RUSH: There are major rumblings in the news media today about the terrible trouble that the Republican Party finds itself in. Juan Williams was on Fox yesterday saying the Tea Party's finished. It's over with. The Republicans are not on the same page. House and Senate Republicans and, even within the House Republican caucus, not on the same page. They're splitting apart because of Medicare, because of Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal. In the Washington Post today, there's a blog published by Chris Cillizza, and it is obvious that both Republican Washington insiders, as well as Democrat power brokers want the nominee to be Mitch Daniels. By virtue of this very story that I hold here. "Mitch Daniels, the Man Who Could Reshape the Republican Field." Now, Cillizzawrites this. He goes out, quotes a couple of Republican consultants, campaign people. Let me just give you a flavor for this. Oh, before that, grab sound bite 18. This sets it up. This is Juan Williams, Fox News Sunday yesterday during the panel, Chris Wallace said, "Are the House Republican leaders that you've talked to worried that the Medicare thing is gonna end up being an albatross around their necks?"
WILLIAMS: Yeah, but let me tell you, they're trying to walk away, and aggressively so, and I think this is a sea change in this regard. The Tea Party folks who have been the dynamic force driving the Republican Party and driving negotiations obviously to the midterm election victories and driving the discussion about budget and cuts, no longer have that power because of what happened at town hall meetings and now you see Boehner, Cantor, and others reasserting themselves in terms of saying, let's make deals, let's actually do government. I think that's good news for America.
RUSH: Oh, man, so much there. Reasserting themselves, now, the Republican leadership, Cantor and Boehner, and what Juan Williams means, saying, "Screw you, Tea Party, screw you and your rigidness, and screw you in making us do what you want. We're gonna go back to being good Republicans. We're gonna make deals. We're gonna make deals with the Democrats where we lose because that's how good government's defined." That's the point from Juan Williams. Couple stories, Politico: "GOP Clarifies. We Are on Same Page ... This week House Republicans lost their grip on messaging. The slipping started when a Washington Post story reported Majority Leader Eric Cantor planned to take Medicare off the table." That would be akin to just throwing Paul Ryan overboard. "The Post corrected a headline that Cantor’s team said was misleading. But that didn’t stop the onslaught."
Then there is from the Los Angeles Times another story saying the Republicans are in retreat. "GOP Finding it Hard to Make Progress -- Republicans struggle to appease the right and appeal to the center, resulting in fits and starts in the party's agenda. Their retreat on Medicare is a prime example." And also in this story you will read about how conservative media is trying to dispirit everybody. Oh, yes. "Conservatives who oppose compromise are adding to the Republican difficulties." Yeah, well, who's that? So you see what's being set up here? You see what's being set up here. The Republicans can't survive, even if they won in a landslide with independents, but already they're losing the independents for doing what everybody who voted for them said they were going to do. Somehow doing what you say you were gonna do is how you lose your voters. Well, now, stop and think about this for a second. Before you get on me, stop and think about this for a second, think about the template, the narrative here that's being created. Republicans in trying to do what they were elected to do are angering the people who voted for 'em. That's what the story's about. If the independents are leaving, why? Why the independents abandoned Obama, go to the Republicans? They don't like this profligate spending. They want it brought under control.
So here comes Paul Ryan with his Medicare proposal, and, oh, no, no, no, no, can't have that. So now the story is doing exactly what voters -- Juan Williams: the Tea Party is gone, Tea Party has no power, people ticked off at the Tea Party. Republicans weren't making deals before but now the Republicans are making deals and good government gets done. Yeah. Republicans are splitting apart here. Finding it hard to make progress. Retreating on Medicare. Conservatives who oppose compromise are adding to the Republican difficulties. This story is all about how the Republican leadership just wishes the Tea Party and everybody would just shut up and let us do our jobs here. There's some compromising we have to do.
Which takes us to Chris Cillizza's piece. "Mitch Daniels: The Man Who Could Reshape the Republican Party -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels continues to keep the political world waiting, saying recently that he will announce 'within weeks' whether he will run for president in 2012. The Republican’s decision -- which could come as soon as Thursday at the Indiana Republican Party’s spring dinner, where his wife, Cheri, will be the keynote speaker -- could have an impact well beyond just one man saying yes or no, however. The GOP presidential race has been defined by relative chaos -- and weakness -- among the field. That was reinforced at last week’s first presidential debate of the season, which, aside from former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, featured a handful of long shots and no-shots debating such topics as the legalization of marijuana -- and even heroin.
