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BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: John in Lake Zurich, Illinois, it's great to have you with us, and I'm glad you waited. Welcome.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. I called to talk about the focus group they had on Fox last night with Frank Luntz, but could I address the guy from Montana who didn't like Romney --

RUSH: Oh, yeah.

CALLER: -- real briefly here?

RUSH: By all means.

CALLER: Mitt Romney, by any account, is one of the most accomplished guys who's ever run for president. And for a guy to dismiss him out of hand the way that guy did is ridiculous and he obviously does not know the credentials that Romney brings to the table. He's been successful at everything he's done, and, you know, you may quibble with some of his positions, I'll guarantee you, though, that anybody who comes from an eastern state is going to have to modify some of their positions they used to get elected there in order to run nationally.

RUSH: No, I hope not. I hope what you mean to say is they have to modify their position to get elected there.

CALLER: Well, what they did to get elected there is they're going to have to modify some of them, the things the eastern liberals wanted --

RUSH: Right. If Romney wants to get elected governor of Massachusetts he's going to have to moderate some tones on things, right --

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: -- to get elected there?

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: But the big mistake would be, if you think you gotta do that nationally to get elected, that's a miscalculation, as far as I'm concerned, and he's renounced some of those things that he did to get elected in Massachusetts, which is why people have this concern about flip-flop, he'll say what he has to say, this is the charge to say what he has to say depending on who the audience is. But he has been consistent throughout the campaign here, and he's put himself out there, he's kind of committed now to his latest positions. You have to be confident of that.

CALLER: And I think he'll stick with those positions.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: So anyway, what I called about was the focus group that Luntz had for the Republicans last night. I was dumbfounded to find that these people did not want to be confused with the facts, they basically dismissed a Romney ad that he showed them, they basically said we don't want to hear any contrasting positions put out by the candidates themselves. And then the same group of people admired Huckabee for not paying to air his ad but getting it out through the news media. And I just thought that --

RUSH: I told you yesterday it was going to be the case. I don't know if you were here yesterday, but Huckabee does his ad on New Year's Eve, calls his press conference, he actually taped the ad on, I guess, Sunday, then he calls this press conference on Monday to announce he's not going to run the ad. But he shows the ad to the press, the press laughs and snickers when he says he's not going to show it, and he said, well, I had to show it to them because they would have said I was making it up, that I had an ad when I didn't; I had to show it to them. And so the conventional wisdom was he really shot himself in the foot because he got the ad out while saying he wasn't going to get it out and he got it out without having to pay for it other than the production costs. And I said yesterday, folks, I don't believe that it wasn't going to work, because you have to understand, the Huckabee people are going to see what they want to see, and that's basically what you heard in your focus group last night. Somewhat like liberals, they do not want their comfortable little worldview that they have woven as a cocoon in which to live upset by anything. They don't want --

CALLER: Exactly.

RUSH: -- to be confronted with anything that doesn't fit their worldview, whether factual or not.

CALLER: They want to feel good about liking Huckabee. They don't want to be confused with the facts or the fact that, you know, we -- you know, I don't care whether you take Romney, Giuliani, or Huckabee, at least they've all run a governmental agency from the executive branch. I think the biggest thing I've got with McCain is I'd like to see him as governor for a term in Arizona before I trust him in the presidency because you don't know how he's going to act with Democrats if he's in that Oval Office, I think. And you know, he's let us down on enough things where I think he can't be trusted. But I think any one of those three guys, Huckabee, Romney, or Giuliani are going to do fine in the Oval Office and they're going to stand up. I'm confident that Giuliani and Romney will stand up against the Democrats in Congress because they've done it in their past roles as mayor and governor.

RUSH: Frankly, this is the thing that concerns me about any and all of them, and I'm not nearly as confident as you are that that's going to be the case, and I only say that not because of specifics related to them, I say it simply because none of them are full-fledged -- I'm not crying over spilt milk here, but they're not movement leaders. They're not ideological conservatives. They're conservative on some things, in some cases a lot of things, but there's a big difference in being a conservative ideologue and thinking you're leading a movement in order to change America and improve it, to take it in a different direction, than if you think your job is to go up there and compromise to get things done. Now, you have to on certain occasions, and Reagan certainly did, but Bush, you know, if you look at Bush in this -- the Democrats thought they were going to smoke him this year. Bush has gotten everything he's wanted out of these people. Bush has literally smoked them. He started using his veto pen. He's not leading a movement, either, but this is, to me personally, this is what's sorely missing.

I'm not nearly as confident as you are that any in the field are not going to bend down and do whatever they have to do to get along with the Democrats. Now, I've talked to Karl Rove about this. We had him on the program, and I asked him, "New tone. You come into office, you're facing hostile Democrats. You're coming out of the roiled nineties, all of the fractious stuff that happened with Clinton in the second term. So you have a new tone where you let Ted Kennedy help write the education bill, and you basically were going out of your way to make the Democrats feel welcome and at home and comfortable and part of your administration. Do you regret it?" Not at all. We didn't have margins to win, we had to bring them in if we wanted to get anything done. And I know this is a sad reality when you don't have large margins, it's probably one of the things doing Democrats in now, their margins are so small in the House and Senate.

Reagan got things done with a Democrat majority in the House he wasn't even close to. So the thing is it can be done, and it can be done how? How did Reagan do it? Reagan went over the heads of the media. He had landslide victories based on ideas which gave him a mandate that the Democrats in the House couldn't miss. There was no question why Ronald Reagan was elected. I don't care what the Democrats said about slick marketing and packaging. Reagan was elected to rebuild the country's military, to defeat the Soviets, and to cut taxes. And he set about doing it because that's why he was elected with a 49-state landslide and a mandate coming off the malaise years of the Carter administration. So it can be done. You can snooker these guys. You don't have to cave to them. They're not interested in compromising, they're interested in you compromising, or us compromising, they're interested in us giving ground, and that's frankly some of the things that I'm tired of. Anyway, I appreciate your call, John, I appreciate your patience as well.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Steve in Walnut Creek, California, hello, sir, great to have you with us.

CALLER: Redeemed dittos, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: You know, this is like talking to the president of the United States.

RUSH: Well, I appreciate that, sir. Thank you.

CALLER: I've listened to you, and I know that you are trustworthy, you're a man of faith, conviction, and passion, and I think Duncan Hunter is also such a man. And my question to you is, in the event of a brokered convention this fall, do you think there could be a draft Duncan Hunter movement?

RUSH: Well, I wouldn't rule anything out. If we go to a brokered conventional, you understand what that means?

CALLER: I believe it frees the electors for --

RUSH: Yeah, it means everything is up for grabs.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: It means anything can happen. A lot of people think we're headed in that direction based on how close and tight everything is, but that's way down the line. Duncan Hunter is a great guy, and he truly is authentic. It's a mystery why some people don't get out of the bottom tier or the lower tiers in campaigns. But, remember, this is his first chance, it's his first time going up in a national audience, and he's got a future ahead of him if he wants to try to continue to do this. Whatever happens here does not rule him out forever.

END TRANSCRIPT

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