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My Advice to Mitt: Run to the Right of Newt

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So. Now, here's AP, headline: "Gingrich Surge Unnerves Some Republican Lawmakers -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s stunning surge toward the top of the Republican presidential field has unnerved some Republicans in Congress who remember too well the tumult of nearly two decades ago.

"'I’d rather have steady,' said Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, who just this week made it known that he was backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney instead of the resurgent Gingrich, the man who led the 1994 'revolution' in which LaTourette was first elected. Personally, LaTourette said, he has a 'hangover' from the days of Gingrich’s speakership, when 'everything always seemed to be on fire'" back then. "In interviews this week, more than a dozen Republican members of the House and Senate wouldn’t say -- when given repeated chances -- that they are confident that Gingrich has the discipline and stamina to outlast Romney and, down the road, face President Barack Obama in a grueling general election.

"Gingrich has had trouble marshaling support from Congress’ mass of political insiders. The 1994 'revolutionaries' who turned Democrats out of power for the first time in 40 years as well as more senior lawmakers waver on the question of whether Gingrich would be good for the GOP and the country given his rocky past." Now, keep in mind -- don't lose perspective here. And as you know, I've not endorsed anybody; this is not an endorsement. Running commentary. On the other side of this is Barack Obama. We are listening to Republicans tell us about Newt's lack of discipline, whether he has the stamina, whether he would be good for the Republican Party.

"Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who credited Gingrich with helping push through a transformative farm bill, is among those unsure whether Gingrich-as-nominee would be helpful. 'It depends on what he does,' said Roberts, who has not committed to a candidate for the party’s nomination." From TheHill.com: "Poll: Gingrich Holds Double-digit Lead In Three Of First Four Voting States -- Newt Gingrich holds double-digit leads over the rest of the Republican presidential field in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida -- three of the first four states that will vote in primaries or caucuses this January, according to a CNN-Time-ORC poll released on Wednesday.

"In Iowa, Gingrich leads Mitt Romney 33 percent to 20 percent, in South Carolina he leads Romney 43 percent to 20 percent, and Gingrich performs best in Florida, where he leads Romney 48 percent to 25 percent. Romney still leads the field in New Hampshire, where some say his time as governor of neighboring Massachusetts gives him a significant home-field advantage..." So while the establishment of the Republican Party is doing their best to take Gingrich out, people who are being polled are vaulting Gingrich way ahead of everybody. You know what's happening here. What's happening here, ladies and gentlemen, I think, is that Republican primary voters are finally saying to the establishment, "We're not doing it your way this time.

"You've given us loser after loser after noncombatant every four years. You've given us people that won't fight for us. You've given us people who won't go after Obama. You've given us people who won't go after the Democrats. You've given us people who are not conservative! We've supported you, we've given you money, but no more." Quinnipiac University, same polling numbers in Florida. Well, this is presidential polling data, but Gingrich "has big GOP lead in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania." There's more polling data to talk about. These are significant leads, folks, significant poll leads. This is not just within the margin of error or just slightly outside the margin of error. These are huge polling leads.

And the reason this is important is because the Ruling Class, government class, political class, whatever you want to call 'em, they live and die by polls. The polls are the Ten Commandments to these people. They base everything they did on these polls, and they're scared. They're scared, they're angry, surprised. They're shocked. They don't like it. "Newt's Squeeze on Mitt" is the headline of a National Journal piece by Ron Brownstein, and here's a pull quote from that piece: "But these state polls underscore the sense from the latest national surveys that the conservative elements of the party most skeptical of Romney, have at least settled on Gingrich as the horse they'll ride against him. At the same time, given his inroads among less ideological and more secular Republicans, Gingrich is appealing to a much wider range of voters in the party than is Romney."

"Romney originally hoped to consolidate the Republican center and watch the right divide. Unless Romney can reverse the dynamic, he faces the risk that Gingrich will achieve the opposite maneuver by consolidating the right and dividing the center." Brownstein's exactly right here. It is the right -- the primary voters, conservatives -- who are making the news here. It is. It's like 2010. I have a question. If months ago...? This is a think piece question. If months ago Romney had said Romneycare was a mistake, would he be leading in the polls today? If he had owned up to it. I'm just asking. I don't know yet myself, but if he had said that Romneycare was a mistake, would he be leading in the polls? Okay, so we just had Brownstein piece.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay, so if Romney had denounced Romneycare, if he would have just said it was a mistake, would he be leading in the polls today?  I have some advice.  Since Newt is coalescing the conservative vote and Romney's plan was to get the middle or the moderate vote, split the conservative vote, it's 180 degrees out of phase the way the establishment had this planned.  Once again, folks, the establishment had hoped to split all of your votes and render all of us powerless in this nomination.  And something's going wrong here. 

