RUSH: The story of the day on Newt Gingrich is all of his baggage. You can see that Newt Gingrich is all of a sudden now at the top of the heap in the polling data because he's the focus of all the media attention, all the immediate gotchas. It was Herman Cain last week and the week before. Now it's Newt Gingrich. In the midst of all of this, have you noticed that there's one Republican who constantly escapes any of this media anal exam, escapes all of this vetting, and that's Mitt Romney. The one who is said to be the nominee, I mean all the smart money out there says, "You know, all this stuff, this primary stuff, it's just all academic, Romney's the nominee, everybody knows it.
All of this is just a waste of time, everybody knows when it's all over Romney is gonna be the nominee, right?" Well, Romney is the one guy the media is not vetting.
So there's a pattern out there. Whenever a new Republican, the anti-Romney, the non-Romney, the un-Romney reaches the top or near the top in the polling data, then here come all of the relentless assaults on character, their past, their integrity, from the Drive-By Media. It was Sarah Palin, then it was Michele Bachmann. It has been Herman Cain. They've gone after all of them. Now it's Newt Gingrich, who, a month ago, was considered a laughingstock, somebody just taking up space at the debates, the wise old man who was never gonna go anywhere because he was too undisciplined. Yeah, very smart guy, but never gonna go anywhere. He's just up there. He's serving a role. He's making sure that these Republicans stay focused on Obama. Newt's up there, he's hitting the media, he's hitting Obama while these other Republicans go through the motions here, but it's gonna be Romney, everybody knows it's gonna be Romney.
Meanwhile, Romney is never the subject of any media hit. "What are you saying, Mr. Limbaugh?" I'm not saying anything. I'm just pointing it out. Fill in the blank your own self if you want to draw a conclusion. I could draw a conclusion there 'cause everybody's wondering, where's all this stuff coming from? Where did all the stuff from Herman Cain come from? Where did all the stuff from Sarah Palin come from? You know, who benefits from all this? It's always an interesting question to ask. Who benefits from Cain being taken out, or the effort to take Cain out, who benefits from the effort now to take Newt out? Who benefited from the effort to wipe out Sarah Palin? Now, who is it that's not being vetted?
So let's do something here. Let's forget Newt's baggage for a moment. And what is Newt's baggage? Well, he mighta lobbied. Denies it, but he mighta lobbied for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, one of the two. He did take some money from 'em, gave 'em advice, a little over a million dollars. Doesn't compare to the $90 million that Franklin Raines took out of there. It doesn't compare to $26 million that Jamie Gorelick, an approved Democrat, like Franklin Raines, took out of there. It doesn't compare to the $24 million that Jim Johnson took out of there. And who knows how many other Democrats have gone over to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and scored big time. No, no, no, we're gonna focus on Newt and his one million, he's got some explaining to do, but none of these other Democrats did.
In fact, up 'til now, Fannie Mae's been wonderful. Any effort to stop them, any effort to balance them, any effort to make them behave responsibly was looked upon as an assault on the concept of affordable housing. Any attempt to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, any attempt to bring them in line and make them behave in a standard, common-sense business way was looked at as an assault on the poor. And the left did everything they could with their media to stand up and defend Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as great institutions helping the poor, the great unwashed. Now all of a sudden Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are toxic, worthless scum because they paid Newt Gingrich a million dollars. So that's some of the baggage. And then Newt -- (sigh) I don't know how you put up with this, folks. Newt actually went out there and bought his wife some jewelry at Tiffany and had the audacity to use his own money to pay for it. And for that he deserves an investigation. "Well, that's right, Mr. Limbaugh, who else buys their wife that kind of jewelry in the middle of a political campaign?"
So, we gotta find the reason? "That's right, Mr. Limbaugh, we believe that he paid his wife off because his wife didn't want any part of the presidential run and he had to pay her off in order to get her to go along and that's the purpose of the investigation. And that was also why, Mr. Limbaugh, that he took the cruise to Greece." Okay, so this is the baggage that they've got on Newt, took a cruise, paid Tiffany six figures for some jewelry for his wife, Callista, worked at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and, of course, he sat on the couch with Pelosi. I'm not denying, folks, that there are some things that trouble conservatives here. I want to look past them here for just a second.
