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The Big Vote on the Right

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  No, Dawn, I haven't voted yet, and I haven't voted yet for a reason.  So that I wouldn't come in here and be goaded into telling people who I voted for.  The Politico tried that late yesterday afternoon.  But I'm ready for all comers. (interruption) Yeah.  Jonathan Martin sent me an e-mail: "Has the most important conservative in Florida figured out how he's gonna vote?"  It's been pressure packed.  I can't tell you.  This whole situation, if you're not careful, can lead to uncomfortable moments with people.  See, now they're asking me, have I figured out who I'm going to vote for.  Yes, you are next.  If I tell you, "Yes, I've figured it out," then you're gonna say, "Who? Who?"  You're gonna keep badgering me all day. 

Hi ya, folks, Rush Limbaugh here, the godfather of radio as it's written in Politico today.  Telephone number on the day of the Florida primary, 800-282-2882, the e-mail address ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

I'll bet a lot of you have forgotten Florida is being punished for going early in the primary process.  Normally Florida would have a hundred delegates that would be appointed today, but they've been cut in half.  Only 50 delegates in Florida for the Republican convention this time around because they wanted to go early.  They jumped the line and the establishment wasn't crazy about it.  So I'm minding my own business -- Colin Powell, I'll betcha he doesn't get the kind of pressure I'm getting.  Do you think Politico e-mailed Colin Powell, who is the titular head of the Republican Party, and said, "Okay, who is the godfather of talk radio voting for, who did you tell him to vote for?"  Do you think Colin Powell is getting this kinda pressure? 

I'm minding my own business, and even yesterday while minding my own business I was, nevertheless, bothering a lot of people.  Just my existence was bothering a lot of people.  And I get an e-mail from my old buddy Jonathan Martin at the Politico.  He wanted to know if I decided who I was going to vote for, so I wrote back, "Not yet."  He writes back, "Does that mean Romney is still possible?"  I wrote back, "All three are possible."  Then this is the next line in the Politico -- that's all I said, "Not yet.  All three are possible."  And I told him this because there's no way I'm gonna tell the media who I'm voting for.  I decided to reply to the e-mail, which probably was a bonehead mistake, I put myself in this position. 

Anyway, I responded to it.  He's asking me who I'm gonna vote for, and if I give him a name pro or con, then I'm in trouble. I'm in trouble I don't want to be in.  So when I say, "All three are possible," it's simply my way of telling him, "I'm not gonna tell you who I'm voting for, and I'm not gonna give you any indication one way or the other who I'm voting for.  So all three are possible."  Well, when Politico ran the story last night, the people who think that I love Newt were all over me.  The people who think that I should be for Romney were all over me for not committing to it.  Then there were the people, "It sounds to me like you're supporting Santorum. What the hell?"  I mean I got bombarded. 

So it was a bonehead move to answer the e-mail, but I was sitting there, and I was in the middle of something, and my natural inclination is toward politeness.  It's a shame one of the tried-and-true virtues, manners, politeness, seem to always get a person in trouble.  Have you ever noticed that?  The virtues of manners and politeness could get you into trouble.  Well, trouble, I mean a situation you'd rather not be in.  Anyway, so back to the Politico piece here, and it's written by Jonathan Martin.  It shows up in the Burns and Haberman blog.  It shows up on his byline, but not on his blog. 

Anyway, "'Not yet,' he wrote when I asked if he had figured out who he was supporting tomorrow.  'All three are possible.'" Here's the next line: "He didn't say it, but it seems Limbaugh has qualms with both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum."  And I had not said anything to indicate that.  I don't know that I have said anything to indicate that on the radio.  I mean I've been critical of all of these people.  As the day comes and goes, and as it is warranted, I have been critical of all three of 'em.  Probably less so of Santorum, but I have not been less critical of the other two or more critical.  How do you write, "He didn't say it, but it seems Limbaugh has qualms with both Gingrich and Santorum."  Well, that line, I guess it's wishful thinking.  That line, coupled with the line where I had said all three are possible, can you imagine the avalanche I got yesterday?  I mean I was inundated from friends, and then I went to ElRushbo@eibnet.com, the public e-mail box, and I'm sure it was tweeted all over the place. 

"The godfather of conservative talk radio has taken up for Gingrich as the former speaker has taken fire from pro-Romney Republicans.  But Limbaugh has also spoken out against Gingrich's Bain-bashing and had nice things to say about Rick Santorum.  Just as with other conservatives who like the former Pennsylvania senator, though, Limbaugh doesn't want to waste his vote."  I didn't say anything about that.  "After a caller Monday made a lengthy case for Santorum, Limbaugh cut him off and asked: 'So tell me why he's there at 13 percent.'"  Now, that was not a rhetorical question as it seems it's being reported. This person has just given me a top down resume enhanced, "I voted for Santorum." Okay, why is he at 13 percent?  I wanted to know, really, what does the voter think.  It was not a rhetorical question, "Okay, then why is he a loser at 13 percent?"  That was not the question.  Didn't ask it with that tone. 

You know, wait till Trump finds out that he's not Florida's most influential voter.  The Politico says I am, that's what it says here.  "Florida's most important undecided Republican voter," it's a story about me.  Wait 'til Trump hears about this.  That's the kind of stuff that they say about Trump.  I'm gonna hear about it.  I'm gonna hear about that from Trump.  He'll call, "You want to go play golf?" I'll say, "Yeah." He'll say, "What is this?  You didn't correct The Politico and tell 'em that I'm the most important undecided..." "Donald, I didn't write the headline. I didn't know it was gonna be the story."  Just joking about that. 

