RUSH: These are my thoughts on New York-23. In the first place I'll have to double-check this but I'm reasonably sure that this was the highest percentage of the vote ever won on the Conservative Party line by a House or Senate candidate. I think Hoffman had a higher percentage of the vote than even James Buckley, who won his US Senate race against this Goodell guy, Charles Goodell, in the seventies. So that's one thing. But the right message... We cannot forget how this whole thing happened in the first place. There was not a primary. The right message here would indict the way party bosses, Republican Party bosses and these "big thinkers" like Newt, screwed the whole thing up from the get-go. From their standpoint -- and I think this is probably still true today -- they'd rather say that Reagan conservatism can't win in New York and that we need more David Brooks-type Republicans.
Meantime... I mean that's probably what they're thinking today on our side, "Yeah, you see, Reagan conservatives can't win in New York. We need Chris Shays-type guys. We need moderates like David Brooks-kind of Republicans to win." But if the party... See, this is the dirty little secret: If the party had gotten behind Hoffman from the beginning, he would have won going away. I have no doubt about that. I'll tell you something else. People are now talking about Hoffman's lack of charisma and familiarity with local issues. The huge story of New York-23 is the shambles the Republican Party made of it. They nominated a horrendous candidate: A liberal Republican. She was far more liberal than this Owens guy, who ended up winning.
They stuck by her for too long. They basically told over half of the Republican voters in this district, "Screw you! We'd just as soon you not show up. We're making a stand here with our naming of this candidate." They were trying to define themselves. The big thinkers, the party bosses were trying to define themselves -- once again to the Big Media types they so want love and respect from -- by putting up this Scozzafava babe. And then when she left, they praised her, even as she turned around and endorsed the Democrat! Now, I think it seems strange to start offering explanations for what happened without even mentioning what happened; and this is what happened, and she remained on the ballot. In fact, she was on the ballot twice. This is screwiest looking ballot. I just got this.
Here's the ballot: Democrat Owens, Republican Scozzafava, Independence Scozzafava, Conservative Hoffman, Working Families, Owens. There were five parties on the ballot. Two of them endorsed Owens -- the Democrat Party and the Working Families Party -- and two of them endorsed Scozzafava, the Republican Party and the Independents party. Only one of them endorsed Hoffman. So Scozzafava's name not only appeared twice on the ballot, but because the Independence Party drew more voters in the previous governors race than the Conservative Party did, her name appeared twice on the ballot before anybody even saw Hoffman's race -- and she was out of the race. She got 5% of the vote because her name was still on the ballot. So there's a lot to be said here. But what did not lose, what did not lose was conservatism. What lost was Republican ineptitude and incompetence in selecting the wrong candidate from the get-go, staying with her for too long and then sending her off packing while she endorses the Democrat.
RUSH: By the way, let's not forget also that the GOP gave Dede Scozzafava $900,000. They gave her $900,000 to run the campaign, and she dropped out. She dropped out and she endorsed a Democrat. Now, I'll tell you something else about this. If this doesn't silence all the third-party people out there, it should. People were mistakenly looking at this as a third-party race, and it wasn't a third-party race (as I keep saying) because there was no primary there. Had there been a primary who knows who would have won. Hoffman might have won. See, New Jersey is a great contrast. In New Jersey, they had a primary. There was a guy that was more conservative than Christie, Steve Lonegan. They had a primary and Christie won the primary and the party got behind the winner.
That's how it happens. There was no primary in New York-23. The "smart people" wanting approval from whoever it is they want approval from picked the absolute most horrendous candidate they could, and then she ends up bombing out and dropping out, and then endorsing the Democrat. If there'd have been a primary up there, Hoffman would have won that thing and the would have party gottten behind him, bam, bam, bam. This would not have been close at all. So don't... In fact, strangely enough, there is one person in the State-Controlled Media who comes close to getting New York-23 right and I'm going to probably inflict great harm on her reputation by pointing her out. Her name is Deborah Feyerick. She works at CNN. And this morning on CNN she said this.
