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I'll Support the 2012 GOP Nominee, but This Isn't the Time to "Set Aside" Ideology

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Cynthia, Chestertown, Maryland. Hi, Cynthia. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Well, hi, Rush. I've been one of your supporters for so long I can't count back that far, and my friends put "Mrs. Limbaugh" on my place cards, and when I go out to dinner.

RUSH: (chuckling)

CALLER: And I think we might be having a problem here in our relationship because I have been to the EIB Network College and I look at things factually and I believe there are two candidates in the Republican primary that have the business experience: One is Herman Cain; the other is Mitt Romney. I feel Mitt Romney has more global economic knowledge. I would love to see a Romney-Cain ticket. I could accept it the other way around. But I'm so distressed that for some reason I think you have Romney only, you know, half a point behind Obama in your hate.

RUSH: No!

CALLER: And if anybody is gonna depress the Republican turnout it's gonna be you because you've just decided that you don't want Mitt under any circumstances.

RUSH: No, no, no. I'm not gonna depress or suppress the Republican turnout. I'm not saying anything about Romney that isn't already known by most Americans. You talk to most of the people in the conservative base, Romney's not their number one choice. Romney is the choice of the establishment. For a lot of people, he's not conservative. He will not do enough to roll back what the Obama agenda has been, is what a lot of people fear.

CALLER: Well, I think they're wrong. I knew a lot about Mitt when he was working in the Olympics and I saw him work with the Olympic Committee. Probably nobody has a bigger ego and is harder to work with than the members of the International Olympic Committee. They're worse than senators if you can believe that and he managed to turn that Olympics around and he listened to them and he smiled and he did everything right and they were doing everything wrong, and he ended up saving those Olympics financially, and it is a point I know that he will do the right thing for the United States economy, and I feel that that's the key to everything. We need someone who's gonna not just fix the economy -- you've taught me this -- internally, but has to be global, and I just don't see any of the other candidates who can do that.

RUSH: Well, let me tell you just to assure you, 'cause I have to take a break. Just to assure you: If Romney is the nominee, you needn't worry where I'm going to be. There is no way, there is no way I'm gonna do anything to suppress turnout if Obama is on the other guy's ticket. It ain't happening.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Don't worry, folks. I don't know how many times I have said: "Whoever this nominee is is gonna have my full support because of what we're up against." Don't have any doubt about that. But until such time, I'm not gonna be dissuaded from talking about what I think our optimum could be.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay, Romney.  Let's take our last call and try put things in perspective here.  Romney was governor of Massachusetts after the Olympics.  We have something more recent to judge Romney on than the Olympics.  When he ran for governor of Massachusetts he ran to the left of Ted Kennedy.  Now he's moved more toward the center, but he instituted Romneycare. He has attacked Rick Perry on calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme. It's all a matter of public record. And Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, and countless elected and unelected people have said that it is.  All we're doing here is discussing at length the background of all of these candidates.  Newt, Santorum, Bachmann, Cain. 

But, now, no, no, can't talk about any of that with Romney, we gotta go ahead, and we gotta nominate -- what's the latest -- Romney's newest backers, ABC News' The Note.  New York Congressman Michael Grimm, who's backing Romney, said, "Republicans should put aside their ideological differences and back the candidate who has the best chance of beating President Obama."  This is Michael Grimm in New York, who is backing Mitt Romney and thinks New York could choose the former Massachusetts Governor over President Obama in 2012.  So this guy thinks, yeah, Romney could win New York, so let's put aside our ideological differences. 

Now, here a Romney supporter who says in order to go ahead and select Romney as our nominee let's put aside our ideological differences.  I don't know what that tells you, but what it tells me is, "Okay, conservatives shut up.  This is the wrong time to start picking a nominee based on ideology.  We gotta pick a nominee based on something else."  This is the perfect time to pick a nominee based on ideology given what we're up against.  Folks, there's almost a crying, desperate need to pick somebody on the basis of ideology now, because it is ideology that will win.  It is ideology that will beat Obama.  Not mush.  Not moderate.  Not middle ground.  Not any of this.  Put aside your ideological differences?  I don't know what that says to you, but the message to me is, "Okay, look, let's just drop the conservative stuff and let's just go ahead." They're admitting that Romney's not a conservative when he says that.  I don't know if Michael Grimm intended that, but that's what he's saying. 

