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The Era of Reagan is Back, Jeb?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I mentioned the Jeb Bush piece in the Wall Street Journal.  And I also mentioned Stephen Moore, who is an editor there, spoke with Fox host Martha MacCallum today.  And she said, "Is this column by Jeb Bush in the Wall Street Journal, is this a trial balloon right now?"

MOORE:  I hope so.  I mean, look, I'm one of these people who says, let's have some new entrants into this race.  I mean, when you've had these people running for president for so long and nobody can get over 25%, I do think there's an appetite for somebody, and Jeb Bush is one of the kind of people that is so well known around the country that if he were to get into this race, he could win as a write-in candidate.  It's only four letters, right, B-u-s-h.  I think it's an important piece.  I don't think he's likely to get in the race, but there's a lot of people talking about it.  What's interesting in that piece that he wrote today is he's basically saying the American dream is alive and well, that anybody can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and that it's Washington rules, regulations, spending, and debt that are impeding the path to prosperity and the path to rising income levels in this country.

RUSH:  This is why, folks, I don't ever make long-term political predictions.  How long ago was it, and it wasn't that long ago where the conventional wisdom was if anybody ever with the name Bush runs for the White House again it's dead, it's over with for the Republican Party.  The American people don't want to hear the name Bush anymore. The American people are Bushed out. The American people are bushwhacked.  The media and the Democrats did such a profound job of ginning up hatred, disrespect, animosity, whatever you want to call it for the Bushes that it would be suicide for Jeb Bush to run now.  He may be the best Bush of all, people said, but, "Oh, it's just unfortunate, the timing, this country will not put up with another Bush, not now." And look what we have here, Jeb Bush writes a piece in the Wall Street Journal which, folks, I have to tell you, I could have written. I have said as much. I say it repeatedly on this program and on my Rush to Excellence appearances.  Extolling the virtues of freedom, economic freedom, capitalism, people pursuing excellence, being the best they can be. 

We have too many laws, too many regulations, everybody trying to control the outcome of everybody else. There's no suffering and no pain and no risk-taking.  That's bad, that's not good, it's not how this country was built.  Jeb Bush is saying exactly what I've said over and over again and now we got some guy, Steve Moore from the Wall Street Journal, who is suggesting Bush could win on a write-in ballot.  And it wasn't that long ago that everybody thought, "Oh, no, Bush?  Oh, jeez, it's just a shame, we love Jeb, but, oh, no.  No, no, no.  It won't work."  Now look what's happened.  (interruption) Yeah, wouldn't Jeb Bush remind people of George Bush.  "Oh, God, gosh, George Bush, people hated George Bush."  Everybody thinks Bush was hated. Everybody thinks Bush was stupid. "You want to suicide the party, oh, no," that was the conventional wisdom.  We thought Rick Perry was doomed because he would remind people of Bush. 

I could ask Stephen Moore, "Hey, Steve, why aren't you calling for Sarah Palin to jump in?"  She thinks the same stuff.  She believes the exact same thing that I believe and that Jeb Bush has written that he believes in the Wall Street Journal.  Would you say that the Wall Street Journal is part of the Republican establishment?  Yeah.  Large part.  I would.  A lot of other people would, too.  So you might say now that a wing of the Republican establishment is floating a trial balloon for Jeb Bush.  And you know what it's based on?  There's panic -- I'll tell you what's happening here, I think.  There's panic that Romney can't lock this up. 

There's panic that Romney can't get above 30% other than New Hampshire he gets 35.  And then they're looking, you know what, nobody else is, either, because they've successfully split the conservative vote in the primaries. Newt, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, individually they're not doing well.  Combine their votes into a singular candidate and they'd be beating Romney, but it isn't obviously that way.  So see how fluid things are?  See how the unexpected can all of a sudden come to life instantly?  Ha.  He-he-he-he.  Palin's only five letters.  That would very easy to write in.  Bush, B-u-s-h, four letters, Palin, P-a-l-i-n, five letters. 

Ted in Wilmington, North Carolina, as we head back to the phones.  Great to have you with us, sir.  Hello.

CALLER:  Rush, how you doing?

RUSH:  Very well, sir.  Thank you.

CALLER:  I want to make a comment, then I'd like to ask your advice on something if that's all right.

RUSH:  Sure.

CALLER:  First my comment is regarding the race, I think the candidates are just spending too much time attacking each other and not enough time attacking Barack Obama.  You know, we gotta remember the Eleventh Commandment of President Reagan, you know, thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.  I think sometimes they cross over that line to the point where could help out Barack Obama, and I would really love it if they just focused on the issue at hand here and just said the failures of this presidency and what they'll do to change it, and rather than just trying to tear down their opponents.

RUSH:  Ain't gonna happen.

CALLER:  That's unfortunate.

RUSH:  Well, you're looking at it not happening.  The reason you're calling me is because it is happening.  Right now Romney is outspending Gingrich 34 to one in Iowa.  Newt does not have any money.  Newt still doesn't have any money, significant money to run any ads.  Romney, of course, is loaded.  This question came up in the debate. Did you watch the debate Saturday night or whenever it was?