Take a step back. Because Newt is high atop the polls in Iowa, outta nowhere. And there has to be a reason for this. Despite the baggage, there's gotta be a reason why Newt's polling near the top. (interruption) Well, you seem to act like you know what it is in there. What do you think the reason is, Snerdley? Okay, you're close. Close. Okay. Okay. So, Snerdley, says, well, it's understandable why he's at the top. He's actually talking like a conservative consistently and he's not Romney. Those are your two reasons. Not hard to figure out.
But it's a little deeper than that. Take a step back, understand why Republican voters are responding to Newt now, as opposed to a month ago, six weeks, two months ago. I mean Newt's been in the race since it began. Why now? Why now is Newt Gingrich at the top of the heap in Iowa and in some national polls as well? Why? We are three years into Barack Obama's war on prosperity and I think Americans are coming to grips with the upside, if not the necessity, of limited government. And now that people understand or are beginning to understand the deceit that is liberalism, including its standard-bearer, Barack Hussein Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm, they're looking for somebody to clearly articulate a way out, and they want to hear it said with strength and passion and power and intelligence.
Mitt Romney is a fine person. Mitt Romney is as nice a guy as you would ever run into. He's made mistakes, but who hasn't? The problem that he's facing is an electorate that wants to know if he has learned from them. And his defense of Romneycare is troubling, especially when this Gruber guy, Jon Gruber, who helped Romney put it together, and also went to the White House and helped Obama put together Obamacare, is out there saying Mitt's not telling you the truth, it's the same bill. The only difference in Romneycare and Obamacare is that Romneycare used taxpayer dollars to pay for a state program. Obamacare obviously uses taxpayer dollars. In other words, Romneycare could go elsewhere for the money for it. Obamacare couldn't, but it didn't matter. The federal program, the money's obviously going to be paid for by federal funds or taxpayer dollars. He continues to defend Romneycare, Mitt does. That troubles a lot of people.
To draw an analogy, let's say that Newt, to this day, was defending his couch time with Pelosi, he'd be toast, right? He'd be absolute toast. Well, Romney is continuing to defend Romneycare and it's troubling to people, just as if Newt were defending the couch time with Pelosi would be troubling. The difference is Newt would be toast. Mitt is not toast yet. Newt would be. If Newt tries to revive the era of Reagan is over, he's toast. But despite having said these things and having this so-called baggage, and one of the elements of baggage, you know, Newt was an early adopter and supporter of health care mandates, along with the Heritage Foundation. When Romneycare was the health care de jour we had a lot of Republican support at the outset. I remember that Romneycare plan being touted throughout the Republican Party.
Theoretically and on paper everybody in the party loved it, the mandate and all that. Now all of a sudden Newt has got to explain that. Imagine if Newt today were saying, "Hey, I haven't changed my mind on the mandate." He'd be toast. So Romney is still in some trouble. That's why the polling data is what it is because people are troubled by his steadfast glue that keeps him attached to Romneycare, people don't like it because they do think it's much the same thing as Obamacare. (interruption) I don't know, if he abandoned it totally would they call him a flip-flopper. What do you mean? They're already calling him a flip-flopper. I mean there's not an "again" to it. He already has that as his baggage, and so forth. But he's not being vetted on that.
RUSH: By the way, Newt, this mandate business, it was as recent as May of this year, Meet the Press, that Newt supported a mandate in health care. Gingrich said he agreed with key aspects of Romneycare. This was on Meet the Press in May of this year. And Newt said, "I agree that all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond." That's in May of this year. Now, despite that, Newt is way ahead in Iowa and has now tied Romney, statistically, margin of error, in New Hampshire.
