RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, the official program observer is literally having a conniption fit on the other side of the glass. (interruption)
What happened? (interruption) Bill Kristol what, said what? (interruption) Yes? (interruption) Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm. Bill Kristol said...? (interruption) I know he's on Fox right now, but I couldn't hear it because... Bill Kristol just said at the end of the day I'm a grown-up? He said, "Rush Limbaugh is a grown-up and will end up supporting McCain." That was pretty much it. I'm a grown-up; I'll support McCain at the end of the day. We're not being treated like grown-ups. We're not. When McCain says (impression), "We just need to calm down," that's treating us like we're six years old. Look, we've said what we've had to say about McCain. You know the drill on this. If you missed the monologue in the first hour, please catch it at RushLimbaugh.com later this afternoon when we update the site to reflect the contents of today's program. They got hold of Chip Saltsman at the Huckabee campaign and said, "Are you going to drop out, too?" He said: hell no. We're not dropping out. We're in this 'til the end. (laughing) Now, here's the thing. Here's the funny and interesting thing about that. Huckabee is no more useful to McCain. Up until now, Huckabee has been useful to cancel Romney here; take Romney's delegates. McCain gives up his delegates and gives them to Huckabee in West Virginia, and you beat Romney there.
But now, Huckabee serves no purpose for McCain. Every vote that Huckabee gets is a vote taken from McCain now, not from Romney. So this will be interesting to see what happens. (interruption) It's supposed to be a compliment, "I'm a grown-up. I'll see the light"? Is that what Bill Kristol said? (interruption) Okay. Okay, so the first outreach has taken place. The first little outreach has taken place. (interruption) Well, I don't mind being a grown-up. It's not a problem. One of the great freedoms I have as a human being is to not be a grown-up certain days. You don't have to be a grown-up if you don't want to. You can play like you're still a child, high school, college, whatever. Live your life that way. But I get his point. I get his point. They're sitting there, and they're saying, "Look, when you get down to November, all this that happens here in the primary, that's all going to be swept away. These people are grown-ups. Limbaugh and his crowd not going to do anything to see to it that Hillary gets elected," and I've, you know, made it clear here today, pondering my potential Hillary fundraiser. "Keep Her in It So We Can Win It," seems to be the primary strategy of the Republican Party. Charles Krauthammer, by the way, on Special Report with Brit Hume last night, had this to say about McCain. He does a good job here of explaining people's problem with McCain.
KRAUTHAMMER: When he was starting his making peace, he said, "Everybody should just calm down." Well, there's a tone problem there. That's the kind of the thing you say to a six year old having a tantrum. And that's McCain. I mean he's gotta learn humanity, and he's not good at it. He either has to learn humility or fake it. He may be too old to learn it, so he needs a good coach. He loves sticking a finger in the eye and showing himself above all of this and being independent. It's that character issue, which I think is at stake here.
RUSH: That's a fascinating thing for Charles Krauthammer to say, because the real selling point for McCain on the McCain side is his character, and Krauthammer is saying that this petulance and this being above it all and not having humility is actually child-like. It's sort of a character flaw.
RUSH: This is Sarah in Bellevue, Nebraska. Hi, Sarah. Thanks for waiting, you are on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Fine, couldn't be better.
CALLER: I am standing here in my red leather jacket that I bought on my trip to Spain and enjoying the global warming we're experiencing here in the first week of February in Nebraska.
RUSH: How hot is it?
CALLER: It's 20-some degrees.
RUSH: You know, I was in Washington, when I got off the airplane in Washington, it was 76. When I got on the airplane, it was 65. And it was hot and humid. It's been in the eighties here for the past three weeks, minus a couple days of a dip, but in the Midwest you're getting plastered again, snow and ice, the cold weather and so forth. John Kerry, by the way, says this is because of global warming.
CALLER: Yeah. (laughing)
RUSH: He did.
CALLER: Take that to the bank. (laughing) The reason I called is I want to tell you that the Republican Party, or the conservatives, excuse me, have been suffering from battered wife syndrome for quite some time now, and I think people have just come to the point of saying, enough is enough.
RUSH: Even now, I mean you got Romney dropping out of the race. Where does that leave you?
CALLER: I don't know. But if you're in an abusive relationship, at some point you have to stop the insanity and the only way you can do that is to change your behavior. This one more time, one more time, one more time -- it ain't working.
