RUSH: Gene now in Manhattan, Kansas. Nice to have you, sir, welcome to the big program.
CALLER: Hello. Yeah, I had to get the phone off the earphones so I could hear better. Yeah, about the fellow who called in a while ago about jumping your case because you weren’t picking out his nominee, if anybody listens to you enough and they understand you, it’s obvious that when you’re telling us about John McCain and who we don’t want — and you think like I do. I mean, I’m pretty sure I know who you’d like, and it’s pretty much who I would like. But if people really know who you are and understand you, it’s — well, I just don’t understand how —
RUSH: Well, the options have kind of dwindled now so that if —
CALLER: Yes, they have.
RUSH: — one speaks against one candidate, and you don’t speak against the other one, it may be pretty obvious. But I think what the guy meant — and I’m getting a lot of people, ‘Why don’t you start telling us why you like somebody and what it is you like about them, rather than just focusing on what you don’t like about Senator McCain.’ And that’s a fair point. I’ve made the assumption that people know those things. I’m working on the assumption here that none of these candidates, from the get-go, from the top, when they were all in there, none of them lit anybody’s fire. And you know I’m right about this. Otherwise, Fred Thompson flirting with getting in would not have caused the firestorm that it did before he got in. You can go back and look at any number of events in this thing and you can start lamenting. I was in Detroit back in May for a Rush to Excellence Tour and also a meeting with some people at General Motors.
I had a couple of these Rush to Excellence things in the first half of the year. I’d go out on stage, did a little routine on the Republican presidential candidate nominees, and I’d get to Fred Thompson, the place erupted in applause. This is before he had made it official, he was rumored to be doing it, and the sole reason for that was that everybody was dissatisfied with one or two or more things about all the other candidates. So when you boil all this down, what you’re left with is that not one of these people has been somebody that a majority of Republicans or conservatives are all fired up about. I’ll tell you, folks, it is risky to start saying anything definitively about any candidate, ‘I want to tell you, this is what I like about — this is good and this is good,’ and then the next day goes out and promises $20 billion a year to the auto industry from the federal government. You just don’t do that when you’re not sure of what you’re talking about. These guys come and go, I am forever. Presidential candidates come and go, I am forever. Presidents come and go, I am forever. Clinton’s gone, I’m still here, right? George H. W. Bush is gone, I’ll still here, right? Fine.
Richard in Vancouver, Washington, hello, sir.
CALLER: Hello, sir. Thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: I just want to mention that I’m a recent convert to your program. I found you in June, and I’ve listened to you daily ever since. I find you very informing, and in fact I even find that I start quoting you when I’m venting with others when politics come up, so I just wanted to thank you for giving me that information —
RUSH: Thank you, I’m sure you would urge me to hang in there against all these assaults and attacks.
CALLER: You have my support.
RUSH: I appreciate that. The first encouraging phone call today that I’ve gotten, not that you others out there who have not called are not feeling this sense of encouragement. I can handle it either way because I know myself. I know who I am. I like myself, love myself, like hearing myself speak, because I like hearing people who are right. And I know I’m right and you know I’m right, and if you think you can talk me out of it, feel free. But I am rock solid in my principles. That’s why I say, I am here forever. These other people come and go. But I appreciate that, Richard. I’m only teasing. I haven’t had people rip me today. They’re just a little disappointed and threatened to abandon me, which has happened many, numerous times, and claimed that I disappointed them because I could have done more. I could have done more than Romney could have done. I could have done more than Fred Thompson did for himself.
RUSH: Peggy in Houston. Hi, Peggy, thanks very much for your patience.
CALLER: Thank you. It’s an honor to talk to you. I just wanted to bring up the fact that we’re leaving out one component, and that is the McCain Democrats. They’re going to cross over. You can’t tell me that they want Hillary, all of them, and you can’t tell me that all of them want Obama — and they’ll have just what they need: a liberal Republican with a strong sense of military.
RUSH: All right. So you think McCain could win pretty handily?
CALLER: Yes, if he gets the nomination. I’m hoping for Romney, but…
RUSH: Oh, I was going to say. I was going to ask you if you are in favor of that.
CALLER: No, I’m not.
RUSH: All right, why not? What would be wrong with McCain getting a bunch of Democrats and winning by a big margin and beating Hillary? What would be wrong with that? Is that what we want to do? We want to attract Democrats and independents and moderates? I thought that’s why McCain was loved! Why wouldn’t that be a good deal?
CALLER: Because that’s just like having Hillary or Obama. They’re both extremely liberal except in the military sense. It would be health care. He spends a lot of money. Look at all of the background laws that he had with the education, the Kennedy factor.
RUSH: Yeah, there was Reagan-Kennedy. There’s Reagan-Lieberman. Well, McCain, he’s trying to pass off as Reagan.
RUSH: You would never have Reagan-Kennedy. You would never have Reagan-Feingold.
CALLER: No, you would never have that. He believes in big government.