FEYERICK: An unknown coming out of nowhere to catch the attention of party conservatives like Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Rush Limbaugh. Doug Hoffman getting more than 40% of the vote. Now, had the moderate Republican who pulled out of the race just a couple of days ago and who threw her support to the Democrats --had her name not been on the ballot -- it's very likely that Doug Hoffman would have done even better than he did because her name on that ballot ended up being the spoiler and shifted the race in favor of the Democrats. Now, I spoke to a journalist who's covered politics in northern New York for more than 30 years. He tells me that he was surprised by the depth of anger within Republicans in this area. He had not seen anything like it before saying that the message of conservatives is they want to take back this country.
RUSH: I know it's hard to believe, folks. You gotta trust me. That's CNN's Deborah Feyerick getting it right. Scozzafava's name was on the ballot twice! Owens' name was on the ballot twice! She got 5% of the vote. And had that not happened, why, Hoffman would... This is a textbook case in how not to select a candidate and how not to run a campaign.
RUSH: Charlie in Boulder, Colorado. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks, this is a big honor. I heard you first back in '87 or '88 when you were still in Sacramento, I believe.
RUSH: Yeah, that's right. That would have been the case.
CALLER: We've loved you ever since because you say what we already believe, not because you turn us into mind-numbed robots.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
CALLER: You're welcome. Let me get to my point. I think the real lesson of New York-23 is the sentiment, the same sentiment that hates Sarah Palin, and that is the self-anointed, whether Republicans or Democrats, they will not tolerate an average person standing up and running for office. The Republicans would rather have a Democrat win than have that happen and have the people that are supposed to be the ruled standing up and taking our country back.
RUSH: Well, you know, I hate to agree with you about that with the Republican Party, but I think you're right about a lot of people in that party, average people not welcome, gotta have the pedigree. Now, I never like to make this program about me. It's becoming harder and harder not to but, folks, I got audio sound bites of the media, "Oh, big loss for Limbaugh! Big loss for Sarah Palin!" The New York Daily News, every sentence is a prediction of mine come true yesterday about this. It's the snarkiest thing. They're all over the place and I, of course am just an average guy. I don't come from any pedigree. I come from the Midwest, a little town of 30,000, well, 25,000, some people have moved in since I moved out. But you're right. I think certainly the Democrat Party. And they are the real hypocrites about it, Charlie, because they're the ones who claim to be for the little guy.
CALLER: That's right. And I think this bolsters your point, Rush, which is the message to the leaders in the Republican Party is, don't put up these establishment folks because we will defeat your candidate even if it means the Democrat is going to win and they need to learn that lesson.
RUSH: You know what, I was reading Erick Erickson today at RedState.com, and he was the real first behind Hoffman guy. I mean, he was really pushing it on his blog, and he wrote today -- I'll paraphrase it -- he wrote, "Look, the message out of this is we took out a horrible Republican. We kept a horrible Republican from possibly winning and totally redefining the party in a way that would make it a permanent minority party." So in Erick's view, yeah, it would have been great if Hoffman won, but the real victory was making sure that a Republican-in-name-only did not win, and that dovetails here with what Charlie said.
RUSH: By the way, folks, one more thing about New York-23, when this all started look at where Doug Hoffman was. He was down there in last place, nobody had ever heard of him. He was at 20%. And despite all the incompetence and despite the party being against it, remember the Republican Party ran ads against Hoffman. Remember this now. And he still climbed, with 45% of the vote, he still ended up there. Now, I'm telling you, the percentage of the vote that Hoffman got has put the fear of 2010 in the mind of every Blue Dog and in a lot of RINOs. This guy almost pulled it out with his own party running ads against him and endorsing a liberal Republican, and then praising her when she leads and then she endorses the Democrat. And all this is done in 30 days? You need to keep all this stuff in perspective about New York-23 and again not buy into the media template on this at all.