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The Ongoing Debate on Daniels

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: John in Indianapolis, welcome, sir, great to have you here on the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Spatula City dittos from Indianapolis.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: Rush, I know you say you aren't attacking Governor Daniels, but I feel duty-bound to defend him and to state that he is the most Reaganesque, conservative governor in America. He's not a panderer. He doesn't use empty rhetoric to cynically fire up the base and then not do anything. He's not a phoney like Romney. He just signed the defunding of Planned Parenthood bill in Indiana because they perform abortions. So my point to you is, he called for the truce, and I know that was troublesome. But here's a prediction for you -- and I think he's running, first of all. He will be a formidable candidate, and if he wins, America will be stronger militarily, financially, and morally than when he took office.

RUSH: Okay, let me ask you a quick question here.

CALLER: All right.

RUSH: 'Cause I think you're right. He did defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana. He's also signed some pretty good education reform bills.

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: So why does he then say, after successfully tackling Planned Parenthood as a governor, why does he say, by the way, we shouldn't be talking about social issues, we need a truce on the social issues. Why can't he be proud of what he's done, use it on his resumes, and say, "Here's how you do this."

CALLER: Well --

RUSH: Why does he want to do that?

CALLER: I think it's possibly a tactical mistake, but perhaps he will be instructed. I wrote him a letter and suggested that there's a way around this, that Ronald Reagan -- remember what Reagan said about abortion? I think you do. Here's what I remember him saying, "Why can't we have adoption?" He wasn't very virulent in his rhetoric, but he did more and he appointed Supreme Court justices, and he did a lot for the pro-life movement. I believe Mitch Daniels would do the same thing. I think what he said was taken out of context, I know that's an easy thing to say, but trust me, Rush, he's a true conservative, socially, fiscally and any other way.

RUSH: Okay. I understand. I was not coming out in opposition yesterday.

CALLER: I know.

RUSH: People want to know what I think of these people, and I'm not going to sit here and Milquetoast it, but if he's willing to walk the walk as you say, why not talk the talk?

Because he's gonna have to talk the talk to win.

CALLER: Yeah, I agree with that.

RUSH: Why will he not do something as president that he very happily did as governor?

CALLER: Well, I think he will. I think he will. He hasn't even been engaged yet into the debate. But he will, and he'll do so in an effective, intelligent way. And I think his point is, I want to win this election big so I can carry a Senate majority so that we can actually do what we want. He focused last year, let me tell you what he did in Indiana, Rush. He helped fund the campaigns of Indiana legislators and state Senators so that he would be able to push through incredible reforms in this state. He was smart. He was focused. He didn't go out to Iowa. He didn't go out to New Hampshire, didn't do any of that baloney, he focused on this job as governor. We'll see how the reforms work. But that's the kind of guy he is. He's a substantive guy. You ought to interview him for the Limbaugh Letter because I think you'll be very impressed. He's not a phony. He's a tough, smart, and you used the word moderate yesterday, you didn't say he was a moderate, but you used the word. He is no moderate. He's a principled, likable, intelligent, courageous conservative. You gotta take a better look at him, Rush, he's --

RUSH: I have. Look, I remember when he was OMB for Bush.

CALLER: Yep.

RUSH: I remember singing the guy's praises. You've forgotten, it's been years ago --

CALLER: No, no, I remember.

RUSH: But there's certain things --

CALLER: He also worked for Reagan.

RUSH: Yeah, but that was then; this is now. And he's saying --

CALLER: I know.

RUSH: -- he's saying some things that just, eh, caused the antennae to go up a little bit here.

CALLER: Well --

RUSH: See, one thing I can't erase from my vast sphere of knowledge is that the Republican establishment does not like the Tea Party and they don't like it because it's conservative, and the establishment Republicans --

CALLER: I agree with you.

RUSH: -- really did not like Reagan. I've encountered them. I know this because of actual firsthand experience. So when I hear people saying things to curry favor with that group, my antennae go up a little bit.

