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Mitt Tries to Talk America Out of Trump

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Okay.  I just finished watching, like many people probably did, the Mitt Romney attempted takedown of Donald Trump.  And once again, as loudly as they apparently are able to say it, the Republican establishment telegraphs they have absolutely no idea what is happening in this country.  It's just stunning to me, folks, to watch this. 

So many different takeaways -- well, there are many takeaways you can have of this thing.  You can analyze it just in its vacuum, was it good, was it bad, did Romney succeed in making the point that he wanted to make? Then you take it out of that little bubble and you put it in context of everything, and the questions about it just overwhelm whatever substance or content there was in what Romney had to say. 

Anyway, greetings, my friends, it's great to have you.  Rush Limbaugh here behind the Golden EIB Microphone.  Telephone number is 800-282-2882.  E-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com

It appears to me that the establishment in Washington, both parties, still believes that whatever is happening out here that is causing people to support Donald Trump in large numbers is something temporary. That it is a fever, that it is a tantrum, that it is a child that has gone astray and that a lecture will straighten them out.  That a talking-to will show them the error of their ways.  And that's not what this is, as I divulged in great detail yesterday and on many days and weeks prior.  This is not temporary, it's not a phase, and is not a tantrum. 

Now, Mitt Romney had some substantive things to say about Trump that, as I say, if you just look at it within the bubble of his comments, might make some sense.  But it's nothing nobody else has been saying about Trump in this entire campaign.  There wasn't anything new, and not one instance in the past of anybody saying any of these things about Trump has caused massive defections from Trump's campaign.  So the questions then arise, okay, if it hasn't worked prior to today, why do it today?  What's the deal?  And the answers to me are rather obvious. 

I think these establishment people still can't get it through their heads that this is real.  They've expected Trump to implode.  They have expected his supporters to abandon him and wake up from all this. And now that we've had Super Tuesday and every passing day the establishment learns that it isn't temporary, that it isn't gonna go away on its own, they ratchet up their levels of panic and try to take matters into their own hands.  And then you start questioning the timing and the person they decide to use to do this. I'm not saying that Romney isn't sincere in any way, shape, manner, or form.  But where was this months ago? 

Everything Romney said about Trump today they have thought about Trump since this campaign began.  Where was this kind of analysis of Barack Obama?  Where has this kind of analysis been of Barack Obama the last seven years?  The way this is gonna be heard -- I don't know if they're ever gonna understand this, these establishment guys.  The way this is gonna be heard is, why are you trying to destroy your own base over and over again?  Why are you rejecting the majority of people in your own party and their expressed desires and wishes?  Why are you continually ignoring and trying to thwart the will of your voters? 

That's how it's gonna be heard.  That's how it's gonna be reacted to.  They can't think this, can they?  Take the universe of Trump supporters and however they hear this, maybe they watched it live, maybe they'll watch it streaming on their phones or they'll see highlights of it later on TV or whatever, but they're gonna see it.  Do they really think that a significant number of Trump supporters are gonna go, "Wow!  Oh, yeah.  Oh, my God, I hadn't thought of that.  You know, Romney's right.  Okay.  Okay, good.  I'm finished with Trump.  Okay.  Okay.  I admit, I was wrong."  Do they really think that's gonna happen? 

It's going to be seen as the establishment once again unable to win and therefore they're resorting once again to trying to talk their supporters out of the thinking that they are at present engaged in.  Now Cookie is, as we speak, working on excerpts from the Romney speech, but I want to play you a couple of sound bites.  And the reason I'm playing these sound bites is not to point out any hypocrisy in Romney, although that'll happen. 

But the reason I want you to hear these sound bites is because these sound bites, matched against what Romney said today, are a glaring reason, one of many reasons why the Washington establishment is being rejected and not trusted and not supported.  Let's go back, February 2nd, 2012, in Las Vegas, the Trump International Hotel and Tower, and Donald Trump endorsed Romney for president February 2nd, 2012.  And we have two Mitt Romney sound bites.  Here's the first.

ROMNEY:  There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life.  This is one of them, being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel, and having his endorsement is a delight.  I'm so honored and pleased to have his endorsement.

RUSH:  Don't think the people supporting Trump don't remember this.  Don't think they're gonna hear this either on this program or elsewhere and they're not gonna be questioning Trump.  They're gonna be questioning Romney.  Here's the second bite.  Get this.

ROMNEY:  Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people.  He's done it here in Nevada. He's done it across the country.  He understands that our economy is facing threats from abroad.  He's one of the few people who stood up and said, "You know what, China has been cheating. They've taken jobs from Americans. They haven't played fair. We have to have a president who stands up to cheaters."  So I want to say thank you to Donald Trump for his endorsement.  It means a great deal to me to have endorsement of Mr. Trump and people across this country.

