RUSH: John in San Diego. I'm glad you called, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, El Rushbo. How you doing?
RUSH: Good. Thank you, sir.
CALLER: It's been years since we spoke last. Hey, I was watching the speech last night on C-SPAN, and I was very curious as to how Romney started talking about being a Republican.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. Did you call it "C-TRAP"?
CALLER: (laughing) No, C-SPAN.
RUSH: C-SPAN, okay.
CALLER: (laughing) C-SPAN. And I thought it was interesting how Romney started his speech talking about being the Republican governor of Massachusetts with only 14% registered Republicans in it.
CALLER: So I'm thinking, "Okay, where is this gonna go?" Well, the more he spoke, the more enthused I became of the way he was speaking to them. He was treating them like adults, treated them like Americans. Every time he mentioned the middle class, he didn't say, "The black middle class and you." He said, "I will do things for the middle class that will also help black Americans." I mean, how many times did he tie those together, that whatever he does that's good for the country is good for everybody?
It's not just good for them. And I should say "us," because I am a conservative black American. I've been listening to you for 20-plus years. You know, it's good for everybody. He didn't break them down into class like the Democrats are gonna do. So the more he spoke, the more I was saying to myself, "Romney needs to stay engaged to this group. Every place there's a large black group between now and the election, he needs to go speak." The reason why is because he only needs 8% of the vote.
RUSH: John, it sounds to me like if I were asked to analyze your point, it would be this: It seems to me that you're saying that Romney spoke to the NAACP as if they were not black.
RUSH: They were human beings.
CALLER: Exactly! "You're a human. You're just like every other American. You want an opportunity? You're gonna get an opportunity in my America. It's not because you're a special class. It's because you're an American. And I'm gonna do what's good for this country. Therefore you're gonna benefit, too." And like I said, he only needs 8% of the vote. If he gets 8% of the black vote, Obama's done. If the Republican gets 12% of the black vote, the Democrat Party in this country is over with. Romney needs to stay in front of them. He needs to stay engaged. He needs to siphon off 10% of the vote.
RUSH: Well, that's true. I don't know the percentages. Twelve percent certainly. I think it would only take 5%. If he could take 5% of the black vote, that would be the end of Obama's chances. With everything else being equal, that would be a huge dent. Well, it's an interesting proposition, this idea, keep speaking to groups that don't support you. I thought yesterday that he was taking the occasion of this speech to make a broad-based but very condensed policy speech, because he knew he was gonna have an audience above and beyond this group. All the media's there. They're salivating. They're waiting. They want to see this group just chew Romney up and spit him out. That's why they're there. Romney knows they're gonna be there, and they know countless cameras and microphones are gonna be there and tape is gonna be rolling.
He took advantage of the opportunity to speak to those people as though he were speaking any other group of human beings. And as we've been told, this is somehow helpful for the independent vote. Look, I understand that theoretically. As you know, I have a little bit of a problem with it being necessary, but I understand it as far as the theory goes. But still, it seems now after, what, 24 hours, it seems that the sands are shifting here and the perception is that this is a big win for Romney yesterday. Whereas some people thought it was not so hot, not so cool. But I'll just tell you what I said earlier. I think because of his approach to the group yesterday, what you said, he didn't speak to 'em as though they were of any particular race or ethnicity.
He spoke to 'em as human beings. He treated 'em as equals. He empathized with 'em. We got the same desires in life, as human beings, and this is what I'm gonna do as president to try to make it all happen. I think that across the Democrat Party there was a collective, "Uh-oh," combined with the fact that Romney looked good. He didn't break down during the boos. He didn't lose his composure. He didn't lose his place, kept smiling, as though he knew it was going to happen. And I think that it's gonna redound positively. I happen to agree with you on that. Thanks for the call, John, appreciate it.
Andy in Richmond, Virginia, you're next here the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, mega dittos, Rush. I'm a Rush Baby. I grew up on you in the early nineties, and I just had a little bit of a different take on Romney's appearance at the NAACP. I'm actually referring to a call that you took in the last hour, about a guy who was a Republican, his wife was an independent, and just kind of the idea that there's this striking thing that people noticed and that made them change their mind about Romney, and I think it goes back to really one word, and that's courage. I think Romney went into a place where everybody wasn't gonna agree with him, and I think we haven't seen that in a while. I think for myself, you know, there's always that concern that Romney might --
RUSH: Wait, wait, hold it, hold it just a second.
RUSH: I'm really on thin ice going in this direction, but you're getting to one of my little bugaboos here. It's not the first time somebody went and spoke to a group that didn't agree with 'em. McCain did it. Jack Kemp did it. It's not the first time. I'm not trying to take anything away from Romney here, but I am curious at how this one has made such a positive impact. I'll take it, don't misunderstand, but it's not the first time. And plus, so the independents are now to be happy, oh, whoa, whoopee-doo. The independents, we finally got somebody who can go in and work with them. Oh, ho, I'm having a heart attack I'm so happy. We finally can work together and compromise and get along. Oh, lordy, I love it.
