RUSH: Jim on Long Island. Great to have you on the program. Appreciate your patience. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Very well, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: Rush, I've been a listener for a long time. I guess maybe even like 20 years. Almost as long as you've been on the air. And I can't understand it, but to me it's so clear that it's Newt. Newt is the one to elect.
RUSH: You don't seem to have any doubt about it, which is the point that I'm making.
CALLER: Uh-huh. I don't see how anybody can't be for Newt. Look at the resume that he brings to the table compared to the other two. I mean it's like night and day.
RUSH: How do you react when you hear the criticisms of Newt that are out there all over the place? How do you react to those? Like the Romney ads, or whatever in the media is said about Newt? 'Cause to you it's so crystal clear. There's no question in your mind. How do you react when you hear those criticisms?
CALLER: Well, I get nervous because I feel like the same thing is gonna happen when everybody was saying vote for McCain, because McCain is electable, then we vote for McCain, and he didn't even get elected. I don't see how so many people can be misled.
RUSH: Yeah, there's a lot of emotion here on both sides.
CALLER: Well, if people break it down, you know, they watch what's going on and try not to listen to everybody trying to --
RUSH: Yeah, but, see, you are cast in stone, and, furthermore, you don't understand why everybody else doesn't see it. And yet, a lot of people don't see it the way you do. That's gotta be an interesting position to be in. You know, I sometimes ask myself, why do people not see Obama for what he really is? And I have to realize, 40% of the country want what he's offering.
RUSH: Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Ed, you're up. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Yes, sir. Rush, great to talk to you. Look, I just do not believe that Romney can beat Obama. When he gets up there on that debate stage with Obama, it's gonna be pitiful. Every time I've seen Romney in these debates, and I've watched nearly every one of them, he looks panicky to me. He looks like he's breaking out in a sweat. I just don't see how.
RUSH: Now, wait a minute.
CALLER: Well, if he gets the nomination, we're going to have four more years of Obama.
RUSH: Wait a minute now.
CALLER: I just believe that.
RUSH: I haven't seen Romney look like he's about to break into a sweat.
CALLER: Eh, he panics, though. He just looks like he's on the verge of panic. In other words... Well, on top of that, he has not really said much about what he wants to do. He's got a 67-point plan of some sort --
RUSH: No, it's 59.
CALLER: Oh, it's...? Well, whatever. Who needs 59? What we need is about six or seven, eight basic things that need to be done.
RUSH: There's a couple interesting pieces. Art Laffer has a piece in the Wall Street Journal today. He was one of the architects of laying tax policy, and Art Laffer is saying: You know what, folks? There's something really missing here from the Romney campaign. I don't hear the guy talking about tax cuts. I don't hear him proposing tax cuts. I don't hear him talking about flat tax rates. I don't hear Romney talk, and I'm worried about it.
CALLER: Amen. That's exactly right.
RUSH: I knew you'd like that.
CALLER: And on top of that, I'm sick and tired of hearing these guys cut each other. You know, just say all sorts of bad things about Newt; Newt saying bad things against Romney and so forth. And to Santorum's credit, he has been very much more not in that vein than the other two.
RUSH: That's true.
CALLER: But I'm getting tired of hearing that. I want to hear what the hell they're gonna do to get this country fixed, and I don't hear that from Romney. I do hear a lot of that good stuff from Newt about cutting taxes.
RUSH: Well, let's go to back to your original point. Your original point is: If Romney wins and there's a debate -- there will be three debates with Obama -- you think he's gonna fizzle?
CALLER: I just don't believe he'll... I just don't think he can handle it. I think he'll get his lunch "eat."
RUSH: Like on what? Health care?
CALLER: Well, he has that Romneycare, and he sent two of his underlings down to Washington to he'p Obama work out his details. And he's a big supporter of abortion. I've heard some of the things that he said about he's gonna support abortion for 18 years old and for those young ladies under 18. If the parents don't agree, then they can take it to a court and the court says, "Go ahead, you little 14-year-old girl. Get an abortion."
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: Well, hey, that is a big, big killer in my opinion.
RUSH: Okay, look, I appreciate the call out there, Ed. I love these passionate callers; you're definitely passionate. You're very confident. Contrast the last two calls. We had the guy, "I just don't see how anybody... I don't see how anybody..." By the way, I don't know that Romney supports abortion. That's new to me. I know, I know it's on the Gingrich ad, but supporting abortion? Advocating abortion? Ehhhh, I don't know. It's a symbol of what's going on. It's an example. But the previous caller was saying, "I don't see how anybody can not support Newt!" This guy went about it a different way. "I don't see how anybody can support Romney. I just don't see it!" On health care, the reason I asked him about health care specifically...
