RUSH: You know, all of this is my fault. All this Trump stuff is my fault. (interruption) I do. I think I caused it. And, no, I don't know. I said, "You want to go play golf?" He said, "Sure." I said, "Who you gonna endorse?" He said, "What tee time do you want?" This is Thursday. So it must have been Tuesday, because on Monday I got the e-mail from Jonathan Martin at Politico.
Jonathan Martin sent me a note last night, "Look, you understand this Florida 'cracker' stuff. I mean, that's what people up there call each other. I hope you're doing schtick here. I hope you're not really ripping me." I said, "Jonathan, Jonathan, it was schtick, but you know damn well if it was me doing this you and your buddies would be all over the place because Media Matters would have told you." He said, "I understand, I understand, the double standard here." Anyway, he e-mailed me and wanted to know about it. We ran the story after I e-mailed him back and forth. And the headline of the story, I'm gonna paraphrase, I don't remember it exactly: "Florida's Most Important Republican Primary Voter." It was a story about me, Florida's most important primary voter.
And I said, "This is not gonna go down well with Trump. When Trump sees this, he's not gonna be happy with it. He's the most important Republican voter in Florida, even though he doesn't vote here." And now look what's happened. This is amazing. Last night, we get the news that Trump's gonna endorse, and who was it? First he was gonna endorse Newt, right? And then it's been changed, he's gonna endorse Romney. So the Romney bloggers have got virtually all over their blogs for Newt and how Newt and Trump and Herman Cain equally despise and embarrass women and have no respect for them. If Trump ends up endorsing Romney today, some of these pro-Romney bloggers are gonna have some explaining to do because they have launched on Newt, they've launched on Trump. They have lumped Trump in with the great womanizers in world history.
When it was first reported it was Newt, they went into a tailspin. And I have no idea who it is going to be. But as I say, I knew it wasn't gonna sit well, while I was being called Florida's most influential voter. And the reason I know that Trump took this personally is because he's doing this at 12:30 p.m. He's doing this in the middle of this show. If he really wanted to get the most bang for his buck and get the most media attention for his announcement, he coulda just called here and made his endorsement here live on this show. But he probably didn't want to draw that much attention to himself. I'm guessing he opted to go out there to Las Vegas because that's where the next cauci are.
But, you know, Donald has been saying he was toying around with the idea of running third-party if his candidate doesn't win the nomination. So let's hope that whoever he endorses turns out to be the winner. Otherwise, if he goes third party... I actually don't think that. I actually don't believe that he's going to go third-party.
Now, about an hour ago, I just did an interview on my Sacramento affiliate, KFBK, the radio station that launched my career and this program. They're having their 90th birthday, celebrating this year, the 90th year that KFBK in Sacramento, my adopted hometown, has been on the air. They asked me a number of questions about this, and I said to them, "I don't really know anymore how influential endorsements are." Like I don't think newspaper endorsements matter a hill of beans. What I told 'em there was what I will tell you. I mentioned it yesterday. This is a really polarized Republican primary. The people that don't like Romney, for example, viscerally don't like Romney. And the people that viscerally don't like Newt, viscerally don't like Newt. I mean there's no middle ground here.
I don't know how many undecideds there are out there, but if you're sitting out there today, and you hate Romney -- by the way, folks, the audio sound bites today are all about me and what I said, my reaction to Romney and his comment, "I don't care about the poor, we got a program for them." It's all over the place. The Drive-Bys on cable TV are obsessing about my comments. I'm gonna play the audio for you. It's the whole sound bite roster practically. And now today, Romney has renewed his support for an automatic increase in the federal minimum wage, to keep pace with inflation. Now, this is not conservative. I don't care. You all want to try tell me that Romney is a conservative. This is not a conservative position.
Let me tell you something. The minimum wage. You raise the minimum wage and you make it such that first-time employees who are not qualified for much aren't going to get hired because it costs too much. You are effectively eliminating the bottom rung from the ladder of success. You are stopping people from getting started in their lives in a job. If you price the minimum wage so high that it makes no market sense whatsoever... And, of course, my favorite argument with the minimum wage, to tell the people that want to raise it, "We need to raise that minimum wage, Rush, it just isn't fair." "What is it now?" "Well, I don't know, Rush, seven dollars." "Okay, fine. Let's raise it to ten bucks." "That's fair, Rush." "Okay, then let's raise it to $15." "Rush, you know what, now you're talking. That's really fair." "Okay, let's go to $20." "Weeeell, I don't know."
"Why did you stop? Why is $20 an hour giving you pause?" "Weeeell, I don't know. First time, not qualified." Now that I've reached a point where you think it costs too much, don't you understand that any arbitrarily applied minimum wage on the false premise of fairness is deeply flawed? You're just gonna arbitrarily pick an hourly wage based on what you think is fair, based on what you think somebody can live on, based on what you think is just? The market determines these things, and entry-level work is priced at entry-level work because it's entry level. There's no experience being brought to the gig. The lowest rung on the ladder, and you are taking it away.