CALLER: Well, I don't think he's really doing that. Wait 'til he runs. I've said a month ago he's gonna run, and he will run. I think you'll be impressed. I will say this. His rhetoric will be softer than his actions, and that's all I'm gonna say. He governs conservatively, intelligent. The other thing he does, Rush, is he plays chess when everybody else is playing checkers. He's looking two steps down the road. He's a smart guy. He would be tough in foreign affairs, and we would have a stronger military if --

RUSH: He said on foreign affairs that because of the Bin Laden success, we're not ready to engage Obama on foreign policy yet.

CALLER: Ahh, it's a throwaway line. You wait. You just wait. I'm not kidding. He hasn't begun to run yet, and he will, he's gonna announce within ten days to two weeks, and he'll run, and he'll be in it to win, and he'll campaign very effectively. I'll say this, though, his rhetoric will be more moderate than his actions, trust me.

RUSH: Well, see, you're asking us to trust something that has betrayed us in the past. You know, we're supposed to trust, "Don't worry, he's really X." Well, he's gonna have to talk this talk to get there to walk the walk. The talk has to be there first.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I'm probably guilty of this myself; I don't know. But I find it utterly fascinating to talk to passionate supporters of candidates and hear how their obvious weaknesses don't really exist. "Well, that's just out of context. Oh, you'll have to wait! He's gonna walk a bigger walk than he's gonna talk the talk. He really didn't mean that. No... Well, I... Sure, he probably didn't mean to say it the way it came out." We all do this. We all do it. But it's fascinating to listen to any supporter, any dedicated supporter of a candidate. It's instructive to me because if one's objective happens to be converting somebody, to change their belief in something or someone to something else.

It's a lesson in how you have to go about doing the conversion in order to succeed, and facts don't work. That's what I've learned. Wwhen you're talking about somebody who is emotionally, passionately connected to something or somebody, facts are not going to work (by themselves) to convert. Now, Mitch Daniels said that we shouldn't see -- he said CPAC, we should not consider -- our political opponents as our enemies. Well, tell that to Barack Obama. Barack Obama told that Hispanic radio station that Hispanics have to "punish our enemies," his enemies. You have to punish your enemies. They look at us that way. I guaran-damn-tee you we are a bigger enemy to them than Al-Qaeda is. Conservatism, conservatives are the greatest enemy liberals, Marxists, socialists have. Don't doubt for a moment that's how they see us.

Petersburg, Indiana, this is Don. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.

CALLER: It's nice to be on here, Rush.

RUSH: You bet, sir.

CALLER: Well, here's what I'm calling about. I live here in Petersburg, Indiana, and I supported Mitch Daniels during the election and his previous election. But during the crisis we had when our House walked out of the Capitol and left, he said, this wasn't the time to have this fight. "This isn't gonna help Indiana."

RUSH: I remember.

CALLER: And I was devastated by that.

RUSH: I remember. This was coming on the heels of Wisconsin.

CALLER: That's exactly right.

RUSH: I do remember that, and I didn't mention this yesterday. I was trying to be fair.

CALLER: Oh, yeah.

RUSH: To show that I have balance and so forth, I purposely didn't mention that yesterday. But he did say that. He did chastise and say, "Yep, that's not the way we're gonna go about this."

CALLER: Honestly in 2008 I felt like I voted for John McCain twice here in Indiana. I really did.

RUSH: Well... Well. Ummm... Well, you might have.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: I don't know.

CALLER: Yeah. Mitch Daniels may be right for Indiana 'cause he was the only choice we had.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: But I do not want to see the same old thing in Washington.

RUSH: All right. Well, this just guarantees (chuckles) that people disagree with you are gonna be inundating us now, just guarantees that.

CALLER: I'm sure of that, but --

RUSH: Oh, that's fine.

