RUSH: The story here at TheHill.com: "Trump: I'll work with Democrats." I saw that headline, I said, "Now, wait just a minute. What's this?" So I read the story. "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is stressing his bona fides as a dealmaker who'd be able to enter the White House and work with congressional Democrats to hammer out agreements. 'I think I'm going to be able to get along with Pelosi -- I've always had a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi,' Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC. ... 'Reid's going to be gone. I've always had a decent relationship with Reid,' Trump said, referring to Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate minority leader. 'I always had a great relationship with Harry Reid.'
"Trump said he thought he'd get along with 'just about everybody,' including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), likely to be the next Senate Democratic leader, who Trump said he was 'close to ... in many in ways,'" for quite a while. Now, what is this? This is not what Trump's legion of supporters want to hear, but it's interesting. Is this not exactly what establishment Republicans claim we have to be able to do? How many times have you heard it from Governor Christie, you heard it from Senator McCain. We probably heard it in one form or another from Jeb Bush. I'm sure we heard it from Governor Kasich.
They've all touted their ability to cross the aisle. They've all touted their ability to cross the aisle, to work with Democrats to show that we can make Washington work. A number of establishment Republicans have stated that they know how to make deals with the Democrats, how to be bipartisan, how to make Washington work. That's what establishment Republican candidates say. The establishment of the Republican Party thinks that's what you have to say in order to expand your base beyond just your conservative base voters.
The Republican Party thinks they can't win the presidency with Republican votes alone. They believe what's been said about them in the form of criticism, that they're intolerant and that they're racist and bigoted and all that, and so the establishment Republicans -- you know this better than I do -- for years have been making the case -- Romney did it. "I'm the guy. I'm the guy who can work with the Democrats."
And every time one of them said it, we cringed, or worse. Every time one of them said it, we said, "We don't want work with them. We want to beat them. We want to defeat them. We don't want to work with them." We don't want to compromise our core in order to get along with 'em, because that's what happens. They don't compromise anything. We give up everything, we work with 'em. Latest example, the budget deal. But, I mean, that's just one of many.
And now here comes Trump bragging on MSNBC, "I will work with Democrats," touting his friendships with Democrat leaders in the House and the Senate. Maybe he thinks he's already got the primaries wrapped up. Maybe he thinks he's got the nom. I don't know, but this is the kind of thing the establishment, the mainstream Republican leadership in Washington, this is the kind of thing that they advocate.
This is the kind of thing they think they need. And the candidate they've been paranoid about, the candidate they've done everything they could to stop, the candidate they've been scared to death is gonna blow up and ruin their party is now out there echoing what they believe. What do you make of this?
RUSH: We start in St. Louis. This is... Is it Lisa? Is that right? Lissa? Lissa, great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you so much. You know, I really paused when you talked about what Trump was saying about Pelosi and Reid, that, you know, he's got a good relationship and he can work with them. They're the reason the country has been ruined, I think. They're the reason the economy has been wrecked. I think it's because of Obamacare. They have done all of that, and it's almost like Trump is saying, "You know, I'm gonna work with them and make deals with them, and maybe the country will be less wrecked, the country will be less ruined." You know, if his campaign theme is to "Make America Great Again," that's not the way to get it done.
RUSH: Yeah. I hear you. I think what's going on here, the entire interview features -- and we have a ban on MSNBC so I don't have any audio of this, and I'm not gonna lift the ban for this. I can just easily tell you what they said. So, Cookie, don't go racing around there trying to get the video. This all happened in a conversation about Ted Cruz in which Trump kept repeating how "nasty" Cruz is and how nobody in Washington likes him, and how therefore nobody's gonna cooperate with him if he's president. He is never gonna be able to get anything done because Cruz can't make deals, 'cause nobody likes Cruz.
"He's just a nasty guy."
He went on and on what a "nasty" guy Cruz is.
He said (paraphrased), "He's a guy nobody likes and nobody trusts. He is a nasty guy. He says things that are very nasty. So I have to be nastier than him and it's just one of those things. I've been in politics all my life," Trump said. "I've been dealing with politicians all my life." So I think it's his attack on Cruz... And he may not. I don't know. He may not realize this is not something his base supporters are gonna get excited about. In fact, they may have red flags over it. I think he thinks he's just running on ripping Cruz and touting his own abilities over what he believes are Cruz's inabilities and deficiencies. Either way -- I mean, no matter how you cut this -- it's gonna give people like you and others who are for him some pause. It would have to.
