RUSH: Yes, a one-on-one interview today on the Today Show. Arnold is appearing on the Today show a lot lately, and every time he appears on the Today Show, he’s asked about me! Every time he’s on the Today show, whoever it is — Matt Lauer, today it was Campbell Brown, it could be Meredith Vieira, it could even could be Al Joker out there doing the weather at 30 Rock — they throw something up at Arnold that I have said recently, and it happened today. He called me ‘irrelevant.’ He said he’s ‘not my servant,’ and I don’t know how it is I can be irrelevant when every time he shows up on the Today Show they ask him about me! I’m just sure he’s sick and tired of hearing about it. He’s sick and tired of getting the questions. The last time he was asked about me, he was very diplomatic. He said (Arnold impression), ‘Vell, ve still smoke stogies togethah,’ and so forth, and that would provide a bridge for common ground and so forth and so on. But here is the governor of the largest state acknowledging me, while claiming all this time that I am ‘irrelevant.’ They had this exchange, Campbell Brown with Governor Schwarzenegger. BROWN: Rush Limbaugh is saying that you’re not really a Republican. You’re a Democrat pretending to be a Republican. Why? SCHWARZENEGGER: Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant. I’m not his servant. I am the people’s servant of California. What they call me, if it’s a Democrat or a Republican or in the center or I changed or this or that, that’s not my bottom line. This is for them to talk about. RUSH: All right. Now, I could be charitable in this and I could say, ‘When he calls me ‘irrelevant,’ not irrelevant as a human or irrelevant as a media figure or irrelevant as a conservative. What I say is irrelevant because he doesn’t care, is what he might mean.’ That’s being charitable. He’s just calling me irrelevant because he doesn’t care what I say or anybody else says. I’m irrelevant in terms of determining the future course of the state of California because that’s his job. I could be charitable and take it that way, and since I’m one of good cheer and optimism and I basically think Arnold’s a nice guy, I choose to take it that way. I don’t think that Arnold is referring to me as ‘irrelevant,’ as a has-been, as a passer-by, as a human being or what have you. I’m getting looks of doubt from Mr. Snerdley. You have a different interpretation of this? (interruption) Well, come on! Snerdley says the question’s wrong. Once you say, ‘Rush Limbaugh is saying you’re not really Republican…’ Well, that’s true. To these people in the Drive-By Media, Republican and conservative equals the same thing. I have said he’s not a conservative — and, by the way, I want to remind all of you people in California, from the get-go I have told you he was not a conservative. He’s a good guy, but he’s not a conservative. He’s a Republican. There are a lot of Republicans who aren’t conservatives. He’s conservative on some things, although much fewer as time has gone on. But, folks, let me tell you why this is important. Governor Schwarzenegger ran for office as a conservative after the recall of the dry and dull Gray Davis. He was subject of many hit pieces in the Drive-By Media out there. The LA Times tried to destroy him with all these womanizing stories and so forth, and it actually drew people to him because he’s a likable figure and has an image and a reputation forged on celluloid in Hollywood movies. Now, here’s the truth of the matter. Arnold Schwarzenegger has done the typical sellout move. He has sold out, and there are too many conservatives selling out these days. You can find ’em all over Washington, DC. I want to remind you that one of the problems I have is people ask me all the time, ‘Have you chosen a Republican presidential candidate?’ I answer, ‘Not yet,’ and one of the things I’m concerned about is there’s not one Reagan conservative in the bunch — which is okay, but then don’t tell me that there is. Don’t tell me that candidate A — be it Giuliani or Mitt Romney or McCain or whoever else — is the new Reagan. There isn’t a Reagan out there. There was one Reagan. We can dream that there might be another. We can’t be imprisoned by that, but conservatism is what it is. Conservatism is not subject to redefinition on the basis of presidential candidates who are 30% conservative, 40%, 50%, whatever percent conservative they are. That’s not the new conservatism, at least it won’t be for me — and that is my point. They’re good guys, they’re Republicans, but they’re not conservatives. I happen to be a conservative and I happen to be oriented toward conservative triumph, and conservatism won’t triumph if we water it down and dilute it and say that people are 60% conservative or whatever, happen to be the definition of new conservative. The Democrats would love that, and the Drive-By Media would love, if we conservatives begin to give up our principles and water it down on the basis, ‘Well, there isn’t another Reagan,’ or on the basis that we can’t win as conservatives. That has been disproven over and over again by actual experience from Ronald Reagan forward. It is when Republicans do not campaign as conservatives that they lose. Witness November of 2006, witness any previous election where Republican conservatives failed to govern as conservatives or campaign in the future as conservatives. They paid the price. This is what Schwarzenegger is doing, and to me, it’s worth pointing out. This is akin to what happened in 1976 with Ford versus Reagan. Reagan came along; he was a conservative. Gerald Ford represented the country club blue-blood wing of the Republican Party. Of course everybody says Reagan had this 11th Commandment, ‘Thou shalt not attack another Republican.’ It didn’t exist when he was campaigning against Gerald Ford. It was a close race. Of course, Ford won at that convention. It was in Detroit. But it all set the stage for Reagan ending up out of that convention more popular than Ford was and set up the 1980 landslide over Jimmy Carter. So what happens when Schwarzenegger or other former conservatives sell out, is they attract a certain percentage of people who will vote for them because of party identification. So he stays a Republican but starts talking like a liberal Democrat. Well, some Republicans obviously will stay with him on the basis of party loyalty, and then he can attract some liberal Democrats as well, because he’s actually sounding and proposing things — like, remember, this new tax increase that he proposed, he was going to call it loans. There’s a little blog at the LATimes.com today. Who was the author of this? It could be Robert Salladay. At any rate, it talks about Arnold referring to me as ‘irrelevant’ today, and then the guy writes this: ‘In recent weeks, Limbaugh has complained that Schwarzenegger’s views on global warming are ‘no different than what Greenpeace would say.’ When the governor called a proposed $12 billion levy on hospitals, doctors and health plans a ‘loan, because it … goes back to health care,’ Limbaugh couldn’t stop laughing on the air. He said Schwarzenegger’s rhetorical spin was no different than former President Bill Clinton calling tax increases ‘investments,” and he points out here I’ve always been cautious about Schwarzenegger and his conservative credentials. I know Arnold. I have smoked stogies with Arnold, and I like Arnold! He’s an engaging, friendly, nice guy. But that’s why I always said, ‘Folks, when you’re in a position, as I am, a national commentator, the one thing you can’t do is become friends with these politicians.’ When you become friends with them, you can’t criticize your friends. When they become part of your traveling gang or your inner circle, they are insulated from criticism, and that’s not going to help me and that’s not what I’m here for, is to make friends with these people. So this is a sellout, and I’m seeing way too many Republicans do it, and it’s not good for conservatism — which is where my loyalty lies, not with the Republican Party. It just happens to be the Republican Party is the home base of conservatism, but the entire party, of course, is not. I don’t know what happened to Arnold. He obviously didn’t have the leadership skills to articulate conservative principles and win over the public as Reagan did, because if he had the leadership skills to articulate conservative principles and win over the public as Reagan did, then he would have stayed conservative, but he felt like he was unable to do that and so in order to get reelected and become popular and be liked and so forth, he broomed conservatism and became a liberal while calling himself a Republican.
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