RUSH:  Trump's the same the guy that he was four years ago in 2012. But here's Romney accepting his endorsement and praising him, praising him on the terms Trump is using in this campaign.  He's gonna get back at the people cheating Americans (i.e., the Chinese). He's gonna get back at the people taking jobs from Americans. Romney applauds that.  Trump is campaigning on those very things.  But strip away the details.

The way people who have had it with the establishment are gonna hear this is they're gonna think it's Romney who has to explain himself, not Trump.  They think Trump's being consistent.  They think Trump's the worthwhile.  Whatever they think about Trump, they think whatever Trump stands for, whatever Trump means (which I think is bigger than Trump)...  Romney's the one who seems to be in diametric opposition to himself.  How do you go from lavish praise and almost acting like a groupie just to be in Trump's presence...

"There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life.  This is one of them, being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel, and having his endorsement is a delight.  I'm so honored and pleased to have his endorsement." That's one of those wonderful things you never expect. How do you go from that to this today?  Now, I realize some of you may not have heard the Romney speech.  As I say, we are feverishly assembling sound bites from it, and I'm gonna get your input on this, too, because there's a lot of different takes on this. 

Some people think, for example, that this really -- when you when you boil it all down, when you strip it all down -- is really not purposed as a hit piece on Trump but rather a prelude for Romney to enter the race as a third-party candidate.  But you just can't one day out of the blue say, "You know what? I'm running for president."  You have to lay the groundwork.  And so some are speculating that this was a speech that lays the groundwork (i.e., establishing a purpose and a reason for Mitt Romney to enter the race as a third party or savior candidate).

Some people say, "No, no, no, no. He wouldn't have talked glowingly about Cruz and Rubio the way he did in this speech if that was the case."  There are gonna be some people... I think you're gonna be surprised.  I think most people, if you watch the speech before you've heard any commentary about it, which lets all you people out -- hee-hee-hee -- if you haven't heard it. But as I say, if you just listen to the speech within its bubble, you go, "Yeah.  Yeah, that's right. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.  Oh, yeah.  Yeah." 

Romney's gonna have a lot of people applauding this, the people already predisposed against Trump.  So he's gonna have a lot of supporters out there.  But it isn't gonna move any Trump opponents.  In fact, this is the kind of thing -- here's the timing of it, and of all people, you -- the establishment could have chosen anybody to go out there and deliver this message.  Why go out and deliver -- have the message delivered by the loser in 2012, by somebody who would not take on Barack Obama?  Why choose Romney? 

And maybe the answer is, Romney wasn't chosen. He just did it on his own because he's fed up.  There's any number of explanations here.  But why not do this way back when you could save Jeb, theoretically?  Why not do this for Jeb?  Why not do this back in October?  Trump was the same guy then as he is now.  And the polling data was indicative that he was gonna be winning primaries.  But remember back then the establishment thought this was all gonna fade away and you were gonna "grow up." 

You Trump supporters are gonna wake up, gonna grow up, gonna realize the big mistake you're making.  And once again, they've waited too long.  They've been wrong in assessing why Trump supporters support Trump, why they exist, why they're animated and informed the way they are.  And it still boils down to they really think they can talk about it.  Somebody needs to show me the evidence that they can talk anybody out of it.  Remember, these are the guys that want to sign onto amnesty with Obama.  Mitt Romney...

I don't know how many people are aware of this. This is the same Mitt Romney who told an audience just last week, folks, that Americans are so angry... He was explaining the anger in America, and his theory was that Americans are angry because we're not facing the big challenges of climate change and income inequality.  Just last week in a speech.  Oh, yeah.  Yeah, yeah.  We're angry, you're angry because you're mad that Washington isn't taking climate change seriously. 

So there's many, many questions here as to why Romney and why now.  Now, the Michigan primary is tomorrow.  The Romney family is still somewhat popular there.  Trump has a 10-point lead in Michigan.  And again, I'm gonna predict to you that there will be people now demanding that Romney run after this speech, so there'll probably be a draft Romney movement out there, third party, what have you.  And then, ladies and gentlemen, The Politico, two stories here on this. 

"Wall Street Readies Big Trump Assault -- Wall Street is getting ready to go nuclear on Donald Trump. Terrified that the reality TV star could run away with the Republican nomination and bring his brand of anti-immigrant, protectionist populism to the White House, some top financiers are writing big checks to fund an effort to deny Trump a majority of delegates to the GOP convention. The effort is centered on the recently formed Our Principles PAC, the latest big-money group airing anti-Trump ads, which is run by GOP strategist Katie Packer, deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. ...