CALLER: Right. Well, you know, if Trump wins and he decides he's gonna work with Pelosi and Reid, that means he's gonna be working with, according to him, the losers. Why should he have to work with the losers? You know, it sounds to me like he's doing great because he's really something different.
CALLER: And I just wonder if it plays out in the real world.
RUSH: You got red flags because this does not sound like the guy who's been on the outside, who is carving a niche for himself that's different and divorced from the way things are usually going. Then you hear about this, he sounds like any other Republican, right?
CALLER: Right. He sounds like an inside guy. He sounds like the guy, you know, in the closed-door rooms.
RUSH: Well --
CALLER: In the closed-door rooms meeting independently, you know?
RUSH: Well, he thinks... It's clear that he thinks that he is promoting himself, that he's touting a super qualification. And, remember, the context is (paraphrased), "Everybody hates Cruz, nobody will let Cruz do anything, nobody will work with Cruz because they distrust him. He's a nasty guy." He's going on and on and on about this. "Cruz is not gonna be able to get anything done; but I -- I, Donald Trump -- I know these guys. I've made deals with these guys. I've lived with these guys. I can get things done with these guys," and whether he stopped to think how his base supporters are gonna hear that, I don't know.
CALLER: And, you know, it would be fine to make deals with people whose ideas are good. But if you're trying to make a deal with the people that gave us Obamacare that's been a drag on the economy, that's not good.
RUSH: Yeah, look, I haven't changed. My sole interest in this is beating these people. My sole interest is that. It's at the top of my list of "musts," if we are going to have a chance at changing the direction of this country that the left has had us moving in for years prior to Obama. Obama just turned on the afterburners. The left, as I mentioned yesterday, owns it is bureaucracy no matter they win or lose the presidency. They're gonna have career leftists that nobody knows. We don't know their names. We don't know how long they've been there.
But they're gonna be able to write regulations. They're gonna be able to stop or support things on a whim. We have basically lost control of the regulatory agencies in in this country. They operate solely unto themselves. Nobody's done anything to stop it and the vast majority of them are leftists, and they've been there for years. Ditto the judiciary. Democrats, if they lose the White House, it's not a fun thing and they're not crazy about it, but they can always fall back on the fact that they have the mechanisms in place to put all kinds of roadblocks in front of the Republicans. And they're there.
So this is a wrong process that, if it's to be successful in changing the direction of the country and it's not gonna be involving making deals with these people... Not unless they are the ones that totally capitulate. And I don't see that happening. We are the ones that usually totally capitulate in a misguided effort to show the American people that they are wrong about what they think of Republicans. So the Republicans accept the branding. They accept that the criticism the Democrats have made is believed, and they operate on it from purely defensive standpoint.
They think the only way that they can grow is to agree with the Democrats; therefore, people couldn't possibly think they're racists or sexists or bigots or whatever the other criticisms are, because they're agreeable. They want to work with them. They want to show they can govern and they can be bipartisan. And that's supposed to change public opinion toward Republicans. And all it's gonna do is secure additional continuing Democrat Party victory. So on top of my list throughout all of this has been, "These people have got to be stopped.
"Politically, they have got to be defeated. Working with them, cooperating with them is not going to make a positive difference or secure positive change in any away." This has been my problem with the Republican establishment. We hear McCain say, "I'm the guy who's gonna cross the aisle." Okay, check that one off the list. I'm not interested. That's not what we need. It's not helpful, not useful. Governor Christie at one point says, "Look, if I'm elected president, I'll listen to Democrats. If they got good ideas, I'll listen to 'em."
Check him off the list. That's not what's important right now. The evidence is in. Like you say, Lissa, these people have destroyed the country, and they are continuing to destroy the country. The evidence... We don't have to speak theoretically anymore. All we have to do is point to real-life circumstances and explain to people, "You want to know why you can't find a job? You want to know why your health care is a mess? You want to know why whatever's wrong is wrong? It's the Democrat Party. It's not a theory. The evidence is in." So working with 'em? Nope. Not helpful.
