RUSH: Listen to this paragraph. This is a story by Mike Allen. It's from yesterday. "Doubling down on his strategy of running responsibly when base voters seem to crave bombast..." Now, what a premise! That's the premise of Mike Allen's story, Republicans, you know what you want? You want to kick ass. You want a guy that's gonna do nothing but rip Obama to shreds just for the sake of it. Nothing about policy; you don't want substance; you don't want ideas; you just want somebody that's gonna rip 'em a new one. Okay. That's the premise of the story.
The paragraph again: "Doubling down on his strategy of running responsibly when base voters seem to crave bombast, Romney said: 'You said that our voters wanted red meat and that they therefore need a person who will give that red meat. I'm saying ... that's not who I am, and that's not going to be successful in the final analysis. ... 'If ... they want language --'" he's talking about you, the voters "'-- that's so incendiary that it really excites them, then some can offer that in a primary. And you can be assured that they'll lose in the general. Because the people who decide elections, the people in the middle -- by the way, people who last time voted for Barack Obama -- do not want to have a president elected based on red meat.'"
So Romney is confirming what I have been telling you, well, for years, but intensely the past two weeks, that the Republican establishment believes that strident criticism of Obama, which is called bombast -- see, we can't be critical of Obama without it being characterized as "bombast," mean-spirited, extremist, or what have you. And Romney buys into that. If we do that, the independents are gonna make tracks fast for Obama. They're going to leave us and they're gonna run right over to the socialists and the Marxists, people who decide elections, the people in the middle.
So Romney is telling us that he thinks the people who decide the elections are the undecideds, the independents, the 20%, and that's who he's aiming for and so that's why -- I'm extrapolating here, that's why Romney will say, "Yeah, I believe in global warming," because he thinks those people do. "Yeah, I think human beings are causing it," because he thinks those voters do. Romney thinks that most voters lean liberal, and he's not even gonna go red meat in the primaries because that will scare off voters that would vote for him in the general. So he's not gonna do bombast.
Now, the translation of that is he's not gonna be critical of Obama, he's not gonna be critical of Democrats. This is a trick. This is a trick that was started by the media and the left long ago to shut us up. This is self-censorship. Meanwhile, Obama's own supporters and the media are getting tired of Obama being too boring. They want Obama to be more bombastic. They want Obama to be in the attack mode more. "I'm not going to say outrageous things that can be used to hang [a GOP opponent] down the road." This is playing defense, folks. This is what I was talking about recently when I said nobody won anything defending it. Are you still trying to find examples where I'm wrong? I know you are. (laughing) Good. It's an interesting thought exercise. Well, you know I'm right.
So another 100% affirmation that the Republican establishment, "Don't criticize Obama." And, of course, we had the story from, of all places, Yahoo News last week, who mistakenly were invited to overhear a conference call between the RNC and a polling unit, the Tarrance Group, and they said the same thing. They advised the RNC that people feel sorry for poor Barry and they really like him personally. It would be a big mistake to go after Obama personally. Of course the answer, how do you separate Obama from his policies? How do you do that? You can't. Obama is his policies. So Romney says, "I'm not going to say outrageous things that can be used to hang [a GOP opponent] down the road. In my view, [primary voters] want someone who is willing to be a responsible leader, that brings America together as opposed to dividing America. ... I am what I am. I don't tend to say outrageous things about other people that I don't believe in order to win political points."
And then Mike Allen said, "Why has Gingrich surged? 'Got me,' Romney replied. 'I think in the final analysis, when people take a very close look at our experience, at our records, at our backgrounds, they'll recognize that my background and my experience as a leader is what America needs. I don't say outrageous things that I don't believe.'" So who is? Is Perry saying that? Is Gingrich saying outrageous things he doesn't believe? Is Bachmann saying outrageous things she doesn't believe? Who's he talking about here? Gingrich? Gingrich is saying outrageous things he doesn't believe because you people, all you want is red meat? You Republican primary voters, you just want the bombast, you just want slice-and-dice, you just want one of our guys to stand up and talk about what a crook and a rotten guy Obama is every day, and all day long.