So, I have some advice from a proud non-establishment Republican to Mitt Romney, and that would be me.  Mitt, if you want the nomination, get together with your people and think about trying to run to the right of Newt.  You know you can get there.  You've got Newt making all kinds of crazy statements over his career, sitting on the couch with Pelosi. There's any number of ways you can get to the right of Gingrich.  Now, you and Newt are both guilty of flip-flops.  So, Mitt, why not flip to full conservative and see what happens.  You won't have to resort to tearing down an opponent.  You can tear down Obama.  What do you think got Newt where he is, Mitt?  What do you think got Trump where he was before he pulled out?  Tear down Obama!  That's the problem we face.  Eric Holder.  Jon Corzine.  It's target rich.  Where our real opponents are. 

Our real opponents are not fellow Republicans.  Our real opponents are Barack Obama, Corzine, Eric Holder, everybody in the regime.  Tear down crony donorism, crony capitalism. Tear down Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Saul Alinsky. Tear down Obama's tax hiking regulation. They should tear down that speech in Osawatomie. Embrace the Tea Party movement.  Energize the base.  Don't try to split it.  Mitt, energize the base, get to the right of Newt, beat Obama going away.  The 2010 election should have been the strongest clue you could get as to the mood of the voters of everybody in this country. The 2010 election should have been the big tip-off for the entire Republican Party how to do this.  But, no, we have to rely on our old formulas, and our old formulas mean we can't have a conservative nominee in the Republican Party, can't have that.  We have to split the conservative vote. 

Well, Newt, the conservative vote is the ticket.  Mitt, the conservative vote's the ticket.  I wonder if anybody in the Romney camp ever considered doing what conservatives have begged their candidate to do months, if not years ago.  I just wonder if admitting Romneycare -- I mean can't now, because he's got so many months, days, weeks defending it.  I'm just thinking on an open-ended basis here.  But governments ought not be in the business, and Newt went out the other day, he was with Beck or something, he slipped up and said he was for the individual mandate again?  Mitt, look, I know I'm not an accredited consultant and I know that I, as a result of that, don't know what I'm talking about.  So I'll just shut up and we'll go to phone calls when we get back.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Back on June 7th, for those of you that weren't listening in the summer, just now tuning in and catching up, I just asked Cookie to go to our archives, get the bite.  Won't be long.  Mitt was somewhere on June 7th, forget exactly where, but we played the sound bite on the program.  He said, "I firmly believe that it's getting warmer, and from everything I read, humans are causing it."  And when I played the sound bite and it was over, I said, "Bye-bye nomination."  Do you remember?  Bye-bye nomination.  Why did I say bye-bye nomination?  June 7th, what the hell did I know?  I know what the conservative base knows.  I know who they are, and I know what ticks them off. 

Now, my suggestion, perfectly reasonable, is flip to the full right of Gingrich.  Just do it.  There's plenty of room there.  Won't do it.  And you know why?  I'll tell you exactly why.  Romney and his consultants and the establishment believe that anything he does, anything he says that will please conservatives will poison him with the independents and the swing voters.  Don't doubt me on this.  You know this, too.  You know that the Republican establishment is scared out of their gourd of losing independents, losing the moderates, and they think conservatives cause that to happen.  And that's why they don't want a conservative nominee.  That's why they don't want anybody even close to being a conservative nominee, and who do we thank for this? Have these people paid no attention to what happened in 2010?  Fifty-five to 39 independents went to the GOP in 2010, the midterm elections. 

Now, I know.  There wasn't a singular Republican on any ticket.  It was an anti-Obama vote.  Hello!  Nothing's changed.  It's only gotten worse.  Obama hasn't given independents a reason to run back to him, and a conservative nominee will not make that happen.  But that's the reason we are where we are.  Because for the longest time -- I mean predating Reagan, the Republican Party -- I'll tell you what you can trace it to.  I'll tell you what the Republican Party still lives by, what still scares 'em, what they think is destined to be repeated every election is Goldwater.  Don't doubt me.  Don't doubt me, 1964.  Snerdley, it's in their DNA.  That's what conservatives will do to a Republican presidential candidate.  If you run a conservative, you're gonna get Goldwatered.  That's what they believe.  That is why they didn't like Reagan. 

I've told you this.  You know damn well the conservative establishment didn't like Reagan.  They wanted Ford, they wanted Bush, it didn't matter who.  And even after Reagan got the presidency, hey were still running around worried every minute of every day that Reagan was gonna do something to embarrass them.  Republicans also were making jokes about, "Oh, my God, the old man's finger is on the nuke button, oh, my God, Reagan's gonna kill us. Oh, my God, he's a wild cowboy, oh, oh."  It's Goldwater.  I'm telling you, it's the 1964 election that the Republican establishment still fears being repeated.  And we have had consultants who have built careers since 1964 on that premise, and we've had consultants who've built careers telling candidates like Romney, you can't win without the independents, and if you go too far to the right you're gonna scare 'em.

