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Analyzing McCain's Endorsements

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I'm still struck by Senator McCain's attack on Mitt Romney today. Mitt Romney simply said, in response to the letter that Bob Dole sent me, he could think of somebody better to send the letter than Dole. What he meant was, "Hey, Dole ran a campaign like you're running, big military guy, war hero, against a Clinton. We lost that one. It's probably going to happen again." McCain retorts, "Romney ought to apologize, Romney never served in the military," blah, blah. I want to issue this caution. If Senator McCain becomes the Republican nominee and tries to pull this "you didn't serve in the military line," which, by the way, I think the purpose of that is to conceal the rest of his record, you think it's going to work telling Obama, "You didn't serve in the military, I did, I know what I'm talking about, you didn't serve. Hillary, you didn't serve." Hillary's gotta comeback, "I wanted to join the Marines but they wouldn't let me because I was a woman." She's already tried that. But it won't work. Democrats and independents in the liberal media are not going to be intimidated by that in the general election.

The Democrats and independents in the media don't give a damn about military service or the military period. They won't care about the surge, either, once Senator McCain becomes the nominee, they're not going to care about any of that. This is going to lead to Senator McCain having to defend that part of his record that he can't and doesn't want to defend. That would be McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Kennedy-Edwards, whatever the hell it was, Gang of 14. Now, I mentioned when I was reading Bob Dole's letter that Warren Rudman was the Republican responsible for fooling everybody on the bona fides, the conservative bona fides of Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Bush nominated him, he was recommended to then Chief of Staff John Sununu by New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman. Rudman happens to have, I think, a prominent role in the McCain campaign. I don't know what his title is, but he's got a prominent role. The guy that McCain is telling everybody, "Conservative judges, I want to make sure we get those guys, constructionist, strict constructionist," the guy who misled us all on David Souter happens to be a top honcho on McCain's campaign.

What happened to the media on the court, by the way, when Souter got there, he proved himself to be among the most radical of the justices. He has voted for every liberal activist issue to come his way. The guy who recommended him, Warren Rudman, is a high ranks official in the McCain campaign, general chairman in fact of the McCain campaign. Senator McCain thinks so much of Warren Rudman he's put him in charge of the overall operation. People have said to me, though, and I get e-mails, "But, Rush, what about all these endorsements? What do you make of all these endorsements?" Well, we've read some op-eds about all these endorsements. I find them to be a little odd, frankly. For example, I think a candidate uses endorsements to create different impressions, even conflicting impressions, as a way of pandering to certain voters. For example, Tom Coburn has endorsed McCain. Now, Coburn is a fiscal conservative from Oklahoma. Schwarzenegger has endorsed McCain. He's a big-spending liberal who supports socialist health care in California. Now, what are we to make of these two endorsements? Just as an example. What we make of them is that there's something more to it than just the endorsement.

The endorsement is designed to show, create an impression for the voter. Coburn and Schwarzenegger don't agree on much, but yet they're endorsing McCain. Now, when you have such an illogical combination of endorsements, and when that's noted, by the way, the McCain camp's response is, "Well, this shows how he can unite the Republican Party." But Coburn and Schwarzenegger have almost nothing in common. Their economic positions could never be squared. Then we have Rudman. Warren Rudman is running the campaign and Ted Olson. Both of them are supporting McCain. Rudman, as I said, gave the nation David Souter, a total disaster on the Supreme Court. Ted Olson is a huge favorite with conservatives and the very conservative Federalist Society. Rudman and Olson have absolutely nothing in common when it comes to the selection of Supreme Court justices, yet both now endorse McCain. What is a conservative to make of such endorsements? And the answer is, to those of you who have asked me, nothing much.

Senator McCain basically sought the endorsement of anybody Republican, regardless of philosophy or past record, because he's trying to create the impression of inevitability by releasing lists of Republicans who are supporting him, regardless of their views, and he's trying to use various endorsements to justify a nonmainstream record, especially on domestic issues. I'll give you an example of that. He holds out Jack Kemp as someone who vouches for his position on taxes, even though McCain is not a supply-sider like Jack Kemp is. Follow me on this. He holds out the endorsement of Jack Kemp, a supply-sider, who McCain is not. At the same time, he holds out the endorsements of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, who are huge tax-and-spend liberals in the Republican Party. What are we to make of these endorsements? Now, this will all play out to the detriment of the McCain campaign, the GOP and the conservative movement, should he become the nominee. All these questions I'm asking are questions that are going to be raised after McCain wins the nomination and we head down to the general election. He's trying to be all things to all people now, even though we know by virtue of his record and what he does, not what he says, what he does, he's a McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Feingold Republican.

And again I ask, we know what Kennedy and Lieberman and Feingold got out of all that. What did McCain get? Or, more precisely, with McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Feingold, we know what Kennedy, Lieberman, Feingold and the Democrats got out of that, and we know what McCain got out of it. But what did the Republican Party get out of McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, and McCain-Feingold? What did we get? We got screwed. The Republican Party got the shaft, if you would prefer to put it that way.

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