RUSH: You know, yesterday there were people who were worried that Trump was gonna be an authoritarian, a dictator. Kind of like Obama. He was gonna be just doing what he wants to do whether Congress cares or not. Now, today, people are worried that he's gonna work with the other party, work with the Democrats.
Now, here's Trump. Trump on MSNBC today said that (imitating Trump), "I'm gonna be able to get along with Pelosi. I'm gonna be able to get along with Harry Reid, although he's not gonna be there. I'm great friends with Schumer, I'll be able to get along with Schumer." And he said this in the context of Cruz being a nasty guy, nobody likes Cruz, nobody's gonna be able to get anything done with Cruz. If you guys elect Cruz, nothing's gonna happen 'cause everybody hates Cruz, they despise Cruz. Really nasty guy, really nasty, says a lot of nasty things, Trump says. And nobody's gonna work with him.
It was in that context that Trump offers that he knows Democrats and can work with them. So the context of this is, Trump making this assertion about himself, comparing his abilities to the lack of abilities he claims Cruz would have, a couple of audio sound bites on this.
Last night on CNN's Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer said to Trump, "You just posted a Facebook video where you say the establishment's against you. Why do you say that?"
TRUMP: I think the establishment actually is against me but really coming online (sic), because they see me as opposed to Cruz, who is a nasty guy who can't get along with anybody. We can't have a guy who stands in the middle of the Senate floor and now every other senator thinks he's a whack job, right? Y'know, you have to make deals. You have to get along. That's the purpose of what our founders created, and Ted cannot get along with anybody. He's a nasty person.
RUSH: Okay, so, I think what's happening here... See, I don't believe Trump is ideological in his decision making or even in the formation of his principles. Not everybody is. One of my big frustrations, folks (as you well know), is that so many people are not. I... I... (sigh) I have waxed eloquent I don't know how long, "If we could simply educate people to ideologically identify liberals, to understand them on the basis of ideology, we can escape so much misery because they would never be elected."
The way the Democrats cover their ideological extremism is with compassion and tolerance and fairness and understanding. So people react to what they say. They react to their intentions, and ignore the destruction that they bring. And it's always been my belief that if we could just get people to understand the ideology of liberalism, the ideology of conservatism... It's not complicated. "What's a liberal? What's a conservative?" Not, "What's a Democrat? What's a Republican?"
"What is a liberal? What is a socialist? What is a communist? "
Not just by label, but what are they?
I blame the Republican Party for not pushing this distinction, and the reason they don't is because they don't want to tout themselves as conservatives. If we had some people proud to be conservatives, it'd be easy as pie to contrast ourselves with the left. I don't think Trump is ideological, either. So here he is, he's up against it with Cruz, and he's trying to sell himself over Cruz. (summarized) "But, hey, Cruz, he's a nasty guy! He's a really nasty guy. You've seen that. He's a whack job, and everybody in the Senate knows he's a whack job. Nobody can get along with him!
"You can't make deals if people hate you. I know that! That's why of people love me. I can make deals with people all the time. I can make deals with Democrats." He may not... Well, I don't want to put words in his mouth, and I'm not gonna try to make excuses for him. I'm just telling you, it's a red flag to a lot of people. They don't want to work with Democrats. They don't want anybody working with them. They want people who are gonna smoke 'em. They want people who are gonna cream 'em. They want people who are gonna drive them into the ground and bury them, and then hammer the political nails one after another and end this.
Not work with them.
RUSH: So a big red flag has been thrown up as a result of the Trumpster on MSNBC today assuring everybody he will work with the Democrats and touting his ability to do so. That's a big step-in-it. I know he's doing this in a context of trying to contrast himself with Ted Cruz, who, (imitating Trump), "Nasty, everybody hates Cruz. Never gonna be able to get things done," and so forth. But I guarantee you, the last thing anybody supporting Trumps wants is for him to work with Democrats.
They want him to skunk 'em like he's talking about winning everything else he's doing in his deal-making and negotiating, and it includes Democrats. It includes beating Democrats. It includes winning over the Democrats, not just the Iranians, and not just Putin, and not just the ChiComs. It includes winning over the Democrats, beating the Democrats. We'll see how this plays out. I know he's gonna say he's trying to, "Hey, you know this is just in the context of Cruz out there who can't work with anybody."