Folks, it was just this week that some idiot in the RNC sent out a notice to somebody at Yahoo News, of all places, Yahoo News ends up listening to a conference call between the RNC and a polling group, I think it was Tarrance, the RNC does this, and they listen to advice from the polling.  And this group happened to say don't go after Obama personally, don't attack Obama, people love Obama, his personals are very high and people feel sorry for him.  Well, I'm sorry, Obama is his policies.  But where do you think that comes from?  Where do you think that whole "don't go after Obama personally," it's what they told McCain, and McCain dutifully followed along, and where did we end up?  And it's traceable back to Goldwater.  That was a landslide loss. 

Snerdley, now, listen to me on this, and the rest of you.  You've heard me talk about my dad and the formative experience the Great Depression was in his life.  It shaped everything about the way he lived and the way he raised me and my brother.  It was that powerful.  If you're in the business of politics and if your business is winning elections and you -- I was only 13 at the time.  But I have since learned how embarrassing and humiliating that loss was to the Republican hierarchy.  That is their Great Depression.  That is their World War II that they lost.  As such, conservatism equals landslide defeat.  They won't give it up; they can't set it aside.  And that's why whoever surfaces that appears to be conservative, they're gonna take 'em out or they're gonna try.  It's just that simple.  I don't care what the circumstances were. I don't care that JFK was dead and Johnson's running on his legacy, the media was all against Goldwater, doesn't matter. 

They don't see that '64 gave birth to something.  They see '64 as the ultimate defeat. They see '64 as the ultimate humiliation, not the birth of something wonderful and great.  They don't see it that way, and they never will, not this generation.  They never will.  The people in this audience who will someday be political consultants are gonna be the ones who will change this.  I'm sure the consultants have said, "Don't you dare, Mitt, you just stay right where you are.  We're gonna split the conservative vote.  We love Ron Paul being in there.  We love anybody that makes conservatives look like kooks.  Keep 'em in this race, keep 'em in the debates, split the conservative vote, and, Mitt, you'll get the nomination with the great moderates.  You won't have to go to the right to get the nomination." 

This was their big secret.  This is why they think they've got it all wrapped up in Romney.  The normal procedure is in a primary, the nomination fight, you run to get your base.  Then in the general is where you move to the center.  They thought, their brilliant stroke was to run to the center to get to the nomination, and in doing so, prove to every other moderate and independent. Romney, whoever the nominee was doing that strategy was not some crackpot conservative and would therefore win big over Obama by getting nowhere near conservatism. 

These people believe that Republican nominees who win by coalescing the right wing vote during the nomination process are destined to lose because the moderates and the independent swing voters are watching it and they get scared to death because they think that everybody else looks at conservatives the way they do, racist, extremist, kook, wacko, bigots, homophobes, all that.  This is why there's such panic, because they thought they had finally upset the applecart.  They had finally redefined the terms.  They finally found a guy who was gonna win the nomination as a moderate, not a conservative.  They were having orgasms.  And now their guy, who was gonna pull this off, is down 20 points in three of the first four states.  That's where we are. 

That's why we're where we are. There is no team, there is no conservative movement that includes establishment types in the media or in elective office in Washington. I hate to tell you, folks, but there just isn't -- and instinctively you know it. Instinctively you know it and that is why the polls are showing the results they're showing. That is why there has always better than the Anybody But Romney candidate. Perry for a while, then Bachmann for a while, and Trump for a while; and there's a reason. There's a reason that no matter where you go at any time in this process, Romney can't get above 30 in a national poll of Republicans. There's a reason why 70% -- now, people have sent me notes, "But, Rush! But, Rush! Everybody wanted Romney in '08! Everybody wanted Romney." Well, we had different options then. We had an open-borders guy! (snorts)

Every election's different and every set of choices is different. The things that make other things relevant change with every election. The establishment is in utter defiance of what's happening. Stop and think of this, though -- because this is key, folks. For the first time they were attempting to secure the nomination with a moderate, not a conservative. That goes totally against the rule of thumb and how you win nominations and then how you win the general. Anyway, I have to take a break -- and, frankly, I'm tired. I'm worn out. These shows feel like five hours instead of three, and you know why? Is because it's us, folks. There's nobody else out there. The people that represent us are not lifting a finger to defeat Barack Obama. The people working for us -- the people we vote for, leaders -- they're not running against Obama. It's up to us to do it. It's just the way it is. 

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