Now, Romney seems pretty willing to criticize Gingrich. You know, this Bill Gray, what was the biggie from last week? The Sullivan Group, folks, I don't know how I don't go up to almost always right 99.7 now from 99.6% of the time. I don't know how I don't go up. This is huge. Romney is admitting I'm right about this. What was the biggie last week? There was a huge biggie last week slipping my mind, but it was something I've been right about for 15 years that became undeniably true, and now this and Bill Gray and global warming computer prediction models are of no value. By the way, does Obama say outrageous things he doesn't mean? Harry Reid, Pelosi, Debbie "Blabbermouth" Schultz, are they saying outrageous things they don't believe?
They say outrageous things. They are mean-spirited, extremist, and of course somehow the independents don't mind their extremism? The independents don't mind their insanity? The independents applaud the lies and distortions that come out of their mouths? Like the independents love when Axelrod says, "Yeah, the thing about Newt is when you see a monkey climbing a pole, you see more of his butt." The independents like that? That's where they're gonna run? Axelrod says that and the independents go, "Yeah, yeah, yeah! That's my kinda talk! That's who I'm voting for. That's my guy! That guy running Obama's campaign? That's exactly what I want!" Oh, it was Fast and Furious. It was Fast and Furious when Sharyl Attkisson produced the e-mails. The Fast and Furious thing was all about ultimately getting rid of the Second Amendment. It was all about a ploy to clamp down on gun rights in the US.
So how do I not go up to 99.7%? If the Sullivan Group's been corrupted, I don't know what is safe.
RUSH: Okay, so yesterday we were discussing about Romney and the bet, $10,000, bet Rick Perry on something. "Ah, Mitt, you're out of touch," some people said. "Ten thousand dollars? People don't have $10,000 to throw around! You're showing how outta touch you are." This business, this paragraph in this Politico story, this is out of touch. This is echoing what the Democrats say, "Don't criticize Obama! You're just gonna send the independents right back to the Democrats." This is amazing. This is a criticism of Republican primary voters, when you boil it all down. You people, you're not serious. You just want bombast, and that's why people like me (according to Steve Schmidt) are responsible for this horrible Republican field. Because responsible Republicans don't have a chance because they're not bombastic enough. No, it's that they're not conservative enough.
Conservative primary voters want a conservative -- it's really not complicated -- and the Republican establishment doesn't. It's not complicated. They don't like conservatives, they are scared to death of conservatives on a host of levels. They're afraid of losing the party to conservatives, and thus the power. They also think conservatives are hated. That quote from Romney is indicative. He believes that the reasonable people in this country hate conservatives and are afraid of 'em and run away from 'em. In the midst of all this polling data we have today about the vast majority of Americans fear big government, not big business. Same poll: More people disavowing membership in the Democrat Party than ever before. That's mind boggling. The 2010 midterm elections? The evidence is everywhere they look. And yet they don't believe it or they discount it.
Mark in Schaumburg, Illinois, as we go back to the phones. Great to have you. I appreciate your patience in waiting. Welcome.
CALLER: (whispering) Thank you, Rush. First of all, thank you for the evenhandedness with which you're talking about Mitt today. I want to talk with you about the difference between Mitt and Newt Gingrich. The difference between Mitt and Newt is that nobody owns Mitt. He has his own money. Newt's probably in somebody's pocket. Don't get me wrong. If Newt is the Republican candidate, I'll vote for him --
CALLER: (whispering) -- but what difference will it make? I voted for McCain, too. Why do you so often seem to be propping up Newt?
RUSH: Well, I don't know that I am. I haven't endorsed Newt, and just today I was mocking the pledge not to cheat on his wife. If you talk to Newt and his supporters, you're gonna find a lot of people angry at me for various things I've said. You talk about my evenhandedness with Mitt. My evenhandedness has been with all of them. You see, I, at the end of the day, think that despite their flaws, they are all preferable to Barack Obama by a factor of 30,000. I don't think there's any comparison. I even offered Mitt great advice. I said, "Flip to the right of Newt! There's room there. You can do it." You talk about somebody owns Newt? Romney has his own money that Newt doesn't? So who is it that has their hands in Newt's back pocket?
I can understand why you would think that, and I'm not, notice, disparaging you for it. I understand why people might think that. What it boils down to for me is, these people have to get votes themselves. They have to win this on their own. They have to legitimately get support. It's not my job to drum up support or opposition to any of 'em. But when Romney comes out with something like this today, or with what he said about global warming, what am I supposed to do when I profoundly disagree? I also reamed Newt over the coals for this "era of Reagan is over" business and did so again just yesterday. And what else? There was something else that Newt said recently that I had a little problem with. I forget what it was.
