were talking about Elmer Gantry for a second.
CALLER: (laughing) Well, probably that, too, but anyway, it's a movie. He's a water diviner and he keeps double-talking everything and everybody looking for his water, and that reminds me of Huckabee.
RUSH: What do you have against Huckabee?
RUSH: What do you have against Huckabee?
CALLER: What do I have against Huckabee? He says one thing one time to an audience and another thing to another audience.
CALLER: In Arkansas he raised taxes. Everything that he could tax, he raised, and now he's telling people he doesn't believe in raising taxes.
RUSH: Even though he's done it as governor?
CALLER: Even though he's done it as governor. So that --
RUSH: Well, who is your candidate out there, Nodra?
CALLER: Me! No, I don't have one. (laughing)
RUSH: (laughs) We all think we could be doing better jobs than these guys are!
CALLER: (laughter) Probably, right now. But the other thing Huckabee is a minister in a church. Would we elect a Catholic priest?
RUSH: Well, he's "former."
CALLER: You're never a "former." I mean, once you're a minister, you always have that Word behind you and that feeling behind you, and would you elect a rabbi as a president?
RUSH: Would you elect a first lady?
CALLER: If it was the right one.
RUSH: Yeah, okay. (laughs)
RUSH: I thought I'd trip you up; you're too fast for me.
RUSH: By the way, what's the weather like out in Palm Desert today?
RUSH: Sixties. Is that normal for this time of year?
CALLER: Yes. Probably December and the first part of January are our coldest months. Now we start warming up to 70 and 80.
RUSH: Well, cool. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, as you said at the beginning, Nodra. Thanks so much, I have to run because of the constraints time and the very complicated programming format.
CALLER: Have a good day.
RUSH: You do the same.