RUSH: I mentioned at the top of the program, even while I was gone, I'm still given credit for Santorum's rise in Iowa. I'm not kidding. I'm not saying it. The media did. We've played those sound bites, and here's Santorum himself. This is last week. Santorum released a radio ad entitled "Unite" for the voters in Iowa. We have a portion of the ad.
WOMAN: Sarah Palin praised Santorum for protecting the sanctity of life, Mike Huckabee said he loved Santorum's conviction, and Rush Limbaugh said it would be great if Rick Santorum became president -- and Rick is endorsed by Iowa conservatives like Bob Vander Plaats and Sam Clovis. Now it's time for all conservatives to unite and support Rick Santorum for president. Visit RickSantorum.com. Paid for by Rick Santorum for President.
SANTORUM: I'm Rick Santorum, and I approved this message.
RUSH: How stupid is it that they have to say that? How about, "I'm Rick Santorum: I have no idea what this message said, but election law says I gotta say I approved it." How stupid! So, anyway, there's Santorum's ad mentioning me, and then on CNN, this happened, this was last Wednesday.
MAN: Santorum's new radio spot touts, uhhh, the endorsements he's gotten from some top social conservative leaders right here in Iowa. He also says that Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, has said some nice things about him as have [sic] Rush Limbaugh. Both of them of course pretty influential as well among conservatives.
RUSH: Right. So: Limbaugh and Palin mentioned Santorum; Santorum catapults in the polls. That was the media story last week. Even when I'm not here, this program is listened to by members of the media so that they can figure out what you think. This is Joe Klein from TIME Magazine. He was on with John King at John King's USA. Well, but the fill-in host was Candy Crowley. So we have Joe Klein on John King USA guest hosted by Candy Crowley on CNN in Des Moines, and she said, "The problem with Mitt Romney is he's played this campaign as sitting there and watching other people go up and down. He's been completely cautious, very careful, and people just didn't see the fire."
KLEIN: I've been out here driving around the cornfields listening to talk radio. Rush Limbaugh has sit-in hosts this week but when you listen to the callers, they're all coming to terms with Romney now.
RUSH: Okay. So Joe Klein is out "driving in the cornfields." I told you at the top of the program: These people think they are in a foreign country when they have to go to Iowa. Anywhere in the Midwest. He's out there driving around the cornfields. Does anybody live there? I mean, in great numbers? Anyway, he's out there driving around the cornfields listening to talk radio, and he said that you are coming to terms with Romney. Is that true, audience? Is that really true? Is Joe Klein accurately describing, Snerdley, the people that called here last week? (interruption) Okay, Snerdley is telling me that this is a blatant lie. Let's put it this way: Klein has it wrong that the majority of callers are doing this. So Klein wanted everybody to think that the Limbaugh audience was coming to terms with Romney, and Snerdley, who was working last week, says it's not true. So there you have that.
Now, last Thursday on Hardboiled on MSNBC, Huffing and Puffington Post editorial director Howard Fineman had this to say about Gingrich and me.
FINEMAN: Newt had several ads on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, which is on WHO, the big 50,000-watt station here. He had lots of ads saying: I'm a great guy. Then Mark Steyn, who's substituting for Rush, comes back on and just bangs Newt over the head again. The whole conservative movement has decided that Newt is a mistake waiting to happen. I can quote Mark who said, "Newt Gingrich is like Yosemite Sam: The dynamite's gonna blow up."
RUSH: This is akin to everybody's waiting for the implosion. Steyn said it was an explosion, but people are still waiting. Yosemite Sam. I think I described McCain as Yosemite Sam back in 2000, and it didn't sit well. It did NOT sit well. I called him Yosemite Sam, I forget why. It was so accurate. I forget specifically what it was about. Yeah, I've had people ask, "Do you listen to your show when you're off?" and I don't. I don't. I never have. "Steyn was really dumping on Newt." Joe Klein says that the audience is coming to grips and sidling up to Romney. Don't worry, Snerdley. He said it on Candy Crowley sitting in for John King on CNN. Nobody heard it. It isn't that big a deal.
It's Steny Hoyer, who is one of the Democrat leaders in the House. They had a press conference on December 22nd about the payroll tax cut legislation.
HOYER: That's what almost everybody in this country, including the Wall Street Journal, says we ought to do, Mr. Speaker! Now, perhaps Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist don't think that's what we ought to do, but Americans think that's what we ought to do.
RUSH: Was that a press conference or was he on the floor of the House saying that? Grover Norquist? Me and Grover Norquist. You know, the villains of the day. The Democrats actually think naming the villains of the day will somehow move their issue forward. Boy, could I tell you stories. Sometimes it works. Yeah, I had a guy, a friend of mine come meet me about a month ago on a Saturday. He asked to come by for a couple hours. I said, "Sure, come on by." He started crying about what Obama's doing to the country. I was surprised. I thought this guy would love Obama. He's a regular Democrat voter. We gotta start working together, gotta work with each other, gotta work together. I said, "Oh, no, who sent him? Right now, who sent him," and he started talking about, yeah, Grover Norquist.
"Do you even know who Grover Norquist is?"
Okay, I explained. "Grover Norquist is a guy who doesn't believe in tax increases and he makes people sign a pledge."
"Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! Those kind of guys are gonna kill us."
"No, no, they're not gonna kill us."
But these guys are standing in the way of agreements. No, they're standing in the way of tax increases, which is not what we need right now. Anyway, so here's a guy who didn't even know who Norquist was, but some Democrat had told him that Norquist was a villain, so he had to do something about it. I don't know. A pointless, mindless little story, but it's still illustrative.