CALLER: Any courage and that, you know, I mean I kind of want a leader who's gonna be willing to be like a Reagan who stands up in an occupied country and says, "You know, this isn't right." And maybe it has to do with, you know, I'll be honest with you. I'm following this election a lot more than I did last time.
RUSH: Wait just a second. You're comparing Romney going to the NAACP with Reagan going to the Berlin Wall? (laughing)
CALLER: I know it's not the same. I know it's not the same.
RUSH: No, no. If you're right, that's profound.
CALLER: Maybe in our day and age that's what it's like. You know, we haven't seen a president with that kind of guts. I mean, you know, I liked Bush, I liked Bush a lot --
RUSH: Did Bush go to the NAACP? (interruption) But he didn't go every year, right? Didn't they disrespect him when he was there and he decided not to go or something? Maybe this is like Nixon going to China. But the reason I'm a little bit perplexed is because it isn't the first time, and it's being treated as though it is. That's what fascinates me. I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just saying I'm fascinated with this.
CALLER: Hey, if I can say one more thing. I feel like my story might be a lot of people's story. And that is, you know, I skipped the election four years ago, and I'm a young guy, and it was a stupid mistake on my part. Four years less mature, I thought, man, what was I doing? And really it was because I didn't like McCain, and I honestly was not gonna vote for Obama. But you know what, I wasn't a Romney guy in the beginning, but, I'll tell you what, I'm gonna vote in this election and I hope, and I'm optimistic that there's a lot of people like me who would say that, a lot of young conservative guys who would say, you know, I didn't like McCain last time, I sat out that election, said it was just not worth it. I was living in Texas at the time, too --
RUSH: There's nothing immature about your opinion of McCain. That is entirely understandable. Not voting, yeah.
RUSH: Yeah. You learned your lesson on that because there's always an outcome to that, whether you participate or not.
RUSH: We were discussing all this during the break here and we think that we have come up with a simple explanation. Now, Snerdley thought, as soon as Romney's speech to the NAALCP was over, it was a home run. And I wasn't quite certain because of the optics. He was convinced it was a home run. So time has gone on, time has passed. We have the various reactions from the media and so forth. Now we're getting reaction from you, the callers, and my e-mail I'm checking, too. And it's all good. And a lot of people are saying this is gonna be good for the independents to see. Maybe I ought to just leave that alone. My instincts say leave that one alone. I'll take it, that's fine. I'm really busting out here wanting to talk about it, but I'm gonna rein it in.
But it seems that the best way to describe why this particular speech by a Republican to an enemy group, in this case the NAALCP, was that Romney didn't go in and pander. He didn't change his accent. He didn't try to tell stories about all the black people he grew up with or all the black people that taught him things. He didn't pander. He spoke to them as human beings. As Snerdley pointed out, "You always asked, how would you approach the Hispanic vote?" I said, "I would talk to 'em about conservatism. Go out and talk to 'em as human beings, as Americans. We're all Americans. We all want the same things. We all have the same desires. As human beings who are Americans, we all have the same desires for our kids and for ourselves," and that's what I would say to 'em.
I wouldn't talk to 'em about being himself. I wouldn't say I got a special program for you because you're Hispanic or because you're black. I'd say I got a program for the whole country because we're all in it together. That's what Romney did. That's how Romney came off. Romney came off as a guy who wasn't pandering to his audience. He thinks Obamacare ought to be repealed. He knows that audience doesn't want to hear that. He said it, he stuck with it, and when they booed him he smiled about it. He didn't change one thing he believes in. He didn't make one alteration in a policy that he has planned. He didn't pander in any way, shape, manner, or form. Well, essentially he spoke to the group as I would have, and that is why he is being heralded.
I think as time goes on that seems to be the reaction. And the left is getting nuts on this. They're focusing on the boos. Like I said earlier, I think there's a collective, "Uh-oh." Romney was supposed to walk out of there yesterday destroyed. At least wounded. The boos and the criticism and the lack of acceptance was supposed to have sent the signal that Romney's finished, there's no way, doesn't have a prayer. It's just the exact opposite.
RUSH: Rich, White Plains, New York, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: I've been watching all the news reports about Romney addressing the NAACP, and I think there's something that's being strategically left out by the Drive-By Media. And that's to mention the fact that he was invited, you know? And they seem to come at this story with the perspective that he went down there to lecture them or something like that. And I think he was set up. I think the White House set him up. Because we all know that the NAACP and women's groups and PETA are liberal groups. They're not the groups they claim to be.
