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CPAC Analysis: Cruz and Christie

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I've got some CPAC sound bites.  Governor Christie just finished speaking.  He spoke for about I guess, 20, 25 minutes, and he started just before the program began, and it is reported -- I didn't see it -- he got a standing ovation, standing O when he showed up, and I think Dana Bash, the infobabe at CNN, said that he got a louder applause than Ted Cruz.  Now, I could be wrong.  She didn't mention Cruz -- well, I didn't hear her actually name the person she was comparing Christie's applause to.  I'm assuming it was Cruz 'cause he's the only other guy there that got raucous applause today. 

The National Review Online is reporting that Christie got a standing O, and, as he exited stage left, Christie said, "We don't get to govern if we don't win.  Let's come out of this conference resolved to win elections again."  Now, that can be interpreted in any number of ways.  It could be that -- and I doubt this -- but some in the establishment think that you and the Tea Party are more interested in being right, making statements, and having elected people say what you want to hear than you are in winning elections.  And the establishment thinks, just like I told you I talked to this prominent elected GOP guy last week, who told me they don't think the Republican Party can win simply by turning out its base. 

Now, they're wrong about that, but they believe that.  And so when you make a comment, "We gotta come out of this conference resolved to win elections again," some could interpret that and say, "Look, we gotta win.  Before we can govern, before we can implement or idea, we gotta win."  Meaning, lay low while we go about winning, and then we'll be okay when we get into office.  Now, when an establishment person says this -- I'm not attributing this to Christie -- but when an establishment person says to you, "Hey, let's come out of this resolved to win elections again," it could mean, "Ignore me while I pander to the left." 

If you're an establishment guy, and if the establishment thinks you can't win by turning out the GOP base alone, then the obvious conclusion is they gotta go out and pick off Democrats.  So, one philosophy says, "We gotta come up with a plan for African-Americans.  We don't need 'em all, Rush.  If we could just get 5, 10% of the African-American vote, we could totally destroy the Democrats."  Okay, cool.  "And then, Rush, we gotta go get some Hispanics. We don't have to get 'em all, maybe 5, 10% of the Hispanics, and we could bust the Democrats' coalition.  And then, Rush, we gotta go out, we gotta pick off some women, we gotta get some single women." 

So what they're saying is, "We have to go out and get some votes of people that don't like us, and to do that, we may have to say things you don't like, but that's all part of winning elections, so just be quiet and let us professionals do what we do."  That's one way of interpreting that comment, because if you say, "Let's come out of this conference resolved to win elections again," isn't there some body of thought that says there are people that don't want to win?  Isn't that the objective of a political party is to win elections?  Who doesn't want to win?  Well, the establishment must think that somebody in the Republican realm doesn't want to win, at least that's not the priority, that there are other things that come first. 

I'm probably making too big a deal out of this.  But I do find it an interesting comment, particularly after having had the conversation with -- if the establishment believes that they can't win by turning out the base -- and, by the way, they could have. There were four million Republicans in 2012 that didn't turn out, stayed home.  If they would have all shown up and voted just the party line, we'd have beaten Obama by two million votes.  We could have won the White House by turning out the base.  We didn't turn out the base.  So it's obvious that the establishment of the party believes that the population of the country has organized itself in groups now, and you have to appeal to 'em that way. 

You can't go out and appeal to a single American culture, or a singular American ideal.  You cannot come up with a political campaign or strategy or philosophy that encompasses everybody.  You've got to go to the groups where these people are and pick 'em off.  That's the inside-the-Beltway strategy on the establishment part.  Now, you and I -- I won't lump you in with me.  I don't hold to that.  I think you get into big trouble when you start bifurcating your message for this group or that group over here because then, you know, you're watering down your essence. 

But still, as an active proposition, you do have to win.  Everything else is academic if you don't win.  It's just a agreement over how.  And then, of course, the mandate that you have after you win depends largely on how you campaign.  So I'm sure we'll have some Christie bites.  Ahem.  I'm sure the audio production staff, ahem, is even now, ahem, working on assembling them.  Let's listen to Ted Cruz at CPAC today.  We've got four sound bites here, and he got a raucous reception, no question.

CRUZ:  How do we win elections?  Number 1.  Defend the Constitution.  For all of our friends in the media, a free press means not having government monitors sitting in your newsroom.  The right to freedom of religion, and that means, among other things, not having the IRS ask citizens, "Tell me the content of your prayers."  We need to stand for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  We need to stand for the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, the privacy of every American.  We need to abolish the IRS.

RUSH:  We edited a lot of the applause.  It went on and on and on.  We edited it for time.  Now, let me make an observation.  When I did my CPAC speech, what was it, five years ago now -- has it been that long?  It's one of those things that seems like yesterday.  I did the closing speech, whatever it was, three, four, five years ago, and I was going through some basic, "Here's who we are as conservatives."  And the audience was applauding raucously after every sentence.  And I finally paused, 'cause it was happening here, too, with Cruz, every sentence he's getting applause.  And I imagined, using my well endowed empathy, I imagined that people watching might have been, "Well, why is all this stuff getting applauded, defending the Constitution, why is that being applauded?" 

