RUSH: Bozeman, Montana. This is Greg. You are up first in this hour. It's nice to have you, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey. Merry Christmas. Dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Hey, I'm a Huckabee guy, but I'm thinking about switching.
RUSH: You're a Huckabee guy, but you're thinking about switching. Why?
CALLER: Well, I don't know. All my people -- Ann Coulter, Peggy Noonan all those people -- are, I don't know, they don't like him, and I don't know. All the stuff is starting to come out against him. It's starting to make me nervous. (nervous laugh)
RUSH: Well, that's what campaigns are for: examining people's positions on things. But I would make up your own mind. I wouldn't listen to influential figures to shape and form your mind for you. It might send you in a direction your curiosity would take you, but I think maybe some people that you think and respect were not on board when you were caused to actually start looking, and that's why you know what some of these positions are that you now think, "Wow, I didn't know that." Right?
CALLER: Right. I think some of it is like the last campaign where everybody bailed out on Howard Dean because they thought he was kooky -- well, he was kooky. They thought he was unelectable, and I don't want to do that. I don't want to just jump at somebody that I think can win but doesn't necessarily line up with what I believe.
RUSH: Well, when is the Montana primary?
CALLER: I don't think it's 'til March. I've got a little time.
RUSH: Yeah, you got a little time to figure it out.
RUSH: On the Republican side, it may not shake out in February. This is so bungled up there, that this could go way deep into the primary season and perhaps even to the convention. There are some political professionals speculating that that could happen. Once again, nobody knows. I'm not necessarily saying history repeats itself all the time, but Howard Dean in 2004 was the clear front-runner. Nobody was even close going into the Hawkeye Cauci, and then when people actually caucused and they came out of there, Dean was nowhere near the top where the polls had put him and so forth. It was then that the Democrats sort of happily got rid of the guy and said, "Ooh, John Kerry!" The haughty John Kerry came out of nowhere. "He's electable!" and they got behind him without knowing what he was all about. (interruption) Snerdley is saying, "You conveniently leave out that you destroyed Howard Dean's campaign." I'd forgotten that. I don't remember what I said about the Dean campaign. I don't know that I have the ability to affect a Democrat campaign. I really don't know. Look, Snerdley, it's like this guy... This was the funniest thing. I hate to keep referring to this, but it's funny.
On Tuesday, Scott Rapoport from Channel 2 in New York went out on the streets in Manhattan and played people some video and audio of what I had said about Mrs. Clinton aging and so forth, and these people said, "Oh, he's an idiot." Just because I had said it, they were going to reject it. That's why I told the guy: "Go out there with a camera crew..." He has not taken me up on this, but it would be a fabulous report. I said, "Go out there with a camera crew, and just tell people -- just random people on the street -- 'Rush Limbaugh said the sky is blue.' 'Well, it may be, but who's he to say? Well, it may be, but I think he's an idiot. What's that got to do with anything? Why are you telling me?'" Just because I say it, to people on the left, they will reject it or they will cast it aside. Do you really think that the comments here that we're making on Hillary and Bill are going to affect Clinton voters in Iowa? I'd be stunned; I'll be stunned. (interruption) Yeah, I know, the driver's license and illegal immigration, but remember: Tim Russert brought that up. I started it. I put the thing in play, but it was Russert who brought it up, and she was the one that stumbled in the debate for everybody to see. It wasn't that I told them that she had stumbled. If I had told them she had stumbled when they hadn't seen it, "Well, Limbaugh, he hates the Clintons anyway. He's never going to say anything good to say about them," and they would have rejected it. But the income, outer outcome reward is not important. Sharing the ideas with you on our side of things is what's important to me.
RUSH: George, South Windsor, Connecticut, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Yeah, Rush, I'm totally upset. Every single time people take a shot at you and say that your content is entertaining and it's all about entertainment and it's Washington-speak, it's one thing to insult you, but then that insults me because I spend three hours a day listening to you. So it insults my intelligence, that I'm wasting my time listening to entertainment and listening to Washington-speak. I listen to you because I want something different. I want the facts. You're only one vote, Rush, but the millions of listeners are millions of votes, and I think Huckabee made a big mistake by either acknowledging this or sending someone out to say what he said, because what you say does matter, to not just you but millions of people. I'm tired of always having to defend you because of people like in Huckabee's camp that have taken a shot, and say, "Oh, yes, your content is just entertainment, and it's the same Washington-speak." It's not. It's different, and that's why I listen to you, and I think he made a big, huge mistake in this.
RUSH: You have made an excellent point about something here, and it's this. The one thing... I'm not sure that the critics that you're talking about are just any of the critics out there label me an entertainer, or whatever else, I think a lot of it is that they can't and don't want to debate ideas. So it's a typical discredit strategy. What they're trying to do is discredit me in your eyes. What they don't get -- and it's stunning to me what they don't get, because these are people out trying to get votes. How do you get votes? You connect with people; you connect with them in a personal way. That's what's happened on this program. All of you in this audience and me we're like one big, happy family. When you people in the audience are insulted as mind-numbed robots, I take that personally, too, just as you take it personally when they come after me. They don't understand. They can't break this connection, and you know why? Because they had nothing to do with making it. One of the things I love to say is the Drive-By Media did not make this show, and so they can't tear it down.
