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Republicans Want in on Welfare State

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Yes, I'm gonna answer the question.  But this is gonna set it up.  Roland Martin, this is Sunday morning on TV One's Washington Watch with Roland Martin.  It's a discussion about Romney saying the reason he lost was because of gifts that Obama gave to minorities.

MARTIN:  This has been an absolutely crazy week.  You see Mitt Romney, he comes out and he's talking about gifts being passed out like President Obama somehow is Santa Claus.  At some point, when will the Republicans learn to accept a butt kicking like a man?

RUSH:  Well, hey, Roland, at some point when will Obama learn to accept that he screwed up the economy and not Bush?  Where does this stuff stop?  But, anyway, you see Roland Martin upset that Mitt would dare describe this as Santa Claus.  Hey, Roland, what is redistribution of wealth?  What is it?  What is it when you take what somebody has earned and give it to somebody else?  And what is it when the taker wants that and expects that?  What is it?  And, Roland, are you really unaware that that's the sales pitch for the Democrat Party? For my whole life, the people who have, have too much, and it isn't fair they've got too much, and it's the Democrats that are gonna take it from 'em.  And do what with it?  Give it to the starving kids in China?  Don't think so. 

Here's Marco Rubio.  This is Saturday night, Altoona, Iowa, a fundraiser for Governor Terry Branstad.

RUBIO:  For so many people on my side of the aisle and my party and the governor's party, a lot of frustration about the outcome of the election.  I've heard people say things like, "I'm not getting involved anymore. I'm just gonna focus on my family and my community and leave politics to others."  Others have suggested that maybe the American electorate has changed, that what people want from government now is they're just gonna vote for whoever promises them more.  I don't believe that's true.  I can't believe that's true.  Because if it's true, then the very nature of our country is changed forever.

RUSH:  Well, has it?  That's the question.  Thomas B. Edsall, the New York Times yesterday, "Is Rush Limbaugh's Country Gone?"  Rubio has been not happy with the Santa Claus thing that Romney has said.  Here's Bobby Jindal, Sunday morning, Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace said, "Governor, what was stupid about what Romney said?"

JINDAL:  I absolutely reject what he said.  Look, we as a Republican Party have to campaign for every single vote.  If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.  And you don't start to like people by insulting them by saying their votes were bought.

RUSH:  I'm hearing this a lot.  We have to let them know that we like them.  And I gather that's the rub here, that when we say that it's Santa Claus, that we're insulting them and saying their votes were bought.  The Obama phone lady is partying.  She's not insulted. Obama phone!  But I'd like to ask these guys, "Well, then why did Romney lose?"  Let's move forward, grab sound bite nine and ten.  Here's Newt Gingrich, ABC's This Week.  This is during the roundtable, and they're talking about Romney and Santa Claus.  Martha Raddatz said, "What do you think of that? Is that where the Republican Party needs to go?" 

GINGRICH:  I just think it's nuts.  I mean, first of all, it's insulting.  This would be like Walmart having a bad week and going, "The customers have really been unruly."  I mean, the job of a political leader in part is to understand the people.  If we can't offer a better future that is believable to more people, we're not gonna win.

RUSH:  And George Will, also on the roundtable, was asked by Martha Raddatz, "George, how do you do that?"

WILL:  Quit despising the American people, particularly because a lot of what they're despising them for are Republican policies. When Mitt Romney said, "So many Americans aren't paying taxes." Yeah, because the Republicans doubled the child tax credit for conservative reasons. Yes, because they expanded the earned income tax credit, as Ronald Reagan did, because they thought it was an effective anti-poverty program.

RUSH:  Well, you know, there is some truth here to what George Will is saying.  The fact that so many Americans are not paying taxes can be traced in part to certain Republican policies.  But therein lies the rub.  And that is, every time the Republicans try to be Democrat-lite, it doesn't work.  By the way, I would remind Newt that he's the same guy that TIME Magazine put a big picture of him on the cover with the headline -- one word -- "Scrooge."  Okay.  So why, folks, is this Santa Claus thing so upsetting to these guys? 

It's a very simple and easy to understand explanation of redistributionist policy, and especially when you got 8% unemployment, Obama made that happen.  You go out, you attack the private sector. You say the private sector's inherently unfair, capitalism is unfair, unjust, immoral, and then you go show how it is, and then what do you propose is the opposite?  Government picking up the slack.  What is that? 

So here's my theory on this.  These politicians have to assess the world in which they live.  And when they do that, they can do one of two things.  They all want to either be reelected or they want to position themselves for higher office, or stay in office.  Now, this is the world they live in.  They have to assess what's happening and then ask themselves questions.  Do I want to get in on that and be seen by voters that way, or do I want to take a different approach, educate, inform, what have you?  What I think is happening here is that an assessment of reality has been made, and I think this is the world they live in.  They have concluded that they do not want to upset the people who are getting freebies.  They want their votes. 

It's their business, folks.  Their business is to get votes.  Their business is to get elected.  That's what the old argument rages about every election, how do you it?  Do you tackle the problems and try to fix 'em or do you simply say I can continue what you like, no matter what you think of it policy-wise.  So I would say that they have made a calculation, just like I said about people in California, they're voting for what they want.  How sensible would it be for the Republicans to go to California and say, "You know, you guys, we're gonna have to change the way you're voting and we're gonna have to reclaim this state because we're heading toward collapse."

I don't think there's a Republican alive that would want to go out there and campaign on that basis.  And that slowly and surely is becoming what's happening in national campaigns as well.  So 47%, whatever the number, make it 53%, whatever vote Obama got, they're voting for a reason.  They do vote for reasons.  And they may be assessing that they can't win office or hold office if they oppose this or if they don't join this movement, train, what have you. 

So, talk about generalities and platitudes.  You still support the essence of the welfare state.  They don't want to be seen as disagreeing with the welfare state.  I hate to say it, but that's what's happened.  They don't want to be seen as having any animus toward this.  They don't think they can get elected or higher office if they are seen in opposition.  They're reading the tea leaves. They're reading the election results.

So they have to position themselves so the people who aren't voting for them, not the people who are.  Milton Friedman said there's no such thing as a free lunch.  What does that mean?  What does it mean?  World famous economist.  It means there's no Santa Claus.  And when government pretends to be Santa Claus, somebody pays.  So does Newt believe what Friedman said?  Do Bobby Jindal or Marco Rubio, do they believe what Friedman said or not?  Do they believe there's a free lunch or no free lunch?  And if they don't believe that there's a free lunch, then how can any of this be effectively addressed? 

It's a question of just how much substance you want to get into versus marketing and selling.  They're assessing the land as it exists now, and their political fortunes as it exists now and what they must do to maintain or improve their standing, and they're simply assessing the electorate where it is, and what they've decided is that even people who believe in Santa Claus don't want to think of themselves that way, in part. 

Why did Obama offer free contraceptives?  Why did Obama offer free health care for kids up to 26?  Why is Obama offering all of these free things? What does it mean?  Folks, intellectually here there's no argument that the Democrat Party's the party of redistribution.  Santa Claus, it's so simple to understand, it cuts way too close to the quick, and it scares people.  "No, that's insulting the voters, and you can't insult voters. No, don't dare insult the voters."  See, we here can insult voters, but we're not trying to get votes.  That's the difference.

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