RUSH: The Drive-Bys are fascinated. Trump is now attacking Ted Cruz on the eve of the Hawkeye Cauci. Cruz is still leading there by five, and Trump is alternating his attacks. We get a direct hit and then a back door-attack hitting Cruz on his eligibility, going after Cruz on the birther aspect of whether or not Cruz is qualified.
And we've got the Drive-By Media sitting here in anticipation, wondering if Trump is gonna get away with this. They're eagerly waiting. Trump does this, goes after Cruz. They think it's all gonna depend on what happens on talk radio if Trump gets away with it or not, that it's gonna be me and others on talk radio who will determine whether or not Trump succeeds with this attack on Cruz. And then they're saying, "Remember what happened last time that Trump went after Cruz? Rush Limbaugh went after Trump and Trump backed down!"
People have forgotten (and it wasn't that long ago) why it is that I sounded a warning bell to Trump on that. It wasn't the fact that he had gone after Cruz. It was the way he did it. I'm not gonna sit here and tell people not to go after people. That's crazy. But the way Trump went after Cruz, it was very, very dangerous, because he was using left-wing, liberal language. He was going after Cruz the way a liberal Democrat would. I was saying, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! You don't want to do it that way." But as far as Trump hitting Cruz or vice-versa? Have at it, boys.
I'm not gonna sit here and say shouldn't happen. But the Drive-Bys, you know, one day they think what happens here is inconsequential and nothing more than a comedy act, and then the next day what happens here determines the outcome of presidential elections, and then the next day we're responsible for all the anger in the country. So they can't make up their minds about what happens here on a daily basis. All they would have to do is listen, which they don't do.
They go to "watchdog" websites to read what happens on this program each and every day. So we have the sound bites of Trump going after Cruz and Cruz reacting to it. He's still not falling for it, still not taking the bait on it.
RUSH: Now, let's move on to the Republican presidential campaign. Starting here with Trump. This has got the Drive-Bys all excited. They're waiting and they love Republican infighting. They have tried their best to take Trump out. Now they want talk radio to take Trump out. That's essentially what they're hoping happens. That's what they're breathlessly waiting for. Because whatever else they say on a given day, they are fully aware of the power that resides here. What they don't understand -- and what they will not believe and never will believe -- is that said "power" is not even something that I am aware of on a day-to-day basis.
That's not at all why I do what I do, using it, wielding it. I'm not even... It never even strikes me that I have any, is the point, until these guys in the Drive-Bys start making it clear they think a lot of power resides here. You may say, "Rush, clearly you're not telling us..." Yes! What I'm trying to say, I'm not trying to deny there's power. I'm telling you using it is not at all how I prepare or do, perform, whatever you want to say, this program. It's not at the forefront of my mind. But they think it is. The point is here they tried to take Trump out; they failed.
They thought Trump would implode and all they had to do was amplify what Trump has said (i.e., broadcast it, write about it, amplify it so more people hear about it) and Trump gets embarrassed and he quits, goes away. That hasn't happened. Now they're looking for somebody else to do it. The Republican leadership's tried; they can't do it. Various other agents have tried. Debates moderators, take your pick. They've tried. Nobody's been able to take Trump out. Trump is now going after Cruz. The Drive-Bys say, "Okay, this may be it because we know talk radio is not gonna put up with this!
"Talk radio is not gonna put up with Trump going after Cruz, and when even talk radio starts dumping on Trump..." They really believe that if we start dumping on Trump, that he's finished, which illustrates once again that they have no idea. You know, if you want to understand, if you're watching now today, tomorrow, at any time, the media talk about talk radio, the key to understanding it, the key to deciphering it, is they believe you are incapable of thinking on your own, that you never have, and you don't.
That every action you take politically, every thought you have politically, every opinion is the result of you being brainwashed by me and others like me. You are not independent; you do not think on your own; you don't have the ability to. And they believe this because they think all of conservatism is mind-numbed robots, idiots, you name it. They think all of conservatism is what you watch, what you saw when you watch Making of a Murderer, frankly.
So they are eager to see this Trump versus Cruz thing happen because they think it's gonna result in me or who knows who else going after Trump and taking them out. Here's what's got 'em all excited. This is Trump yesterday in New Hampshire, on New Hampshire 1 TV news. The political director Paul Steinhauser is interviewing Trump and says, "Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about Ted Cruz and your comments, because his birthplace is in Canada, it may be 'precarious' for the Republicans to have a nominee like that. Are you suggesting or questioning his birthright, his citizenship?"
TRUMP: No, I'm not at all. I just know that it's being questioned all over, and a lot of people are asking me that question. I hope it's not so. I hope it doesn't come about. But people are worried that if he wasn't born in this country -- which he wasn't, he was born in Canada, and he actually had a Canadian passport along with a US passport until just recently. So I don't know what it all means. I know that other people are talking about it.
RUSH: So Trump says, "Yeah, other people are asking me about it. I don't know what the problem is. I don't think he's got a problem. He was born in Canada, had a Canadian passport. I don't think he's got a problem. He may not even be an American, but I don't know. It's for other people to figure out. I'm not. It's just people are asking me. What do you want me to do about it?" So Steinhauser sits there mesmerized while Trump continues.