Mr. Grimm and the rest of you, I'm gonna just tell you, give you a little clue, Mitt Romney will only win by being conservative both in the primary and in the general election.  If we once again nominate somebody who thinks because of the precious independents and they might lose 'em and they gotta tack to the center in the general election, you are going to blow it.  You're going to blur the differences between our guy and Obama and that's not what we need.  We need a very wide line of demarcation that stresses the differences, not mushes them, not waters them down.  I've been telling you I don't know for how long the Republican establishment just doesn't want conservative.  For whatever the reasons.  I'm tired of going into them. 

Now, it's one thing to personally viciously attack one of these Republicans, which I'm not doing and I haven't done.  But it's quite another to honestly discuss during a primary cycle the merits and demerits of a candidate based on their record and their public policy.  That's permitted.  That doesn't violate Reagan's Eleventh Commandment.  Now, you can call here and tell me that I shouldn't talk about these candidates in certain ways, I shouldn't give my opinion about the politics of a situation or something.  That's not gonna happen.  I'm gonna tell you who I am.  I'm not on any of these campaign teams.  I'm not being paid by anybody.  I have a responsibility to you, as I always do. 

The audience always comes first here, and by that I mean I have an incumbent responsibility to be honest with you on substantive issues.  That's what I do and I'm not gonna silence myself at an urgent time like this.  I mean look at what we've had today.  And I'm not trying to gin up sympathy for me, I'm just trying to illustrate here.  On the one hand I'm being told to meet with the candidates and pick one, and then rally the troops.  On the other hand I'm being told, "Look, don't say all this stuff about Mitt unless you're for him.  Don't say all this stuff.  I call myself Mrs. Limbaugh at the dinner table, but I'm not gonna do that anymore if you don't be quiet about Mitt."  So, on the one hand, I'm supposed to meet with the candidates and pick one and go for it, on the other hand, I'm supposed to shut up. 

Now we've got Michael Grimm, a New York congressman, saying let's stop the primary process, put aside our conservatism and pick Romney.  That's what he's saying:  You conservatives, drop it, check your conservatism at the ballot box when you go in there.  I wonder if Michael Grimm is aware the last time a Republican won a landslide in New York.  It was Reagan.  What was Reagan?  He ran as a proud conservative.  The last Republican to win a landslide in New York was named Ronald Reagan.  A very ideological guy and we were not told to check our ideological at the door there.  What an amazing thing to say.  Put aside their ideological differences.  I'm just telling you Romney is not gonna win by going mush.  He's not gonna win by following the prescriptions, if you will, of the Republican establishment.  Not gonna win. If you try to blur the ideological differences between us and Obama, it's Obama that will win. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay, here's that poll I mentioned earlier -- the Gallup poll from October 2007 -- and here's the headline: "October Gallup Poll Has Obama, McCain Down by Double Digits." It's at the same point in the campaign as we are now. McCain was at 16% in October of 2007. You know who was leading the Republican nomination at this time in 2007? Take a wild guess. I'll bet nobody comes up with it. I'll bet nobody comes up with it. Rudy Giuliani at 32%. Fred Thompson was two at 20%. John McCain in third place at 16%. Romney in fourth place at 9%. Huckabee in fifth place with 7%. Ron Paul in last place at 2%. On the Democrat side, Obama was also down by double digits to Clinton and Edwards. Clinton was Hillary. She was near 50. Edwards was around 28, and Obama was at 11.

This time, 13 months out. Now, given that, keep in mind here that we've got everybody telling us, "Let's just put it all to bed, here. Let's just drop our ideology, put it aside, and let's just go ahead and nominate Romney. Let's just go ahead and nominate Romney," and our eventual nominee at this time in the 2008 campaign was McCain at 16%. And what changed? I'll tell you what changed was West Virginia and Florida. That's what happened. That's where McCain teamed up with Huckabee. Giuliani bombed in Florida, and Romney and Huckabee teamed up in West Virginia to give McCain Romney's supporters there and then of course Charlie Crist endorsed McCain in Florida, and pfft! That was it. But it was the primary process that flushed all of this out. Look what's happening now. Republican establishment says, "Ah, let's put everything aside, here. We have our nominee. We need our nominee now. We need to get going on this."

END TRANSCRIPT

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