You know, this mandate is gonna be a challenging thing for Romney in the debates because Romney has stood up for the state mandating that you buy insurance. He just said the Feds shouldn't be able to do it. And this whole mandate stuff, the reason so many conservatives got caught in this when it first was proposed -- way, way, way back in the nineties -- is because if you don't look at it carefully and if you agree we've got a problem with free riders and people ought to pay their own way and as conservatives you think people ought to accept their responsibilities for themselves. Then in the midst of this health care debacle we're in somebody comes along and suggests that the way outta here is to make sure everybody pays their own?
Hey, that makes sense to us! That is very conservative: Accepting responsibility, self-reliance.
Then you figure out that the "responsibility" in the proposal is the government forcing responsibility, mandating that people go buy it. Then you say, "Wait a minute, that's unconstitutional." So you realize, after the fact, the mistake. So the Heritage Foundation people, this is clearly what happened. And they long ago swore off the mandate. Newt, as recently as 2009, was speaking of the mandate as a sensible thing. He's gone back and forth. Romney is on record as having implemented a mandate in Massachusetts. His way out is (paraphrased), "Well, in states there's all these individuals laboratories out there to experiment and try things and see which ones work and that's what I did." He said, "There are only... You know, 92% people had their insurance. We were only talking about 8% of the people in Massachusetts."
No, you're talking about all 100% when you have a health care bill that requires people to have their health insurance. It doesn't matter when 92% already do. You're mandating that everybody have it, and so it is thought that he's gonna have trouble. Everybody knows Romney's gonna have a little bit more trouble opposing Obamacare in a debate because his guys did help the White House put their Obamacare together with Romneycare as a model for it. But then, as we mentioned yesterday, I raised the specter that the way Romney's going after Gingrich ain't gonna happen against Obama. I've had a lot of people tell me, "You don't know what you're talking about! This Romney guy is ruthless, Rush. That's the difference in Romney now and Romney 2008. Romney's ruthless.
"We can count on this guy to go after Obama! Why aren't you seeing that? He's not gonna stop at Gingrich. He's gonna go after Obama. He's gonna hit 'm high, gonna hit 'm low. He's gonna do everything! Concussion City. You wait and see, Rush." I said, "I don't know where because when Obama's name comes up, 'Oh, you know, he's just an unfortunate little sap running around in over his head. Nice guy, just in over his head.'" But on the other side there are these super PACs that will be out there. They can go for the jugular. They can go for the carotid. And Romney can say, "I don't know what they're doing! I can't legally talk to 'em. Don't talk to me. Don't start complaining to me. Hey, Goldilocks, leave me alone," while the super PACs carry all of the hot water.
RUSH: Here's Bill in Bakersfield, California. Great to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hound dog dittos to the king of talk radio, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir. The titan also.
CALLER: Hey, I gotta say hi to my daughter, Shannon, up in Ridgecrest and my son-in-law, who will listening to this later on his iPad, Byron. Anyway, this thing with Romney, when he debated Kennedy back when he was running against him for Senate, it took the guy 45 minutes to disagree with anything Kennedy said. I don't see the guy being any different.
RUSH: You know, I remember even making that point. I remember watching it. I had totally forgotten that.
CALLER: I probably heard it on your show.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. I totally had forgotten that. I remember watching that and having that same reaction, "What is this?"
RUSH: This is moderate Republican 101.
CALLER: Well, I'll give you some other examples. In California when Wilson gave up the governorship to run for Senate and John Seymour was put in, Seymour did the same thing with Feinstein, and he lost.
CALLER: And I don't know that Seymour was that much of a conservative, but even Schwarzenegger, as liberal as he became after he got shut down trying to do some stuff, he even stopped some of the junk that these idiots in California are doing in the legislature. And, you know, it's just --
RUSH: Well, we now know what was going on with Schwarzenegger and there we see the Kennedy family testicle lockbox come into play.
RUSH: But it's a illustration again of what moderate Republicans end up -- that's their thinking.
CALLER: Well, I look at Romney like McCain part two. And when I saw McCain out there, he looked like an escapee from a rest home with a walker. I mean I thought I was watching Mel Brooks portray somebody in a comedy scheme.
RUSH: What, was that in 2008 or just recently when he endorsed Romney?
CALLER: No, that was when he was supposedly running against Obama and treating him with kid gloves. It was pathetic.
RUSH: An escapee from the rest home with a walker?
CALLER: I thought I was watching Mel Brooks.
RUSH: Yeah, 2008. You know, I kind of like that. I wish I'd-a come up with that myself.
RUSH: Folks, I have to remind you again that Gingrich debated John Kerry on global warming at one point, and they agreed on practically every point. Nobody is innocent. Everybody is guilty of some transgression somewhere against conservatism, except Santorum.