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Callers on the GOP Field

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Jeff in Kennewick, Washington.  I'm glad you called, sir.  You're up first today.  Great to have you with us.

CALLER:  Thanks for having me on.

RUSH:  Yeah.  You bet.

CALLER:  The reason I called is I'm beginning to have doubts about whether or not conservatives are the majority in this country.  What I'm seeing is that the so-called Republican establishment is pursuing what we call moderates but what we know are just liberals that aren't quite ready to commit yet, and we see the so-called independents that are constantly saying, according to the polls, that we conservatives need to reach across the aisle to the liberals, but I never hear about conservatives needing to extend the hand when liberals come back to us.  I never hear about the liberals being told to extend the hand to conservatives.  Everything is about how we as conservatives need to compromise with the liberals, but the liberals never need to compromise.

RUSH:  Exactly right.

CALLER:  The candidates don't direct their ads to us.  The conservative candidates in the race are not considered to be the leaders, they're not considered to be the potential winners.

RUSH:  By the Republican establishment, yeah.

CALLER:  By anybody except that small group of people we call conservatives.  Now, I'm a conservative, and for a long time I believed that we were the majority and we just weren't speaking out.  But what I keep hearing over and over again is that my vote isn't pursued.

RUSH:  Well, no, your vote is feared.  Your vote is feared, but Jeff, be confident here.  If there were no conservative majority, the Republican establishment would have had this nomination wrapped up months ago.  It's the conservative majority that's -- and even splitting the conservative vote, even splitting the conservative vote, the establishment hoped to split the vote and thereby ensure the nomination of their moderate guy.  It hasn't worked.  We are the majority.  But you're never going to have that portrayed, you're never gonna see it portrayed.  The establishments of both parties are afraid of conservatism.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  This is Rae, and great to have you with us.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hello, Rush.  Thanks for taking my call.  How are you?

RUSH:  I'm fine.  Thanks very much.

CALLER:  Well, Rush, I gotta tell you, I'm tired of the media and Republican establishment telling me I'm not happy with the GOP field.  I'm thrilled about my candidate.  I get tired of hearing we're not happy.  I am.  I love my candidate.

RUSH:  Well, who is your candidate?

CALLER:  Mitt Romney.  Ever since I heard him, Rush, in '08 speak at the straw poll in Ames, Iowa, --

RUSH:  Yeah?

CALLER:  -- I was sold on him.  And I have been ever since, because he's the turnaround king, and that's what we need right now.

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  We don't need a Speaker in the house, we don't need a Senator.  We need somebody who's ran something.  Somebody who's run a state and been successful in business.  If there's ever a time our country needs someone like that, it's now.

RUSH:  That is an argument that many people advance, that a governor is much, much more qualified to be an executive than a legislator ever will be. 

CALLER:  I agree.

RUSH:  Yep.  A lot of people do.  A lot of people agree with you.  Well, how do you feel about Romney now?  A lot of people hope that he would have the nomination sewn up by now.  It's still a toss-up in Michigan, his home state.  This debate tonight, are you gonna be watching that?

CALLER:  Absolutely.  I'm bringing over the family.  We're all sitting around to watch.

RUSH:  Are you going to have dinner before you watch, you gonna have dinner afterwards, or during?

CALLER:  Ha-ha-ha.  We're gonna have dinner before, Rush, so that we can give our full attention.

RUSH:  Yeah, there's nothing like watching a debate on a full stomach.  I understand that.  So you're gonna have to have dinner before six o'clock.

CALLER:  That's correct.  I'm ready.

RUSH:  What are you gonna have for dinner?

CALLER:  Oh, we've got roast chicken, stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts and acorn squash.

RUSH:  Well, that sounds like a great pre-debate meal.

CALLER:  (laughing) Wish you could join me.

RUSH:  Yeah.  Me, too.

CALLER:  Well, I gotta tell you, Rush, I've been a volunteer for Governor Romney since '08.  I had the privilege of sitting across a conference table with him and several other volunteers, and every time I hear him speak, every time I hear what his vision is for the country, I am more and more impressed with him.  And I just get so tired of the media telling me I'm not happy with my candidates.  Argh.