I am here to tell you, that is a big deal. New Hampshire was considered slam dunk for Romney to the point that nobody needs to even go there. No other candidate needs to spend a dime there because it's not winnable. Romney owns it. Newt's tied him, with this baggage. Not commenting on the baggage. There's a reason why this is happening, and I'm going to be 'splain it to you as the program unfolds. That's why I'm bringing it up. But I think one of the problems with Romney is that the whole thing is called "Romneycare." How do you abandon something with your name on it? Imagine if sitting on a couch with the Speaker of the House as a Democrat was called a "Newtie"? Could you just easily disavow a Newtie if it was your name on the thing? It's something to consider here.
RUSH: It was May 15th of this year, Newt was on Meet the Press, wildly supporting the whole concept of a mandate in health care. And here he is high atop the Republican polling.
RUSH: Yeah. By the way, folks, that May 15th appearance this year of Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press where he said that we all have a responsibility to help pay for health care. Quote: "I have said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond." He came out and supported the mandate. That was also the appearance in which he called Paul Ryan's budget plan for Medicare "right-wing social engineering," and he got into big trouble. Those were two controversial things to say as recently as May, and his campaign imploded. If you recall, it was going into it summertime for Newt Gingrich's campaign. His staff abandoned him and everybody thought it was over, but he said, "We're in it forever." The controversy over buying the wife off from Tiffany, and now here he is tied in New Hampshire with Mitt Romney and leading in Iowa.
RUSH: Yeah, by the way, folks, that May 15th appearance this year of Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press where he said that we all have a responsibility to help pay for health care, quote, "I have said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond," he came out and supported the mandate. That was also the appearance in which he called Paul Ryan's budget plan for Medicare right-wing social engineering. And he got into big trouble. Those were two controversial things to say as recently as May, and the campaign imploded. If you recall, going into it summertime, Newt Gingrich's campaign, his staff abandoned him, everybody thought it was over, but he said we're in it forever. The controversy over buying the wife the stuff from Tiffany, and now here he is tied in New Hampshire with Mitt Romney and leading in Iowa.
RUSH: This New Hampshire journal story, polling data, Newt and Romney tied in New Hampshire, "When asked why people felt Gingrich was moving up in the polls, 44% of respondents said his depth of knowledge on the issues; 10% said his strong debate performances; 6% said that they liked he was challenging the media." All the ingredients are there to explain why. And you don't read anything about the baggage here.
I'll tell you something else, folks. Newt -- all these guys -- Newt, Romney, Cain all make people feel good about this country. Every one of our nominees, potential nominees has the ability and they pull it off to make people feel good about this country. I'll never forget that one of the things people answered about Reagan back in his eight years, "What is it about Reagan?" He makes me feel proud. Coming off similar circumstances after four years of Jimmy Carter.
Here's Sharon in Dallas, and I'm on her excrement list, it looks like. Hi, Sharon. You're up first on Open Line Friday. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Look, I'm bugged, I'm really bugged that you all -- I feel like the reason the people are backing Newt, and I'm so scared of Newt, is because you all are talking about his baggage. I've forgotten, everyone's forgotten his baggage. Like I went and looked at his Wiki entry and he's a scumbag, he like cheated on two wives --
RUSH: Wait a second. Hold it, people have not forgotten his baggage and it's not gonna take much for people to remember it if he slips. There are things that are gonna cause people to overcome it and not care about it. There are things that are deemed more important right now, it's all I'm saying. I am not yet backing any of these people over anybody else. I know you're a big Romney chick.
CALLER: But you bash Romney constantly and like bring up Cain and Newt --
RUSH: I do not bash Romney constantly! Only sometimes.
CALLER: (laughing) Look, Newt has all the negatives of Romney. The only thing he has is he's good at debating and debates don't win elections. Everyone, all these Republicans who watch the debates, me included, like it, and I was like getting on board the Newt train, but the reality is that doesn't win election. I'm telling you, women are not gonna vote for Newt.
RUSH: Normally, I would agree with you out there, Sharon, but because of a previously unnamed president it really matters that we have somebody who does debate well and sounds smart. Ticks me off, frustrates me to have to say that.