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Gingrich and Perry Blew It on Bain Attack (Update: Newt Admits He Made a Mistake)

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RUSH:  You know, folks, it is -- (laughing) -- it is amazing.  As I go through the news today, looking at the establishment websites, looking at the conservative establishment, media establishment websites, they're starting to have some regrets about Romney.  Really, they are.  I have two or three examples here, but there are some creeping doubts now about Romney on the establishment Republican side. 

Anyway, greetings.  How are you?  Great to have you here.  Rush Limbaugh, middle of it week, hump day, great to have you at 800-282-2882.  The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com

All right, we're now facing, where we are is the final push, final push now to get Romney the nomination.  You have to say that Newt and Perry blew it the last two days.  I don't care what you think, folks, the attacks that they mounted on Romney are not defensible.  You just can't put your name to 'em.  All you can do is remember Bill Clinton.  He was confronted at one point about some crazy attack ads that he was running.  I don't remember specifically which ones, and supporters in the media, "Do you really mean this?"  Clinton said, (imitating Clinton) "Well, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. I mean, I'm faced here with a problem and I gotta do what I gotta do."  So, hopefully, Perry and Newt are just doing what they think they've gotta do, last straw, do everything.  Maybe there's some hidden reason we don't know that they're trying to demonstrate Romney's un-electability.  All I do know is you can't put your name to defending it, just can't do it.

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RUSH: This is Brian Kilmeade to Rick Perry this morning on the Fox & Friends show: "People like Rush Limbaugh, who said that you're really going in a place that Republicans usually don't go, as you start ripping into Romney and Bain Capital."

PERRY: I disagree (chuckles), because I do understand what venture capitalism is about. We do need to go (sic) is talking about an individual like Governor Romney and Bain Capital who have used what I consider to be some pretty harsh tactics from the standpoint of... You know, I don't believe that capitalism is, uh, making a buck under any circumstances. The Tea Party individual in South Carolina, they're not interested in all these stories about people making literally tens of millions of dollars on the back of working people. Venture capital is about creating jobs, and this vulture capitalism is about, you know, making money regardless of whether people lose their jobs or not.

RUSH: I'm sorry, folks, that is indefensible. There's no way you can try to dress that up. I don't understand it. Well, politically I understand it, but that's just absurd. It's sad. 'Cause I really, really, really like Rick Perry! I really do. I had such hopes! I did. I'll tell you, I did, but all of this talk about "corporate raiders," and as I listen to politicians start talking about capitalism, lights are going off in my head. "Maybe they don't really know what it is. Maybe they're under some misconception about what capitalism is, because this characterization of it? A distinction with venture capitalism and vulture capitalism? This bite from Perry doesn't compute.

So now we've got all this talk about corporate raiders, vulture capitalists plundering companies and greed. All this talk about sucking the blood out of companies and leaving corpses? Limiting how much somebody can make in profits? This is the language of leftists like Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. They popularized this. This is the way Fidel Castro thinks, or says he thinks. You know, today more than at any time in recent history, capitalism -- which is nothing more than economic liberty; that's all it is -- capitalism, economic liberty, is being assaulted on every front. The current occupant of the White House is a sworn enemy of capitalism. It's abundantly clear that Obama intends to run for reelection by running against capitalism. He's already on that path.

Barack Obama's running against economic freedom. That's what capitalism is -- nothing more, nothing less -- and our so-called conservative standard-bearers ought to be the last people on earth making these kind of charges and attacks! They're giving aid and comfort to the worst enemies of our country and our liberty and our economic freedom. They're using the language of people who believe, like Barack Obama said, "This country has always been wrong." That's what he said in Osawatomie, Kansas: We've always been wrong, from the days of its founding. I just think that this is over the top, and I'm beginning to wonder. I know what the politics of it are.