RUSH:  Well, I'll tell you where that's coming from.  It's coming from the Republican establishment.  There have been some Republican primary voters who have been asked about it, and they've said, "Yeah, I wish we had a better slate."  I mean a lot of people wish that there were others running. A lot of people wish Chris Christie was running. A lot of people wish that Jeb Bush was running.  There were a lot of people hoping that Mitch Daniels would get in.  But the Republican establishment is right in there by claiming, "Well, if Romney doesn't win this, we're gonna have a convention that's brokered or managed or whatever, gonna find our own guy."  So they're making it look like they're not happy with the way things are going, either.  But at the end of all of this if your guy wins, if Romney wins or Santorum, Newt, whoever it is, Obama is going to become the new focus of all the energy on the Republican side. 

That's not going to change no matter how this shakes out, and no matter what happens, how vicious it gets, doesn't matter.  Obama's gonna end up being the focus here.  So good, I hope you enjoy the debate tonight. I hope your predebate meal is as succulent and delicious as it sounds, and I hope you end up being happy when it's all said and done.  (interruption) No, the establishment didn't make her volunteer for Romney.  And, by the way, I gotta tell you, Rae, there was a Gallup poll we reported the other day that said Republican voters were happy with the field.  I think there are a lot of Republican voters like you who are sick and tired of the media trying to pick our candidate, and that's where that claim that Republicans are unhappy with the field comes from.  It's all designed to dispirit Republican voters, depress 'em.  You gotta fight that. 

Georgia in Scotland, Maryland.  Your turn here on the EIB Network.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  Thank you for taking my call today.

RUSH:  You bet.

CALLER:  I am a Catholic social conservative pro-life mom very concerned about our country, but right now I'm very concerned about people's lack of knowledge about the things that concern me about Rick Santorum.  And I was just wondering if maybe you could help me out with some of those concerns.

RUSH:  I have no doubt that I can.

CALLER:  Well, the first thing is, and I guess it's a twofold question, I'll lead into it with my first one, is Rick Santorum throughout the debates has excoriated Mitt Romney about Romneycare, and yet he endorsed Romneycare by default when he endorsed Romney back in '08 when the options were Mike Huckabee, McCain, and Mitt Romney.  And he said it in an interview with Laura Ingraham where he said the only other viable candidate is Mike Huckabee, but he didn't choose him, he chose Romney. So I'm wondering why Rick Santorum's the alternative to Mitt Romney when he endorsed Romneycare?

RUSH:  Well, four years is a long time, and circumstances change.  Back in '08 there were a lot of people who were endorsing Romney back then who do not choose to endorse Romney this time around.  It's because the difference in the field, it's because we've had four years of Obama, for crying out loud.  Four years ago we're coming off Bush.  Circumstances are entirely different, mind-set's entirely different.  We didn't have somebody that was hell-bent on destroying the economy.  We didn't have somebody like Obama back then.  Everything is different.  Circumstances change entirely.  I don't think that is that big a deal because I can cite other examples just like that of people who endorsed Romney back then who don't now.

CALLER:  Hm-hm.

RUSH:  And he hasn't changed, he's the same guy.

CALLER:  Well, I guess this is twofold because he wears his social conservatism on his sleeve, where he says he believes in the dignity of every human life, and if that's the case why would he derail a pro-life presidential candidate?  You know, Obama, his past was very, you know, everyone knew about what Obama's intent was for our country.  At least that's what you and Hannity were reporting at the time, so it wasn't a big secret.

RUSH:  Whoa.  Whoa.  Hold it just a second.  That is not true.  Everybody didn't think that about Obama.  That's what was so damn frustrating.  I was the only voice saying I hope he fails, and I got criticized severely for it.  Back in 2008 and into 2009 the hope and change stuff had captivity everybody, Republicans and Democrats alike.  And the Republicans had their heads in the sand and refused to admit who Obama was and what his intentions were.  And even if they knew, they didn't have the guts to say so because of race.  They would be charged with racism with any shred of criticism of Obama.  It might be that everybody knew, but nobody in the first three months of 2009 or all of 2008 had the guts to say so.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I've got some conflicting statements about what Santorum said about Romney, and I'm not sure what was stated when, so I'll look into that further. Trying to nail down this 2008 Santorum endorsement of Romney, but not just that, I want to find out what he said in doing so.  And we'll nail it down.  (interruption) Well, look, back in 2008, the last thing that the conservative base wanted was McCain, but the deck was stacked.  I'll never forget, West Virginia, Huckabee threw his votes to McCain, and that sandbagged Romney in West Virginia.  They got to Florida and they got Charlie Crist to endorse McCain, and that pretty much was the end of the line when that happened. 