"Daniels is regarded (and regards himself) as a candidate of considerable gravity, willing to focus on making tough choices about the nation’s financial future even if that conversation is politically unpopular. (At a February speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, he said that 'purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers.')" Meaning, hey, look, if you guys are gonna all demand we candidates be right-down-the-road conservative, we're gonna lose, and that's not the way we should be martyred. That's what he meant. "A Daniels candidacy probably would be taken as a sign that the games are over for the Republican Party, that it is time to buckle down and organize to beat President Obama."
So you see what's shaping up here in the media and with certain help from Republican insiders. Medicare, get rid of it. It's gonna destroy the party. Get it off the table. We can't go there, and we gotta get Mitch Daniels, somebody serious, the Republican field is a joke, can't have these conservatives running things. We gotta have dealmakers in there, people willing to make deals, it's how government gets done, compromise, get the Tea Party out of our way, get the Tea Party out of our hair, get these stupid other Republican nominees and hopefuls, get 'em out of the way. Let's bring in somebody who has gravity.
"'He will turn a race that is about less serious politics into a race about more serious policy,' argued Alex Castellanos, a Republican media consultant who is not aligned with any candidate heading into 2012. 'Daniels is the adult in the room saying the party is over, it’s time to clean house. That contrast in maturity is how a Republican beats Obama.'" And even Obama says Chris Cillizza has recognized here that Mitch Daniels would be a profound threat. "The president has acknowledged as much about Daniels, telling an Indiana television station that the governor is 'a serious person' before adding: 'I have some significant philosophical differences with him.' Should Daniels opt not to run, on the other hand, the unpredictability that has ruled the race would almost certainly continue unabated."
So if you guys don't nominate Daniels, it's over for you, and, by the way, if you do, it's over. Why do you think the Democrats want us to nominate him? Do they really want to nominate a challenger here? (laughing) They really want us to nominate somebody they really think could beat Obama? Is that what they want us to do? And there's this phrase again: serious. That's the new gravitas. That's the new, "He's an intellectual. He's a serious person." It also means boring and moderate, and it does not mean conservative. Now I figured it out. Somebody who's conservative cannot simultaneously be serious, according to the new guidelines in Washington.
RUSH: All right, so they say conservatives are dispiriting the Republicans. Well, then I guess I'm the indicted co-dispiritor. Now, let me put some of this in perspective, some of this that I just shared with you. Why don't we just go there. I mean Juan Williams says that the Tea Party is finished, that the Republicans don't care about it. It's a problem; just get rid of it (this is a parrot, by the way, of Pelosi) and Juan Williams went on to say the Republicans are doing good. They're back to doing deals now. They're not being obstinate; they're doing deals. That's how good government works, that's how Washington works.
Remember Pelosi said we need to get back to the days where it didn't matter who won or lost elections 'cause there wasn't that big a difference between us. She couldn't have been more clear: We need to get back to the day where there wasn't any conservatives in this town; we need to get back to the day where the Republicans weren't worried so much what the conservatives were gonna do. Then we got a story here today from Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post quoting people from all over the place basically saying that Washington's favorite Republican is Mitch Daniels -- and if Daniels doesn't get in it, then the rest of the field's a joke.
There's nobody else serious in there; nobody in the field that's serious. Only Daniels is going to bring that kind of seriousness and gravitas -- and Obama's even echoing that sentiment in the Chris Cillizza piece. We are to believe that Obama and the Democrats seriously want a strong challenger for Obama! Just ask yourself a simple question. You're a member of the Obama regime (or you are a high-ranking member of the Democrat National Committee) and your first and foremost objective right now is raising money so as to secure the reelection victory of Barack Obama. That's what you live for.
Are you really going to go out and try to find a Republican who could beat you, and then call a reporter for the Washington Post and say, "You know, we're really scared of this guy. If this guy, Daniels, gets in, we're gonna be really worried. If this guy Daniels doesn't get in, well, it's home free for us; 'cause the rest of that field's a joke." Is that how you're gonna think, that the strongest opponent you have is who you're going to trumpet? Let's put some things in perspective here. We learned last week that the internal polling on the Obama reelect inside the White House is bad. Last week and the week before, I made it plain to all of you that Obama is beatable; he is eminently beatable.
No executive, no president with this kind of record, with this kind of economy, is a shoo-in -- and yet what's the spin -- again from the same inside-the-Beltway types, including some Republicans (we always have to remember this)? "Obama's unbeatable." That was the spin last week and the week before. "Obama's unbeatable. This wouldn't be the time to really put forth our A team 'cause just gonna get creamed. Let's keep our powder dry. Let's focus on 2016. Obama can't be beat." In whose universe could that possibly be true? Do the November elections now have no meaning whatsoever? The Republicans didn't have to say a word, and the Democrats got shellacked.