"A conference call on Tuesday to solicit donors for the group included Paul Singer, billionaire founder of hedge fund Elliott Management; Hewlett Packard President and CEO Meg Whitman;" another "severe conservative" out there, "and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, one of Joe and Marlene Ricketts' three sons. The Ricketts family is heavily financially involved in an anti-Trump movement.  And then the New York Times: "Never-Trump Movement Dealt Setback After Super Tuesday --

"Alarmed by Donald J. Trump's victories in seven states on Super Tuesday, Republicans desperate to sink his presidential bid moved on Wednesday to battle him on two fronts, attacking him with millions of dollars in television ads in Florida while girding for what would be the party’s first contested convention in 40 years." And once again, can anybody...? Can any of you...? I mean, even those of you who are anti-Trump. Can any of you remember anything close to this kind of energy, this kind of commitment, this kind of devotion to defeating Democrats, from either these Wall Street biggies, private sector biggies, Mitt Romney, Republican National Committee? 

I can't.

So, the Trumpists out there are once again going to think their own party is not only now ignoring them; their own party is ganging up on them.  And all this talk about a brokered convention? You know be you need 1,237 delegates to win on the first ballot, to win the nomination.  Now, Trump's gonna go in there with a minimum allowed, 1,100, if he doesn't win it all.  Can you imagine telling saying to 1,100 people, those delegates pledged to Trump, that it doesn't count? "You don't count, and we're gonna mount a big move." You want to talk about a massive walkout of a convention? 

So this is how they're gonna see this.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: (interruption) What's that?  No, no.  Oh, no.  No.  I don't doubt Mitt Romney's sincerity at all.  I think... Let me remind you of things I've said in the past.  I think Mitt Romney... I remember how many times I said this back in the 2012 campaign.  It ended up being very frustrating for me.  Mitt Romney's one of the finest human beings walking the planet, however you wish to define that. You want to talk about morality, integrity, character?  And because he has all of those characteristics, I thought he could beat Obama handily in 2012.

But they drew the line. 

They would not go after Obama. 

Even when they were saying, "Rush, we can't go after Obama personally, but we can go after his policy," they didn't even do that.  There was this ongoing fear of any criticism of Obama.  They're gonna lose the African-American vote, they're gonna lose the Hispanic vote, or they're gonna lose independents or whatever.  You know the drill.  Romney can clearly make a case. I don't doubt he meant every word of this, and I don't doubt that he's severely worried.  I think he's a genuine patriot. 

I think he's terribly worried about what's gonna happen to the country and to his party.  I don't doubt that this was sincere.  I don't think any of it was made up.  But I'm... I don't want to say "sad" because I don't want to sound patronizing, but it is a mind-boggling thing to realize that the Republican establishment still doesn't understand what's happening here, that it's not temporary or a one-off or a tantrum or whatever, and that people are not misguided and being suckered in their own lives. They're committing to what Trump is. 

They're committing to anti-Washington. 

They're not gonna be talked out of it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  No, I think they're scared.  I think the establishment is scared.  Look, this is their hold on power, folks, their reason for existing.  I think a lot of these Wall Street guys, the finance guys, they kind of like the financial arrangement the way it is now.  They don't want any tariffs or trade wars. They don't want anything interrupting the current relationship with the ChiComs.  The establishment "haves," they've got theirs, and they don't want anything happening to it.

There's so many moving parts in all of this to try to explain where people come down on it, but here we go now.  We've got excerpts of the Romney speech which occurred between 11:30 and 11:52 a.m. Eastern time today.  And I think -- to be totally fair and in context -- Mike, I want you to go back and grab audio sound bite number 20 again and then we'll start with that. This is Romney in 2012 in February in Las Vegas.  Trump has just endorsed him, and Romney is thanking Trump and praising Trump.  We'll go from that to Romney's speech excerpts today.

ROMNEY:  Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people.  He's done it here in Nevada. He's done it across the country.  He understands that our economy is facing threats from abroad.  He's one of the few people who stood up and said, "You know what, China has been cheating. They've taken jobs from Americans. They haven't played fair. We have to have a president who stands up to cheaters."  So I want to say thank you to Donald Trump for his endorsement.  It means a great deal to me to have endorsement of Mr. Trump and people across this country.

RUSH:  So that's Mitt Romney back on February 2, 2012.  Here is Mitt Romney today. He's in Salt Lake City at the Hinckley Institute and speaking about the 2016 presidential campaign and Donald Trump.