Now, what the media and the establishment like to say is, "Yeah, these conservatives, yeah, the last guy they wanted was McCain, but look who got the nomination. So these conservatives, they don't have any power. They can't get anybody elected."  That was the outcry back then.  If the two choices were McCain and Romney today, would there be any question who the Republican base would side with if everything was equal and there were no other alternatives in the race? That's what I mean by circumstances changing.  Now, you can't talk about all this without throwing Obama in the mix as well.  That's why when this is all over whoever the Republican nominee is is gonna have pretty much the full-fledged support and the energy of -- well, that may be a bit of a stretch. (sniffling) Pardon my sniffles.  If you have a stuffed up nose, light up a cigar.  It's better than any antihistamine you could use. 

Birmingham, Alabama.  David, hi.  I'm glad you called.  Welcome to the EIB Network.

CALLER:  Rush, gun-toting, God-fearing, Two If By Tea thirst quenched, southern hospitality dittos to you, sir.

RUSH:  Well, I'm honored.  Thanks for calling.

CALLER:  Not quite four years ago I told you as great as Ronald Reagan was he was made better by the incompetence of Jimmy Carter.  That's through education through you.  I'm even smarter believing that the next person will be made greater by the incompetence of this current president.  My concern is just 'cause the RNC told Mitt Romney to bend over and unclench and we'll anoint you the anointed one and make you the next guy, I'm not convinced he's what's best for the Republican Party.

RUSH:  Well, who is?

CALLER:  Well, you know, I don't know, that's just it. I'm sick and tired of walking to the booth and holding my nose and saying, "Well, I'm gonna vote for this Republican." I did the last time for McCain, I respect his service, but I knew he was not gonna win. I knew it was just, you know, it's like it's his turn.

RUSH:  Wait a second.  This is another thing.  McCain was leading. McCain coulda won that if they hadn't sprung that financial crisis on everybody.

CALLER:  Absolutely.

RUSH:  McCain coulda won, he was leading.

CALLER:  But McCain, like I told you then, he left his testicles at home in a box somewhere.  He was afraid to act like he had a pair. You know, we need someone who's not afraid to stand up and be an American and say, "This is what I believe," and I think Santorum can do that.

RUSH:  You're talking about a guy who's a decorated hero leaving his testicles at home?

CALLER:  Well, I mean he was afraid to say anything that would make anybody mad.

RUSH:  No.  He was afraid to say anything that would make Obama or the media mad.

CALLER:  Well, 'cause he didn't want to come across as a racist because he's anti-Obama.

RUSH:  It wasn't just that. 

CALLER:  Well, it was a big part of it. 

RUSH:  Yeah, it was, but --

CALLER:  The media made him out to be, anybody, that says anything derogatory was bad.  But just because Mitt Romney --

RUSH:  That's right, because he was running a campaign of fear.

CALLER:  Exactly.  And why, what's wrong with being conservative?  What's wrong with, "Yes, Satan has taken over a lot of these institutions."  You know, half the Muslim world calls America Satan.

RUSH:  Well, the Republican establishment associates landslide defeat with conservatism.  The thing that informs them the most about that is Barry Goldwater.  They somehow don't see Reagan's two landslide victories.

CALLER:  And I don't know why they can't learn from the past.  You know, I mean you're the one that -- quite honestly, you know, at some point I can't wait 'til you endorse someone.

RUSH:  Wait a second.  I understand your frustration, but they don't think they have anything to learn.

