RUSH: Here's Andy in Lemoore, California. Andy, I'm glad you called, and welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: I have a question and maybe a comment. It seems to me that you're absent any kind of evaluation as to the performance of Mitt Romney yesterday on Meet the Press. I'm just curious as to why that seems to be the case?
RUSH: In fact, I've got some Romney sound bites coming up in the second half hour of the program.
CALLER: Okay. Well, you know, I guess my thoughts on that is and I know I'm going to be kind of bold, unlike what he seems to be.
CALLER: I don't see much of depth to him. He seems to be very just political, and it was interesting that you were talking about appearances and so forth, because on the surface this guy looks great -- and, you know, I haven't been following these people that are in the Republican Party very long, but last week, Mitt made a pretty neat little speech there with George H. W. Bush --
RUSH: That was great. By the way, that was a fabulous speech for what it was.
CALLER: I agree with you, and unfortunately, he didn't seem to carry that same kind of a fortitude in his gut over to yesterday's performance, and I guess one of the things that really bothered me most was that when he was asked by Tim Russert if he would use, you know, the liberal terminology and try to catch people, a litmus -- quote, unquote, litmus -- test, of course not. It was just so political. It was so superficial to me. Nothing that I could really sink my teeth into. It bothered me. As an atheist, even being thought to have a position on the Supreme Court? Ludicrous!
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Did he say an atheist could serve on the Supreme Court?
CALLER: He said that. "Would there be a litmus test?" in other words, if somebody --
RUSH: The litmus test question is, "Are you going to make sure somebody wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade?" It's all about abortion. That's an abortion question. The atheist question came up: "Do you think atheists could be moral?" He said yeah.
CALLER: Well, yeah. Yeah, I think that the litmus test is always used -- you're correct -- but this is in the context of who would be suited to be on the Supreme Court, and I thought that it was very weak of him not to just come out and say, "No, I believe that the Founding Fathers had a position, and that position was based on morality and godliness, and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't use this, quote, unquote, litmus test to see who is suited to be on a court that has so much power." I don't think that's far-fetched, at all.
RUSH: Okay, I agree with you about one thing. I wish you would have carried over to the themes that he addressed in that speech. He had the opportunity because Russert spent, what, 20 minutes of a whole hour yesterday talking about Mormonism and religion? He had the opening to do it. He had to know Russert was going to do that. You can't blame Russert. If you agree to go on the show, the show is what it is so you gotta be able to handle what they ask.
CALLER: Oh, absolutely. I'm not blaming Russert at all.
RUSH: You can't say, "Well, the Democrats don't get asked these questions," because you know there's a different standard.
CALLER: Of course, I understand that. Of course, what it is is there's the leadership quality that you didn't see him fill. I've been beholding judgment and just trying to --
RUSH: I want to ask you a question, and I'm not being frivolous with this or any other "-ous" with this. But I want to know something from you. How did you think he looked? Physically.
CALLER: (laughs) Right.
RUSH: Forget what he said, forget the words. How did he look?
CALLER: Well, this is interesting. I was listening while I was waiting online, and you were talking about appearances, and I'm telling you, the guy looks great. He looks presidential. He had the appearance. I mean, if you were to have a picture of somebody that would be put into a presidential mode, he's the man. But see, that means very little to me, and I don't think it means a whole lot to the majority of the American people. I really believe that. But that's not to say that there aren't also quite a few people in the American group that do care about nothing more than appearances. But, no, he looked great. But what does that mean? I mean I'm interested in what the guy thinks.
RUSH: I understand what you're saying. I'm telling you it means more than you know. This is not... Don't misunderstand anything, folks. I don't endorse people in the primaries unless there's just two people and one of them is clearly above the other, and that's not the case here yet. It's tough. I've met Mitt Romney one time, and it was about 45 minutes, and he was genuine and nice. There was not one moment in that 45 minutes I thought I was talking with an actor who was trying to spin me or show me something about himself that wasn't really true, but that's true of Bush, too. Bush is so different in person than he is when you see him on television. It's striking, the difference.
CALLER: I have no reason to doubt you, that's for sure. I never met him. I guess to me it just --
RUSH: You sound just like Romney, by the way. You sound very much like Romney. Your inflection, your intonation, sound a lot like Romney.
RUSH: You sound very genuine to me.
CALLER: Well, you know, I would hope to think that I am. I would think that you are as well and that's why I've listened to you for so long.
RUSH: Are you tending to want to vote Republican in the presidential race?
CALLER: I gotta tell you, I have to confess, I don't vote, normally, because I live in California. I already know what the outcome is going to be, it is incredibly liberal, and I know this is no excuse, but I always tell people, "If the candidate that I would vote for loses by one vote, I will apologize." But I don't think that's going to be the case. California is... I'm not going to make a difference. I'm just an observer looking at all of this and, to me, it just sickens me to see the lack of any fire in the belly from any of these people. Now, I can say this, however: On the Democratic side, those people are just pathetic, in my mind. You want to talk about a lack of genuineness, they are par excellence. They have zero in my opinion.
RUSH: Well, I was going to bring that up, but I decided not to because, you know, I didn't want you to think I was saying, "Hey, Mitt can be that if Hillary is." I didn't want you to think I was saying that.
CALLER: (laughs) I know.
RUSH: But you're right, there's no authenticity on that side of the aisle either.
CALLER: No kidding. I just don't know. It just struck me. Something so basic as to who we would choose to be on the Supreme Court, and yet he seemed to vacillate on that, and then he used the word "fees" rather than taxes, which is what they are. Tim and he had a little battle back and forth, back and forth; it was on and on and on. So he was painful, to be perfectly honest with you.
