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Trump Doesn't Understand What's Motivating Conservative Voters

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: In these next two we have Trump. This was this morning on CNN's Early Start with Ashleigh Banfield. And they played a section or a portion of Santorum, I believe. Regardless, they were talking about Santorum and his victory speech last night. And this is what Trump had to say...

TRUMP: Rick Santorum was a sitting Senator who in reelection lost by 19 points. To my knowledge, the most in the history of this country for sitting Senator to lose by 19 points. It's unheard of. Then he goes out and it says, "Oh, okay. I just lost by the biggest margin in history; now I'm gonna run for president." Tell me, how does that work? That's like me saying, "I just failed a test. Now I'm gonna apply for admission to the Wharton School of Finance," okay? He just failed a test and now he's gonna run for president? So I don't get Rick Santorum. I don't get that whole thing.

RUSH: Okay. So obviously Trump is another that doesn't understand what is happening on the conservative side of things in the Republican Party. Now, you've gotta be very careful in discussing all this because these are periods here with all of these different instances of misunderstanding, lack of knowledge. At some point, all this gonna get put back together again. And when it gets put back together we're gonna have to have a semblance here of unity, which every party goes through during a primary process. But I want to take this and analyze it: "Rick Santorum was a sitting Senator who in reelection lost by 19 points. To my knowledge, the most in the history of this country for sitting Senator to lose by 19 points. It's unheard of. Then he goes out and it says, 'Oh, okay. I just lost by the biggest margin in history; now I'm gonna run for president.'"

Now, keep in mind it was just last week that they had the big show in Las Vegas where Trump endorsed Romney. And the school of thought was... 'Cause leading up to this point, late last year (well, the last three months of last year) Trump was gold. Trump himself was leading everything. And so the assumption could be made by Trump and others that Trump's still gold. And if Trump's not running, whoever Trump's supporting is going to be the beneficiary of all the love and support Trump had. That doesn't happen, and so people start scratching their heads. This thing last week, with Trump endorsing Romney, I guarantee you whoever thought of this...

And even if it happened genuinely, and I'm not saying it didn't, but everything's possible here. I'm sure the people... Let's put it this way: I'm sure the people excited about this thought this was gonna put Romney over the top. I'm sure they thought this was it. "This is the gold endorsement. Maybe McCain didn't do the trick, and maybe Dole didn't do the trick, but here's Trump; this is gold," and it didn't happen. So there's a little... I don't know, "upsetedness" here, confusion, curiosity. (paraphrasing) "My gosh, I just endorsed Romney last week, and Santorum, this guy who lost by 19 points? I never heard of this! I don't understand this!"

He says, "That's like me saying, 'I just failed a test. Now I'm gonna apply for admission to the Wharton School of Finance,' okay? He just failed a test and now he's gonna run for president? So I don't get Rick Santorum. I don't get that whole thing."

I'm sure he speaks for a lot of people who are not oriented toward conservatism ideologically, and by the same token who do not understand what is happening and has been happening with the Republican base. And I should probably point out that these people also fail to understand what the 2010 midterm elections were all about. They don't get that. And this is frustrating for us because it's so simple what's going on! It's not accidental. It's not a quirk of fate. It may be a quirk of fate, but it's not coincidence that Santorum had his sweep. It's not at all to people who vote in Republican primaries. Now, Santorum responded this morning on the same show, CNN Starting Point. Soledad O'Brien played a clip of Trump saying Santorum loses reelection for Senator by the biggest margin in history, and then decides to run for president. How does that work?

And then Soledad O'Brien said, "Okay, Senator Santorum, how does that work?"

SANTORUM: Why don't you ask Abraham Lincoln, who lost just about every single race he ran before he ran for president? A lot of folks lose races. What I didn't lose, unlike Governor Romney, is my principles. I stood up and fought for what I believed in in a very tough election year. And guess what? Governor Romney was up for reelection that year, too. His poll numbers were so bad, he decided not to run for reelection. I stood for what I believed in.

RUSH: So Santorum says (paraphrased), "Why don't you ask Abraham Lincoln, who lost just about every race he ran. A lot of people loses races, but I didn't lose because of my principles. I stood up and fought for what I believed in." In that 2006 election, a lot of people got taken out. I mean it was that middle of the Iraq war, the Bush administration not defending itself, the whole Mark Foley thing. It all came together. They were saying we're in the middle of a recession, trying to create this notion of a recession, if not a depression. It finally came out. There was a bunch of frustration the country was feeling over a number of things; it all started to come out.

And, by the way, Santorum endorsed Arlen Specter. Santorum is a good party guy. He was a good party man. I mean, you endorse your fellow Senator from your state. That happened to be Arlen Specter. At the time everybody said, "You gotta be for Pat Toomey," but he was a loyal party guy. He supported Bush in a lot of legislation that increased spending. And people on our side have been fed up with that for a long time, including the spending that went on in the Bush administration. So there was a message being sent by Republican voters in 2006 to a lot of incumbents that they didn't care about the consequences. They were gonna get rid of people who they thought were lying to them in their own party or who they thought were not governing as they had promised to while they were campaigning.