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  I forget when it was.  The days are running together.  Anyway, it came up and they were all asked about this Eleventh Commandment business and they all said, "We can handle it.  This is what campaigning is all about.  You gotta be able to take the arrows. You gotta be able to take the slings. You gotta be able to take this kind of stuff." It's just a proving ground for what's gonna happen when the nominee is chosen and when the Democrats get into gear.  And so whoever emerges from this victorious is gonna have to be able to show they can withstand this kind of stuff because Obama's not gonna respect that commandment, obviously is not a Republican.  So they all say we can handle it.  But it's the nature of politics.  And for the longest time Gingrich, when he started his rise, if you will, was the one focusing on Obama.  Now that he's been perceived to be in the lead, they're turning their attacks on him and he's gotta defend himself.  It's the nature of the game. 

Believe me, in due course, the attention will be changed and focused on Obama.  Your real problem, and I just want to prepare you in advance for this, Ted.  The real problem is going to be, depending on who the nominee is, that the Republican Party won't take it to Obama.  Well, we've already seen one polling group advise the RNC, don't attack Obama.  People love him. His personal numbers are very high. There's even a lot of sympathy for Obama, people feel sorry for Obama. "You gotta go after Obama's policies, Rush. You gotta go after his policies, Rush. We can't go after him personally, it's just gonna turn the independents off." 

Ted, that's where I fear you're gonna get really disappointed, if, depending on who the nominee is, it's up for grabs as to how hard Obama will be hit.  (interruption) I give you McCain, for crying out loud.  Why are you arguing with me about this?  (interruption) Right.  Of course.  And they're repeating the mistake now, they're trying to pick McCain Jr. as the nominee.  The whole thing is being set up to be played out exactly as it was.  Anybody who will take it to Obama is in the crosshairs.  Palin, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Bachmann, they're all targets.  Anybody who is conservative.  Have you not been listening the past two weeks?  The Republican Party does not want a conservative nominee.  They're not comfortable with conservatives.  You just told me yourself you've been reading biographies, you told me how Eisenhower hated the conservatives, was Colin Powell on steroids.  Well, nothing's changed. 

That's why this Jeb Bush thing is so fascinating, because you have Newt Gingrich write this and I guarantee you he's being attacked all day.  But Jeb Bush writes it, and there's all kinds of intrigue now.  Hmm!  You know, Romney, some people could say Romney is Kim Jong-un: It's his turn.  It's just a comparison.  I don't mean in actual comparative terms.  Give me some slack here.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  All right.  I'm gonna go back to the archives here.  So we have Jeb Bush in the Wall Street Journal today, "Capitalism and the Right to Rise."  It's a good phrase.  "Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: 'The right to rise.'" The right to elevate, the right to increase or improve one's station in life.  And Jeb Bush writes a piece -- honestly, this is not ego -- you listen here 23 years, I'm trying to tell you, this piece, you've heard it on this program for 23 years.  If you've ever been to a Rush to Excellence Tour, you've heard me describe capitalism this way, describe American life, American prosperity, future, all of these things, the exact way that Bush writes about them here. 

Now we got Steve Moore on Fox today with Martha MacCallum saying, (paraphrasing) "Yeah, yeah, yeah, he could win in a write-in election, it's only four letters, B-u-s-h.  None of these candidates will get above 25 or 30%."  I want to take you back.  Washington Times, May 3rd, 2009.  "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Saturday that it's time for the Republican Party to give up its 'nostalgia' for the heyday of the Reagan era and look forward, even if it means stealing the winning strategy deployed by Democrats in the 2008 election. 'You can't beat something with nothing, and the other side has something. I don't like it, but they have it, and we have to be respectful and mindful of that,' Mr. Bush said.

"The former president's brother, often mentioned as a potential candidate in 2012, said President Obama's message of hope and change during the 2008 campaign clearly resonated with Americans.  'So our ideas need to be forward looking and relevant. I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [Republican] messaging. I mean, it's great, but it doesn't draw people toward your cause,' Mr. Bush said."  That's back in the days where the era of Reagan was over.  But I'm gonna tell you that anti-Reagan populism is a nonstarter.  Jeb Bush's piece in the Wall Street Journal today is very Reaganesque, it's very Limbaughesque, but it's not commensurate with what he said back in May of 2009.  Because, you see, conservatism is timeless. 

You don't ever move on from conservatism.  Conservatism is never in your rearview mirror.  Conservatism is never passe.  I remember saying all this back when Jeb said this stuff back in 2009.  And it wasn't just Jeb.  You remember the whole chorus of people.  Newt was one of them:  "The era of Reagan is over."  I flipped my wig and I don't wear one.  The era of conservatism is never over.  It is never passe.  Now, Mitt Romney was on the same stage. I saw a picture of Jeb Bush saying this, and he's on a stage here with Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney, and the event was entitled Conversation for a New America.  It was in Arlington, Texas, part of a listening tour meant to revitalize the Republican Party.  It's a Washington Times story.  The era of Reagan is over.  And now here we are, almost at the end of 2011, and Reagan is being revived, and everybody is talking about the Reagan Eleventh Commandment.

The era of Reagan obviously isn't over.  Jeb Bush himself has written a piece in the Wall Street Journal today that Reagan could have written.  I don't know what to make of it.  You make of it what you want.  I'm just telling you, one thing you can count on, you're never gonna be able to go back at any point in the past and find a quote from me that indicates I have renounced conservatism or that I think it's passe, or that I think it's harmful or that I think it's going to stand us in ill stead.  Quite the opposite.  Nope, you're not gonna see me on the couch with Nancy Pelosi -- about anything.

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