RUSH: I hear you. We had a lot of people that have voiced your opinion about this. They haven't put it in your terms of battered wife syndrome. In fact, we created battered liberal syndrome to explain some of the kook-fringe left and how they keep getting shafted by their own party in their own way, like the Iraq war, we're going to end it if you elect us and this sort of thing. But, look, now that Mitt Romney is out, there's no conservative alternative here, Huckabee's going to stay in because he wants to be veep, and he's no, I don't know, big threat to McCain, but it's going to be interesting to see where this all takes us.
RUSH: And back to the phones we go here to Pocahontas, Arkansas. This is Joey. I'm glad you called, and glad you waited. Welcome.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. This is Joey from Arkansas.
CALLER: It's an honor to speak to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: But, Rush, what I wanted to say was (sigh) I'm a Christian conservative and a loyal Republican. I voted every year, every election cycle since 1984. So I'm pretty depressed today because this is the first time that I found myself in a position where I will not vote for the nominee. In fact, hell will freeze over before I'll vote for McCain -- or Huckabee, for that matter. I'm going to sit home this year, and my husband says he is, too. I also want to say that, it's really true what you said about Obama. He doesn't scare me. I'm not afraid of him. In fact, I may even vote for him against McCain.
RUSH: You won't do that when you find out what Obama's policies are.
CALLER: Well, you know what? I know that he's very liberal. I know that.
RUSH: Just think of a nice Hillary Clinton, in terms of policy.
CALLER: You're right. You're right.
RUSH: Maybe even worse, if that's possible.
CALLER: But he's very likable.
RUSH: Yeah, and that matters in a television age.
CALLER: It does.
RUSH: Well, I have to tell you. I know there's a lot of emotion on this right now, Joey, and the rest of you in this audience. I have spent a lot of time today perusing public e-mail account, the El Rushbo e-mail account; and the 24/7, the subscriber e-mail account. I'm telling you, after Romney's announcement, I am stunned. I'm close to a record number of e-mails during a three-hour show in the El Rushbo account, the general public account, and the vitriol for McCain and how they're not going to vote, and no matter what happens conservatives are not going to be fooled. Right now the emotion, the anger is palpable here in the e-mail. Now, this is February. I don't know if this is going to be held onto throughout the elections and so forth. A lot of people are sad. I can hear the sadness in Joey's voice. It sounded like she was about to cry because it means so much to her. It's the first time there's nobody in her party she can support, and she doesn't like voting against people. She sounded very crushed. It'll be interesting to see how much of this there is out there. By the way, TheAtlantic.com is reporting that McCain will show up at CPAC today with George Allen, the former senator from Virginia who a lot of people were hoping (prior to this Macaca stuff that was so overblown) would actually end up in the presidential primaries and be the true Reaganite in the roster.
It didn't happen, of course. So with all the politicians, the party politicians now are lining up. This is traditional, and this is what happens. People in the party, elected officials, current and former, are not going to wander off the party reservation. So you're gonna look at this. Some of you might say, "My gosh, everybody is betraying us. Everybody." They're just playing the game as they know it. You know, this is their business. This is their job. And you don't see executives at Exxon walking out en masse when the CEO makes a decision that they don't like, or when a new CEO is hired after one leaves. You might see a couple who leave because they're out of the line of succession now, but you don't see it happen, just like you're not going to see it in politics. You're not going to see half the elected leadership or more, abandon the Republican Party. (interruption) You do cheer them on. In politics, you do cheer them on. That's "party unity." Everybody wants to be part of unifying the party in the event you win, and if you lose, you don't want the blame for it. Look, this is all CYA. No matter how you cut it, this isn't happening by virtue of ideas. It's not happening by virtue of policies. This is party hackdom. This is the way political parties work. So Allen's getting on board. Coburn, the conservative Senator from Oklahoma, is going to introduce McCain at CPAC. But this is what happens, the politicians get on board. Folks, I realize this is a... You know, Joey's call from Pocahontas, Arkansas, hit a nerve, and it's something that I hadn't considered. She was really upset. For the first time in her voting life, there's nobody she feels like she can vote for in her own party, not with good conscience. She knows how important voting is. It just distresses her to no end. Well, when you see all these other party people now line up, which is what they do, it might depress some of you even more. Joey, thanks for the call. I appreciate it.
Walter in Falls City, Nebraska, it's nice to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Good morning.
