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It's Up to the Candidates to Lead

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I went through another brilliant analysis monologue where the Republican Party finds itself today and why. One of the points I mentioned, everybody is dumping on talk radio for destroying this party or for destroying the good time ahead. It's up to talk radio, it's up to conservative and grassroots, it's up to all of us to put aside our principles, compromise them, and join the majority in the party, the so-called majority in the party, so that we can all bask in an electoral victory in November. It isn't up to us, folks, it is up to John McCain to demonstrate leadership, not to browbeat people into following him out of fear or loathing of Hillary Clinton. That already exists. We already fear, we already loathe -- well, some fear, I don't, but a lot of people do fear and loathe Hillary. And, by the way, it may not be Hillary, it may be Obama, where fear and loathing are not relevant, ain't going to work. You can't use that to drum up support.

Leadership is more than being the anti-Hillary. That's the minimum. All of our candidates fit that bill. A leader is someone who, by his own convictions personally and his personality and his vision, can unite a party, unite a movement, unite a country behind him. It's not up to me. It's not up to you. It's not up to anybody else. It's up to the candidate. These talking point op-eds and editorials are no substitute for the candidate demonstrating leadership. The reason I wanted to repeat this to you, Karl Rove was on the Fox News Channel earlier this afternoon. Jane Skinner asked him a question. The question was this: "Some have suggested that there is potential that the Romney campaign will be powered by this talk show host Rush Limbaugh situation, a suggestion that there was still a chance for inroads, yet it was still close to a mathematical impossibility. How would you frame that, Mr. Rove?"

ROVE: It is true, people like Rush Limbaugh have a big sway among voters and among Republicans. But candidates, you know, have to deliver the message, and at the end of the day, voters make a decision not simply on the basis of no matter how persuasive the argument is by a talk radio person like Rush, but on the basis of candidates themselves and how they're delivering their messages.

RUSH: Amen! That's exactly what I just said in the last hour. Amen. It is not about us, folks. The idea here that this is all about talk radio, which is what the Drive-By Media template is, it's not about me. It's not about any other single person. The same people in Washington and New York who like to write op-eds and editorials to themselves to show how smart they are and how in touch they are, are missing what's going on. I don't control the disaffection conservatives are feeling for the Republican Party and Washington generally. This isn't some manufactured view that's turned on or off by me in people. It's the result of years of contempt for the grassroots, years of neglect. Rove has it exactly right here. Yeah, we have some sway, but candidates have to deliver the message, and by the end of the day, no matter how persuasive the argument is for talk radio, people like Rush, elections are decided on the basis of the candidates themselves and how they deliver their messages, which is why all of these advice op-eds today that you can find advising McCain what to say, how not to blow it, speaking to the conservative political action economy.

Speaking of Senator McCain, a sound bite from yesterday afternoon. He had a presser and an unidentified reporter said, "Could Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity hurt your chances in November?" By the way, this is the third or fourth day in a row here where most of the sound bites we have mention me, and I just want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that's not why I'm playing these things. I'm not controlling this. I don't have PR agents put my name out there, none of this is happening. The reason I'm playing these sound bites for you is so you can hear the people speaking, and the question is the question. Anyway, McCain is asked by this reporter, "Can Limbaugh and Hannity hurt your chances if they keep up their anti-McCain crusade beyond the point that you secure the nomination?"

MCCAIN: I do hope that at some point we would just calm down a little bit and see if there's areas that we can agree on for the good of the party and for the good of the country. I haven't responded to any of it, as you know, and won't, but I think it might be a good idea if we -- I think they've made their case against me pretty eloquently, if that's the right word, I think they've made their case against me, and I think the majority of Republicans across the board have stated their view, and so I hope that maybe we can now join together for the good of the party and the good of the conservative cause.

RUSH: So we gotta calm down. That's what you say to six year olds. At some point we would just calm down a little bit, see if there's areas we can agree on for the good of the party. I'm going to become a broken record here. Some of you may be saying, "Why are you keeping up this drumbeat, Rush?" Well, you've heard people say they do things because they care. Well, I care. For one thing I care about the country and I care about conservatism, and I do care, strangely enough, about the Republican Party. I'm really worried about what's going to happen to it. The Republican Party, for good or bad, happens to be the home of conservatism right now, and the Republican Party is doing its best to marginalize conservatives and their influence, hence all these attacks on talk radio and talk radio hosts and so forth. I'm just caring. I care, ladies and gentlemen, doing what I can here to let people know what I think the future holds if we don't get these three legs of the conservative stool back and firmly established and not watered down and sawed off to make room for others who are not conservative in the party.

END TRANSCRIPT

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