RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday Mitt Romney blew it with the response to all the immigration rulings at the Supreme Court. And the Obama administration reaction to it. And the regime basically telling Arizona, "We don't care. We're gonna have spies tattling on you if you start stopping people," and so forth. Yesterday was a warning, I think. Yesterday was a red flag for the Romney team. Yesterday... And it's the first time in a long time. It's the first time I have thought this in a long time. The Romney team was not ready for primetime on this illegal immigration, the Arizona decision.
This is not the time to get too cocky. I know that the Romney campaign is basically saving it all up for after the Olympics, and I understand that. But this is too consequential a week. What's happening this week is going to have legs, and there will be memories associated with it. You can't live off of all of Obama's gaffes like, "The private sector is doing fine." You can't live off that forever. Had that decision happened in the fall on a debate night with Obama pandering away the way he was?
And if Romney's response yesterday had happened in a debate? It would have been a big win for Obama, for the community organizer. Now, health care is coming up Thursday, and it's time to get the ducks back in a row. I'm just saying, folks. I was a little surprised. The Romney camp has been superb. They've had their rapid response stuff ready to go. I know that there's fear about the Hispanic vote, fear of angering it and so forth. But unless we're gonna pander to 'em the way Obama does...
And if we do that, we're gonna lose. We can't outpander Obama. We can't promise a bigger government than Obama will promise. We can't promise that. Not with credibility. That's not who we are. We can't promise this kind of stuff. And if that's the attempt, as a defensive measure, so as not to offend them...? Well, then, fine. I don't think you offended anybody, but you didn't gain anything. And we are about gaining things. The future of the country is riding on this stuff. There's got to be more than a tepid response.
We know the Republican establishment's for amnesty. Ever heard of Senator McCain? (impression) "That's right. That's right, Limbaugh. Amnesty! Except we don't call it that. We call it 'meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform.'" Well, fine. But in the past, they've been for amnesty. I want to illustrate. Grab sound bite 16. If this is what I think it is, it's fascinating. It's the CBS News political director, a guy by the name of John Dickerson. He was on CBS This Morning today. Charlie Rose had him on there, and he said, "How does Romney plan to handle this, this appeal to Hispanics, immigration? I mean, he was very strong in his appeal to conservatives in the primary, and now he's in a general election in which the Hispanic vote is very important."
Here's what Dickerson said...
DICKERSON: He's basically gonna make the same pitch to Hispanics as he does to the rest of the country, that Hispanics have been hit bad -- that Hispanics have been hit by the bad economy. And he has a ... a plan to turn the economy around. He'll try to turn the focus back on the economy because that's what they hope the election is about.
RUSH: And I should add, it's unfathomable!
Dickerson and Charlie can't believe that that's how Romney would appeal to Hispanics. They can't relate to that. "You mean treating 'em like everybody else? You mean they're Americans and the bad economy is affecting them, too? That's how you're gonna do it? You're really gonna try to get the Hispanic vote that way?" They're stunned that people don't see Hispanics the way they do: A bunch of incompetent, helpless migrant workers stomped on by the cruelties of life; saved only by the benevolence of Pope Obama. And they can't believe that anybody would see it any other way than this.
But I just think the response yesterday was, eh, just a bit tepid.
You gotta be a proud, eloquent defender of the Constitution when your opponent is stomping all over it!
And ignoring it.
RUSH: No, no. I am saying that Romney's exactly right. That is exactly what Romney should do: Treat Hispanics like every other American. No, I wouldn't be critical of that. I'm just saying that these guys at CBS can't believe that Romney would treat Hispanics like every other American because "everybody knows they're not."
RUSH: To Marie in Tucson, Arizona, as we head back to the phones. Great to have you on the program, and I appreciate your patience, waiting on the line. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you. Mega dittos, Rush. I've been listening to you for probably 22, 23 years, and I just love you.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: I want to preface my comments by telling you that I come from a very large Mexican family, I have a brother-in-law from Mexico, a sister-in-law from Mexico whose family did migrate here legally. And we are all very, very frustrated with this whole situation. We're down here on the border in Tucson, and it's very, very frustrating. But what I was calling you for is I know you're not huge into college sports. The University of Arizona Wildcats won the College World Series last night.
RUSH: Well, congratulations.
CALLER: So it might be a very interesting obligatory White House visit with all those A's with the cardinal red and the blue and the white behind him with all our little A's.
RUSH: Well, I'm glad you found something to feel happy about.
CALLER: Well, we gotta find happiness where we can, and getting on with you is really making me happy.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate it. Did you know that Romney comes from a Mexican family, his father or grandfather was born in Mexico.
CALLER: But he's probably not Mexican like I'm Mexican, but we won't go there.
RUSH: What does that mean?
CALLER: Well, I don't think his skin is probably the same color as mine.
RUSH: Are you saying that Romney is illegal?
CALLER: No. (laughing) I'm not saying that Romney is illegal. But I'm not, either. I was born in Houston, Texas.
RUSH: (laughing) All right.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: You're great. I love your vivaciousness, your ebullience.
CALLER: Well, I love you, and I love your tea, and thanks so much for getting me on.
RUSH: Thank you. I appreciate it very much.