So now we have Romney openly reaffirming his support for an automatic increase in the federal minimum wage. So in the last two days... (You think I've lost my place here, but I am El Rushbo, and I haven't.) In the last two days, we have Romney stepping in it with a quote that's made-to-order to be taken out of context. And it has been taken out of context. (paraphrased) "I don't care about the poor. I'm not concerned with the poor. They have a safety net. What I want to do is fix the safety net if there's a problem." No! No. Governor, no, no, no, no. The "safety net" is precisely what's created dependency and is destroying people's lives. It's ruining their lives. It's robbing them of their humanity. The safety net needs to be totally reevaluated.
It's a Democrat vote-buying technique, Governor! No, it doesn't need to be fixed; it needs to be totally redone with an entirely different purpose behind it. Anyway, we have that. In other words, let's put these two together. "Hi, I'm Mitt Romney. I'm not concerned with the very poor and the poor. I support and increase the minimum wage." Now today Trump comes along and endorses him. Is that gonna make people who don't like Romney say, "You know what? I'm wrong about Romney. Trump's just endorsed him. This minimum wage stuff doesn't matter, and his slipup and not understanding the conservative way to talk about the safety net? You know what? That's fine. Trump's endorsed him, so I'm gonna forget what I don't like about Romney, what my opposition to him is."
I just don't think that endorsements matter that much in the end result. Now, they do matter for juicing the news cycle. They do matter to the endorser. The endorser is who's getting all the news today. And that would be Trump, whoever he ends up endorsing. But I think with the polarization that exists on the Republican side right now, there's not enough lukewarm opposition to either of these two guys to have an endorsement matter that much. I mean, if you viscerally dislike Romney or you viscerally dislike Newt, and here comes Trump endorsing either one, it's not gonna wipe out your visceral dislike. It's not gonna wipe out your visceral opposition. But the Drive-Bys are excited.
Heck, everybody in the media seems to be excited about this. So we'll keep a sharp eye on it, and whatever happens we'll deal with it accordingly.
RUSH: Okay, the Trump announcement's always been 12:30 p.m. Pacific time. I read the Las Vegas news story. 12:30. So Trump did not schedule this in the middle of the Rush Limbaugh program, 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, 12:30 in Las Vegas.
And, no, I don't know who Trump's endorsing. He might end up endorsing himself, before it's all said and done. How do we know he's gonna endorse either of them? It's all over the ballpark. First he was gonna endorse Newt, then he's gonna endorse Mitt. Then the Mitt bloggers went nuts when they found out he was gonna endorse Newt, so they're lumping Trump in with all the sexual harassers and womanizers and predators of the day. And if he ends up endorsing their guy, some of these Mitt bloggers are gonna have to do a very quick 180. That will be interesting. Who says he's gonna endorse anybody but himself? He might be doing this... (chuckling)
What if Trump came out and talked about the latest hotel project he's building in Vegas? (laughing)
RUSH: All right, now, the big gun media people are saying that Trump's gonna endorse Romney now. CNN, Washington Post. If that ends up being true, all those Romney bloggers are gonna have to erase all the rotten stuff they said about Trump being a womanizer and a pig, jokes about throwing his hair in the ring and that kind of stuff. Oh, yeah. It's all out there.
Now, remember, Newt Gingrich's his biggest donor to his super PAC is Sheldon Adelson, who is Mr. Las Vegas. This guy, he owns Las Vegas Sands, is the name of the company. His big hotel in Vegas that he owns is the Venetian. He's big in Macau. It might stand to reason that Trump would endorse somebody other than the guy Sheldon Adelson has gotten behind, Newt. There's all kinds of stuff here to factor in. It could influence Trump's endorsement, don't know, but it's still not assured that it is Romney. It's just that's the latest wild guess by the people in the Big Media.
RUSH: Donald Trump has confirmed he's gonna endorse Mitt Romney. He has confirmed it. Trump wanted me to be able to have the news before the program ended. So it is Mitt Romney that Donald Trump will endorse. Again, it will be funny to see all these Mitt bloggers now have to run to these blogs and do these giant erase jobs with the things that they have said about Trump today. Hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee. We ought to find some of them, cash 'em, put 'em on our website so that people can see before they get scrubbed for the fun of it.
RUSH: "Donald Trump has confirmed that he will endorse Mitt Romney's GOP presidential bid. He says he made the decision after getting to know Romney after meeting with him several times in the past few months. He also cited Romney's performances in presidential debates and his tough stance on China as reasons. ... Trump has said negative things about Romney in the past. But he said his comments were a reflection of not knowing Romney well enough. Trump also said he would not run for president as an independent if Romney becomes the GOP nominee."
So if it isn't Mitt he might still run third party. So Trump is holding the party and the country hostage, basically saying, "If Romney's not the nominee, I'm going independent, or I might."