RUSH: Now, I got a call I want to get to here very quickly. I mentioned in the first hour that the economy is not issue number one in Iowa because it's not bad. Agriculture is doing well, employment's at 5.7%. I've got a caller, "Oh, that's not correct, Rush, it is a big issue here." But there is a story from Salena Zito, Real Clear Politics, about Obama, here's a pull-quote. "All that he has right now, despite Washington media reports predicting his resurrection in the polls, is a political machine that can turn out just enough voters for him to win electorally."
Let me pick this up in progress. "Last week, Romney packed an enthusiastic crowd into the Blackhawk's Gold Room. Garrison Gardner, the hotel's on-duty manager, watched the former Massachusetts governor make his pitch for caucus voters. Gardner, who leans Democrat, said he is ripe to be persuaded to vote for Romney. 'Anything is better than what he have going on now at the White House,' the former Obama supporter said. While everyone focuses on the Republicans' shifting nomination process, they overlook Obama's Iowa problem. The Hawkeye State began Obama's string of caucus victories that gave him a majority of the Democrats' 'super-delegates' over Hillary Clinton in 2008." And you remember how he did it. Buses of people that don't live in Iowa coming in to warp in the cauci.
This is the second story making this point. "Iowa does not share the country's high unemployment rate -- but it does share the Midwest's disapproval of the president's performance. A Public Policy poll late last summer showed just 45 percent of voters approved of Obama while 48 percent disapproved; independents split against him, 43 to 47; only 79 percent of Democrats thought he was doing a good job, while 87 percent of Republicans disagreed. On Earth Day, just a handful of months after being sworn into office, Obama visited Newton, Iowa, located farther south along I-80. Standing at the TCI Composites wind-turbine plant, he praised the state's efforts in "green" alternative energy." It went on to talk about how this is not playing.
"Late last week, TCI Composites, recipient of city and state tax credits and federal stimulus funds, laid off almost 200 workers. The company said it hoped to rehire them next spring." So the story under the surface is that while the Republicans are duking it out in Iowa, Obama is losing support in Iowa among people who voted for him back in 2008. I bring this up 'cause I'm telling you, don't doubt me on this, there are high placed Republican establishment types who do not think Obama can lose, who do not think he can be beat, let's put it that way, in 2008. So their focus is on the Senate and stopping Obama legislatively.
And there are people in the Republican Party who do not share the view you and I have of the country being in peril. They just don't think it's any big deal. Yeah, we got $16 trillion national debt. At one time it was five trillion, we survived, it's no big deal. That's the way they think. We're not at a crossroads. We're not at a fork in the road that we're gonna take. We're not at a cliff that we're about to fall over. This is just normal ebb and flow politics. It would be nice if we could win and put ourselves in charge of the money, but if we can't win the White House, let's win the Senate and hold the House, and we'll do what we can do to stop Obama. And that's the prevailing point of view in high levels of the Republican Party. Well, that's not what we're interested in. We want to win this. We want to start the process of rolling some of this back.
RUSH: Atlantic, Iowa, starting on the phones with Andrea. I'm glad you waited. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Happy New Year.
RUSH: Same to you.
CALLER: It's been a couple of years since I talked to you. The last time was I was trying to send my daughter off to college and was commiserating over the student loan thing and you told me I would figure it out and we have figured it out and she's in her second year and doing well, so, thanks for the vote of confidence.
RUSH: You know, I vaguely remember not the specifics, but I remember talking to you about the student loan problem. I don't remember what I told you. I'm sure it was right.
CALLER: Of course you were right. (laughing)
CALLER: So I live in Omaha but I work in Atlantic, Iowa, for Walmart as a pharmacist; and I've worked there for the last year kind of throughout southwest Iowa -- and I've gotta tell you. I don't know who did that poll, but the number one thing that people are talking about is they're getting ready to go to the caucus tonight is the economy. Jobs, jobs, jobs, and the economy.
RUSH: Well, now, I shoulda known. It is a CNN story, a CNNMoney.com story, and it's basically that the economy is not the big story there. It's not issue number one because agriculture is doing well and unemployment's only 5.7%. It's a CNN/ORC poll. So it's a CNN poll itself.
CALLER: Well, we have people come in the Walmart, of course, all the time because they're trying to save money. People are working a couple of part-time jobs to get by, both husband and wife are working. They may be farming but they're also working a part-time job or even a full-time job. People are very concerned about their kids being able to make it to college -- and, yes, maybe agriculture did well this year but, you know, that can always change with the weather. One bad season. You have a bad harvest, bad weather, to a couple of tornadoes come through, couple of hailstorms, all that could change in a moment's notice.
RUSH: Something else that is salient here, and that is maybe unemployment in Iowa is only 5.7%, but Iowans know that they are Americans -- and they know that the country is in heap big trouble economically. They know what the national unemployment situation is. They know what's happening to prices. They know what's happening to gasoline prices. They know a number of things, and their concerns, obviously, go beyond Iowa. Everybody's do! Everybody's concerns go beyond just where they live. For crying out loud, if that were the standard, I couldn't care less. If things were okay where you lived? (chuckled) We know that most real Americans are concerned about the country at large. I think this is a point here that's well taken. I'm glad you called to point this out. Of course they would love -- the media would love -- to be able to say, "In Iowa the economy is not number one. The economy doesn't matter. Other things do," because they can then credit that as Obama. Why not? Because Obama's president, Obama's policies are doing well in Iowa, what have you. No question. Andrea, thanks for the call.