RUSH: Yeah, but --
CALLER: I think he was being set up.
RUSH: Yeah, but the Republican presidential candidate is always invited to speak to the NAACP. This is not the first time it's happened. Your point is they want to make it sound like Romney forced his way in there and then wanted to go there? It's a standing invitation just like it is a standing invitation to the president every year to show up and speak.
CALLER: Interesting, Clayola Brown, the representative of the NAACP who invited Romney to speak, "said the point of inviting Romney to the convention wasn't to give him a chance to win over African American voters [but] to 'show respect for the [NAACP].'" So that's their point. Their point of view is: You're just here to kiss our ring.
RUSH: "Yeah, you're there to suck up to us, but you're also there to hear what we expect. Yeah, what we want from you." I get your point.
CALLER: I think my point is: If he didn't show up or he did show up, the liberal media woulda spun it either way they want. And what I notice strategically missing from news reports... And, of course, people don't know this. You know, Rush, you say, "Yeah, you know, traditionally he's invited." Well, people don't know that! You know, I think to do due diligence in your reporting, you should say, you know, "The presidential candidate, Romney, was invited to speak at the NAACP convention blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."
RUSH: Well, you're asking for actual reporting and fairness. You're not gonna get that. That's a lofty expectation. Look, I get your point. A lot of people don't know that Romney's invited. They think that he just stormed his way in there or forced his way in and made 'em listen to him. Here's the reason why this appearance of Romney is apparently such a success: It's because everybody knows this is a setup. When I say "everybody," I'm talking about in the political class, Rich.
Everybody in the Boston-New York-Washington Media Corridor knows that every time a Republican goes to the NAALCP, it's a setup. That's essentially what you're saying. It's a setup. It's a setup because there's no way any of these people in there are gonna ever vote for Romney, nor are they gonna leave there and tell anybody else to vote for Romney. It's a setup! That's why Romney is receiving such rave reviews over this. He walked into the setup, and he didn't pander to it, and he didn't buckle to it. And that's why the reviews that he's getting are starting to trickle in now as positive.
RUSH: We go to Minneapolis. This is Jackie. Nice to have you on the EIB Network and the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Oh, this is a nice honor. I've been listening to you since 1991, I think during Desert Storm. I wanted to get the true facts, and I found it with you.
RUSH: Thank you. I really appreciate that. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Yes. Well, I wanted to touch on the point with why you were so puzzled or wondering why everyone thinks it's such a big deal that Romney spoke at the NAACP when --
RUSH: No, no.
CALLER: -- other presidents or candidates have before?
RUSH: No, no. That's not why. I'm glad you put it that way.
RUSH: What I was reacting to was everybody citing how wonderful it would be and was for the independents to see it.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
RUSH: See, I've got a bugaboo about independents.
RUSH: That's all.
CALLER: I know that. (giggling) I know that and yes, I agree. I agree with the independents you have a bugaboo about, too. What I was gonna say about that is, I think it's different because he went there while there's a sitting black president. That's what's different than other presidents that have gone and spoken at the NAACP or why this is so different. And so he went there while there's a sitting black president. And Romney's basically saying, "I know Obama's black. I'm aware of that, but that doesn't intimidate me." And I think that's what people see as him being strong or courageous.
RUSH: Well, I have to say, I hadn't thought of that. That's a good point.
RUSH: In terms of long-distance perception, you have a first black president, it's known that this is a setup. It's known. There's no winning, and he still went.
RUSH: He still went, and he made his case to this group -- as an adult, as equals -- even though there is a black president sitting in the Oval Office.
CALLER: Yes. And so that's what makes it so different.
RUSH: Well, wait a minute. Wait, wait, hold it. Hold on a minute. Hold, hold, hold on. Wait a minute. I just remembered something. Obama is not "the first black president." Clinton was. I just remembered that.
RUSH: Hee-hee-hee-hee. I just remembered that.
CALLER: Well, yes, this is true. But Romney's saying, "You know, Obama doesn't own the black vote. He doesn't own the blacks. The blacks own themselves." And, you know, they're Americans like everyone else. The blacks and every other American, they own their own future. And so I think Romney went there laying out a plan to help make, you know, Americans be able to pursue a better future for all Americans.
RUSH: Okay, I'll tell you what. Now, you say that, and if you want to say that people would then conclude that Romney's got guts and is pretty courageous, I understand that. That makes sense. I hadn't thought of that 'cause I don't... (sigh) Obama ceased being black to me a long time ago. He's just a full-fledged disaster (chuckling) and it doesn't matter to me. And that's why I don't think that way. That's an excellent point in terms of people's perception. I have to hand it to you, Jackie. Thanks very much.