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Paul Ryan and the Battle for the GOP

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Mike in Salt Lake City.  Mike, glad you waited.  Welcome to the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Thank you, Rush.  God bless you.

RUSH:  Thank you.

CALLER:  Love you, brother.  Dittos to you.  I'll keep entering the Two If By Tea contest because I didn't win the last one. You never called.

RUSH:  Well, but there's always the next one.  And, by the way, since you bring this up, we have a couple of barn burners before the end of the year.

CALLER:  Good.

RUSH:  A couple more sweepstakes, so hang in there. Be tough.

CALLER:  Well, that's the only way I'm probably ever gonna meet you.  That's my goal.  You're one of my heroes.

RUSH:  Well, I thank you very much, sir.  I appreciate that.

CALLER:  First two hours I'm admittedly a little confused.  Why would Romney choose Paul Ryan and then do this at the convention?  Paul Ryan, like Sarah Palin four years ago, I mean they're energizing the conservative base, they couldn't contain the crowds.  I thought Romney did partially at least bring conservatives along like me, but how much do you think Romney is in on what's going on and where's Paul Ryan during all of this?

RUSH:  Well, what he's talking about, the rules games that the RNC is playing right now with delegate selection at future conventions.  First as to how involved Romney is, man, I don't know. All I know is that the presidential nominee is the presumptive head of their parties.  Right now the Republican Party is Romney's.  He runs it as has been the case since he secured the nomination.  Now, how intimately involved he is in this, I wouldn't have slightest idea.  But he's gotta know it's going on, and he's got to approve it, unless he has no control over his aides and they're just running around on their own. 

As for Ryan, Ryan's on the campaign trail.  You talk about a full plate, Ryan has one of the primary responsibilities in this campaign. He's not even at the convention yet.  I wouldn't expect Ryan to have anything to do with this.  Maybe he is working behind the scenes after he found out about it.  These are things we don't know, but he's pledged loyalty to Romney.  That's what you sign on for when you are the nominee.  He chose Ryan for the exact reason that you said.  Look, with all of this going on, there's one thing, folks, that I have no doubt about, and that is that Romney does want to win.  He's not in this as a placeholder.  He's not trying to pad his resume like maybe Senator McCain was.  I think Senator McCain was satisfied just to have been the nominee.  And if he'd have won, it would have been icing on the cake. 

I think Romney is in this to win it, and I also think that Romney is in this to make real substantive reforms and changes after he wins it.  I don't doubt that for a minute.  But this business with everybody shows up united in Tampa, and they start playing these games with convention rules while the convention is just kicking off, man, it's dispiriting to a lot of people, and it angers everybody.  I wish that I could tell you more about this and explain to you why it's happening any more than I already have.  I know why it's happening, and that isn't anything new.  The Republican Party is not a Conservative Party at its leadership levels.  It just isn't.  It wasn't when Reagan became the nominee in 1980, and it didn't become conservative when Reagan was the president for eight years.  So there's nothing new here, attitudinally.  What's new here is this strategy and the timing trying to implement this.  Anyway, Mike, I appreciate the call. 

This is Kathryn in Atlanta.  You're next on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hello, Rush.  I was listening to you talk about all these little negative ads that are gonna come out, and you're talking about how they're gonna play Katrina footage over and over.  I hope they remember to play the snakes.  There were snakes everywhere.  They will probably say they're out there now.  And then I hope that they show the looters, how they looted everything they could get their hands on.  We're not gonna win this if we fight the way they do.  Mrs. Romney, they could show that she donated a kidney and a lung while she was raising those boys.  It's not gonna change the outlook of most of those people that are not even gonna vote for us.  So that's all I was thinking about.  I just hope you just stick to your guns.

RUSH:  I have no choice but to stick to my guns, because my guns are my heart.

CALLER:  Well, you know, I think it's like we're preaching to the choir sometimes, a lot of us that listen to you, but just give us something, you know, that we can take to our --

RUSH:  Well, about that, this is a common effort, a frequently used effort by critics of this program to say that it's inconsequential.  There's Limbaugh, just preaches to the choir. And then in 2002, after the midterm elections, which the Democrats thought they were going to win and were stunned -- that was the Wellstone memorial -- they could not believe that the Republicans gained seats in the 2002 midterms.  At the time, the Senate leader for the Democrats was Tom "Puff" Daschle.  And Daschle was so disconcerted and upset over the outcome that he went public with some of their research data that they normally do not divulge. 

And their research data showed that Democrats listen to Rush Limbaugh; and further, they do change their minds because of Rush Limbaugh. He went public with this. He was angry about it, and Daschle's favorite thing to say was, "We're concerned, Tim. We're very concerned." And he went out at his postelection press conference and said, "I'm very concerned. We've got some very unsettling news from our experts, from our research experts."

So "preaching to the choir" does not explain the growth of this program's audience. It doesn't explain the Democrats' treatment of this program. It doesn't explain the critics' approach to me. So don't worry about that. Sure, there's a large choir here, but it expands. And the choir is made up of converts as well as people who've always believed what they believe.

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