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Don't Apologize for 47%, Mitt

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here is Ed in Pittsburgh. I'm glad you called, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Infidel dittos.

RUSH: Thank you, sir. Infidel dittos? Did you say...? "Infidel dittos" did you say?

CALLER: Yes, I did.

RUSH: Yes. Yes.

CALLER: Listen, I have a comment on the 47%.

RUSH: Maybe you can make me understand this, 'cause I'm really at a loss to understand why they think they're sitting on such a gold mine with that.

CALLER: Well, what I can't understand is why nobody's brought up what a negative that is for Obama. I mean, if I'm Romney and somebody hits me with that 47% comment, I'll immediately come back at 'em with, "Well, Mr. President, your policies have ensured that 47% of the American people are on the taxpayers' dole, and we intend to change that. So thank you for bringing it up."

RUSH: You don't think that's somewhat risky?

CALLER: I don't think so.

RUSH: No, you gotta keep in mind --

CALLER: Yeah?

RUSH: You have to remember one thing about that 47%: Most people in it do not think they are. When that 47% number is brought up, most people don't go, "Yeah, yeah, yeah! He's talking about me." It's always, "Those other people." Most people don't think they're in the 47%.

CALLER: So you think that's risky? It might be... If it's worded correctly and if it's done the right way, I think that should be a negative.

RUSH: Well, the reason it's risky to use the 47% is saying, "Well, Mr. President, 47% of Americans aren't paying taxes" is an opening for Obama to go out and say he thinks that's good. That soaks the rich! You know, it ought to be 59% or 50%, whatever. The rich aren't paying their fair share. He can say, "That's not true, Mr. Romney! They all pay payroll taxes or what have you." I think if you want to use the 47% you could come up with some other things that indicate economic failure, pain, or whatever that equal 47%. But 47% of the people not paying taxes can still be spun into Romney criticizing them.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

RUSH: When don't forget: There isn't a politician alive who's running on tax increases for the middle class. They're all running on tax cuts for the middle class. So if you run out and say 47% aren't paying taxes, they can turn that around and think, "Romney wants to raise mine," and nobody gets elected promising to raise taxes on the middle class. They get elected promising to cut them -- and then raise them after that, when they're not looking.

The last guy that tried this was Walter Mondull in 1984. He promised to raise everybody's taxes. He said Reagan was, too, but Reagan wouldn't tell you the truth. "I am telling you! I'm gonna raise your taxes and so is he!" He lost 49 states. I think it's risky to equate 47% with that. Besides, it's not their fault that they're not paying taxes. That's government policy. Politicians have, in order to get votes, cut taxes on certain percentage of income in this country that 47% fall into.

I just think it's a risky gambit.

Now, when I say, "It's not their fault," it's government policy.

It's not my fault that I'm paying 39% or 36% instead of 45%.

I pay what the rate is.  If 47%% of the people aren't paying income tax, it's not 'cause they wrote the law.  It's because politicians wrote the law pandering to 'em trying to get their votes, and constantly raising taxes on the rich.  The tax burden is spread out the way it is because politicians have written the law that way.  I just think it's a risky area to go because Romney is at the same time promising to cut taxes on the middle class.  You run around and start talking about all the people that aren't paying taxes and Obama can say, "See, he does, wants to raise taxes on everybody."  I wouldn't go there.  There's other ways to use this 47%. 

I'm having trouble verbalizing this, and I apologize profoundly for being stumped here.  You ever had a thought that you're trying to remember, you know what it is, and it's on the edge of your tongue, verge of your mind, you just can't think of it? This 47%, there's something about this that I'm -- there's brilliance here, and I'm just shy of it.  I'll figure it out, if not today, certainly by tomorrow.  There's something here that just doesn't add up with all this attention on the 47% and how much they've got invested in it as a Romney killer, 'cause it's not.  If it was gonna kill Romney, it woulda killed Romney when they reported it.  It wouldn't need Obama to mention it to him in a debate. 

See, the reason why what Romney said in the debate was crucial is because it was the first time in the mainstream media any of that had been said, whether it was to Obama's face or not.  But the 47% is as much in the media as is anything else about Romney.  It's not something people don't know already.  But when Romney hit Obama with how his policies have failed and what he said versus what he's done -- the media has not vetted Obama.  The media has not critically examined Obama.  The media has not connected Obama and his policies to the decline of this economy.  It's never happened.  Romney did it in the debate, first time.  That's why it was momentous.  That's why the American people saw and heard things for the first time. 

