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The Limbaugh Take on National Review's Newt Editorial


RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, and I'm glad I got e-mails on this.  I was not gonna discuss this, other than the brief mention I gave it, but I've had a lot of e-mails in the subscriber account, the website subscriber, Rush 24/7 account wanting to know what I think of National Review's editorial late yesterday afternoon, National Review Online and the magazine.  It's William F. Buckley Jr.'s magazine.  And I mentioned this the other day, I'm sort of imprisoned here and limited by what I can discuss because I, of course, make everything bigger than it is when it's just standing alone.  And not to put down National Review or anything of the sort but this audience is far bigger than their blog subscriber base. So if I talk about it, it's gonna just take it to more people and I decide whether I want that to happen or not. 

So I wasn't going to really talk about it because I'm not convinced that it has that much impact.  National Review used to be indisputably the voice of conservatism.  There was no question.  Now, it's not so much that as it is the voice of Republicanism, which could also be said to be the inside-the-Beltway or the Washington/New York conservatism.  They've got great people there, there's some nice people, but it's changed a bit from what it was.  They had an editorial yesterday, unsigned, which meant that it was written by a number of editors that didn't endorse anybody but just excoriated Newt Gingrich.  It wasn't the long knives that came out, the bayonets came out.  It was scorched earth.  It was crash and burn. 

The implication in the editorial was they were for Romney, but the only other candidates they actually disparaged were Ron Paul and Rick Perry.  They held out hope for Bachmann and Santorum, but the point of the editorial was to tell anybody and everybody who read it to forget Newt.  So people are wondering, "What do you think of this?"  Romney was the National Review endorsement pick in December 2007 for the 2008 race.  And of course that was the campaign that McCain eventually won.  I think what's happening here, it's not just National Review.  There are a lot of so-called conservative media publications inside the Beltway and in New York.  There are other elected Republicans, some of them who work very closely with Newt, who have just fired both barrels, and it's starting to take a toll. 

Newt's numbers have peaked.  Newt is starting to fall away, in Iowa and New Hampshire.  It's not that he's just leveled off; he's starting to fall away now.  George Will has called Newt a Marxist.  Others have piled on pretty heavily, some pretty rough stuff, and Newt's opened the door to it.  I mean Newt going after Romney as a guy who destroys companies and jobs.  Bain Capital I think was involved in the mergers of 150 or so different companies and corporations, and only two of them went out of business.  So Romney's Bain Capital does not destroy jobs, did not destroy jobs or eliminate companies.  Anyway, Newt launches that.  Romney, in his own self, has come out for global warming, it's man-made.  In 2002 he said he's not a partisan Republican, that he's a moderate. 

Here's the thing.  I think, if you add all of these things, the National Reviews, all of the other places that are piling on Newt, they are accomplishing something.  And what they are accomplishing is making Ron Paul a serious player in Iowa.  And I don't think that's their intention.  But that's the unintended consequence here.  Romney, as we have discussed, remains on top in Iowa and New Hampshire, but his numbers don't move.  Romney's still stuck at 23 in Iowa.  New Hampshire, in the latest Rasmussen I think he's at 35, but that's the only place Mitt Romney is above 25 or 30.  He just can't crack that number, other than New Hampshire, which is, of course, close to where he was governor in Massachusetts. 

So what I've said -- this is true -- the Republican establishment has succeeded now, they are managing to split the conservative vote here in the primary to take down every one of them who manages to break out.  Newt's just the latest one.  But there was Ron Paul in there and Rick Perry for a while, Michele Bachmann.  When each of these not-Romneys surfaces, they're taken out.  The conservative vote is being split in a Republican primary.  It's unprecedented, really.  The Republican establishment from the beginning has said, "We're gonna nominate a guy, we're not gonna mess with this go to the right during the primaries business and move to the center.  We're gonna start in the center and we're gonna stay there, we're gonna nominate a moderate."  They settled on Romney a long time ago. 