So then Jonathan Martin said, "Well, are you gonna tell people how you voted after you vote?"  I said, "I don't vote 'til after the show."  "Oh.  Oh."  I don't think Trump votes in Florida, actually. I think Trump votes in New York.  He's a New York resident. (interruption) Channel 5, the local NBC affiliate, is wondering how their local -- (interruption) Oh, I'm just now hearing that the local NBC affiliate here, Channel 5, this morning on their morning news wanted to know how their local Republican celebrity, as though there's only one here, there's only one Republican celebrity here, how that Republican -- i.e., me -- is going to vote. 

Well, that's what I'm saying: I think Trump probably votes in New York. He's a New York resident, comes down here... I think Trump probably votes there, so Trump is not voting in Florida. They said "most famous Republican celebrity," most famous Republican celebrity. Six of one, half dozen "or" another. But then it says here: "One Limbaugh has come out for Santorum, though. Limbaugh noted last week on show that his brother, conservative author David Limbaugh, is backing Santorum," and I'm quoted here as saying, "My brother goes rogue!" David did tell me he's gonna vote for Santorum. So I'm The Big Vote on the Right. The Big Voice on the Right and the Big Vote on the Right.

What do the polls now show? Is Gingrich down by 15 in Florida? Twenty in one poll, 15...? See, this is the thing. You know how much respect I have for you in this audience, for your intelligence and your independence and for your ability to follow and understand what we do on the program here. I've never, ever considered all of you mind-numbed robots. Contrary to what many of you might believe, I do not have an out-sized ego. I don't have really much of an ego at all. I frankly wish I had a bigger ego than I do. I don't think that my endorsement is gonna change a whole lot of opinions.

You listen to the people calling here that are passionate about these candidates. That guy who called yesterday about why he thinks I'm screwing Romney? Do you think if I came out and said I'm voting Santorum that it'd change his mind? No, no. My point here is that... This is the thing about this primary: The attachments these people have to these candidates are really solid, and they are passionate. And a lot of it is driven by hatred for the other guy. I think the Romney people, a lot of them just can't stand Newt, and vice-versa. A lot of Newt people just can't stand Romney.

In fact, I have to tell you: The vitriol, the dislike, the enmity that people who are not voting for Romney have for him is powerful stuff. And, by the way, if I came out today and said, "I'm voting Romney and I think you should, too," I wouldn't win a bunch of converts. Those people would be livid with me! They are attached either to the negative aspect of somebody or the positive. The support aspect of it. But the people that are not supporting Romney largely it's they just can't stand him. They don't think he's conservative, and in their minds I would be dumb and idiotic and I'm not seeing things as plain as day. They wouldn't be swayed. This is my point.

I think it's a little insulting to conservatives to think that a series of endorsements from people will have a significant impact. I know some people -- I'm not denying that -- would be influenced by it. They would like to hear an endorsement. Most of you are not mind-numbed robots. Most of you have made up your mind. And this next comment is by no means critical. This next comment is by no means critical. I want you to understand that. Sarah Palin, God bless her, has been out for the past week doing everything she can. In fact, I think she's now crossed over and said, "Vote Newt!" For the past week she's been doing this. Now, it's not showing up in the polls. We'll see. I mentioned yesterday that this enmity toward Romney is so strong that the polls may not be picking it up. And Gingrich may finish a lot closer than minus-15 tonight. That's how strong the anti-Mitt feelings are among those who harbor them. It's vicious. And a lot of them are angry at Mitt because of the way he's conducting the campaign and all of what they think are the lies that are being told about Gingrich. Even though there's nothing illegal about it, they're fed up with it. They're blatant lies; they don't like it. It just seems, to a lot of people, unnecessary. A lot of people think it's dirty pool. A lot of people say it says a lot about Romney's character, whatever. They just don't like it. So we'll see. (interruption) What, are you telling me that if I came out and said, "I'm voting for X," that everybody would then think X could win? (interruption)

A lot of people would? So... (interruption) But... (interruption) Wait a second, wait a second. (interruption) Snerdley, wait a minute. See, this is... I've often said, "People that work for me have a far loftier impression of me than I have of myself." I don't think of myself at all like this. In fact, I'm not looking at this from the standpoint of "electability." Whoever I choose, it's not gonna be 'cause I think they can win. Whoever I vote for it's not because I think they can win. It's 'cause I like 'em; I like their policies. There's a whole lot of reasons to vote. I also don't mind this process going on further. Anyway, let me take a brief time-out here, folks. That sets the table out there. Nate Silver -- supposed genius blogger at Yahoo, New York Times, wherever he is -- has Romney up by 15. Rasmussen has Romney up by 15. The best way, folks, for you to read my tea leaves is to go to TwoIfByTea.com and buy some.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: And we're back, Rush Limbaugh, the cutting edge of societal evolution.

For example, in the monologue I just told you how some people that are voting for Newt are. They're just ticked as hell about the lies that Romney's telling. I got an e-mail: (angrily) "So what 'lies' is Mitt telling?" You know, I have never been through anything like this in my life. I'm gonna lose friendships over this, and I haven't taken a position! I'm the one that has not taken a position. I'm gonna lose friendships over this; I'm gonna fire people over this. And that's why I'm not gonna tell anybody for whom I voted. It would destroy my objectivity as a journalist. Somebody has to be a journalist in this situation! I just want to see... It's the Florida primary. I want to see if anybody votes for Pat Buchanan today. That's what I want to see. I want to see if there are any votes for Buchanan. I know the chads are gone, but I still want to see if somebody ends up voting for Buchanan.

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