They also saw a Romney that they had not seen before, if all they do is watch the mainstream media and watch television ads.  They saw a Romney that bears no resemblance to the way Obama talks about him.  But on this 47% business, my guess is, most Americans are sick and tired of hearing about it, it's been out there so damn much.  Well, not that it'll fall flat.  But it's way late.  It will be seen as a desperation move.  If everybody can predict that that's what Obama's gonna do, then how does it make news?  If everybody can predict what Obama's gonna say, certainly Romney can prepare for it. 

But these media guys are acting like Romney's on Mars, has no idea what's being planned here, that there's this giant secret plan to really swarm Romney with this 47%. And then tomorrow Romney's gonna land from Mars, he's gonna go to the debate and Obama's gonna mention this 47% and for the very first time, Romney's gonna be challenged with it and he's gonna sit there and start shaking and shivering and quaking in fear and go, "Oh, God, oh, God, they got me, I quit."  Well, that's how they're acting over this.  It's not happening in a vacuum.  You've heard the 47% as many times as you have to go to the bathroom every day.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Let me ask you a question.  Let me ask you a quick question because this has me a little nervous.  Romney has, at least to me, gotten close a couple of times on the stump to apologizing for the 47% comment.  Now, what if he does that tomorrow night?  What if he apologizes for it?  That would be bad.  Don't go there.  Look, they don't call me for my advice and I don't call them with it.  I figure if they want to know what I think, I'll hear from 'em.  They know how to reach me.  But I wouldn't apologize.  It just opens too many doors. 

Besides that, folks, there's a dirty little secret here, and this is where it would really help if there were a lot of genuine Tea Party conservatives on Romney's team, and that is, there are a lot of people who agreed with him when he made the comments about the 47%.  That's, to use a cliche, the dirty little secret here.  So he's gotta be very careful about apologizing.  He seemed to get close to it a couple of times on the stump.  It seems like the tendency is to just apologize, thinking that'll get it off the table, and it won't.  That's just a brand-new door open.  Romney admits he was wrong, Romney admits, Romney admits, Romney admits, what else is Romney wrong about?  What else does Romney need to apologize for?  Does Romney need to apologize for letting the guy's wife die?  Does Romney need to apologize for sheltering his income?  They can revive every ad that Obama's run. 

Anyway, Gallup is out, daily tracking, Romney holds his two-point lead for the fourth straight day.  So this debate thing's more than a bounce now.  You can't say that there was a bounce coming out of the debate because four straight days he's held his two-point lead in the Gallup daily tracking.  But don't apologize for a statistical fact. 

(interruption)
Yeah, I've heard that Obama's gonna bring up Bain.  Let him do that.  See, I think that's another example of what Michael Barone's talking about. These guys live in the past.  Romney hasn't been at Bain Capital 20 years.  And there's a company that is outsourcing some jobs to China that Bain, the current Bain Capital's involved in, but Romney's got nothing to do with it.  But they want to link Romney to Bain.  You know what's happening?  I'll tell you what's happening.  This is why Romney's gotta be real careful.  Pardon my turn of phrase here, but I want to be as graphic on the clean side as I can here.  What I think is really happening, I think the Obama campaign is done. 

I think they've shot their wad.  I don't think they've got an October Surprise.  They're going back and recycling stuff.  That's what this attempt to tie Romney to Bain's about.  That's what Big Bird's about.  They don't have anything else.  Pardon my French on the phrase, but I don't want any confusion as to what I mean.  I think it's so much worse for the Obama campaign than anybody's willing to admit anywhere, and this 47%'s like a lifeline.  The 47% is almost like if you're a Cowboys fan, you want the second string quarterback in after yesterday, or any team that had great expectations and high hopes and the starting quarterback just isn't pulling it off, get the second stringer in there.  That's what the 47% comment means to me.  It really indicates how little the regime has in their campaign arsenal if that represents so much.  One throwaway comment by Romney in May to a bunch of donors.  That tells me that they're starting to recycle things now. 

Bain was one of the first things out of the campaign's mouth months ago when they were trying to tie Bain and Romney and Wall Street, and that's why they created Occupy Wall Street.  This Bain linkage is months old, and they're just now going back to it.  'Cause they don't have anything else.  They fired their big guns.  And then Benghazi happened.  And they don't have an answer.  You talk about a candidate not having an answer for something, how about a dead ambassador and three Americans, blaming it on a video and then trying to slough it off on Mrs. Clinton or blaming it on the intel community. What's apparent here is that neither Biden nor Obama got the 3 a.m. call -- nobody even called 'em.  It's not that the phone rang at 3 a.m. and they didn't answer it.  Nobody called them at 3 a.m., is what their story is now.

END TRANSCRIPT

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