CALLER: Hey, you know you were talking about your Select Number Bed, and so me and the wife went out and tried one. And when we bought ours, they had a special that they would give you a single bed for half price. So we bought it, and I put it in my truck for when I travel out across country. I can still have my good night's sleep.
RUSH: No kidding! So you bought two of them. You bought a single for the cab of the truck?
RUSH: How about that.
CALLER: So I could have my sleep.
RUSH: Now, that's ingenuity!
CALLER: And so far it's been working good.
RUSH: Well, if it's working now it will continue to work good.
CALLER: The only thing with the single bed is you don't get the number readout to where you can see it.
RUSH: That's right. You have to feel it, but there's nothing wrong with that.
CALLER: Oh, no, no.
RUSH: There's nothing wrong with feeling the firmness in the bed.
CALLER: No, no. If anybody likes sleeps on air mattresses, these are a lot better. Because I have slept on air mattresses before, but I kept poking holes in them.
RUSH: You don't want to compare a Sleep Number Bed to an air mattress. It's a bed. It's a genuine, real bed. I appreciate that, Walter. Thank you.
Sue in Cincinnati, I'm glad you waited, madam, and welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Listen, last week you had a mini-debate going on that if McCain was the nominee and Mrs. Clinton was the nominee, that it didn't matter who you voted for. They were both socialist. The country was going to go down; may as well let a liberal take it down, and there was no difference between the two. And I think there is a discernible -- at the time I thought there was a discernible difference, and that is that I believe Mrs. Clinton could deal the fatal blow to this country. So I was prepared to vote in the Ohio Democratic primary against her, because I think she needs to be -- at the time, I thought she needed to be -- taken out as soon as possible. Fast forward to today. We got all this rigamarole with McCain. Romney's dropped out of the race. My question is: What do you think, or how effective do you think a write-in campaign for Romney would be? And my second question is: Just how many female names are in your list of all-time top female names? Because we know it's more than ten.
RUSH: What do you mean you know it's more than ten?
CALLER: I listen to you all the time. (laughing)
RUSH: (silence) How many names are on my top-ten, all-time favorite female list? I actually haven't counted. (laughing)
RUSH: You're right, there's more than ten.
RUSH: Okay. The bloom's off the rose. As far as a write-in campaign, you know, a vote is a very personal thing. I've had conversations with people here before when they told me they were going to vote for something that was guaranteed to lose, and I said, "Why you going to waste it?" That was when there was somebody I thought there was really worth winning and electing. In terms of the effectiveness of a write-in, I don't think there will be enough people to write it. Now, this is February. Who knows what can change? This is why I was saying the other day, "Life is so exciting. You get up every day, and you don't know what's going to happen." We certainly don't know what's going to happen by the time we get to convention. That is the summertime. But traditionally, a write-in vote is not going to elect anybody. If you're going to write in Romney, you're obviously not going to vote for the Republican nominee. So it's going to have to some impact there. If there are enough write-ins for anybody, a number of Republicans other than McCain, it will certainly have an impact there. But in terms of electing the write-in candidate, that will never happen.
CALLER: So what's the answer? McCain, when he said to calm down, he was asking us to join together, support the party -- and he has done nothing but divorce himself from the Republican Party and Republican principles.
RUSH: I know, I know. I hear you, and I've been making this point. McCain is asking us to do exactly what he has not been doing.
CALLER: That's right.
RUSH: He's been reaching out to the other side, to people we consider threats to the country, like you just said about Hillary. He's been reaching out to that side. We're saying, "Reach out to us," and now we're told, "No, you reach out to me while I reach out to them on the left," and it's frustrating. It's clear here, the problem. There are so many things working here, and there are so many things that if they go wrong, we're going to end up with a debacle. It's not just that Mrs. Clinton might win. Let me ask you this question, because, Sue, you obviously care about this. What happens if McCain wins by attracting liberals and independents to our party as liberals and independents? What happens to conservatism in that sense? The Republican Party on election night would go bonkers. They would throw the biggest celebration. It would be the biggest party. They would have so much fun. They'd be pointing fingers. They would be going, "Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah," but the Republican Party would have been victorious by attracting liberals and independents as liberals.
CALLER: I think it's going to be part of a gigantic cycle where Republicanism and conservatism goes away for awhile.
RUSH: So the Republican Party is going to be without conservative support, and, therefore, it's going to be small and a minority party?
CALLER: Yep. And that makes me sad because when this country goes down, if it ever does, I wanna be dead.
