RUSH: Let's go ahead and play the sound bite. Back on January 23rd, there was a lot of panic on the Republican side, 'cause Romney just wasn't wrapping this up. And the fear, among a lot of Republicans, was that we were looking bad, that this is continuing to display a huge target and make the Republican Party big target. We can't get this stuff finalized, can't come up with a nominee, and I tried to calm everybody down.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Why is it that a long primary campaign is going to hurt the Republican nominee? If the result of a long campaign is that this party finally figures out that the only way they got to win this is conservatism, it's a win-win. Let it play out! Don't panic!
RUSH: Exactly right. Let it play out, don't panic. Now, last night Santorum won primaries, not caucuses. This is an important distinction for Santorum. Winning caucuses is different from winning the most votes in an actual primary. And that represents a leap forward for Santorum. He won Miss'ssippi and Alabama -- and, in so doing, surprised a lot of people. Still, the most delegates yesterday were won by Mitt Romney. He added six delegates to his lead. The delegates count today: Romney has 495. Remember, now, 1144 are needed to nominate. Romney has 495 delegates. Santorum moved up to 252. Gingrich at 131. And Ron Paul, the other guy, is at 48. Newt has a strategy.
I just want to share with you the headline from Toby Harnden at the you can't Kelly mail. "Delusional Newt..." Toby's a conservative, by the way. "Delusional Newt Outlines His Strategy to Stop Mitt Romney: Sabotage at Tampa -- Newt Gingrich took to the stage in a half-empty hotel ballroom on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama to hail a dramatic night that had changed everything. It was 'quite an evening,' he declared. The Deep South results meant that 'we're going to leave Alabama and Mississippi with a substantial number of delegates, increasing our total going towards Tampa' and 'a much bigger delegation than we had yesterday,'" and he harped on a point that he's "going all the way to the Tampa convention.
"'I emphasize going to Tampa because one of the things tonight proved is that the elite media’s effort to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable has just collapsed.'" Now, for whatever reason, Mitt Romney remains in Newt's crosshairs. The Newt strategy appears to me to be to do whatever it takes to deny Romney the nomination. I think everybody pretty much agrees with that. I think everybody understands that that's what Newt's doing, and there are multiple reasons for it. One of the reasons is that Newt is still steaming over the Romney super PAC attack ads before the Hawkeye Cauci in Iowa. He's still steaming. He also has problems with Romney as a candidate. A lot of people still do.
And a lot of people on the other side of that are looking at Santorum and saying (chuckling), "I can't believe it. One of these two guys is going up against Obama?" I told you I played in a charity golf tournament on Monday. Ernie Els has an autistic son, and he started a great charity called Els for Autism and his golf tournaments around the country for six months -- well, around the world, actually. I ran into lot of people, and I was stunned at the emotion there is out there from Republicans on these candidates. Now, I have to be very careful here because I don't want to get into this loose ground where I'm accused of secretly trying to affect the outcome of things here.
But when it came to Romney, I didn't find any ambivalence. I found what we call "perfect polarization." There was either a lot of love or a lot of dislike. (laughing) Yeah, it sounds a lot like me, but Romney's not gonna get votes from people who intensely dislike him. I will have people who intensely dislike me who'll listen to me because they'll need a reason to continue hating me each day. But that's not how you get votes. That's one of the big differences. On the Santorum side, it was, "Gosh, I like the guy, but I just can't." The last person in this whole list of candidates that anybody thought would be where he is right now is Santorum. That level of shock is still there. (interruption)
Oh, I know, you want to know what I tell 'em. I tell 'em all the same thing. I said, "You have got to stop this defensiveness! You've gotta stop feeling inferior. You've gotta stop thinking that the other side is made up of wizards who never make a mistake." I said, "Who are we running against? What do you really find problematic in this country? Is Mitt Romney really the problem that you face? Is Santorum the problem that you face?"
"No, no, no, it's Obama."
I said, "Right. This election is going to be about Obama!"
And I don't care what anybody says: Obama knows it's gonna be about him. That's why he's trying to set himself up as an outsider running against a bunch of lunatics in Congress. But he's not gonna be able to pull that off. He's the architect of the mess that we are all in. He's the architect of everything we want changed. And by the time everybody votes in November it's going to be clear that anybody on our ticket would be a hundred times preferable to Barack Obama. That's what this election is going to be about. It's what the 2010 midterm elections were all about. The Democrats know that, too. And that's why the Democrats are out there trying to change the narrative on what happened in the 2010 midterm. "Well, there's nothing similar at all. You can't take what was going on in 2010 midterms and transfer that movement forward to presidential race."
Yes, you can.
Tea Party Americans, other Americans were simply angry and outraged over what was being done to their country, and nothing's changed. And they're going to want to change that. And I maintain to you that that's what this election is going to be about. So Newt (back to him), his objective here is to deny the nomination to Romney at the convention and then throw it wide open. Where, theoretically, anything can happen. I know. What is this old cliche being bandied about that no nominee from a brokered convention has ever gone on to win? I don't know that that's true. But I also know there's a first time for everything if it happens.
And I also know that all of the coulda-wouldas and the has-beens don't apply anymore, particularly in this election cycle. We haven't been in an election with circumstances quite like this with so many millions of Americans actually thinking we are losing the country. I know this is just anecdotal, meaning it isn't statistical. There's not a poll on this. (There obviously wouldn't be.) At the golf tournament on Monday, virtually everybody who asked me a question about this campaign, the first thing out of my mouth (on purpose) to each of 'em was, "Look, we are losing the country. And I don't mean that in a cliche. We are literally losing this country," and they all universally agreed.