The front-runner, you take him out any way you can, but, for crying out loud! This sounds like people who don't understand it. Maybe it's time to ask just how much can lifetime politicians understand economic liberty? A lifetime politician is still somebody who uses government to achieve their aims. I'm just appalled by this. It's like cartoons! There must be plenty of other things to go after Romney over instead of picking on the one thing he's actually pretty clearly conservative about, his private sector business experience. For me, ladies and gentlemen, capitalism and freedom are too important -- and don't think that I say something that's so secure we can't lose it.

As we speak we're losing it. It's being chipped away every day. Wait 'til Obamacare is implemented! Economic liberty? Wow. Health, liberty, and freedom are all under assault. This is the kind of thinking, what we just heard from Perry and what Newt has said, that gave us Dodd-Frank and all of the other economy-killing regulations from the Democrats in Congress and from the Obama machine. Sarbanes-Oxley and all these new accounting rules designed to stop Enron-like companies. We stopped Enron! Enron's not every American corporation. The Democrat Party has made a lifetime career out of bashing every successful corporate entity in this country. Big Oil, Big Drug, Big Pharmaceutical, Big Walmart, Big Retail, "Big" whatever. Look at their enemies list -- and we join them?

This is not conservatism. It's the polar opposite of conservatism. It's the language used to take away economic freedom. Vulture capitalism, bleeding companies dry? This is not what happens. Don't mistake me. I'm all for going after Romney or any other candidate and candidates going after each other. I understand that there is (although I don't feel all that confident about it, but there is) something to be said here for this providing an opportunity for Romney to learn how to defend himself against these kind of charges when they come from Obama because they will. You try to find the rainbow at the end of every pot. It's their duty to go after each other -- candidates, I mean.

I'm all for vetting candidates -- I'm all for finding out just exactly who they are and I'm all for finding out if they can defend themselves -- but I don't think you tear down the engine of freedom or any other conservative principle in the process of doing all this. And that, I fear, is what's happening here. Capitalism already under enough of an assault. It already has too few defenders. It already has too few people who are willing to stand up for it and tell people that all it is is economic liberty! All capitalism is is the American dream, for crying out loud! Without capitalism, there is no American dream. Sorry. There cannot be an American dream to pursue without capitalism. How hard is it to say that and how hard is it to explain that? Ripping it apart to shreds like this isn't cool, ladies and gentlemen. 

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RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been informed here, breaking news, that Newt Gingrich is retracting his attack on Bain Capital.  Politico: "Newt Gingrich signaled Wednesday that he believes his criticism of Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital is a mistake -- and that he’s created an impression that he was echoing Democratic rhetoric.
Gingrich conceded the problem when pressed by a Rick Santorum supporter at a book signing here Wednesday. 'I’m here to implore one thing of you. I think you’ve missed the target on the way you’re addressing Romney’s weaknesses. I want to beg you to redirect and go after his obvious disingenuous about his conservatism and lay off the corporatist versus the free market. I think it’s nuanced,' Dean Glossop, an Army Reservist from Inman, SC, said.  'I agree with you,' Gingrich said."

So apparently an Army Reservist approached Newt today at a book signing and said, "I don't like what you're doing here."  And Newt has retracted it.  Politico quotes Newt as saying, "I agree with you.  It’s an impossible theme to talk about with Obama in the background. Obama just makes it impossible to talk rationally in that area because he is so deeply into class warfare that automatically you get an echo effect. … I agree with you entirely."  The Army Reservist, Dean Glossop, described himself as delighted at the response during an interview after Gingrich spoke and said that he hopes Gingrich and his allies will not continue to hammer that theme. 

So it's out there that Newt has retracted. (interruption) I suspect Newt will change the tone of his advertising.  If he cancels, yeah, we'll give him the money back.  We're not spoilers in that way.  We're not vulture capitalists.  We don't take payment for services not rendered.  (laughing)  You just see that attack being mounted against us?  Anyway, this is what Dean Glossop, Army Reservist, Inman, South Carolina, said, "I want to beg you to redirect and go after Romney's obvious disingenuousness about his conservatism," is what Newt was told by a guy that showed up at a book signing of Newt's in South Carolina. 

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