The IRS and not having them ask the content of prayers, why were people applauding all this?  So I paused and I said to the people watching, 'cause every network was telecasting my speech, I said, you may wonder why all this is being applauded.  It's because we think all of these things are under assault.  You may think that it's standard operating procedure to defend the Constitution, but it's under assault.  And so when somebody comes up before a group of conservatives and pledges to defend it, it's gonna be applauded because there's genuine fear that it's under assault and in the midst of a transformation.  And the same for every bullet point made, and it happened to Cruz here.  So I just wanted, if any of you are wondering, "Why is that being applauded?  Of course." It's because the people in that room and a lot of others around the country think all of these institutions, traditions, all these things definitively American are under assault.  Here's the next Cruz bite.

CRUZ:  When millions of Americans stood up last fall and said, "Stop this train wreck, this disaster that is Obamacare, that is hurting millions of people," the Democrats said, the mainstream media said -- although I repeat myself -- (laughter) -- they said, "This is hopeless.  Don't you understand?  Just move on.  Just accept it.  You can't do anything to stop this."  Yes, we can.

RUSH:  Again, why are they applauding that?  Because people in that room think that the country they know and love is in the midst of being transformed and all these great traditions are being attacked, and they're happy to hear anybody stand up and say that they're going to defend them.  Here's another one.

CRUZ:  He announces just about every day one change after another after another in Obamacare.  It is utterly lawless. It is inconsistent with our Constitution, and it ought to trouble everyone: Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians.  Let me tell you something.  If you have a president who is picking and choosing which laws to follow and which laws to ignore, you no longer have a president.  (applause)

RUSH:  Ooh!  That's Ted Cruz at CPAC this morning.  Here's our final bite.

CRUZ:  There are lots of voices in Washington that will say, "No, no, no, no, no, this is too bold.  You can't stand against the IRS.  That's extreme.  You can't say repeal Obamacare.  That's really a bit much.  Let's just modify it.  You can't not bankrupt the country.  Let's just slow it down a little bit."  A friend of mine suggested a bumper sticker slogan:  "Republicans: we waste less."  (Laughter)  You win elections by standing for principle and inspiring people that there is a better tomorrow.  (applause)

RUSH:  Ted Cruz at CPAC.  Remember, we edited the applause for time purposes in our sound bites.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Okay.  Let's do the Chris Christie sound bites.  I gotta do this in the interests of equality.  Yes, because we played some Ted Cruz sound bites earlier today.  Chris Christie showed up... Actually, grab Dana Bash first, because she's the CNN infobabe.  I just want you to hear how she introduced Christie. She was speaking while Christie was speaking. They carried maybe two minutes or three minutes.

And they turned it over to their reporter to tell us what we could see but not hear Christie saying.  It's how they do it.  The Republican stands up to speak, and the media puts some anchor up there or a reporter to tell us what he's saying.  We just like them to shut up so we can hear it, but we're not smart enough to understand, so they have to tell us what he's saying, and that's what this is.

BASH:  The most interesting thing is the way he was greeted, which was pretty enthusiastically.  I was here earlier for Ted Cruz's speech, for Paul Ryan's speech.  Not much difference.  In fact, maybe you could even argue that he's getting even more of a rousing response from the crowd, particularly on the idea that you heard him say, which is that Republicans can't just be against things; they have to be for things.

RUSH:  Yeah, the media loves that.  "Oh, yeah, you just can't be against things," because the way they hear that is, "You can't just criticize liberals. You gotta be for something!  You just criticize us."  So Christie said that, and CNN said, "Oh, well, that's brilliant! That is sheer genius."  Here are a couple of bites -- and this is where he says it.

CHRISTIE:  The fact is, we've gotta start talking about what we're for and not what we're against.

RUSH:  I thought we were.

AUDIENCE: (smattering of applause)

CHRISTIE:  And the reason for that is very, very simple.  And it's exactly what I said to CPAC in Chicago in 2012.  The reason we have to start talking about what we're for and not continuing to rail against what we're against is because of one simple reason:  Our ideas are better than their ideas, and that's what we have to stand up for.  (applause)

RUSH:  Well, I full-on agree with that, but the establishment is afraid of our ideas.  Let's be honest: The Republican establishment, some of them don't even share our ideas.  By the way, I actually... Well, I can only speak for myself.  Do we not talk about many things we're for here on this program?  (interruption) Yeah.  People can list them.  I know he's not talking about me.  He's talking about political candidates.

But still, we've got to tell people who they are.  The media isn't gonna vet liberals!  We've got to do it.  That's not just listing what you're against, although we are.  But you have to tell people.  The Republicans have not once endeavored to really tell people who Obama is, politically, ideologically, issue-wise.  They're afraid to, and they don't say what they're for.  They certainly don't utter conservatism.  He's right about that.  But there are many varied reasons.  Here's the next sound bite of Christie...

CHRISTIE:  Let us come out here resolved not only to stand for our principles, but let's come out of this conference resolved to win elections again.  That's what I intend to do for the next year, and I hope you'll join me.  Thank you very much.

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH:  Okay, there you go.  So it must be the case that somewhere there are Republicans that don't want to win elections.  I know what he means by that.  I know exactly what he means.  "There's some people, they don't care if we win! They just want candidates to say what they believe.  They want people to rip those Democrats, whether it helps us win or not. Well, we can't do that or we're not gonna win."

I know what that stuff means.  

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