Really none of this is this hard to understand. If you are a conservative who understands it ideologically, nothing about last night -- nothing about what happened to Newt when he was doing well, nothing about the lack of total support for Romney, none of this -- is confusing to conservatives. What's confusing to us is how everybody else doesn't see it. It's right in front of your nose! All you need is one eye to see this. Couple it with what Obama is, who he is, and what he's doing, and what's the alternative -- and the fact Santorum continues to talk about, "This election's about freedom," bingo! There's Connection A. Connection #1. That is what a majority of people voting in Republican primaries actually fear is happening: Their freedom being taken away.

Not just being "lost," but it's actively being taken from us. Every day this administration has something else, either in mind or something else that they are doing, that is usurping these freedom little by little. When you get to that point, the fact the guy loses an election by 19 points doesn't really matter that much right now. What matters more is the fact that the supposed Wizards of Smart in the Republican Party don't seem to understand what's at stake in the election. They don't seem to understand what's at stake for the country.

And so Republican primary voters -- as much as voting for Newt or voting for Santorum -- are sending a message to the Republican establishment at the same time. There's so much going on here, but it isn't complicated. It isn't mysterious. By the way, Trump's debate back in December 5th or 7th, whenever it was supposed to happen? Santorum and Newt were the only two that agreed to do the Trump debate, and that was eventually canceled.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Who's next on the phones? Breck in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Thank you for calling. Great to have on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: (garbled cell connection) Hi, Rush. Something I haven't heard anybody address anyplace is Trump made several comments that if he wasn't happy with who was elected to run for our side, that he'd run again. Now, if Santorum or Newt wins, is he now gonna turn around and run as the spoiler? Because he's no fool. He's got to know that would guarantee a second term for Obama.

RUSH: Well, I don't have any idea. But are we to tiptoe into the future on the premise that if we don't do what Trump wants, he might run as an independent?

CALLER: Absolutely not.

RUSH: And so we do what Trump wants?

CALLER: Oh, absolutely not. I was more interested in your opinion and whether you think this will take some fluff out of his feathers and he'll stop the grandstanding, or whether he's really serious about doing it.

RUSH: I don't know at this time. I'm not able to predict that. I'm not sure that Mr. Trump knows what he's going to do after The Apprentice ends. He can't declare anything until May. He can't get involved 'cause he's got a television show which violates equal time rules. So you can't really do anything on this until May. So if he wants to go third party, he has to wait until then to pull it off. But beyond that, I don't know what he would do. And I don't know how upset he is that he endorses Romney big time in Las Vegas and then Santorum sweeps.

You would think that he's being honest about, "I don't understand this. I don't understand Santorum. He loses big." Trump ought to ask Romney why he didn't run for reelection as governor of Massachusetts. He's talking about how badly Santorum lost in 2006. There's a reason that Romney didn't run for reelection as governor, and it wasn't so much that he planned on running for president. It's because (go back and look at the polling data then) it was not favorable for Governor Romney's reelection. So if it isn't Mitt, Trump said... I don't know how recently he said it, but you're asking because he has said it.

CALLER: Correct.

RUSH: That he might run third-party. So you could say that Trump would be holding the party hostage saying, "If Romney's not the nominee, I'm gonna go independent. I might, might not," what have you. My only point is that you can't tiptoe around that. If you do that... No matter what you think of Trump, by the way, if you allow one person to determine what your whole party's gonna be, what your platform's gonna be in order to make sure he's happy, then you deserve what you get.

CALLER: I was very set on Newt. But the more I watch Santorum, it's kind of like he's thrown a snowball off the top of the mountain and it's getting a lot bigger. And by the time he gets to the bottom of the mountain, I think he's gonna have a full avalanche behind him pushing him in the right direction.

RUSH: Well, you're right. I don't want to be an I-told-you-so, but I remember specifically (it's been the last month, maybe a month and a half) there were a couple of days shortly after primaries where the mood was dark. The conservative movement, the Republican primary voters were despondent. They were depressed -- even Snerdley -- and I remember saying, "No, I'm not worried at all. Let the process play out." I didn't know anything. I just not afraid of the process. I'm not afraid of this. I'm not afraid of the primaries playing out. I never have subscribed to the belief that we have to have our nominee chosen by December and then January and now February. I've never subscribed to that. But none of this is deeply concerning to me. It's playing out exactly as it's going to, and there's not a whole lot anybody can do to stop it anyway. As long as it's gonna happen, what needs to then happen is people stay involved in it and try to prevail, rather than stand by and simply watch it. Thanks for the call. I appreciate it much.

END TRANSCRIPT

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