RUSH: Mitt Romney was the winner last night in the Republican primaries, but nobody seems happy about it. I've got a bunch of audio sound bites about people commenting, "Yeah, he's winning it, but it doesn't seem like they're really big wins. He's eking this out. There's not a whole lot of excitement to it. Uh, he ought to be winning these things much easier." Like Virginia. People are citing Virginia. "It should have been a slam dunk. He was only up against Ron Paul." The other two guys weren't on the ballot in many of the counties Virginia because of election rules there. Do you know Obama only won 57% of the vote in Oklahoma, and he was unopposed?
There's a Democrat primary going on, too. Obama won 57% of the vote in the Democrat primary in Oklahoma. He won the state, yeah, but he shoulda cleaned up. He shoulda got 100% of the vote. He didn't. "Romney Scores Big Win; Press Fails to Notice," is a report from WhiteHouseDossier.com, Keith Koffler. "Mitt Romney won a crushing victory Tuesday, winning twice as many states as Rick Santorum and more that two-and-half times as many delegates, but his triumph is being portrayed in headlines across the nation as sign of weakness and failure. According to the Wall Street Journal, Romney picked up 211 delegates while taking six states, bringing his total delegate count to 415.
"Santorum won in three states and added only 84 delegates to bring his total to 176," again to Romney's 211. "Romney scored a huge upset in Ohio, coming from way back to take a politically diverse state that is representative of the type of place he'll need to win to beat President Obama." Now, that's Koffler's take. Other people look at Ohio and say, "The fact that he had to fight big there... He had a six-to-one spending advantage and it took him until midnight to win the state?" No matter where you look, they have their two takes on this. Koffler's take: Man, Romney is just scorching the earth and nobody's reporting it! And the other side is: Eh, he's winning, but with the money advantage that he's got, gee, he ought to be cleaning people's clocks.
By the way, I checked my e-mail last night, and people are upset that Gingrich's acceptance speech went on so long, his victory speech in Georgia, and then Santorum went on and on and on. And people were sending me notes, "Rush, don't you understand? These guys are hurting themselves just like rambling on." I said, "You gotta understand something: They don't have any money. This is the only free media they get. They know the networks are covering this, so they're gonna milk it. They're gonna go as long as they can, being as reasonable as they can. Because when it's over, they don't have any money to go out and buy time. At least not nearly as much as Romney does."
So there are many factors. Gingrich and Santorum need free media. They just don't have the money.
"Well, shouldn't that tell you something, Rush? If people aren't donating to 'em, maybe..."
They still say they're gonna hang in there. The point is that Romney does have much more than they do.
RUSH: Milo, Twin Falls, Idaho. You're first. Great to have you on the EIB Network, sir, hello.
CALLER: Nervous dittos. Thanks, Rush. It's a pleasure to speak with you today.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, my opinion on this Romney-Santorum race is that you got the conservative base that loves Santorum's conservatism, but he doesn't come across as real presidential, and I wonder how well can he debate Obama. You know, how would he stand up there. Where Romney, the pundits are all telling us that he's not conservative, I'm wondering, "Really, how conservative is he?" He's probably more conservative than what people give him credit for coming from a state like Massachusetts. Being governor there, I'd say he'd have to be as far right as --
RUSH: Yeah, but what is your real concern here? You think Romney's not conservative, Santorum's not conservative enough to beat Obama. What's your real fear? Tell me what your real fear is.
CALLER: My real fear is I don't think Santorum can stand up against Obama in the long run of the whole race.
RUSH: Okay, wait. Do you mean image-wise? Do you mean intellectually? Do you mean substance, policy? How?
CALLER: You know, intellectually and substance-wise, he's probably got him. But, you know, in the debates he came across a little bit as angry at times. It's like he's coming from behind all the time.
CALLER: Where Romney is more sure of himself --
CALLER: -- and can articulate what it is he's really trying to get across.
CALLER: He is more to the point on what he's talking about. So I think what we'll see happen is that people will lean to Romney. I know I will. I will lean to Romney because I believe he's probably more conservative than what we're being told he is. I really think he is.