RUSH: So I think what I hear you saying, Peggy — and you are very shrewd, if I’m right — what I hear you saying is that McCain would attract liberal Democrats who don’t like Hillary, but he would attract them as Democrats and as liberals —
RUSH: — and this would thus water down, maybe dilute to a great extent the identity of the Republican Party.
CALLER: It could if we let it, but I think that we’re strong enough that we won’t allow that to happen.
RUSH: How could we…?
CALLER: Another —
RUSH: Wait a minute, wait. How could we stop it? If he gets the nomination — and if you’re right, if he’s going to attract a bunch of liberal Democrats who don’t like Hillary, who like the socialist stuff but they want somebody can handle national security. If McCain successfully attracts a bunch of liberal Democrats to the Republican Party as liberal Democrats, how can we say anything? What do we do? I mean, the party is going to be watered down and changed forever.
CALLER: Well, I don’t think that they’ll change their political affiliation. I just think that they’ll come over to vote for him, because you have —
RUSH: Yeah, but don’t you see? It will serve as a model for anybody else wanting to win. The only way to do it will be to go out and get liberal Democrats to vote Republican, not change parties.
CALLER: The grassroots won’t allow liberal Republicans to take over. We won’t. It will be a revolution before that occurs. (laughing)
RUSH: Yeah, well, that’s happened before. The country club blue-blood Republicans that you’re talking about didn’t like it. But you’re right. As I say, you’re very shrewd, and I also like your optimism.
CALLER: Well, I have to be optimistic with what I’m faced with. (laughing)
RUSH: Yeah, I know. That’s the truth. Well, look, Peggy, thank you. I really appreciate that.
CALLER: It’s my honor.
RUSH: You bet. Chuck in San Jose, California, it’s great to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, mega dittos, Rush.
CALLER: I’m a longtime listener, veteran, conservative Christian, and my question for you is when candidates running for office drop out before Super Tuesday — especially when we have such a diverse field — is this just another example of politics as usual?
RUSH: I think it’s more a function of money than anything.
CALLER: Which brings me to the second part of my question: Everybody is criticizing Romney for using personal monies, and I look at the other candidates. Giuliani had a lot of money. He only spent it in one state. Couldn’t he have better positioned himself to go into Super Tuesday with a better spending plan?
RUSH: Well, not just spending plan. I think one of the lessons for people who followed Rudy who want to duplicate is: You can’t ignore all of the first four states.
RUSH: You might be able to punt Iowa, but you can’t punt New Hampshire, and you can’t punt Michigan or South Carolina because you’re just going to give everybody, whoever — even if nobody wins all four, you’re still giving your opposition — a big head start, and they’re going to forget about you. Now, the reason Romney… I want to make this point. The reason Romney is spending a lot of money. A, it’s his, so what difference does it make? B, what business is it of ours? Why should Romney be subject to McCain’s stupid rules?
CALLER: Well, exactly.
RUSH: But he has to do it.
CALLER: Which is what he said last night when he readdressed the question about shifting chairs on politicians in Washington as just politics as usual.
RUSH: Right. Put a guy in a different chair; it doesn’t change anything in Washington. Now, the point is, McCain is, relatively speaking to Romney, out of money. It doesn’t matter! He’s got a slavish mainstream media that’s giving him coverage. I just saw something. Project for Journalism thing. They just did a review of who’s getting all kinds of coverage in the Drive-Bys and lead stories. McCain’s way ahead of Romney in the free media that he’s getting, and his is slavish. You know, Romney gets ripped and criticized in his mainstream media reporting. Romney has to spend his own money to counter some of this. I get a little bent out of shape here when people want to get holier-than-thou about the money in politics, and somebody spending their own money, ‘He’s just buying the election.’ Would you rather have somebody spend their own money or go out and raise gazillions and owe everybody else that has donated to them? You can’t tell me you’re worried about lobbyists, and at the same time not worried about donors extracting their two cents of revenge or whatever. Frank in Bartow, North Dakota, nice to have you, sir.
CALLER: Mega stick-down-head-up dittos, Rush. I appreciate what you’re doing. I was just calling in. You remind me of my father, in a unique way you have an ability to always come around and you’re always right. I appreciate what you’re doing. For a while I was a little bit concerned about the direction, but with you and the other conservative shows and programs, it really makes it… For me especially, it helps me be optimistic — and, you know, carrying the conservative banner forward, regardless, like you said. I think you answered that is you’re going to be here for a long time. So is this country — and these people, hopefully the conservative issues and agenda can stay strong and continue forward. I think it’s important, obviously. I feel like where I was concerned is I’m voting for my kids, a ten year old and a four year old, and I appreciate everything you’re giving us.
RUSH: Wow. I thank you so much for that. I appreciate the encouragement. Fear not, I will not cave on principles and beliefs, core values, those kinds of things. I will not cave on them because I don’t know how. I don’t know how to cave on principles and core values, when you’re talking about the future of the United States of America and what we all want it to be. Thanks much.