Newt is now down 12 points and Ron Paul is up eight points since last month.  There is an anti-Romney sentiment out there.  It's illustrated by the fact that he just can't crack that 30% anywhere other than New Hampshire.  But the problem with that is that the anti-Mitt tide, the anybody-but Romney group, can't decide where to go now.  So with Newt being harpooned by everybody else, some of them are jumping on board with Ron Paul.  Well, imagine you're a Tea Partier. You're a conservative primary voter; you're not in favor of Romney; you're a little worried about Romney; you know that he's not conservative enough for you, but every time somebody who is more conservative than Romney in your mind surfaces, they take him out, something happens. 

What would you do?  The fact they will not go to Romney for whatever reason, they're looking down the road for anywhere else.  Now, Rick Perry right now is at ten, Bachmann is at nine, Santorum is at six.  If you combine those numbers with Newt's 20 and the eight that just joined the usual ten on the Paul bandwagon, you've got a combined 53%.  Fifty-three percent in Iowa are saying anybody but Romney.  But neither of 'em are individually large enough to win there.


RUSH:  I just checked the e-mail.  Some snarky guy, "Why don't you talk about who Newt says his favorite presidents are, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, FDR."  We did, yesterday.  Sorry you missed it.  I did point it all out.  I think in large part potentially all this shaking out could end up being positive.


RUSH: What was the question you just asked me? I didn't catch it all. (interruption) Mmm-hmm. Yeah. Right. Okay. Well, I'll try to answer this. Snerdley just said to me that the last time he can remember Republicans doing what he wanted done -- the last time Republicans acting the way we wanted 'em to act after they were elected -- was when Gingrich was Speaker. That's your point? "So now, why does everybody hate Gingrich?" You know, the answers to that are as varied as the people who don't like him. I think you probably have that many reasons, plus others. At the top of the list... At the top of the list is that the establishment, which spends a lot of time denying that they exist -- George Will for example says there is no Republican establishment (but regardless, there is) -- have had their hearts set on Romney for three years, ever since 2008.

That's just who they've wanted. It has always been Romney. That's where the money has gone, that's where the strategizing has focused. But there are some people who served with Newt when he was Speaker of the House who won't give specifics but they'll tell you they hated him. They hated his leadership. They hated his ego. They thought it was all about him at the expense of everything else; that he did things that hurt conservatism by trying to build himself up. You remember that magazine -- TIME or Newsweek -- he posed for a cover shot where he hadn't shaved? I can't tell you how that ticked me off. I cannot tell you how that ticked people off.

"Why do this? Why give the media that kind of picture of you?" That's Newsweek or TIME, whichever, it was that's their photo session. He showed up that way. It wasn't that he was tricked into it. Tom Coburn, who is now Senator, he was part of the freshman class in '94 in the House. He won't say what his problem is. He just said it's a leadership thing; I don't think Newt's the right guy. But he won't tell anybody why. Vin Weber, who was also Republican leadership back in those days, '92, '94, from Minnesota. He's now in bed with Romney, doesn't want any part of Gingrich, and really won't say why. You've heard the criticisms I've heard, that he's disorganized, unorganized (has no organization, period), is undisciplined; his ideas just shoot out over everywhere with no rhyme nor reason.

Others say he's not really conservative. I mean, these criticisms run the gamut. Now, what you're really asking me -- and, again, I'm gonna be at a loss to answer this for you -- why do they hate him so much? Why? It's understandable they might oppose him, but why the hate? I don't know that. I really... (sigh) Snerdley, in that business, it could be nothing other than the fact that maybe he hasn't helped 'em raise money. You know how important that is. Maybe Newt would not help 'em fund-raise, maybe there are grudges because of that. But regardless, the animosity toward the guy is real. (interruption) Well, if he wins, how is there gonna be any peace? (sigh) Uh, yeah, I don't know. If he wins, there will be a certain number of people who will do private mea culpas, trying to get back in his good graces.

I don't know. That will all take care of itself. Winners generally do. We'll see. I think you'll hear, just like we always do every Republican election, "If that son of a gun wins I'm staying home! I'm not going anywhere! I'm (grumbling)." You'll hear that from voters, callers to the program. You might hear some of the establishment say that about Newt. "If this guy gets the nomination, I've had it." So it's puzzling, ladies and gentlemen. The main point that I made about it last hour is that this is all giving rise to Ron Paul. It's creating a vacuum. Newt's down ten points in Iowa; Ron Paul's up eight. All of this bloodletting has a result.



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