ROMNEY:  In 1964, just days before the presidential election -- which, incidentally, we lost -- Ronald Reagan went on national television and challenged America, saying that it was
 "A Time for Choosing." He saw two paths for America, one that embraced conservative principles dedicated to lifting people out of poverty and helping create opportunity for all, and the other: An oppressive government that would lead America down a darker, less-free path.  I'm no Ronald Reagan, and this is a different moment in time, but I believe with all my heart and soul that we face another time for choosing, one that'll have profound consequences for the Republican Party -- and, more importantly, for our country.

RUSH:  Okay, let me take the occasion here of that bite to draw the analogy, because the thing that...  It took me awhile to learn this.  When I finally became aware that the Republican Party does not like conservatives -- and I learned that late in life.  I didn't learn that 'til the 1990s.  I was one of these people that thought the Republican Party was the home of conservatism and that the Republican Party embraced conservatism, and that's because of my really focused attention of the Republican Party in the 1980s, and I wasn't...

During the eighties, I was working for many of those years for a baseball team and then got back into radio in 1984.  But I only knew the surface.  I did not know that the underpinnings inside the Republican Party had a deep resentment of Reagan.  I was in Kansas City in '76 during the convention and I saw it there. But that was, I thought, just the result of competition between Ford, the incumbent, and the outsider, Ronaldus Magnus.  It wasn't 'til later that I really learned that there is an active dislike for conservatives in the Republican Party, and it has existed for a long time. 

And it's traceable to 1964 and Goldwater. 

You know, for the longest time I asked myself. Before I became aware of it, I asked myself, "What is this? It doesn't make any sense.  The last time the Republican Party enjoyed real power for eight straight years was during Ronald Reagan, and what was Reagan?  Reagan was conservatism.  Reagan was the embodiment of it.  Reagan had 49-state landslide wins.  Reagan had massive approval numbers.  Reagan's policy worked every place it was implemented.  The American people loved Reagan!  There were Reagan Democrats. 

"The Republican Party was loved!" It didn't make sense to me that the Republican Party would not want more of that.  But the first chance they had to get rid of any Reagan residue, they took it.  And I later learned... There are many reasons why, by the way. Not the least of which is ideological disagreements with moderate, RINO Republicans. They don't like conservatism, for many reasons, social issues being probably top of the list. But there are many other reasons.  They're embarrassed of conservative-type people. 

They have a stereotypical image of them. They think they're Deliverance kind of people. They don't want to hang with them.  It's a class thing, folks, as I was discussing with you recently.  So whenever a conservative comes along in presidential politics on the Republican side, or whenever conservatism presents itself as something that might actually gain power within the Republican Party, they panic, and they start talking about '64, not the eighties.  They don't reflect back on the wondrous years of the Reagan years. 

They go back and think of the Goldwater landslide loss.  That's what conservatism means to them.  It was such a profound thing that Goldwater landslide loss, that that's what conservatism means to them.  Conservatism means losing 49 states, not winning 49 states.  It's the most amazing thing.  And here's what they miss.  Yes, Goldwater lost. But any Republican was gonna lose because that was coming off the JFK assassination just a year earlier, a year prior to the election.  There was no way any Republican was gonna win that. 

But beyond that, Ronald Reagan's "A Time Choosing" speech for Goldwater in the run-up to the election of 1964 actually paved the way for years of Republican dominance in governorships, in statehouses, and at the White House for years and years and years to come.  Goldwater, yeah, lost in a landslide, but that started something in motion that ended up dwarfing the Democrat Party.  There was a time... You may be too young to remember. There was a time when the Republican Party owned California, and it was in my lifetime. 

When I lived in California, the governors were Republican.  Republicans were in play for California electoral votes.  And that was all due to Goldwater and Reagan all the way back in 1964.  The conservative movement in the Republican Party was energized and birthed and it grew and grew. And yet here's Romney, and one of the first things that he mentions in his speech warning everybody about Trump is 1964, just days before the presidential election -- "which, incidentally, we lost," he has to point out. 

He doesn't point out what happened afterwards.  He just talks about Reagan and his speech and Reagan's path for America, but he doesn't talk about what that path was.  Well, "conservative principles dedicated to lifting people out of poverty and helping create opportunity for all."  That's scratching the surface of conservatism.  Anyway, this is their attempt to make themselves out to be conservative and understand conservatism when they aren't conservative at the establishment, and they don't really like it and they don't appreciate it. 

I just... I could not let this first bite go without talking about '64 -- the '64 landslide defeat.  They are obsessed by it and consumed by it, and that's what they think Trump is.  Forget conservative/liberal.  They think Trump is a landslide defeat.  Now, if Trump was just gonna lose closely and nobody else would care, big deal.  But a Trump landslide defeat takes them with him, they fear.  And just as they have misread the importance of what happened in 1964 with Goldwater losing and the aftermath that loss created.

