RUSH: One Romney staffer told a blog, "It's not about winning here anymore. It's about destroying Gingrich -- and it's working." So a Romney campaign guy says: We're not just trying to win here. We are trying to destroy Newt. And they think that it is working. Now, people hear that, and it's tough to predict. Let me try to explain something. A lot of people may misunderstand me when I say this, and it's a -- it's a deeply personal thing. Well, don't misunderstand that, either. When I say "deeply personal," I mean strictly related to me. I've been doing this for 25 years. I know there are people that hate me, and I don't care.
I know there are people that lie about me, and I don't care -- and I am never motivated or oriented to correct the record. I don't care! I learned long ago, and it was very painful when it first started happening. It was brutal. I mean, I never hated anybody growing up. Nobody ever thought I hated anybody. And after two months on the national radio show I was a racist, bigot, sexist, homophobe. I said, "Where does this come from?" Everything's a learning experience, simply because I was a conservative, those are the cliches that attach. And there are newspaper stories out there with lies and all kinds of things. We're trying to build the radio show, we're trying to get it affiliated on as many stations as possible, and I really thought that stuff's gonna hurt.
I'd run around asking, "What do we do about that?" Nobody had any advice. There was nobody who could tell me how to deal with it. Not a single person. For everybody I asked, there was a different piece of advice how to deal with it. Some said, "You can't let that stand, especially when they call you racist. If you don't stop that, then it's over. You're never gonna go anywhere." Other people said, "You gotta ignore it. The more you respond to it, the more it's gonna happen, 'cause the more they're gonna think it bugs you." The mistake I was making in all of it was thinking that I could stop it. It can't be. Not in the business that I'm in and in the arena I play in. It just can't be stopped. I also recognize the unfairness. But it is what it is.
I've tried to tell people: "I live in Realville. I live in Literalville," and something that is, is. I have learned, over the past 23-plus years in dealing with this stuff, that the advice I got, "The more you try to stop it, the more it's gonna happen," turns out to be correct. The more I reacted to it, the more outraged I got, the more I tried to defend myself, the worse it got, the happier the critics became. Even when it was demonstrated they were lying through their teeth. It didn't matter. They were thrilled! I had a national radio show, and they had the attention of a national radio show. And that's all that mattered. They didn't care. They're unscrupulous, dishonest people. So I found out the best thing for me to do was two things: Not let it bother me, and ignore it.
I do both. It really doesn't matter to me, for a host of reasons. 'Cause I know that, A, none of it (unless I screw up) has a damn thing to do with whether or not I'm happy. Now, if I let it, it could make me miserable. But I don't want to give those people telling a bunch of lies that kind of power over my mood and over anything else about me. I try now to laugh at it and have fun with it and deal with it that way rather than act outraged. "Can you believe what they said about me? I can't believe it!" I've just learned it doesn't help. It doesn't resolve anything. So in the context of this campaign, the fact that people are telling lies about each other in politics, to me, is another example of it is what it is. Now, there are ramifications. It doesn't happen in a vacuum.
Romney's running a big risk. You can go too far with this stuff and you create all kinds of two things: Anger at you for perpetrating this kind of filth, and sympathy for your victim, or for your target. That's why I say: Who knows if the polls are even catching the fact that there are without question lots of Floridians ticked as they can be about the filth of this campaign, the muddiness, the dirt and lies and all these silly things that are being said. And you never know how it's gonna redound and how it's gonna matter in the outcome of the election. On the other hand, there's always the fear-reality that people will believe the criticism, too. It cuts both ways. Now, as far for me personally, do I wish this stuff didn't happen?
Of course I wish it didn't happen. But I don't really think I have any power to stop it. I don't think there's any way it can be stopped, as it is said about me. So what I rely on -- what gives me, quote, unquote, "comfort," if you will -- is that I know that each one of you in this audience knows what's true and what's not true. You know when something in the media is alleged about me that isn't true. And I know it ticks you off, and I know you want to do something. I know primarily, though, that you know it's false, and you don't believe it; and you are my audience, and you are what this program is all about. You are the focus of what I do here. Talk about meeting and surpassing audience expectations every day? That's, every word of it, true.
I know there are a lot of high expectations. What are you frowning to me about in there? (interruption) Now, okay, Snerdley is saying he still wants bad things to happen to people who lie about me. Well... (interruption) "Really bad things." (chuckles) I know, because they do it on purpose and they know what they're doing, is what Snerdley's telling me, and it ticks him off. People around me don't understand why it doesn't make me mad. I apparently have not explained that sufficiently or in a satisfactory way. I guess when I say, "I don't care," people don't understand that. I don't know how else to say it. So anyway, that's me. That's how I react to this stuff. So if I were a candidate... Let's relate this to a campaign.
If I were a candidate, I would expect that kind of stuff, and I would have a strategery to deal with it. But it wouldn't be defending myself. I wouldn't allow myself to be put on defense because, as I say over and over, nobody ever won anything defending it. The response for me would be to stay on issue and stay conservative, especially if there are things that had happened in the campaign that had won me a standing ovation or won me a primary or had told me what I was doing that really connected. I keep doing that. Of course I wouldn't have to strategize it because that stuff's in my heart: A conservative, being a conserve. I don't have to "be" one, I am one. I don't have to ask somebody how to be one. I am one. So I would just continue to be who I am.
But I'm not these guys. And I also know that they are not gonna listen. I mean, these people have these consultants and so forth, and some of them they listen to and some of them they don't. And the ones they listen to are the ones who get to 'em and talk to 'em in the same emotion they're feeling. So if you've got candidate Slobodnik -- I'm not gonna mention any names. You have candidate Slobodnik, who's all ticked off about what's being said about him, the consultant he'll listen to is the consultant who makes him think he's also ticked off about it and wants to do something about it. He won't listen to the consultant that advises him to do something different, different from what he's doing.
Because you want to get even, and you want to stop the stuff. It's the natural human emotion to want to do that. But for me, in my life, I just learned you can't stop it. You just can't. You can ask anybody. If he were still alive, you could ask Ronald Reagan. You could ask George W. Bush. You could ask anybody. "Yeah, but I remember you saying that you wish Bush would have defended himself." Yeah, I did, but why did I say that? Not to stop it from happening, and not to correct the critics. Bush needed to defend himself to keep his audience. He needed to defend himself to keep his audience with him. They were hanging, because the stuff said about Bush was the stuff said about his supporters. Bush needed to respond in order to keep his supporters and his base energized. Not to change anybody's mind, and not to stop the criticism. 'Cause you can't. No matter what you do. You just can't stop it. I'm telling you: If I've learned one thing, the more you act like it bothers you, the more it is going to happen. Because that's half the fun of criticism! That's half the fun of it is getting a rise out of the person you're trying to rip.