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Santorum Suspends: So What Now?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Rick Santorum has just suspended his campaign.  I think the reason for suspending the campaign is it allows you to continue to raise money to pay off your debt, but Santorum's campaign has been suspended.  God bless him.  I don't know why.  I don't know if he had internal polling numbers that looked bad in Pennsylvania. I don't know if it's money. I don't know if it's the accumulation of pressure on him from the establishment.  It's probably a combination, some people say unprecedented, in a Republican primary. Negative campaign ads have clearly worked.  They drove Newt out.  They drove others out.  Of course the women took care of Herman Cain.  Let's see what else.  The attack ads on Santorum have been plentiful. Now, here's what happens next, folks. 

So the Republican establishment, which has wanted Romney from the beginning -- don't forget now. I want to go back and relive this from last summer, when the intensity really kicked in.  This was always, to me, a very curious Republican primary.  You've heard the old adage that in primary campaigns, candidates run to shore up their base, which for Romney, Santorum, Rick Perry, whoever on the Republican side, means you run to the right. You shore up the conservatives. You get 'em, and then after you've done that, the conventional wisdom, the theory as espoused by political consultants since the burning bush, is that you then move to the center.  After you've secured your base, you move to the middle.  Then you go after the precious independents, and you add them to the base that you have shorn up by virtue of your victory in the primaries, and that carries you to victory. 

What was always striking to me about this Republican primary is that the establishment set out from the get-go to shore up the moderates first, to win this nomination with moderate Republican votes, not conservative Republican votes.  Do not doubt me when I tell you, the Republican establishment is not happy.  We've talked about this I don't know how many times before, how many years, the Republican establishment is embarrassed of many conservatives, both conservative media people, conservative voters, they're embarrassed of them.  I'm talking about the New York, Washington corridor Republican establishment types.  Just embarrassed of them.  It was remarkable.  They had their candidate, which was Romney, and then all the others which were conservatives.  We ended up splitting the conservative primary vote. 

To many people this was extremely frustrating for -- well, a host of reasons, but if you go back and look at what happened in the 2010 midterms, that was a landslide victory.  And it wasn't centered around a candidate.  It was centered around an idea.  And the idea was that conservatism and limited government and individual liberty and freedom were what make this country great and what will save this country.  And so the Tea Party came to life, people who had never been in politics before, people who had never been to a town hall meeting were appalled, aghast, frightened what they saw happening to the country via the policies of Obama.  So they started getting involved.  A name for them was created called the Tea Party. 

They started showing up at town hall meetings, and they became the animating force of the Republican Party.  They didn't have a leader.  They were made up of political amateurs.  And when the 2010 midterms came along, the Democrat Party suffered a landslide defeat almost unprecedented.  Now, it was never reported that way because obviously the media is not gonna tell the truth about the shellacking the Democrats got, but they lost over 700 elected offices, from the federal level, through the state, down the town, community, township, wherever.  It was a shellacking. 

It was then thus expected that a Republican presidential nominee would arise from this vast movement and give a leadership face to the Tea Party in the person of whoever would adopt those policies and garner that support.  And then that person would go on to become the nominee and then continue on the basis of ideas and ideology the same things that secured this massive landslide victory in the midterms in 2010 into the general election for president this year.  But that didn't happen.  Instead, the Republican establishment made no effort to secure the support of the Tea Party and instead stayed within itself and opted to secure the nomination with a strategy that emphasized moderate candidates over conservative candidates. 

I can't tell you how that frustrated a lot of people who had such high hopes.  People really had, because of the Tea Party and its success in 2010, the greatest of hopes and expectations that that would continue into the presidential year and be another shellacking all the way from top to bottom of the ballot with victory in the White House.  And now that hasn't happened.  So there is great disappointment.  Something else that's happened in the process of this primary campaign is that supporters of the more conservative candidates in the primary have seen ads run against their candidate, these negative ads, torch ads, and they're mad. 

Like Gingrich.  Gingrich was livid after the negative campaign run against him in Iowa.  He was livid.  He became obsessed with destroying Romney.  He became obsessed with denying Romney the nomination. It didn't matter who else got it, if it wasn't gonna be him, it wasn't gonna be Romney.  Well, time flew by, and now Newt is saying that he'll do what's necessary to help Romney get elected.
I'm just trying to accurately describe the thinking and the feelings of a lot of people.  I'm not speaking of myself per se here. I'm just recognizing, for those of you that are not intimately involved in this, there is a degree of sadness and disappointment over this, because of a lost opportunity it's perceived to be up against what we're up against.  So where does that leave us?  Well, it leaves us now where the establishment candidate is the nominee.  I can't give you a specific time frame on this.  It was in the last month or two.  I remember having the stories here. 

There were times... What was it, Wisconsin or Illinois? Some state. If Romney didn't win it, it was over. The establishment was already getting ready to throw Romney overboard and say, "To hell with this. Let's look at 2016." There were a number of instances in the primary where the preferred winner, Romney, was having so much trouble locking it up that the establishment was pulling its hair out. "Oh, my God! If he can't win here, oh, jeez! Well, we need a new candidate." Remember the stories? "We may have to go to the convention to get a new candidate." Oh, yeah! "Will Jeb Bush get in? We hope Jeb will come in."

So even now there are lingering -- I don't know if it's "doubts" -- but there is a level of insecurity on the Republican establishment side about where we are. So I just want to prepare you people for something. I just want to prepare you. Now, I don't even know if I want to do it now, because I don't want to be accused of throwing negativism on this pile right now. I'm gonna reserve this for a while. But it's a pretty big point as to what is possible down the road here, given various outcomes. I'm not trying to be sneaky or mean-spirited by taunting you and teasing you here and then pulling it back. I'm not. I'm using my best judgment here withholding this. But... (interruption)

I don't know who the veep's gonna be.