RUSH: Do you think it's interesting that you don't know for sure?
CALLER: Well, no, I do. You know, actually I've done enough study on him that he's more conservative than what pundits are giving him credit for.
CALLER: And I think that will come out the longer we go in this, but I really think it will come down to where people will believe that Romney can actually have a shot at beating Obama, and I believe as you do that Obama can be beat.
RUSH: Okay, but I also gather from you that you're really concerned about the debates and you want somebody can skunk Obama in the debates. (Can I say that: "Skunk"? "Skunk" is okay?) But you don't think Santorum can?
CALLER: You know, I really don't. I don't think he'll come across as presidential and informative as Romney.
RUSH: Well, there are only gonna be three of them. There are only gonna be three debates, and the Republican debates have mattered primarily because there have been so many of them. But with only three, they are going to be many, many other elements of this campaign that are going to have a lot of impact, good or bad. I understand the fear our side has on debates. I know, folks. You're tired of Republican nominees that sound like dopes. You're tired of it. Even if they're not dopes. No, even if they're not dopes they sound like it, and you're tired of people that sound like dopes. You'd probably take Karl Marx right now if he could put two sentences together that sounded impressive. (laughing) I'm just trying to illustrate a point here. (interruption) "We've got Karl Marx on the other side." That's my point: We've got Karl Marx. Karl Marx is in this debate: Karl Marx Alinsky. This cycle he goes by the name of "Baraka Obama."
CALLER: Oh, thank you. I'm so excited, Rush! I was excited last night. I stayed up 'til Mitt Romney got the victory. And I thought, "Oh, I'm gonna call Rush," because I hear all this terrible comments that he isn't just what they wanted.
RUSH: I got 'em. I've got sound bites. We're gonna get to 'em, too. They're across the board. People think Romney's great; people think he's not doing so great.
CALLER: Oh, and we've had one other opportunity to have him in and now it's our second one and we'd better make the most of it.
RUSH: Well, I think Obama will see to that. I think Obama will see to it that we make the most of the opportunity. You can't gauge anything on March the 7th and claim it's relevant to what's gonna happen on Election Day. Too much can happen between now and then. It's ridiculous to have to remind people of this. I'm even talking about energy level. The... What is it? What do the polls call it? The eagerness to vote? They keep doing stories that Republican excitement is dwindling because the candidates are so uninspiring. You wait! Wait 'til the Democrat convention alone. You don't think that's gonna fire up our side? The Democrat convention alone is gonna guarantee a turnout victory for us. You wait.
Okay, Cora, thanks. She got Romney and she's happy. She stayed up late; she was rewarded.
RUSH: Elizabeth in Orange, California. Hi. Great to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It's a privilege. My comment is that for the first time in my entire life I turned on CNN last night. Can you believe it?
RUSH: You left Fox to turn on CNN?
CALLER: I left Fox. I'm so disgusted at their preferential treatment towards Mitt Romney that I had to switch the channel and watch --
RUSH: Like what? What did they do?
CALLER: Everything is Mitt Romney. It's so blatant in a certain sense and it's so subliminal in another sense.
RUSH: Give me a specific or two if you can because I frankly -- I saw Krauthammer, and Krauthammer was not particularly complimentary of Romney.
CALLER: Well, I was watching Megyn Kelly, and all the people that were on with her and Brit Hume and all those guys just going on and on about Romney. He's gonna win this, and Karl Rove came in and said as soon as we count up the big cities and the big counties it's gonna switch to Romney and, you know --
RUSH: Well, wait. Wasn't he right, though?
CALLER: You know, just barely. And I was praying that he would be wrong because I realized what I don't like about Karl Rove last night. I don't care for his lack of humility. He thinks that he knows everything and it rubs me the wrong way.
RUSH: Well, he does, when it comes to this stuff.
CALLER: You know what, I accept the fact that he knows what he's talking about, but, you know, present it to people with an ounce of humility, okay? I don't know.
RUSH: I wouldn't know about humility.
CALLER: You are humble.
RUSH: I saw a little bit of Karl. His was at his little computer and his white board and he was talking about Romney. I think I know what bothers you.
