RUSH: I know it makes people nervous when I say, "If the election were today, Obama would lose." Well, it makes some people nervous because they tell me so. "Rush, too much can happen here, as you say, way too soon here to be so confident of the outcome." Well, I'm not confident of the outcome 18 months from now, but if it were today, I'm telling you the guy doesn't have a prayer, folks. And now the new economic news, they're probably celebrating in the White House: "US Consumer Sentiment Worsens on Economic Jitters." And the media's blaming Europe for this. The IMF is saying, "You know, you guys better get your budget deficit in order." That's just a call to raise the debt limit. But there isn't any inspiring economic news out there except for a new tea that's been released on the market this week. There's no good uplifting news on the unemployment front or any of this. There's nothing whatsoever that's happening in the country.
There is one caveat, and my brother David wrote his latest column on this. You and I as conservatives, we sit here and we look at the data and examine the status quo of the moment, and we apply our natural conservatism to the news and the events, and we say to ourselves that there's no way the American people can support this, but the caveat is -- and it's an open question -- how far along the line are we that a lot of Americans view the primary purpose of the federal government is to equalize outcomes in life, not opportunity, but to equalize outcomes? How many times will we take a call from a liberal on this program and you think, "My God, how can somebody think this?" Somebody who's got vitriol for the rich, upset that a CEO is making all of this money and eagerly wanting to do whatever to punish people who are doing better than they are.
We've all grown up with the belief that capitalism is the primary reason for the greatest economic story in human history, United States of America. Some people say it's ancient history, but there are more and more people -- this is the caveat -- more and more people think that capitalism is inherently flawed and immoral and are willing to let the United States lose superpower status in all areas because they got a chip on their shoulder and they think the US deserves a comeuppance. We know we've got somebody in the White House that thinks that. So for those of us who believe in the traditions and the institutions and the historical evidence of the founding of the country, there's a percentage of our population, as you well know, that thinks the purpose of the government's to get even with some people and basically redistribute income, to equalize outcomes, regardless what it means for the country, regardless what it means for the future and this. That's the lone caveat when this election comes up 'cause Obama, of course, stands just for that.
There are a lot of people who would just assume government redistribute, get even with the achievers, spread the spoils around, theoretically. Of course it never works, but they would rather have that than work themselves, rather than utilize their ambition and their talents and so forth, for whatever reason they don't think they have any. So that does remain the lone caveat to this slam-dunk otherwise, if the election were held today, that Obama doesn't have a prayer. "According to a Gallup poll released on Thursday, President Barack Obama would fall to an unnamed Republican candidate by a narrow margin if the election were held today." That's the generic ballot.
"Although 44 percent of respondents said they would vote for a Republican candidate when asked whom they would support in the 2012 election, only 39 percent of participants said they would vote for Obama. Eighteen percent of respondents said they had no opinion. The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted with 914 registered voters between June 9 and June 12. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. While the Gallup report notes that the Republican Party's lead is statistically insignificant, the numbers suggest that the race is close." Of course it's close! "Recent surveys have shown that Obama usually fares well in a head-to-head matchup against the current Republican candidates." So this is a generic, and this is Gallup, but it's a one- or two-point differential. So maybe what we need to do is nominate a Republican and have him go down to the birth certificate office and say, "Okay, I'm changing my name to nothing. I'm gonna get the nomination. Can't be a name on the ballot and just says Republican there, or change my name to generic."
"Though a Gallup poll released on Sunday reported that 67 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were satisfied with the field," there is continuing sentiment here that the field is weak. And I just disagree with that in many ways, as we've discussed earlier in the week. Now, if Obama loses to a generic Republican, a generic Republican -- this is the way I look at it -- imagine how he would be clobbered by a brand-name conservative. This story, "Generic Republican Beats Obama," barely. Okay, depending on where you are, at the RNC or other hierarchy at Republican command and control, they might interpret that, "Okay, let's soft pedal who we are. Let's not rock the boat. Let's be kind of Milquetoast." That's the way to win. No. If a generic unnamed Republican beats Obama in the Gallup poll, imagine how he would be clobbered -- this is what we all know -- be clobbered by a brand-name conservative.