I do need to repeat here, I think it's fascinating that Trump has sort of redefined what he thinks the position of the presidency is, which is making deals. No matter what it is, everything is a deal. Every part of your agenda you're trying to advance happens as the result of a deal. And there's nobody better at doing deals than he is, and he means it from the standpoint of winning them, and he better mean it with Democrats.
RUSH: As you know, Donald Trump is saying he may not show up at the Fox debate tomorrow night. Here he is last night on CNN talking about it. Wolf Blitzer said, "Donald, you and Megyn Kelly have had issues, and she's one of the moderators of Thursday's debate. Are you gonna be there? Are you gonna show up at the Fox debate?"
TRUMP: I don't like her. I might be the best thing that ever happened to her. Whoever even heard of her before the last debate? But I thought she was a very unfair in the last debate. I'm not a fan of Megyn Kelly. If I think I'm gonna be treated unfairly, I'll do something else. But I don't think she can treat me fairly, actually. I think she's very biased, and I don't think she can treat me fairly, but that doesn't mean I don't do the debate. I don't think she can treat me fairly, and I'm not a big fan of hers. Maybe I know too much about her.
RUSH: Okay, now, did you know how many times he said I'm not a big fan, I don't like her, she doesn't like me? That was the whole bite. He kept repeating that. My contention is that's when he's thinking of what he next wants to say. In this case, didn't come up with anything, so he kept repeating what his point was. Now, let me get a show of hands in there. I got three people here. Could have been on the Texas grand jury, for all I know. How many of you think Trump is going show up at the debate on Fox?
All three think he's gonna show up. Exactly. Exactly right. This is called hyping the audience. This is called creating an even larger audience than Fox got when they had their 25 million or 24 million, whatever it was. There's no question he's gonna show up. Well, there might be a question. But he wasn't finished knocking Megyn Kelly. Good Morning America today, George Stephanopoulos, well-known Democrat Party hack, says, "It seems like Fox News might be taunting you a little bit, suggesting you're showing fear, a little bit afraid to show up 'cause of Megyn Kelly. You might be afraid of her, you're afraid of the questions that she might ask you."
TRUMP: No, I have no fear. I don't think she's a good professional. She's very biased against me. I don't think she's a very talented person. I don't think she's a good reporter. I love doing the debates. I just do think they should get competent reporters. They shouldn't use somebody like her. She's not very good at what she does, I will tell you that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We should assume you'll be there Thursday night?
TRUMP: Well, you can probably make that assumption, but I'm thinking about it.
RUSH: Holding out the possibility he won't show. Come on. And have it written and said that he chickened out because of Megyn Kelly. See, he issued a demand, he told Fox: You get her out of there. She doesn't like me. She hates me. She's not very talented. I saw enough blood last time, I don't want to see any more. Get her out of there, I'm not showing up, I didn't want to do the debate.
Well, he didn't say the blood. I just threw that in there. And Fox said: You don't get to pick the journalists. You don't you don't get to pick the journalists. Screw this. And Trump said, "Okay, I'm not gonna show up. I might not show up. I might and I might not." All the while continuing to insult her. This just hypes it. This just hypes it.
In fact, everybody knows what's gonna happen. She can't back down. She's got to ask what everybody would consider to be a tough question. He has to be prepared to deal with it however. (imitating Trump) "See, I told you she hates me. I told you. I knew I shouldn't have come here, I knew it, but I wanted to be true to my commitments. Look at that, she doesn't like me, you can tell by the very-first question she asked me. She prefers somebody else up here." I can just see it happening. Both of them have to stay in character. Not an insult, don't misunderstand.
Here's F. Chuck Todd weighing in on this on the Today show today. He was talking to Matt Lauer. Matt Lauer said, "Donald Trump's threatening to pull out of the Fox News debate, 'cause Megyn Kelly is gonna be there. Does he do anything with that strategy, other than make her a bigger superstar?"
TODD: I think it does. Look, I think he's working the ref a little bit, and already if he gets a question he doesn't like, he can just chalk it up to that. So I think he's just setting the expectation.
RUSH: So he's "working the ref" a little bit, here. He's trying to get fair questions, easy questions and so forth, and if he doesn't, he can just say, "See? See? She doesn't like me. See? I told you she'd be biased. See? I told you they had it in for me. But I showed up," or what have you.