RUSH: Romney was gonna win the cities, that equals the sophisticated voters, and Santorum was gonna win the hicks, he was gonna win rural. Isn't that what bothered you?
CALLER: Yes, that is part of what bothered me.
CALLER: And you know what, I'm not a hick, and I love Santorum.
CALLER: And even this was subliminal. At the bottom of the screen they were rotating the various states and the election results, and they took out Georgia. They were not reporting that Newt won Georgia.
RUSH: Well, yeah, because that was a foregone conclusion, and there wasn't a chance, Romney wasn't gonna win it. Let me tell you something. If you're mad about this, you shoulda been watching MSNBC this morning, or maybe it was last night, I forget, Brokaw was on imitating Mitt Romney, the way he speaks, and he kept making fun of -- I've never heard of this, by the way. Apparently it's a racist put-down, white man's overbite. You ever heard of this? Brokaw was imitating Romney, a speaking facial tic or whatever it is, white man's overbite, and they're all laughing themselves silly over there on MSNBC. So you'd-a probably gotten mad at them, too.
RUSH: Let me get to the sound bites. We're gonna start here with number 12. This is a series of sound bites of media, left and right, during and after the vote counting for Super Tuesday last night. First on Charlie Rose. He had TIME Magazine columnist Mike Murphy and Bloomberg TV political analyst Matthew Dowd. Both of these guys I think are political consultants now working in other areas. If it's the same Mike Murphy. I know Matthew Dowd worked for Bush. Anyway, Charlie Rose said, "Project way ahead, Mike. Suppose that Romney is the nominee. Suppose he loses to Obama. What is the question the Republican Party will be asking after November?" Get this.
MURPHY: The hilarious irony is that Rush Limbaugh and some of our AM radio mandarins are gonna be on the air saying, "This is what happens when we nominate a moderate."
RUSH: Did you hear that? It's Mike Murphy. I'm sure it's the same Murphy that's a Republican consultant. So, if Romney is the nominee, and if Romney loses to Obama, Murphy says, "The hilarious irony is that Limbaugh and some of the AM radio mandarins are gonna be saying, 'This is what happens when we nominate a moderate.'" What's the hilarious irony there, what am I missing? What's the irony? Really, I'm serious. What is the irony of saying that we lost when we nominated a moderate. What's ironic about it? Well, maybe. Well, let's see what Matthew Dowd said to the question.
DOWD: This is gonna be a bloodletting. There will be a huge -- if Romney goes in this, loses this election, when all these Republicans from the last four years have thought Barack Obama's ripe for the picking, Mitt Romney gets nominated, he loses in the general election. It is gonna be a bloodletting.
RUSH: Oh, man, but Romney's their guy. That's what I don't get about this. Why are they even talking about Romney losing? Romney's their guy. And if he's the nominee, Romney's gonna be all of our guy. Well, there are gonna be some defectors. But Romney's these guys' candidate. They're already looking forward down the road, he loses, and there's gonna be a bloodletting? Somebody has to help me understand this. See, here again, I am probably one of the ten people that live in Realville. This is their guy. They want this guy to get the nomination. All along. Why? Well, you would think because they think he's the only one of these Republicans that can beat Obama, correct? Isn't that what we've been told? The electability factor. But if he loses there's gonna be a bloodletting? And this is what happens when you nominate a moderate?
Well, then why is he your guy, if it's going to be so disastrous if he loses? (interurption) No, that's not about me. You didn't hear anywhere in there that if I would get behind him he would -- (interruption) Those guys are not gonna say that, Snerdley. No, the first bite doesn't imply anything. The first bite, "The hilarious irony is that Limbaugh and some of the AM radio mandarins are gonna be saying, 'This is what happens when we nominate a moderate.'" They are not saying -- no, no, no, no.