RUSH: Ron in Edgewood, Iowa. I'm glad you waited. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Wow, Rush! This is really an honor!
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I'm giving you Hawkeye Cauci dittos from beautiful northeast Iowa. I wouldn't live anywhere else. And I'm a caucus leader, and I'm in a county where there isn't even a stoplight in any of the towns around here. Most of the towns are one-way streets that lead out of town. But we are concerned about the economy.
RUSH: Wait a second, now! Is that a local Iowa joke that most streets are one way and lead out of town?
CALLER: It's my joke.
CALLER: I'm a smart ass.
RUSH: Okay, so you are a caucus leader?
RUSH: How many people are you expecting in your caucus?
CALLER: This time I figure maybe 40 people.
RUSH: Do you guys eat? Do you have coffee, doughnuts? What happens?
CALLER: We have coffee and we'll have some brownies --
CALLER: -- and we'll have some good discussions.
RUSH: And you --
CALLER: Everybody has their chance to speak about their candidate.
RUSH: Okay. Okay.
CALLER: Okay. And when it comes to economy --
RUSH: Do you live in a cornfield by any chance?
CALLER: I'm outside of a cornfield right now. As a matter of fact I'm an dairy farm.
RUSH: Ah, okay.
CALLER: Okay. Now, the economy isn't devastating here in the Midwest at this point, but when we hear $16 trillion deficit --
CALLER: -- we know what's coming.
CALLER: We're not stupid here. We're not a bunch of hicks. And we are afraid of what is coming and we do discuss it, and it's coming to the point where we actually are asking ourselves, what's the point anymore, how can we stop it? Is it gonna do any good? Or are we on a path --
RUSH: You know, I totally understand. People have gotten to the point we are in so much debt that even if we stop now does that fix anything?
CALLER: The Paul Ryan plan balances the budget in ten years, and they're touting that, and I thought, my God, $7 trillion we're down in three years. How can we not start cutting things with an axe to get us back to where we were?
RUSH: I know. So what you're talking about, Iowans care about the whole country, Iowans are patriotic.
CALLER: Oh, my God, yes. Oh, my God, yes.
RUSH: Even if you are not suffering in your cornfield, you are aware that people elsewhere are, and you know what the debt means for everybody and their taxes and their freedom, you know exactly what it means.
CALLER: Yes, we do. Yes, we do. We're patriotic, we love or our men in military, and women, and --
RUSH: What do you think about all the media in town for so long, or in the state for so long? I guess you just get used to it?
CALLER: Yeah. We're not seeing that so much in this part. We're in northeast Iowa here.
CALLER: We don't see much of that going on, but we know that we always fight to have first-in-the-nation caucuses because we want recognition, too. We know if we don't have this little niche, we'll be nobody.
RUSH: Yeah. It is a great marketing thing.
CALLER: Oh, my God.
RUSH: Every four years, look at what happens. Iowa in January? I mean that's big.
RUSH: This influx of economic activity, it's big.
CALLER: Yeah. Two If By Tea dittos also. It's excellent. My mother, who is a lifelong Democrat, loves peach. I sent them to her.
RUSH: You're the second guy today who has pointed out that the tea crosses all boundaries.
CALLER: Yes, it does. I don't know if she's gonna start listening to you but she sure is gonna drink your tea.
RUSH: Well, tell her if she likes the tea, there's no reason not to like me. I mean how can you not like the guy who produces the thing, the tea that she likes.
CALLER: It's not that, she's not one of those people who doesn't --
RUSH: Yeah. So, have you come to terms with the Romney nomination?
CALLER: When they talk about 40% undecided, they're not kidding. I'm a caucus leader and I'm torn. I mean it made it easier when Herman Cain had to get out, had to. I love Herman Cain. But I'm also Bachmann/Santorum.
RUSH: What did Herman Cain do? Do you know?
CALLER: What did he do?
RUSH: Yeah, what did he do? I mean he quit the race, but why, what did he do? I know what they said about him, but what did he do?
CALLER: He was pressured by the media and the Republican elite with all the accusations against him, he had to go.
RUSH: Yeah, but nobody's really proved anything, did they?
RUSH: What's it gonna take to decide you, Ron, as you caucus tonight?
CALLER: A coin flip. Nah, not quite that bad.
RUSH: Well, I understand it.
CALLER: I am a Bachmann supporter. I really love Michele Bachmann, and I think that she is what's best for the country 'cause she loves the country.
RUSH: I know. I think she'd be great. I like the field. Anyway, Ron, I appreciate the call, I really do. I gotta go. I'm a little long here in this segment. I appreciate it. We've had two or three cauci leaders just at random get through today. That's cool.