I have no clue who the veep's gonna be.

Now, Chris Christie, who many people are touting as the veep, is out there. I don't know if we've got the audio of this or not. But Christie is out there really, really letting welfare recipients have it. He is really letting welfare recipients have it. It's gonna be eaten up by a lot of people. Let me find that. I've got so many stacks here... Okay, we do have it. Here it is. Here it is. These stacks give birth to themselves during the course of the show. They just grow and end in different places. Here we go. This is from NewJersey.com. Headline: "Gov. Christie: Nation Turning into 'People Sitting on a Couch Waiting for Their Next Government Check' -- Gov. Chris Christie said the country is becoming a 'paternalistic entitlement society' this morning in a speech at a conservative conference headed by former President George W. Bush.

"Addressing Bush and other national Republicans, Christie said he hasn't seen a less optimistic period in the country in his lifetime. 'Government's telling them stop dreaming, stop striving, we'll take care of you,' he said at a theater at the New York Historical Society. 'We're turning into a paternalistic entitlement society. That will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally. We'll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check,' Christie said." Well, he's right. He's just may be a little late in coming to this observation. Because this has been going on for quite a while here. For 50 years this has been the Democrat agenda! He's just succinctly nailed it here, but it's not "We're gonna have..."

We got it now.

There are lots of couches out there, folks, and lots of people on 'em.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Santorum.  I just gave a little bit of a listen.  Great, great speech that he's giving here.  We'll have audio sound bites, hopefully a few of them, before the end of the program today; definitely tomorrow.  It's always the case in concession speeches, pressure's off, doesn't matter what happens next, you're out of the race.  The media is very unhappy because all these massive commercial buys are now over.  Romney will stop spending money.  Well, nah, I mean he could start directing it at Obama now.  And Obama, by the way, can now focus everything on Romney.  One of the reasons I was in favor of this continuing to play out was to delay Obama's eventual onslaught at whoever the nominee is, but now it's Romney, so that will begin. 

The primaries are over. The only guy left out there is Ron Paul.  Ahem.  So it will be fascinating, and we'll do this, fascinating to watch Romney and listen to the shape his campaign takes now, how ideological will his campaign be.  Will it be rooted in conservatism?  He doesn't have to talk conservative anymore.  Will he continue to do so?  We will find out.  It won't take very long. 

To the audio sound bites.  George W. Bush.  This is the appearance today in New York at the George W. Bush Institute Conference on Taxes and Economic Growth.  That's where Christie showed up and told everybody that we're becoming a bunch of lazy, sitting on the couch people waiting for the next welfare check to come in.  That's what he said.  He said the country's becoming a "paternalistic entitlement society," at the Bush Institute.  "Government's telling 'em to stop dreaming," people, "to stop striving.  We'll take care of you."  He's right.  They are.  But they've been doing that for 50 years.  We're turning into a "paternalistic entitlement society" that will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally.  "We’ll have a bunch of people sittin’ on a couch waiting for their next government check."

He's right.  We already do.  One of the things I expect that Obama will do will be to rename the Buffett Rule to the Romney Rule.  The rich are not paying their fair share.  Get ready for this, folks.  It is gonna be an all-out assault on the wealthy, as typified by Romney. Occupy Wall Street will be reborn. Occupy Wall Street is already being conceived out there in various states.  It's about ready to be born, give birth.  And so it's time to put on the flak jackets.  It starts now. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We have a couple of Santorum speech sound bites. Here's the first...

SANTORUM: This race was as improbable as any race that you will ever see for president. I want to thank God for that and I want to thank all of you across this country for what you have given -- hopefully not just me and our family but what you've given -- which is a voice to those who are many cases voiceless. And we have tried to be a witness not just for your stories and your voice but to provide a positive and hopeful vision, not a negative campaign. We've painted a hopeful, positive vision for a country. Not just economically but reflecting hopes of Americans; not just the fears of Americans.

RUSH: He spent a lot of time in his speech today talking about the fact that he didn't run any negative ads, didn't run a scorched-earth campaign, and it's a direct... Well, it's not direct. It's a veiled reference to Romney, who did. And Santorum, like all the others, is livid about it. But they work. Negative campaigns work. Here's the second bite...

SANTORUM: We carried around our copy of the Constitution. And of course it was that Constitution that got the Tea Party folks excited, legitimately so, about the operators manual of America being discarded by those in Washington. And I think what I tried to bring to the battle was what Abraham Lincoln brought to this battlefield back in 1863 on November 19 when he talked about this country being "conceived in liberty" and "dedicated to the proportion that 'all men are created equal.'" He was quoting, of course, the Declaration of Independence, conceived in that Declaration. And we talked about that Declaration as the heart of American exceptionalism as to who we are, because we will never be a country that can go forward as a great and powerful country again unless we remember who we are and what makes us Americans.

RUSH: Do you hear the reference to the Tea Party there? It was the fondest hope that that Tea Party eruption in 2010 would produce a like-minded presidential nominee and campaign. But, you know, you look back and who would have ever thought Santorum would win 11 states when this started? Who would have ever thought that would have happened? I don't think Santorum believed he would win 11 states. But he did, and it is quite telling. Santorum never mentioned Romney by name, by the way. I wanted to make sure I mentioned that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: As to why Santorum got out, folks, I think it's pretty obvious. I don't think he could convince Newt to join forces with him and to take this out to the convention. I don't think he wanted to do that with Ron Paul. I think he probably just concluded he couldn't put a coalition together with the people remaining, and that was it. There was just no way forward. That's my wild guess. Others will expand on this, I'm sure. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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