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RUSH: Let’s talk about Senator McCain here for just a second. There is a phenomenon happening in South Carolina. And that is that very liberal areas of South Carolina, one of the areas with a lot of liberals in it, is Charleston, where Rhett Butler was from. A newspaper in Charleston, the Post and Courier had an editorial yesterday. The headline explains the martyrdom of John McCain, what’s happening here. ‘Give Senator McCain the South Carolina Victory He Deserves.’ He deserves. Of all people, why does McCain deserve it and Thompson not? Why does McCain deserve it and Romney not? Why does McCain deserve it and Huckabee not? And that can be explained if you go to The Politico.com and find their story on the martyrdom of John McCain. And basically it’s this. The Politico story is all about how McCain critics, meaning me, have turned him into a martyr in South Carolina and how his campaign hopes his critics — me — keep it up.

Now, part and parcel of this is that they go out and talk, ostensibly it’s anecdotal, but they’d love for you to extrapolate this to include it means everybody. They went out and talked to a bunch of Bush voters, people who voted for Bush in 2000, South Carolina, who now think they made a mistake. They made a mistake because they were so mean to McCain back then, they really dumped, you know, a rumor about a family, the kid rumor, whatever it was. That wasn’t what did it. When McCain lashed out at the evangelicals, that’s what did him in. He was already trying to move to the left to become an independent moderate, and that’s when he made the move. Well, he had already succeeded, I guess, in New Hampshire and Michigan, but that killed it. So now because of the war, and because of the recession, and because of all of the angst that so many of us in this country are feeling, Mr. Limbaugh, Republicans in South Carolina get a do-over from 2000. Yes. So once again we have liberal Drive-By Media telling Republican voters how they should vote. Now, they’re entitled to do it. It is the media. But, folks, I don’t know how to drum this into your head.

When liberals in the media tell you how to vote, let me just ask you, ‘What do you think their objective is?’ When liberals in the media suggest you need to vote for this person, this person deserves it, do you think the liberals in South Carolina, the liberals anywhere in the country — do you think they really want either Huckabee or McCain? Because when we get to November, they’re going to endorse either Huckabee or McCain over Hillary? You really think that? I got into a little bit of an argument last night. I had a great time at dinner last night ’til the argument came up. It wasn’t that I couldn’t make any headway in the argument; it was that the argument came up. But it was about McCain. It was with a woman. I shoulda known, it was a social occasion, but I got fired up. (interruption) No, no, no, no. My voice was starting to go yesterday, before this, Snerdley. He always thinks a woman might have sabotaged me by putting something in the coffee. No, no, no. It wasn’t that. But I said, ‘I make my living with my mouth, and what comes out of it, known as words. And Senator McCain has just succeeded, or did succeed, in the first successful anti-Constitutional abridgment of the First Amendment. It’s not just that we don’t like McCain-Feingold.’ And then I said, ‘It’s not that we don’t like global warming. It’s what it represents. It’s not just, ah, global warming. I don’t care about global warming. You should! It’s gonna mean the loss of a lot of freedom.’

I told ’em the story about the thermostats in California, they didn’t want to believe it. Thought that was kook stuff. And then I finally said, this was what caused the contretemps to become more than just a little — there was seven of us around the table. She said, ‘You want Hillary to win, you — you really think? Because McCain is the only guy that can beat Hillary,’ she said, ‘look at the national polls.’ ‘I looked,’ I said, ‘let me explain this. What I’m trying to tell you is –‘ and, by the way, McCain people in South Carolina should love me right now during this segment because I’m contributing to his martyrdom and his do-over, and you Republicans in South Carolina, why, yeah, you really screwed up back in 2000, you get to make it right on Saturday. Fine, go ahead. I said to her, ‘What you’re missing is that if Senator McCain is the nominee, we’re going to get Hillary.’ ‘Oh.’ And that was grab the napkin practically off the lap, ‘Oh, that’s silly, oh, that’s silly!’ I couldn’t exactly hear what she said, and it was downhill from there. I was telling somebody else the story today, and, ‘Well, did you win the argument?’ I said, ‘No, I failed to persuade the woman.’ But that’s not what upset me. What upset me was the argument happened in the first place, because it was a celebratory occasion, but we brought it back to civility, a hell of a lot more civil than what the Democrats are going through out in Nevada and so forth right now. But I get, ‘I don’t care about this. I don’t care about that. I don’t care about global warming. I don’t care about his position on campaign finance. I don’t care about immigration. I want to beat Hillary.’ If you want to beat Hillary by being Hillary, it’s not going to happen.