Snerdley, I can't believe you. Snerdley's actually shouting in my ear that what these guys are really saying is if I would get behind Romney then we wouldn't be talking about him losing. No. These guys think the exact opposite. They're gonna get palpably panicked if I get behind Romney, especially right now. (laughing) I don't think that's what they're saying. I don't think they're asking me to come out for Romney. I find it strange that it's going to be horrible, he's their guy. I mean I don't remember 2000, "Boy, if George W. Bush is our nominee and he loses, oh, it's gonna be a bloodletting." Then why nominate him if it's going to be so bad?
Moving on, MSNBC's special Super Tuesday primary coverage, Rachel Maddow speaking with NBC special correspondent Tom Brokaw about Romney's campaign. She said, "He hasn't contributed any of his own fortune to the race, Tom." Meaning he hasn't spent any of his own money. "Does that make a difference when he's trying to appeal for other people's money?"
BROKAW: It's not so much that he's become a wealthy man, that's part of the American dream. It's kind of how you wear your money, and he seems to wear his money as a very wealthy man. He has kind of a country club patina about him wherever he goes and whatever he does. I don't know him well enough personally to know what he's like when he's offstage, but when he's on stage he always does look like he's a very wealthy guy who's kind of separated from the rank-and-file.
RUSH: It's just the opposite. In fact, Katie and I were sitting there watching this last night, were watching Romney's victory speech, and I looked at her and said, "He looks embarrassed of his wealth. To me he looks like he feels guilty about it." And we were talking about what his wife said yesterday. We played that sound bite where she said, "I don't consider myself wealthy." She said, "'Cause it's here today, gone tomorrow. My riches are counted in my relationships with people I love." Romney does not wear his wealth. Romney does not come across as an aloof rich guy. He comes across as maybe somebody who doesn't connect well, but not because of his wealth. Honestly, folks, he strikes me as somebody who's a little embarrassed by it, if you ask me. And don't doubt me on this. I mean, really don't doubt me on anything, but especially this.
RUSH: Josh in Omaha, thank you for calling, sir. You're next on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Rush, it's an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Rush, I have a problem and I'm gonna ask for your help. I'm caught in the middle. On the one side we have a president who is destroying the nation, and people talk about, "Well, another term, maybe we can weather the storm." I do not believe that this country can weather one more term with Obama. I believe stick the fork in it and we're done. Obamacare alone will destroy us, let alone everything else that's happening including turning our back on Israel. On the other side I have men of principle that I would gladly support, either Newt or Rick Santorum. And these men go out there and beat their brains in and work their heart out for us with speaking principle and -- just like Rick did last night there in Ohio -- come so close, and every time that they go out and try to speak to the people we have a man who I believe is a one-man wrecking ball that comes out there with two to four to five times more money they have with his negative attack ads, I believe, laced with lies and things out of context. And so the machine says he's leading and the great Republican machine says he's our man. And my problem, Rush, is that as a Tea Party conservative, there's one big guiding principle that guides me and I think guides all conservatives. It's truth.
RUSH: Okay, well, what --
CALLER: Truth that you are (garbled).
RUSH: What is your dilemma here?
CALLER: And I'm asked to give up truth. When I look at the liberals, Rush, here's my problem. The means justifies the ends. Chicago politics. It doesn't matter if you have more money. If you can throw out enough money with the negative attack ads --
RUSH: Okay, look, I'm down to a minute, and I don't know what you're saying. You don't like Romney. I got that. Are you telling me you're not gonna be able to vote for him if he's the nominee?
CALLER: Well, if he's the nominee, yes. But the problem is they're expecting us Tea Party conservatives to give up our principles right now and we're supposed to fall in line. That's my problem.
RUSH: Oh. Well...
CALLER: How do we give up principles?
RUSH: Who's asking you to do that? I mean, nobody's making you support Romney, so you don't have to.
CALLER: They're saying "the most electable," Rush, is the most electable the person who is not conservative.
RUSH: Well, that's my point. They're telling the most electable and they're sitting around talking about the bloodletting that's coming.
RUSH: So... Look, Josh, the simplest way to understand this is that even within the Republican Party establishment, conservatives are not preferred. Being charitable: Conservatives are not preferred. The support for Romney is as much about that as it is about Romney. It's just the way it is. It's not new, either. It's been that way in the Republican Party for a long time.