The Republicans did not have to have a single candidate for voters to rally behind, and the Democrats still got shellacked. The Tea Party cannot be "over." The Tea Party cannot be said to be irrelevant because it's the American people. The Tea Party is a vast majority of the American people. The Tea Party doesn't have a singular leader. There's nobody you can destroy, no one person you can destroy and then say you've destroyed the Tea Party. So, folks, what's happening here with these two Republicans losing it on Medicare stories, the Mitch Daniels story, there is a massive effort by the tells me and the media, rooted in a profound fear that Obama will lose.
That is why these stories today, and that's why they're gonna ratchet up. That is why you're going to (as days and weeks proceed), that you're gonna see more and more about how the Republicans are in disarray, and they're thinking of just dropping this whole Medicare thing. "It's destroying us!" Never mind that entitlement reform, spending reform, debt control, all of that was why this huge shellacking -- and it's important to try to remember how large it was. It wasn't just Washington. It was state legislatures totally taken over by Republicans. It was a massive -- it was a humongous --defeat.
In the House of Representatives, the Republican pickup, of course, beat some predictions and was much better than the experts thought. So Obama, I'm telling you, folks, is so beatable (and don't doubt me on this) and I want you to be as confident as you can be on this. Right now, if the election were tomorrow, Barack Obama loses, and in a landslide. Look at this story. This is from MarketWatch today, and it's Wall Street Journal: "If you thought the housing crisis was bad, think again.
"It's worse. New data just out from Zillow, the real-estate information company, show house prices are falling at their fastest rate since the Lehman collapse." That's 2008. "Average home prices are down 8% from a year ago, 3% over the quarter, and are falling at about 1% every month, according to Zillow. And the percentage of homeowners in negative-equity positions -- with a home worth less than its mortgage -- has rocketed to 28%, a new crisis high. Zillow now predicts prices will fall about 8% this year and says it no longer expects the market to bottom before 2012."
QE2 is over and the stock market, who knows what's gonna happen there? The gas price, the oil price plunge here is temporary, a lot of people feel. You can spin a lot of economic data and lie to people that things are better than they are, but you can't spin their gas price at 'em, and you can't spin the cost of food, and you can't spin the cost of living. You can't spin the cost of housing. There's a lot of stuff that people live that is factual, and you can't persuade that that it isn't what reality is because they're living it. Right now as we sit here, Barack Obama is beatable -- and Obama knows it and the Democrats know it, and the consultants know it and the pollsters know it.
So what they are doing is they are trying to take out every candidate on the Republican side they can think of. They are already started impugning one candidate after another. Now, you know my theory: They will always tell us who they fear. I'm not trying to cause any problems here (I'm really not), but it's obvious to me they don't fear Mitch Daniels. Maybe in time they'll come to fear him, but right now Mitch Daniels is who they want to run against. It's right there in Chris Cillizza's piece, the Washington Post. Mitch Daniels: "The Man Who Could Reshape the Republican Field." That's what the Democrats want, isn't it?
The Democrats want a revitalized Republican field! The Democrats want a strong Republican candidate, right? That's what they want. That's what Mr. Cillizza's asking us to believe. (interruption) What, Snerdley? What are you smirking at in there? (interruption) What nerve did I touch that I...? (interruption) Why? Why are the Daniels people...? (interruption) You mean because Daniels people are livid at me for what? For this? I'm just... (interruption) I don't know any Daniels people. Look, Mitch Daniels at CPAC...
Who was it, Daniels or was it one of his people? I forget. Well, Daniels did say something about purity in the name of martyrdom is for suicide bombers. I know what that means. No, I'm thinking of Huntsman's guy, John Weaver, old McCain guy, said, "Look, if this party is shaped by Limbaugh and Palin and Gingrich, we don't have a chance." I don't live under any illusions as to my standing in the Republican Party. The Republican Party doesn't have a Tea Party problem; it has a conservative problem. The Tea Party's not the problem with the Republican Party. Modern-day Republicans are the problem with the Republican Party.
I don’t want to focus on individual names here. I didn't author this piece on Mitch Daniels. I was sitting here minding my own business, doing show prep and, lo and behold, there it is. What am I supposed to do, Snerdley? Am I supposed to check my brain at the door and come here and do with it both halves of my brain tied behind my back? If I see a story from a noted, ranking member of the State-Controlled Media mentioning any Republican -- I don't care who it is; in this case, it's Mitch Daniels -- as the one guy who could reshape the Republican field, I'm supposed to believe that's what they want?