Now, you notice here that Gallup says Obama's reelection prospects were not even improved back in May by the Osama bounce. Gallup warns that all bets are off if the economy improves. Now, luckily for the Republicans there's little chance that Obama will do anything to improve the economy, and it's an open question how much significant improvement can there be in the economy between now and the election. Now, that's not the question. The question is, how big an illusion of a roaring economy can be created by the media that would be believed. Well, we think it's impossible because gasoline prices are what they are and food prices are what they are and home prices are what they are, so Americans are living their lives, here comes the media, "Hey, the economy's coming back, babes, we are roaring," and the American people say, "Wait."
Snerdley, it has happened. People who are encountering no economic pain whatsoever believe we were in a recession 'cause they were told that it was bad out there. It was good for them and they even felt guilty about it because they thought their neighbors were hurting 'cause the media told 'em so. I know people are feeling the pain themselves but if they think that others who were feeling the pain no longer are they could be made to believe that a recovery is taking place. Again, all bets are off.
John Harwood was on CNBC's Squawk on the Street today, a segment called The Harwood File. Simon Hobbs the cohost said, "Half of Americans think a new recession is on the way according to a new NBC poll that we got this week. With that in mind politicians are playing the blame game like never before. So tell us more about this, Mr. Harwood."
HARWOOD: We're gonna be playing that blame game all the way through the 2012 election. Let's break it down a little bit with this NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. First of all President Obama owns the economy because he's been in office for a couple of years, but is it his fault? When you ask people in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 62% of the people say the president inherited these bad economic policies rather than had caused them with his own policies. It's a dialogue that we're gonna have back and forth until November of 2012. Not sure how the public is gonna react over time, whether they're gonna end up blaming the president more than they do right now.
HARWOOD: We'll see, guys.
RUSH: Right. Okay, so they clearly are gonna bank on the polls. Harwood and the boys in the Drive-Bys are going to invest in the polls. I mean they use the polls to make news, not reflect it. President Obama owns the economy because he's been in office for a couple years, but is it his fault? When you ask people in our poll, the NBC poll, 62% say the president inherited these bad economic policies rather than caused them, 62%. They believe that. Their poll told them that 62% of the American people still blame Bush. I happen to think that's bunk. I don't think 62% of the American people blame Bush. This guy's got two and a half years of a record of trying to fix it. I know he's saying it was so bad, it was much worse than we even knew, that it's gonna take my policies even longer to fix, but there's not a sign anywhere that there is any improvement.
But regardless, Mr. Harwood here is telling us how the media's gonna approach this. It's Bush's fault, and they're gonna tell us that the American people think so. It reminds me during Clinton and Lewinsky, every night during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal you watch NBC, MSNBC, and every Democrat strategist, from Lanny Davis on down, "The American people don't want this. The American people don't think there's anything wrong with this. The American people are fine with this. The American people think there's too much attention. The American people want the Republicans to shut up, Ken Starr to go away and let the president get back to work." There was no such evidence. But they just kept saying that there was, just like here. And, interestingly, it's the same poll, NBC. Hey, there's nothing to see here. The public, 62% still blame Bush. Obama is not in any problem, doing the best he can. So I know that nothing's a fait accompli. I know that nothing's automatic. So don't misunderstand. I'm not saying it's in the tank and we can all relax.
RUSH: It looks to me like Obama's slogan for 2012 is gonna be something like, "We fixed everything except what Bush broke, and we promise to fix that and we're working on it," and according to the news media... You can see it shaping up here. According to the news media and the rest of the Democrat Party machinery, the economy is just about perfect, folks, except for a few "bumps in the road." Unemployment, job creation, manufacturing, inventories, foreclosures, housing starts, housing prices, inflation, gasoline, food? Except for those details, everything pretty much been wonderful since Obama took over.
Everything's fine -- and we're working hard every day to make it better for everybody. So it's really not as bad as you think. Michele Bachmann had a great comment on Obama. She nailed this, right on the money. He has no empathy whatsoever for people who are suffering -- none -- and, you know, it is obvious. The assumption is: "He's president, he's a liberal, so he cares." He doesn't. It doesn't look like it. You can tell the kind of person someone is. You can size 'em up pretty quickly, and there just isn't any recognition or empathy.