Passionately. They knew exactly what I meant. A lot of people know. And that, to save the country, is a motivating thing. This is what the Democrats know they're up against, but they can't quantify it. And they're not gonna be able to talk people out of that sentiment. No matter what they do.
RUSH: By the way, folks, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the product of a brokered convention. Don't believe all this conventional wisdom that brokered conventions lead to nominees that lose. FDR came out of a brokered convention. Conventions used to always be brokered.
RUSH: Let's go to the audio sound bites. From last night after the Republican primaries in three southern states, here we have Rick Santorum. Actually, this was this morning. He was on Fox, America's Newsroom. The correspondent John Roberts played a clip from an interview that Santorum did last night after his win in Alabama and Mississippi. Roberts said, "In your victory speech, you called for uniting conservatives around you, but you can't do that if Newt Gingrich stays in the race. Do you think he should get out?"
SANTORUM: I'm not asking Newt Gingrich to do anything. I'm asking conservatives to give us the best chance to nominate a conservative, and I think we've seen it in the past. We nominate moderates in this party, we lose. We nominate people who stand for what -- what our principles are that made this country great, we win.
RUSH: Now, this is last night in Lafayette, Louisiana. This is at Santorum campaign headquarters and a portion of what he said.
SANTORUM: This campaign is about ordinary folks doing extraordinary things. Sort of like America. Sort of like America going out there and exceeding expectations. Going out there, defying the odds because we believe in something that's bigger than ourselves. In spite of all the odds, all the money being spent, all the establishment bein' on the other side of this race, you stood with a guy comes from the grandson of a coalminer from a steel town in western Pennsylvania but (who) you knew shared your values and was gonna go out and of work you to make sure that this country was free and safe and prosperous based on believing in free people and free markets, a free economy. And, of course, the integrity of the family and the centrality of faith in our lives.
RUSH: He didn't talk about contraception there, Dawn. He didn't bring up contraception. He didn't bring up the war on women! He's out of it. He doesn't understand what's going on. Now, there's a new voting bloc. I think that voting bloc probably has been created today by Karen Finney: "White working women," or no! Because, you know, there are probably plenty of African-American conservative women who are ticked off at this, too, the way they're being characterized by liberal women on MSNBC. "Angry conservative women." That's the new voting bloc. And Santorum, why, he's an idiot, too! He didn't even talk about contraception. He didn't talk about the war on women. He didn't chide women for voting for him for the wrong reasons like the Democrats want him to say or believe happened.
Here's a little bit more of what he had to say...
SANTORUM: We will compete everywhere. We will compete everywhere. The time is now for conservatives to pull together. The time is now to make sure -- to make sure -- that we have the best chance to win this election. And the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against Barack Obama, who can take him on on every issue.
RUSH: Did you hear all of those codewords that Santorum used? Well, according to Karen Finney of the Democrat Party, "conservative values" is a codeword, and Santorum talks about conservative values in every other sentence. In both of those sound bites, you heard Santorum talking about nominating a conservative, conservative values, all those codewords! And you working southern women, you understood the code! That's why you voted for him. By the way, there's a Gallup poll out from last night: "Republicans Not Calling for Gingrich or Others to Drop Out -- According to Gallup, more than half of Republicans nationwide, 53%, say that all members of the current Republican field should stay in the race until one of them clinches the nomination. Twenty-one percent say Gingrich should drop out. Another 20% say all candidates but Romney should drop out." But 53% say, ah, nothing wrong here. Let it play out.
Here is Newt last night, Gingrich campaign headquarters in Birmingham.
GINGRICH: I emphasize going to Tampa because one of the things tonight proved is that the elite media's effort to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed. The fact is in both states the conservative candidate's got nearly 70% of the vote, and if you're the front-runner, if you're the front-runner and you keep coming in third, you're not much of a front-runner.
RUSH: That's Gingrich, and he's arriving at that by adding his voters with Santorum's voters to equal the conservative vote of 70% against that which Romney got. So he's characterizing Romney's campaign as collapsing last night to the onslaught of conservative voters, whose votes are being split essentially two ways between Santorum and Newt. Now, again, the delegate count, Romney picked up six delegates last night, and he's the leader at 495, Santorum at 252, Gingrich at 131, and the other guy, Ron Paul, at 48, 1,144 are needed to nominate. Last night on the Situation Room on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, he spoke with Romney. He said, "The super PAC that supports Santorum has come out with a very tough commercial, a very tough attack ad against you, Mitt. I'm gonna give you a chance here to respond to Santorum's super PAC."
ROMNEY: You know, Senator Santorum is at the desperate end of his campaign and is trying in some way to boost his prospects, and, frankly, misrepresenting the truth is not a good way of doing that. He's far behind in the delegate count. He's far behind in the popular vote count. If you look at the math of how many delegates he'd have to win to become the nominee, it's a very difficult road for him.
RUSH: And yesterday in St. Louis, KSDK-TV, former Governor Romney answered questions from viewers. An unidentified viewer said, "What are some of the specifics of the plan to lower the trillions of dollars of deficit? What programs would you want to cut or drastically reduce?"
ROMNEY: Get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one, but there are others. Planned Parenthood, gonna get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I would eliminate that.
RUSH: This has caused the left to go apoplectic, with Romney calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. They can't stand it. They're freaking out over there.