CALLER:  That's the problem.  They don't think.  They're afraid to think.  They don't want to get outside their little box because they're gonna be chastised by the media.  Deal with it.  Sarah Palin, I mean she shows more integrity than 99% of the other ones have shown, but do I think she's the candidate?  No, I don't know.  I'm not that smart. That's why I leave it to people like you to lay it out there for us.

RUSH:  Well, you know, she may have a lot of integrity, but she's not a candidate.

CALLER:  Exactly.  But at this point, you know, my wife is thinking Mitt Romney.  I think Santorum.  At one time I thought I'd be going with the former Speaker.

RUSH:  Well, how are things in your house?

CALLER:  (laughing)  It's day to day.

RUSH:  (laughing.)

CALLER:  (laughing)  Like any.  But, you know, but that's just the way it is, but when it comes to time, when it comes to time to vote, we will vote Republican, sadly, you know, like the rest. But I guarantee you, a bigger part of America --

RUSH:  I know.  Let me just tell you.  The timid fear another 1964; the brave hope for another 1980.

CALLER:  Exactly.

RUSH:  And that's where we are.

CALLER:  Well, and that's unfortunate.

RUSH:  But I'm just gonna tell you this.  If you'll do this for me, in your mind, if you'll fast forward to November, there isn't going to be any doubt in any sane person's mind that the Republican choice on the ballot is going to be better for the country than Obama.

CALLER:  Without a doubt.  That is absolutely true.  But that's why the guys have got to get together and realize, "Hey, let's stop cutting each other's throat and stop all these super PACs from killing each other and focus on one thing, the man in the White House is destroying the country."

RUSH:  That's gonna happen.  Once this internecine battle is over with, that's going to happen.  Mark my words.

CALLER:  And I do, sir, and I listen to your every word and I wait for you to say this is who you think is the best one.

RUSH:  Well, I don't know that I ever will say who I think is the best one, because I don't want to be forced later on to say we don't have the best guy running.  I'm not gonna get hornswoggled here into a position where the media can run around and say, "Limbaugh doesn't even like this guy.  Limbaugh can't honestly support this guy."

CALLER:  Good point.

RUSH:  I'm not gonna give 'em that.  What's going on in the Republican Party is nothing new.  The Republican Party establishment, which is, Beckel had it right, basically Washington, DC, elected Republicans for the most part, the lobbyists, the consultants, and certain media people just don't want status quo of their power positions in Washington being upset.  Even if they lose elections, they still want to have the power positions in the party, and as such, conservatism and conservatives threaten that.  It's about control of the party as much in their minds as it is defeating Obama.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Jack in Salem, Oregon, as we head back to the phones.  Thanks for your patience, sir.

CALLER:  I believe the Republicans have a great choice of different types of candidates.  We shouldn't be hating each other over this.  Hate is what the Democrats do.  We have Mitt, who's a successful businessman, turnaround king.  Newt thinks in the box, out of the box.  We have Santorum as a conservative.  They all have pros and cons, but what liberals have on their ticket, all you have a choice of is liberals versus liberals.

RUSH:  What Jack here is saying -- correct me if I'm wrong, Jack -- what Jack here is saying is we have bigger fish to fry than each other, right?

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH:  That's exactly what Jack is saying.

CALLER:  We have a choice.  Republicans are gonna make it, and we shouldn't be so much as fighting between ourselves --

RUSH:  Well, but, you know, Jack, this happens.  This is a feature of primaries, and it's rooted in exactly what I just said.  If I may be so bold and assume that everybody is looking at this the same way I am.  Let me ask you this.  Don't you wish that these candidates could talk about all this stuff the way you do to your friends and family?  Don't you wish they could.  What does that really mean?  It just means we just want 'em to be the best they can be.  When they announce a tax cut plan, we want 'em to do it right.  We want 'em to do it the best it could be because we know it works and we know it attracts voters.  It really isn't any more complicated than that.  I think what a lot of people are interpreting is criticism, and I can understand how people would see it as criticism, is really a desire for these people all to do it better.  But we haven't had a real primary in a long time.  We aren't used to how rough they can get.  The 2008 was over before it began, really.  It was over by this time in 2008, with the Florida primary.  This is unusual.

END TRANSCRIPT

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