RUSH: Yeah, but you conservatives can't exist in a vacuum. If they do that, they're not going to have a base. They're not going to have a place to go. They're not going to have a place from which to stage elections.
CALLER: Well, nothing's permanent, so we'll see.
RUSH: I know. But, like we said yesterday, and emphasized today: It's not just the presidential race that matters here. There are Senate races, House races. It's important as hell to make sure that there's enough reputation there to thwart whatever might come from the White House regardless who's in charge of it. Sue, I appreciate the call. I'm up against it on time.
RUSH: Let me print something out. I'm getting it from all sides in the e-mail. I'm getting, "Rush, you need to grow up." "Rush, you're right on." "Rush, I can't tell you how much I agree with you." It's just all over the place. It's just like it was back during the Perot days. I just read one, some guy, been listening for a long time, this guy in the Wall Street Journal, Dan Henninger, wrote a column today about conservatives getting used to it with McCain, he said, "You know what, he's right. You belong in a monastery. Leave the radio show. Go to a monastery. You want purity!" I am having more fun reading these e-mails. Listen to this one. "I know you can't relate to this because you're a man and you've never been a father, but many in your audience will relate to this. I was thinking that we have nine months until the election. Nine months, the same amount of time a woman is pregnant, before the feminazis get to her. God designed it for nine months for a good reason. That's the amount of time it takes you to get used to and accept the idea. When you first find out you're expecting, you panic, 'I can't do this, no way, I'm going to be a horrible parent, should I end this? My life's over! What was I thinking? I just can't do this. It's going to ruin everything. It's going to hurt!' But in the course of three trimesters, almost all of us get used to the idea." It's a she writing this. That's why she said I can't relate to it because I'm never going to get pregnant. "By the time you go through the nine months of a pregnancy when you first panic and you first think, 'Oh, I can't do this. It's going to change my life. My life's over.' Then you get used to it. In the course of three trimesters, almost all of us get used to the idea. And I'm thinking, Rush, in the next nine months, we're going to get used to McCain. We have to, because it's too late to abort him. And when he's born in nine months, Rush, we're going to love him." I'm getting all kinds of fascinating things in the e-mail.
Kevin, on the 210 freeway in California, welcome to the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush.
CALLER: I've been listening to you since 1991.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I can't believe I finally got in. Unfortunately, it's such a sad occasion to have to get in for. I remember Ronald Reagan was asked about why he left the Democrat Party, and he would tell people, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me."
RUSH: Yeah, he said that.
CALLER: I voted for Romney here in California, and the next day after the election, I printed out a form and sent it in to drop my affiliation with the Republican Party and go back to having no party affiliation.
RUSH: So you're an independent?
CALLER: I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.
RUSH: And I assume this is because McCain won in California?
CALLER: Absolutely. If they're going to elect liberals, then, you know, what's the point?
RUSH: Okay, you don't think in nine months you're going to get over this and realize --
CALLER: Hey, I'm a father and my wife and I were so prepared, we never had to panic, we wanted our children, and we did it when we knew we were ready. So that's a bunch of BS on that e-mail.
RUSH: Okay. All right. Well, I wouldn't know. Actually, I thought it was accurate because that's been exactly my thought if I ever thought whoever I was with would get pregnant, that's why I did relate, but you know that, I've never hidden that secret from people. At any rate, forget the e-mail. You don't think nine months from now you're going to mellow out and a lot of anti-McCain people are going to? I'm just taking your temperature. I'm not advising. I'm not telling you what I'm going to do. I'm just asking you specifically.
CALLER: The Republican Party is going to have to work really hard to ever get me back.
RUSH: Well, you know, McCain is going to find himself in a new position here. McCain loved being the maverick. And because of what happened today, he can't play the maverick role anymore. He may think he can, but this is pretty crucial. He is the leader of the party right now.
RUSH: It's not Bush --
CALLER: What really burns me up is Reagan didn't win people over to the party by being liberal. He convinced liberals to be conservative.
RUSH: I understand, but the fact that he's the leader of the party, if he has hopes of unifying, he's going to have to adapt, adopt, whatever, he's going to have to do something. He can't continue to play this maverick and joining Democrats. He's gotta start attacking Democrats.
CALLER: Like you said, it's going to be fun to watch.
RUSH: And he's going to have to do it in a way people believe him.
CALLER: That's the hard part.
RUSH: I know. All right, I appreciate it, Kevin. Thanks much.