Oh, yeah, Paul Ryan, the "right-wing social engineering." But there was something else. But look here. Still, what is the topic? The topic is how I am reacting, how I am treating these guys, and I have tried to say positive things about all of them when it's warranted and justified. So, it's up to them to win this. That's their job. That's their responsibility. It's up to them to get support and if Newt thinks or if Mitt thinks that this is the way to do it -- to go out there and say he's a big believer in man-made global warming because the people who really decide elections, those people in the middle, that's who you gotta cater to? If that's what you want to hear, if that's what you think the Republican Party ought to be focusing on, then Mitt is your guy. I know people who are hoping and praying that Rick Perry will catch fire a second time, or that Bachmann will, or that Santorum will.
One thing I know is this isn't over, and there has been this big effort on the part of the Republican Party to have this thing decided months ago. The Republican Party wanted Mitt chosen, done with, over and out and move on; and that isn't going to happen. They wanted an early nominee so they could get everything in order and move on. They didn't want this kind of fight -- and do you know why the Republican Party didn't want this kind of fight? 'Cause they genuinely are afraid that a drawn-out, conservative argument will result in a conservative nominee; and the less time devoted to this, the greater the opportunity a conservative will not win the nomination. They know that the more conservatism is debated -- because conservatism being debated is Americanism being debated. Conservatism being debated is the Constitution being debated -- the more it wins. The Republican Party establishment is not oriented in that direction. They don't think that's where the money is.
RUSH: Folks, I just want to remind you all again of something when we're talking about Romney. There is a lot to remember here. One of the key things to remember is: In my opinion, the White House wants Romney. I know there are a lot of people who say, "No, Rush! The White House fears Romney. They want Newt! They can't wait to run against Newt. The White House, they really want Newt. No, Romney they fear." Nah, I think the whole setup is to run against Romney. That's what Occupy Wall Street's about! Occupy Wall Street was set up to run against Romney. Romney is Wall Street, to these people. Bain Capital's Wall Street.
They're running against the 1%. Obama in Osawatomie, Kansas. Obama here. Obama everywhere you go. They are running against the 1%, and that, they think, is epitomized by Romney, not Newt. Newt is not one. Whatever else he is, Newt is not Mr. Rich Guy. Like our previous caller said: Mitt has his own dough; Newt doesn't. That's what the previous caller said. As far as the Democrats are concerned, Occupy Wall Street, the whole Obama campaign is to run against the 1% epitomized by Romney. Now, they're in the midst of making adjustments.
They got campaign signs out there now, online pollsters calling Newt "GingRICH," with RICH in all caps, Newt GingRICH. But I maintain there's plenty of room to the right of Newt if Mitt wanted to go there but obviously he doesn't, 'cause we have that quote from Politico. Mitt Romney is not interested in going to the right -- and don't forget, it was Daniel Henninger writing in the Wall Street Journal, his Thursday column about two months ago who said if Romney is gonna get to the right he's going to have to be nudged there. He's going to have to be pushed. 'Cause it's not his natural inclination to go there, and that was the Wall Street Journal.
RUSH: We're going back to our archives. Mitt Romney, who, an amazing admission in Politico today that, (paraphrasing) "everybody knows elections are won with independents, and I'm not gonna sit out here as a Republican and offer up a bunch of bombast and red meat. That's not who I am and that's not what wins and so if you want Newt and you want that kind of talk, fine and dandy, that's not me." Confirming what I've always said about the Republican establishment, that they think conservatism causes people to run over to the Marxists and the socialists. In 2002 in Worcester, Massachusetts, this is after a campaign event, gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney spoke to reporters. He's running for governor of Massachusetts, I understand that, but nevertheless Mitt Romney speaking to reporters about his views.
ROMNEY: I think people recognize that I'm not a partisan Republican, that I'm someone who is moderate and that my views are progressive and so they're gonna vote for me regardless of the party label.
RUSH: Running for governor of Massachusetts. "Rush, why are you doing this? That's like nine years ago." He just said what he's gotta do to win the Republican primary and be elected president is be a moderate, basically. And you've been asking me, some of you, why I say that he's not as conservative as I would like.