TRUMP: The problem is that if the Democrats bring a lawsuit, the lawsuit could take years to resolve, and how do you have a candidate where there's something, you know, over the head of the party and that individual? So I hope it wouldn't be the truth. I hope that wouldn't be, you know, what it is. And we'll find out, I guess. I mean, Ted will be able to answer the question hopefully satisfactory. I hear a couple of states have a problem with it, too.
RUSH: "I really hope there's nothing to it. It would be horrible. Can you imagine a lawsuit for two years over our nominee? Nobody would want that. Ted wouldn't want that. I wouldn't want that. Maybe Marco wouldn't want that. So we hope this gets sorted out. I'm sure there's nothing there, but a lot of people are asking me. They think there very well could be, and he wasn't born in America. I'm not saying it! Other people are. Ted said it himself." This is... (laughing) I don't know. It's entertaining. It's cl... And then Cruz is reacting to it in his own way, here. More
Trump before we get to Cruz, Fox & Friends this morning, and Brian Kilmeade says, "Yesterday you brought up that Ted Cruz might not be an American. And Ted Cruz's response was showing the Happy Days footage of Fonzi jumping the shark like you, Mr. Trump, have now gone over the edge in accusing him of that. So where are you going with this?"
TRUMP: Well, I'm not going anywhere. I mean, was I just asked a very innocent question yesterday by the Washington Post, and I hope this doesn't take place. I mean, frankly, I don't want to see it happen. I want to beat him on his own merit. I would like to see Ted do something where maybe he goes in a preemptive fashion into court to try to get some kind of an order, because I would not like to see that happen. I like him a lot. I think he likes me a lot. It's a problem. I'd love to see him get it straightened out.
RUSH: (laughing) There's nothing to straighten out. (imitating Trump) "I don't want it to be a problem. I really like Ted; Ted likes me. I hope it gets straightened out." So ABCNews.com, White House correspondent Jonathan Karl speaking with Trump. This is just a couple of months ago. We want to go back and revisit what Trump has said about this. This was back in September.
TRUMP: From what I understand, everything is fine. I hear that it was checked out by every attorney and every which way, and I understand Ted is in fine shape.
RUSH: What's happened? What's changed here between September 15th and -- well, Ted Cruz is up five in Iowa. So now it may be a problem. Now, see, the Drive-Bys, folks, they are so excited. They can't wait. They think we're gonna jump on Trump and excoriate him and blaspheme, just blast away at Trump. How dare he do this. In fact, to illustrate that, grab audio sound bite number seven. F. Chuck Todd today on the Today show, Savannah Guthrie, who asked somebody -- she was talking to somebody. We had a sound bite yesterday, didn't get to it. She referred to the Monica Lewinsky episode as "alleged." She was trying to correct or criticize a Republican. (imitating Guthrie) "Wasn't that an alleged incident with Lewinsky" or whatever. At any rate, she's talking to F. Chuck Todd, and she says, "Look, Trump has launched an attack here against Cruz on the issue of his eligibility. Do you think this is something that will have appeal with conservative voters or does this have the feel of kind of throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks out there, Chuck?"
TODD: Watch today when the talk radio circuit, who has been very supportive of Ted Cruz and any time there's been a split between Cruz and Trump, they've sided with Cruz. I suspect unless they somehow turn on Cruz on this issue, I don't think this is gonna be an issue at all with conservative voters.
RUSH: There you have it, I told you, they're sitting around, they're waiting for us on talk radio to turn this into what they want it to be. They want it to be everybody ganging up on Trump, defending Cruz, how in the word, Donald, do you do that. That's what they want everybody, that's what they want to hear on this program. For his part, here's Cruz yesterday, Sioux City, Iowa, talking with reporters about it all.
CRUZ: I'm gonna stick with Fonzie jumping the shark and I'm gonna let the rest of you all battle it out.
RUSH: Trump attacks Cruz, barely reacts to it, and that's where it is.
RUSH: Okay. So what's really going on? Go back to September, Trump is very clear that he knows that Ted Cruz has been vetted on this citizenship business and that it's all hunky-dory, it's aboveboard and no problem. Now all of a sudden it's a factor. Cruz is up five leading in Iowa, so Trump doesn't want to lose Iowa, he wants to win anything, so revives this. Why does he revise this? He knows it's not gonna go anywhere. But Trump is pretty good at keeping himself in the media, and this is one way to do it, come out with this allegation, this charge. I mean, Trump knows that the Drive-Bys hate him and Cruz. On a normal day outside of politics, if Trump's not in the presidential campaign, the media normally love Trump. He's great copy; he's a fun guy to be around. In a political sense they hate it, they hate Cruz. So they tried to take Trump out. They failed. They're hoping that this is that moment where Trump has stepped in it because they think talk radio is Trump's number one support group and if they turn against him it it's the end of it for Trump.