All these people in the country that make up these economic statistics are just that to Obama: statistics -- and we're working on it, and we're urging everybody here to be patient, but no real empathy, no sense of understanding, because Obama's never been where they are. "It's the private sector and of course that's what happens in the private sector! We tried to warn you, 'Okay, you like capitalism? Fine! You're gonna get fired. You're gonna get hurt. You're gonna suffer. A lot of people are gonna make more money than you are. So live with it and love it. If you like capitalism, you deserve to be in pain. That's what it causes." Is almost the point of view.
RUSH: Folks, this is from Robert Stacy McCain, the American Spectator blog: "Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected within a week to make a decision on whether to enter the 2012 presidential campaign, according to one Republican source. Vendors of campaign services who hope to work for Team Palin..."
I guess "vendors of campaign services" are like pollsters and buttons and signs, T-shirts, that stuff. They've "been told that Palin, the 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate, will decide soon one way or another on mounting a 2012 campaign." This morning on America's Newsroom, Fox News Channel, Bill Hemmer talked to the Founder and President of Rasmussen Reports, Scott Rasmussen, and Hemmer said, "Okay, here are the latest numbers that you report: Forty-five percent of the Republican primary voters think it would be bad for the party if Palin officially throws her name in the ring. This was among Republican primary voters. What's going on here with these numbers, Scott, what do they suggest?"
RASMUSSEN: Republican primary voters like Sarah Palin -- they like her feistiness, they like her position on issues, they even like the kind of enemies she's made -- but a lot of Republicans don't want to see her become their presidential nominee. Some because they think she's unelectable, some for other reasons. Her power in the party, though, makes her a very likely candidate to be a king- or queen-maker this year. In fact, it's hard to see any Republican winning the nomination unless Sarah Palin is at least somewhat is it supportive.
RUSH: Anybody hear a disconnect in that? We all love Rasmussen. Forty-five percent, 45% say that... By the way, Palin has tweeted in response to this, knocking down this story that she's gonna make up her mind next week. The tweet says, "'Really? Hmm, guess they forgot to inform me what I'm 'expected to do' next week.'" This is in response to the American Spectator blog that I just read from which says that she's expected within a week to make a decision on whether to run. So here's Rasmussen saying 45% of Republican primary voters don't want her to be the candidate. They love her, they think she's great -- and she can probably be a king- or queen-maker, and it's hard to see any Republican winning a nomination unless Palin is somewhat supportive, but we don't want her to be the nominee.
Now, I need somebody to explain that to me. On the one hand here's somebody that we like and we admire. We like her feistiness, her position on the issues; we like the kind of enemies that she's made, but I don't want to see her as the nominee. But we realize that she's got the power to be a kingmaker or queen-maker, and it's hard to see any Republican winning the nomination unless she is somewhat supportive. But we don't want her to be the nominee. Now, if you don't want her to be the nominee for -- What? She can't win, she's unelectable, she's embarrassing, whatever it is -- then why would you want her anywhere near a campaign advocating for anybody else?
If Sarah Palin, as a candidate, can't win, how in the world does she help anybody else by supporting them? Why wouldn't she drag them down? This is what I don't understand about this -- and this is open-ended question. I am not disputing Rasmussen. Because, as you know, I'm not a professional pollster, but I don't get the disconnect. To me it is a disconnect. On the one hand: Love her, love her feistiness, love the way this woman takes on the media -- we love her issues -- but don't want her to be the nominee. But, boy, whatever the nominee is can't get anywhere unless she supports 'em. Why, seems to me that if she's so toxic that she couldn't be the nominee, that she would drag down anybody else that she tended to support or get behind. Fascinating.
Oh, one more. Rasmussen continued. He had one more thing to say about that.
RASMUSSEN: The good news for Republicans is just about all the Republican primary voters say no matter who wins the nomination they're gonna back that nominee against Barack Obama.
RUSH: Right. So, again, Elmer Fudd would win the backing of the GOP. Republicans would vote for Elmer Fudd, doesn't matter. Whoever the Republicans nominate will probably be preferable to Obama -- and that, at the end of the day, is true. I would hate to squander the opportunity here to have a robust conservative as the nominee, and we will not rest 'til that quest is satisfied.