RUSH: Let’s start with number six. They’re still talking about me in the Huckabee campaign. This was on MSNBC yesterday. Monica Novotny interviewing Chip Saltsman, in Arkansas, Huckabee’s campaign manager. He’s a nice guy. I always liked Chip Saltsman. So the DNC TV infobabe said, ‘Let me just ask you a question about a comment made by Rush Limbaugh. He made the comment about both McCain and Huckabee on his program apparently saying, ‘I’m here to tell you if either of these two guys gets the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party, it’s going to change it forever. It would be the end of it.’ What is your response, Chip Saltsman?’ Again, Huckabee’s campaign manager.

SALTSMAN: I certainly respect Rush, I listen to his show, I don’t agree with him all the time. What happened in 1994, the Republicans went to Washington to change Washington, Washington changed them, and I stole that line from John McCain because he knows it, too. This is important to get back to the basics for the Republican Party. We need to get back to those things that are important to our base. We need to get back to those things that can change this country, and that’s Mike Huckabee. If you look at his record, what he did in Arkansas in ten and a half years, took a $200 million deficit, turned it into an $850 million surplus. He improved roads. He improved health care, improved education.

RUSH: By the way, since Mr. Saltsman, who I like, don’t misunderstand, since he didn’t answer the question, I’m going to go back and talk about fried squirrel, because we have a story here in the Chicago Tribune. They’re eating raccoon. ”Raccoon Meat Delights the Down-Home Faithful, Amuses the Haute Curious.’ — Illinois, it turns out, has bountiful supply of the critters — and fans and foodies are gobbling them up.’ What’s that got to do with what Saltsman said? Nothing. But what he said in response to the question, had nothing to do with the question, either. This thing about Chicagoans eating raccoons is closer to Huckabee frying squirrels in a popcorn popper. You know, one of these days I’m going to have to explain this comment. The comment is, I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys gets the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party; it’s going to change it forever, be the end of it. Well, may not be the end of it, I’ll retract that, but it’s going to have to be reconstituted, and it will be a different party. I’m sure many of you are wondering what I mean by that. I’m going to tell you at some point, but I don’t want to get into it in great detail because I’m not going to get pessimistic.

You know me, I’m an optimist. That’s sort of a warning sign for me. I’m not predicting it. But all I’m telling you is this, I’ll give you a little hint. It goes much deeper than this. If we have a nominee who chooses to win the election by attracting liberal Democrats to our party, and if the attraction of these liberal Democrats is as liberal Democrats — in other words, if we go out as a party vis-à-vis our candidate and we make a big appeal or big push to ask liberals to come into our party as liberals, then I ask you, what is going to become of our party? Well, the first thing, we’re not going to get enough of them to win, pure and simple. The Drive-Bys know this. They know full well. They’re pushing Huckabee, and they’re pushing Senator McCain. You think at the end of the day in November they’re going to be advocating for McCain or Huckabee over Hillary or Obama if he gets the nomination? It ain’t going to happen.

So I think it’s time people ask themselves, what’s the big deal about McCain, then? Just from the standpoint of the Drive-Bys. I know that there are a lot of you out there that think McCain, because you look at these national polls, think McCain can beat Hillary, and beating Hillary, that’s first and foremost, that’s gotta happen. At this point, given the way things are shaping up, that’s not a priority to me. Conservatism is the priority, and if what we do to beat Hillary destroys conservatism, what the hell. I’d just as soon have conservatism survive and go four years of abomination with Hillary or Obama, and then, you know, take it back rather than ruin the country like Carter did.

I’m not advocating losing, don’t misunderstand, but you might say that it took a Carter to give us a Reagan. I don’t mean to diminish Reagan when I say that. When I say it didn’t hurt that the only difference between this country and a bag of dog doo-doo was the bag, after four years of Jimmy Carter. But if you’ve got liberals suggesting that our voters elect Huckabee or McCain or take your pick, I mean whoever they’re recommending, ask yourself then if they’re going to then turn around and keep supporting these people against Hillary or Obama, and you know damn well they’re not. Charleston South Carolina paper, vote for McCain, deserves it? I guess he deserves to get the nomination, but he doesn’t deserve to be president because there’s no damn way they’re going to endorse McCain against Hillary, no damn way.

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