I'm supposed to believe that Obama wants to face the toughest Republican, the only one who could maybe beat him? That's what we're supposed to believe? I don't know. I don't believe that. I don't believe that's what they want. I'm not trying to impugn anybody. I haven't endorsed anybody here. I'm just reading this stuff and reacting to it. You know, they had a hit piece on Huckabee last week. They've been trying to destroy Sarah Palin ever since they first heard of her. When Newt announces next week, they're gonna turn their attention to him -- and I'll guarantee you, when Daniels announces (if he does), you know...
Well it will be interesting to see. It will be interesting to see how they deal with that. "Finally, finally the Republicans have apparently gotten the message now! Finally," they'll say, "the Republicans have nominated a serious candidate, one who is in Obama's league, one who can revitalize the party rebuke reshape the field and maybe with a chance to win," and that's what they want? Think about the Tea Party. As I said, there's not one person in Tea Party to attack. The Tea Party is faceless. The Tea Party is scattered all over the country. You can't take 'em down. You can't. I don't care what anyone says.
Mr. Williams, I don't know what you're talking about. You can't take the Tea Party and just can't wish 'em away. You can't take 'em out of the equation. You can't destroy one person and thus destroy the Tea Party. That's really one of the great aspects of it. Okay, now, let's go back to the Mitch Daniels story. What do they say? They refer here to the Republican debate on Thursday and they basically laugh at it. It was a joke. Nothing serious happened in that debate. You had Ron Paul talking about heroin, somebody else talking about marijuana. Other than Pawlenty, it's a handful of long shots and no-shots.
Yet what did I tell you about that debate? What I told you was I was pleasantly surprised at the uniformity (with a couple of exceptions) of the conservative message. What was I happy about? That virtually every meaningful person on that panel came out and really took it to Obama. Now, does it make sense that Chris Cillizza and others in the media, the Democrat side, would try to rip it to shreds? Yes, it does. So the real truth here is Obama is very beatable. He is so beatable they're trying to destroy any potential that could beat him even as we speak, including spinning that debate last Thursday.
"Ah, it didn't matter, Limbaugh! It was a bunch of losers, and you know it. Nobody there had a chance except Pawlenty, and you know he doesn't have a chance," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. There was a powerful message in that first debate, and that message was: Obama is the problem, and he can be beat, and we intend to take it to him. That's what came out. Well, that's not what the left wants. Obviously the White House doesn't want that, the media doesn't want that -- and you look at Canada. Look at the conservatism breaking out in Canada.
I have to take a break here. Well, I'm not through. These people may yet turn me into a good mood today.
RUSH: Here's the dirty little secret. If the election were held tomorrow, anybody with the middle name of "unemployment is at 9%" will beat Barack Obama. It doesn't matter who the nominee is if the election's tomorrow. Well, it won't in 2012 if things do as we all expect and get worse. It won't matter unless the Republicans nominate somebody so bad, meaning so close to Obama that there will be a revolt away from the party on part of the Tea Partiers who will not vote for somebody who comes from the same basic political philosophy, that is, Washington first, second, and always. Ain't gonna happen. Look at the midterms. And before the midterms look at Scott Brown, I don't care what he's doing now, look at Scott Brown, look at Christie, and look at McConnell.
The dirty little secret -- and I know some of you think I overuse the phrase. Well, that's tough, get used to it. The dirty little secret here is that there is a trend underway, and it is pro-ascending conservatism, anti-Obama socialism. It started when Christie was elected in New Jersey, McConnell elected in Washington, Scott Brown, Senator in Massachusetts. This trend has been consistent, and it is building, it culminated last November with a shellacking defeat for democrats, socialists, Marxists, and liberals in the November midterm elections. This trend includes -- and you might even say began with the Tea Party, if you wanted to -- and this trend has bubbled up from the very essence of this country, the so-called grassroots. Not academia. Not from the pool of the people who announce themselves as serious.
The trend that is taking place here is against liberalism and socialism, and it will ensnare anybody who promotes, advocates, or is liberal or socialist or says they want to be. There's no reporting on this trend. But we know they know it exists by virtue of what they're doing now. The midterms were all about cutting spending, getting the financial house in order. And now we're told that doing that, cutting spending, any spending, now we're told that's how you lose? Sorry, Charlie. Things have not changed that much, if at all, from November until now.
RUSH: You know, it's bad enough, ladies and gentlemen, bad enough that the Democrats always cut-and-run from America's foreign enemies, but if the Republicans are going to now start cutting-and-running from our domestic enemies, and that's the Democrats, then we've got a big problem. This is not the time to cut-and-run. We are in the process of ascending. The trend leads to our victory, and they are about to undercut it, following their own anti-conservatism instincts in the Republican Party if they're not careful.