So are they unable to grasp what is happening now and why. And the attempt to relate it to 1964, which is what they always do when there are abundant examples of conservatism succeeding wildly and being embraced by the whole nation.  And they do not ever think of those days, the eighties, and they don't want to.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's more Mitt Romney from this morning in Salt Lake City.

ROMNEY:  Even though Donald Trump has offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for American workers and for American families.  But you say, "Wait, wait, wait.  Isn't he a huge business success?  Doesn't he know what he's talking about?"  No, he isn't.  And, no, he doesn't.  His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses, and the men and women who work for them.  He inherited his business.  He didn't create it.  And whatever happened to Trump Airlines?  How about Trump University?  And then there's Trump magazine, and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks and Trump Mortgage.  A business genius he is not.

RUSH:  Well, he was four years ago.  He was one of the most enlightened, brightest business guys there was four years ago.  At least that's what Mitt Romney said about Trump four years ago.  By the way, Trump has released his health care plan.  The media is not covering it, but it's out there.  It's seven points, seven-point plan.  Number one, get rid of the individual mandate.  It's unequivocally gone.  But if you review the plan, I mean, as far as conservatives go, there's much more to like in it than not.  But we'll get to that later.  Here's the next Romney bite.

ROMNEY:  I believe we can nominate a person who can win the general election and who will represent the values and policies of conservatism.  Given the current delegate selection process, that means that I'd vote for Marco Rubio in Florida and for John Kasich in Ohio and for Ted Cruz, or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state.

RUSH:  So vote for different people in different states to stop Trump and deny him delegates.  I mentioned a three prong strategy yesterday.  One of them is everybody stays in, denying Trump 1,237 on the first ballot, and after that it's over, then after you go through the first ballot, you're through with your pledges. So the 1,100 let's say that Trump would have, they're free, can vote for anybody, and that's what Romney's alluding to.  He wants you to vote for Rubio in Florida, deny that to Trump.  Vote for Kasich in Ohio, deny that to Trump.  'Cause if Trump wins both those, the theory is it's over.  And then vote for Cruz.  Here's the next bite.  We keep rolling right through them here.

ROMNEY:  This is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a report's questions to her menstrual cycle. Who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance. Who bragged about his marital affairs and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity.  There's a dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while at the same time John McCain, who he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.  Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark.  He's not of the temperament of the kind of stable, thoughtful person we need as leader.  His imagination must not be married to real power.

RUSH:  That was a primary point that Romney made.  He only stated it one time, but it was thematic.  This guy imagines himself to be Zeus. He imagines himself to be the greatest guy who's ever been. We can't let a guy like that have power. We can't let a guy that thinks that he's God's gift to humanity have power, my God, that would be horrible.  Nowhere was this kind of talk heard in the Democratic campaign against Barack Hussein Obama.

Folks, you wonder why the people I talk to on the other side of the glass, you can't hear them?  They don't have microphones because, "Rush, why don't you ask Romney if Trump has ever put his dog on the roof of the car on a vacation?"  Not gonna go there.  He talked about Trump's taxes.  He talked about bombshells in Trump's tax return, that maybe he hasn't given a lot of money to the vets and maybe there hasn't been a lot of charitable donations, and maybe he's not as rich as he brags to be.

And then Romney talked about the New York Times tape that there's probably bombshells in the New York Times tape, which we told you about yesterday, the meeting he had with the editorial board, which was off the record, but everybody's demanding the Times release it.  The Times says they're not going to.  In fact, the editor of the New York Times, Dean Baquet, says, you guys, I only showed up to watch the show.  There's nothing in there.  We have those sound bites coming up.  Here's the final bite from Romney.

ROMNEY:  The audio and video of the infamous Tapper-Trump exchange on the Ku Klux Klan will play a hundred thousand times on cable and who knows how many million times on social media.  We will only really know if he's the real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns and the tape of his interview with the New York Times.  I predict that there are more bombshells in his tax returns.  I predict that he doesn't give much if, if anything, to the disabled and to our veterans.  I predict that he told the New York Times that his immigration talk is just that: talk.  Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.  His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.  He's playing the members of the American public for suckers.  He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

RUSH:  There you have it.  So that pretty much is the essence of what Mitt Romney had to say today.  He's trying the same tax trick that Dingy Harry played on him.  That's another incident that's causing people to ask why is Romney the one bringing this up?  He's got his own tax problem per se.  He's got tax problem baggage because of the allegations made by Dingy Harry. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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