CALLER: -- I'll tell you: For every person that inundates you with those calls --

RUSH: That's right. I'm not holding you responsible.

CALLER: It's all right.

RUSH: Don't worry about it. I'm not holding you responsible for it. I'm just making the observation.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: I've gotta go. Time is flying by here too fast. Thanks, Don.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: One thing we've observed here: Palin, Romney, Huckabee, any other candidate, it doesn't matter. Mitch Daniels? Nobody's even close! The people in Indiana that are calling here to defend or comment on Mitch Daniels, no other candidate has come close to generating the kind of response he gets on this program to whatever we say.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: A couple of e-mails. This is from Christine. "Dear Rush: You're losing me. You don't like Mitch Daniels because he stepped on your ego, pure and simple." Now, now, now, not true. And then there's this. This is from Gregory. "Rush: It's funny. Mitch Daniels said that we need people who don't listen to you. Yet all of his acolytes are glued to their radios listening and calling you." That's a good point. I have to also observe, Snerdley pointed it out, I don't care what candidate you talk about, pick one. We don't get calls from Alaska when we talk about Palin. We don't get calls from Arkansas we talk about Huckabee. We don't talk about Huckabee much. We don't get calls from Massachusetts when we talk about Romney. Without question, we talk about Mitch Daniels and the response from Indiana is through the roof, pro and con. The closest I would say that rival would be Trump. But those calls are not from New York, and they run the gamut, too.

Now, AP: "Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he thinks he could beat President Barack Obama in 2012. He just hasn’t decided whether he’ll try. The Republican governor said Tuesday his chances of beating Obama would be 'quite good,' but that’s not factoring into his deliberations on a White House run. He spoke to reporters after giving public service awards to state employees." Now, we have also this sound bite from Mitch. This is from Friday night. Bloomberg Television's Political Capital, the host is Al Hunt, and he interviewed Mitch Daniels. He said, "A familiar GOP refrain in recent months has been that Barack Obama is weak on foreign policy, a multilateralist who doesn't believe in American exceptionalism and the like. You praised Obama, as did many other Republicans, for getting bin Laden. Politically, does that take the national security issue off the table?"

DANIELS: If it does, that would be good. What we want is an effective foreign policy, and we want this -- I want this president to succeed. I'm very pleased for him and his team at that one victory, and I hope it's followed by many more. If it is, that's a great thing for the country.

RUSH: Now, what am I supposed to do with this? For those of you in Indiana, what am I supposed to do with this? Just go ho-hum here and move on? Well, my initial reaction is, okay, you want him to succeed at what, and why are you even thinking of running in opposition to him if you hope he succeeds? What would be the point? If you want many more Obama successes, why even consider running? Just a little question that I have there.

In fairness, let's play this one. This is one more from Al Hunt. This is Al Hunt saying to Mitch Daniels, "The conventional wisdom is that revenues are at an historic low, and Republicans would have to give on increasing revenues," tax increases. "Do you agree? And should that be part of a compromise on the debt ceiling?"

DANIELS: We need a lot more revenues. If you take what I believe is a very flawed tax system, way too complicated, too many preferences and gimmicks in it, many of them, by the way, tilted toward upper income people --

HUNT: Right.

DANIELS: -- and, what's more, a system which is trying to squeeze more and more dollars out of fewer and fewer people, the question is, how do you get the revenue?

HUNT: So tax increases, from the Daniels point of view, would be off the table?

DANIELS: Tax rate increases, I think, are a mistaken idea.

HUNT: How about net tax increases through closing preferences?

DANIELS: Yes.

RUSH: Net tax increases, tax rate increases are a mistaken idea. How about net tax increases through closing preferences? Daniels: Yes. Okay, you can make of that what you want. (interruption) I know, it sounds like he's back to thinking about the VAT tax again. But we don't need more revenues, folks. We need less spending. We need less spending. And I, by the way, still want Obama to fail, lest there be any doubt.

END TRANSCRIPT

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