RUSH: Well, we'll play some of these sound bites in the next half hour and you'll have -- the audience will have -- a chance to hear what you heard.
RUSH: All right, let's go to the audio sound bites. We have a couple of them here. Mitt Romney was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert yesterday, and here's Russert's question. "Here was the headline in the papers in June of '78. 'Mormon Church Dissolves Black Bias. Citing new revelation from God, the president of the Mormon Church decreed for the first time black males could fully participate in church rites.' You were 31 years old, and your church was excluding blacks from full participation. Didn't you think, 'What am I doing part of an organization that is viewed by many as a racist organization?'"
ROMNEY: I'm very proud of my faith, and it's the faith of my fathers, and I certainly believe that it is a, a faith -- well, it's true and I love my faith. And I'm not going to distance myself in any way from my faith. But you can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at, at our lives. My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights. I was anxious to see a change in my church. I can remember when, when I heard about the change being made. I was driving home from, I think, it was law school, but I was driving home, going through the Fresh Pond rotary in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I heard it on the radio, and I pulled over and, and literally wept. Even at this day it's emotional...
RUSH: He just teared up there on Meet the Press. I wonder... I forgot to ask the guy from Lemoore, California, if he thought this was a staged, you know, politicians tearing up. It's a risky move if you try it. If it's genuine, there's nothing you can do about it. (interruption) Well, the global warming guy tried it, but he didn't tear up, he couldn't speak. He had to leave the stage, the global warming guy. That Yvo de Boer, or "Ybo" de Boer. Yeah, but that's another story. Then the next story from Russert: "Mike Huckabee said that the George Bush presidency's foreign policy is 'arrogant' and a 'bunker mentality.'"
ROMNEY: That's an insult to the president, and Mike Huckabee should apologize to the president.
RUSSERT: This is what Mitt Romney said about Iraq, however, in September this year. "OK, well, first of all, it is a mess."
ROMNEY: Well, it is a mess. There's no question, if you, if you...
RUSSERT: That's no reflection on George Bush?
ROMNEY: If you're suggesting that it's equivalent to say that we made a number of errors and that we have a very difficult situation in Iraq, that's the same as saying the president is "arrogant" and "bunker mentality"? That's where he went over the line. (snip) [I]t's very different to point out the mistakes that have been made -- and the president's pointed out the mistakes as well -- and then to say that the Bush administration, our president, is "arrogant" with a "bunker mentality," that's a completely different statement for which Mike Huckabee owes the president an apology.
RUSH: Now, these are the two that we have. Cookie, don't bother to go get 'em, it's not... Well, maybe for tomorrow, the atheist and the Supreme Court questions, since that's what the guy from Lemoore, California, was asking about. But these two bites, folks, I just ask you: Does this sound like a calculating actor, as the guy from Lemoore said Romney sounded to him? See, it goes back to the point I was making at the top of the program. When you hear somebody and you don't see them, I guarantee you... I guarantee you... How many times have you been driving and you listen to a political debate, whatever it is. You listen to a speech on the radio. You you're listening to, I don't care, baseball game, sports. You listen to it on the radio. You have to provide the picture. This is what's great about radio, by the way: The talented broadcast specialist doing radio paints a picture with words. I'm serious. Television zones you out. Television gives you the picture. You don't have to think. You can just use one half, maybe one third of all your sensory perceptions. On radio, you gotta use it all.
You have to formulate the picture. You have to listen to the words which help formulate the picture. It's what we call in this business "active participation," "active listening" rather than passive. You know, there is passive listening to radio, and that's when you listen to elevator music stations. You can have it on in the background. You don't really care what's going on. But a program like this, which is compelling, is called active. Television can be passive. You can have television on and be doing gobs of other things. You can have your television on, have your attention be distracted, and you really don't mind. Radio is a little bit different thing because you're totally engaged. So when you listen to Romney here, and you don't see him, you don't have any idea what he looks like, does he come across as calculating, and an actor, and contrived? It doesn't to me. But if you see it, you might come up with an entirely different perception, which is also I was saying at the top of this first hour about how important visual perceptions are with our Hollywood-born and bred addiction to perfection. Now, Huckabee responded to Romney on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer yesterday. Blitzer said, "Okay, Romney wants you to apologize to the president. What do you say?"
HUCKABEE: I'm the one who actually supported the president's surge. I supported the Bush tax cuts when Mr. Romney didn't. I was with President Bush on gun control and Mitt Romney wasn't. I was with the president on the president's pro-life position when Mitt Romney wasn't. I was with the president on his position on same-sex relationships and marriage when Mitt Romney wasn't. I was with the president on the legacy of the president's dad and Ronald Reagan, when Mitt Romney wasn't. So, you know, I don't have anything to apologize for.
RUSH: Okay. Not a bad answer, folks, not a bad answer. He didn't answer the question, but it's not a bad answer. He didn't talk about Bush and the "bunker mentality" and so forth. He was very critical of Bush foreign policy. "No, I was with the president on the surge." I don't know if he's accurate on all these claims about where Romney was and wasn't, any of that, but still a good answer -- and you don't apologize. I don't care what. With something like this, you don't apologize. That's when you look like you are weak. It's one of the cardinal rules for young media stars of the future: You don't apologize until you have established a deep and loyal connection with your audience, and, when it's genuinely required, but you don't do it to gain points. You don't do it to score points. You don't do it for any reason other than being genuine.