One of the things I always marvel at is public figures who rely on the media to make 'em big by spreading spin or buzz or PR, because when you rely on anybody else to establish your bona fides and your character and so forth, they can also destroy it. But if they don't, if they had nothing to do with making somebody and establishing a connection that that person has with their audience, they can't destroy it, and yet that's what they're trying to do because they do not understand it. The level of ignorance that exists throughout the country from critics of this program who just don't seem to understand how and why it works, after 19-1/2 years, is a mind-blower. I'm reminded of what I did with Howard Dean. I endorsed Howard Dean. Is that what I did? I endorsed Howard Dean in the Hawkeye Cauci. That's what killed him with Democrats. (laughing) I'd forgotten. I endorsed Clinton, too, in '92 for 20 minutes and then denied it the next hour and a half. (laughter) Let's see. Well, I don't know. I was trying to illustrate another thing there. Clinton was out there lying every day about things he had done in his childhood, all the way up to at the present time, and I thought, "Well, I gotta illustrate this. Illustrate rather than just say, 'You know, the guy just has trouble telling the truth.' That's not going to make the impact." So I thought I would pull a Clinton. So I endorsed him, and it was a very, very powerful, flowery endorsement. Then I took calls from people.
"I can't believe what I just heard!"
I said, "No, I didn't. I did not endorse Bill Clinton!"
"I heard you do it! You did it."
"No, I didn't."
For an hour and a half I took calls from people claiming they had heard me endorse Clinton, and I denied it. I said, "Well, even if I did, it was in my youth. That was 20 minutes ago. You can't hold me accountable for what happened 20 minutes ago. It was my youth." I was trying to illustrate what Clinton was doing. It was fun, but it didn't work.
RUSH: Ralph in New York, nice to have you, sir, on Open Line Friday. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Merry Christmas from your favorite foreign correspondent behind hostile enemy liberal lines.
RUSH: (laughs) Thank you, sir. Great to have you here.
CALLER: It's good to talk to you, Rush. Listen, I hope I can bring up a couple of things. The first thing I wanted to bring up was the thing about Huckabee and I agree with you, because I'm a conservative first before Republican. My voter registration card says "conservative" on it, which is why I feel I can't back a guy like Huckabee. But, at the same time, to the critics of Rudy Giuliani about some of his social liberal policies that I have to disagree with, because I first-handedly watched Rudy Giuliani dismantle organized crime. I've seen him turn drug infested, war-zone-looking neighborhoods like East Harlem and the South Bronx and neighborhoods in Brooklyn into livable, viable neighborhoods where kids are going to school in the morning. Men are going to work. I've seen him turn Times Square from the sleaziest pornography junky-ridden paradise, into one of the best tourist attractions in the world!
RUSH: Yeah, that was a shame.
RUSH: That was a shame. They took away such identity from New York.
RUSH: But you can't get everything right.
CALLER: I know. You can't identify where you are unless you hear a siren or an ambulance that night. See, the reason I bring that up is because the people, the critics of Giuliani don't understand that this is a guy who gets things done when people tell him you can't do them. Now, as far as the things he did in New York with immigration and the gay rights, I think he had to maneuver to a certain degree in the city itself. But as a leader --
RUSH: Let me tell you something here, Ralph, and I've addressed this before. This is not a whine, and it's not a complaint. It is a fact. The DC-Wall Street media axis of the Drive-Bys is doing everything it can to influence the Republican selection process. So it's up to the candidates to be louder than the Drive-Bys are. Mike Huckabee is getting a pass from the Drive-Bys. They are excited that he might get the nomination. They don't want Rudy because Rudy might be able to beat Hillary. They don't want Romney because of the same thing. They don't want Fred Thompson for the same thing. They are doing everything they can not to focus on the things that you're talking about, and instead they're taking aim at the two or three things that each candidate deviates somewhat from conservatism. There is story after story after story: "Will Republican base voters support somebody who lived with a gay couple in the middle of a divorce, Rudy Giuliani? Yeah!" This is how they're trying to influence people.
"But aren't you doing it, Rush?"
No! I'm just repeating what they've already done. That stuff is out there. You didn't know that, Snerdley? Oh, that stuff's out there. It's the same thing with Rudy's position on abortion. They're trying to divide the Republican base. That's why when Huckabee comes along, and they don't have to divide the Republican base because they think if they nominate Huckabee -- if they succeed in getting him nominated -- in one fell swoop of a presidential campaign they could take Huckabee out, and at the same time take out the Christian right once and for all. That's what they want to do. They're salivating over this. So when you call here and you go through the resume of Giuliani, if you wanted to try it with Romney, there's no question. Real-life experience is what it is, as you described with Rudy in New York and cleaning it up. But that's not what they focus on, not the Drive-Bys. The Drive-Bys are focusing on the deficiencies and the deviations from a so-called conservative norm. So these guys, they have a double-dose order. They've got to overcome these attacks, and they know it, going in. Ralph, it's always a pleasure to hear from you.