Talk radio is not Trump's number one support group. As it turns out, blue-collar Democrats, according to polling data, are the number one support group of Donald Trump. The other thing that is on the agenda here is simply keeping himself in the media. You know, this ad, I meant to mention this yesterday in greater detail. Time ran out. Trump runs his first paid ad, and look at all the attention it got. For whatever he spent on that ad, he got 10 times in value in just the media talking about it. He only had to spend X-amount of money to buy it on a couple of locations and every network in the world got their hands on it and started airing it for free.
It was smart. It was an ad focusing on immigration, which is Trump's gravy train, and it featured massive numbers of people marching across the desert, meant to look like the US border flooding the southern border from Mexico. It turns out, people did some investigation, found out that the locale that was used was Morocco, that the footage was not even of illegals. (laughing) They didn't get actors and film this thing in Mexico, California, and Arizona. They went to Morocco to film this, and so the Drive-Bys are shouting, claiming foul and deceit.
But all that did is create even more talk about the ad, which kept it in the news above and beyond what the substance or contents of the ad was about. It was probably done purposefully. And whoever leaked that it was filmed in Morocco did so on purpose. You know, all of this is a very studied and practiced art, the art of getting in and staying in and being prominent in the media. Some people crave it; some people seek if out and have figured out how to do it, and Trump is one of those.
RUSH: I was just told MSNBC just did a segment on how I did not jump down Trump's throat for going after Cruz on the citizenship thing. I told you. They're sitting around here, they're waiting for us to take Trump out since they've failed, and they believe that we're gonna take Trump out any time he goes after Cruz 'cause of what happened the last time. They've forgotten why we went after him. They forgot why I went after and cautioned Trump the first time he hit Cruz. It wasn't because he hit Cruz or criticized him. It's how he did it. I was trying to protect Trump on this. But they're not nuanced or even informed enough to understand. Even when they hear it they don't understand what's going on. It's a mind-boggling thing to me.
Anyway, Cruz has reacted here. Rock Rapids, Iowa. Here's a portion of what he said, mounting a defense on this citizenship attack of Trump's.
CRUZ: As a legal matter, the question is quite straightforward and settled law, that the child of a US citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen. People will continue to make political noise about it, but as a legal matter it's quite straightforward. I would note that it's occurred many times in history. John McCain was born in Panama, but he was a natural born citizen because his parents were US citizens. George Romney, Mitt's dad, was born in Mexico when his parents were Mormon missionaries, but he's a natural born citizen because his parents were citizens. Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona before Arizona was a state, and yet he was a natural born citizen because his parents were citizens.
RUSH: Okay. And he wasn't done with that. He says, as a legal matter, the question's quite straightforward. And listen, as last night's events demonstrated, I think there's serious issues facing the American people, serious issues to be decided in this election and that's where our focus is gonna stay, on the real issues that matter to the men and women of the country. So he's saying look, I've responded to it, this is the way it is, and now let's not get distracted anymore, stick to the issues, so to speak. Ted Cruz.
RUSH: It was the Hillary Clinton campaign that brought that up. It was the Hillary Clinton campaign that brought up McCain's birthplace relationship to his citizenship, until they were slapped down.
It was also Hillary's camp that brought up Obama's birthplace. The original birther was Hillary Clinton and her campaign. When it comes to Obama and whether he was actually born in the US or "faked the birth certificate in Hawaii," it's all started by the Clintons, folks. It was all started by the Hillary Clinton campaign back in 2007, 2008. Hillary Clinton gave birth to the birther movement. I mean, don't take my word for it. Look it up. But I got no reason to lie to you about it. I don't lie to you about anything anyway, but I'm sure it jogs your memory.
You've heard it before. So the point is that if it's happened before, it can happen again. And if Cruz is the nominee, you can make book on the fact that Trump is right about one thing, that Hillary's gonna raise it. Hillary will do anything, just like Obama would, to disqualify the opposition, to sweep them off the field. So I wouldn't doubt that Trump's right, that the Democrats might bring up Cruz's citizenship aspect, maybe even challenge it in court, because they've done it before. John McCain and Barack Obama.
RUSH: Rich in White Plains. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, thank you so much for taking my call. With regard to the alleged attack by Trump on Cruz's citizenship, from what you played before -- and, you know, having heard what Donald Trump sounds like when he attacks -- that didn't sound like much of an attack. Actually it sounded more like it was reminiscent of the Stephanopoulos-Romney exchange at the debate where, you know, Romney was set up. You know, correct me if I'm wrong, but I wouldn't call what I heard -- was it Chuck Todd and Donald Trump's response? I wouldn't categorize that as an attack.
RUSH: Well, I think you're pretty shrewd out there, Rich. It wasn't an attack on Cruz 'cause Trump wasn't speaking to him. Stephanopoulos was speaking to Romney and asking him a direct question. What Donald Trump did is say, "Look, I hope it works out. I really do. I just think there might be a problem and somebody will get to it." He raised the issue. But what you're saying he stopped short of making an allegation. So you're saying, "What's the big deal? He didn't hit him real hard," and you're right. Trump, I think, is tiptoeing when it comes to Cruz. He knows the pitfalls out there in so doing. So I think it's fairly astute observation on your part, and I wish I had time to utter more about it, but I don't.