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RUSH: Let’s do a little analysis here and get started on all this. The liberals constantly complain about the politics of personal destruction, do they not? While doing so, they want us to ignore the Clinton marriage, they want to us ignore Chelsea, but they’re digging up all they can on Rudy’s marriages, the Drive-Bys are, and the liberals, who want that kind of thing off the table when they are the focus, but can’t wait to dig up all this stuff on Rudy.

Romney is going to give a speech about his religion. He’s going to do it at George H. W. Bush’s library down in College Station, Texas, and he’s going to be introduced when he does this speech by George H. W. Bush, even though the libs tell us that there’s separation of church and state, yet Romney for some reason feels compelled to go out there and give the speech on his religion. While at the same time, not a single word about the religious practices or beliefs of Democrats, nor do we get any stories about this radical minister that runs around ministering to Obama. Fred Thompson is said to be lazy and disinterested as a candidate, yet he’s out there campaigning as hard as any other candidate, including the Democrats, but they seek to create an impression of him, a negative impression of him. Huckabee right now is being really built up, but I want to warn you Huckabee fans, it isn’t going to be long before he’s going to be characterized as a Bible thumper and somebody who would bring his religion into the Oval Office. They are going to build him up only to knock him down, the same way they built up McCain, who loved it at the time, then they tripped him up over the war, now they’re trying to revive his campaign.

If you look at all this and you understand how to look at it, the Drive-Bys are so thoroughly involved in trying to influence the Republican primary and on their terms. This debate at CNN was just the most brazen example of it. But the attempt to characterize all these people — from Rudy, to Romney, to Thompson, to Huckabee — this is the Drive-By Media trying to create impressions of these men before a single vote has been cast. They do this with their polling as well, just as they did trying to influence anti-war opinion and sentiment in the country with their reporting on the war and then taking polls after their reporting, which was universally negative and biased. Now, let’s look at Iowa. I mean, to be honest, it’s a very unusual form of voting. Anybody can go in there and attend the Hawkeye Cauci. We did the story a couple of weeks ago, actually last week. You don’t even have to be able to vote to go into the Hawkeye Cauci. People need to be motivated to attend what are in effect meetings, little coffee klatches in homes and other places where they cast their votes. Yet the vote is viewed as illustrative of national trends or trends in other states. What this is all about, folks, is perception. Perception is important in politics. Sometimes perception is reality in politics. But the media will take the result and try to twist it to support their favorite candidates and diminish the candidates they don’t like. And of course when it comes to Republican candidates they’re going to try to build up that candidate who they think is going to be the easiest for Mrs. Clinton to beat. After they’ve built this candidate up and created this perception, it’s going to be time to tear him down in time for the general election.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to continue this little analysis here of the media’s role in choosing presidential candidates, particularly on the Republican side, just a recap. Right now it’s Huckabee, and Huckabee is rising in the polls, particularly in Iowa. Rasmussen has Huckabee trailing Giuliani by three nationwide and only trailing Mrs. Clinton by one point in a national poll of presidential preferences.

So what happens here is that, you know, politics is perception. Perception is reality in politics, in many cases. So the vote in Iowa is going to be taken at the Hawkeye Cauci, and whatever happens there, the media is going to massage it and present it in such a way as to get the result they want. Right now it is obvious the media wants Huckabee, and the reason the media wants Huckabee is because they know they’re going to, down the road, be able to portray him as a nutcase, Bible-thumping evangelical who’s going to take his religion and God into the Oval Office, and they’ll use that to incite fear among liberals and progressives and so forth. They’re out there trashing Rudy’s family and his marriages, even though the Clintons’ marriage is off limits. ‘You can’t talk about me! That’s the politics of personal destruction’ when you do that about the Clintons, but if it’s Rudy Giuliani, it’s fair game. Fred Thompson? They’re out there saying, ‘He’s a lazy bum. He doesn’t even want the job,’ even though he’s campaigning as hard as anybody else is. They built McCain up. McCain loved it when they built him up. They tripped him up over the war, and now they’re trying to revive his campaign again.

There are going to be multiple other efforts beyond what CNN did during that debate, to influence the outcome of this election. Remember Dan Rather’s effort to take out Bush with the lies about his military service, the New York Times effort to beat the drum over Abu Ghraib? Do you realize how many consecutive days Abu Ghraib was a front-page story the New York Times? It’s something like 20. On and on, these examples will continue. They are now trying to create impressions of our candidates — Rudy, Romney, Thompson — which they hope will stick and that they will then try to reinforce, just as they tried to enforce this notion that we were losing and couldn’t win in Iraq, and then use that information to drum up negative polls about the whole thing to try to influence that outcome. The point is, the Drive-Bys, they don’t just sit around and report, and they’re not just biased, and they’re not just liberals. They are trying to influence the outcome of events — in ways, of course, in which they choose.

Now, it’s interesting to consider the different strategeries of the Democrats and the Republicans right now. Huckabee is relying almost exclusively on Iowa, and he’s hoping that that will give him a big push that the media will give him even more push outside of. If he does well in Iowa, what he’s hoping is that the media will say, ‘Whoa, Romney! Huckabee, whoa! Look at this! What is this?’ and thereby influence the New Hampshire vote. Right now, if you look at polling data, the internal data, you’ll find that Huckabee doesn’t do nearly as well with evangelicals in New Hampshire. There aren’t that many of them. He owns the evangelical vote in Iowa, however. So in order for Huckabee to do better beyond Iowa, he’s gotta go beyond the evangelical vote and bring on the Drive-Bys to try to make that possible. Don’t doubt that they will, if he does do extremely well in Iowa. Romney’s focus has been on winning the first two primaries, Iowa and New Hampshire. He wants to build momentum, which he hopes will carry him to Michigan, where he has some muscle there because his dad was governor in Michigan, George Romney. Fred Thompson, his strategery appears to have drawn the line at South Carolina, where he is seeking to be the Southern candidate and the most conservative of the candidates across the board. So Iowa, New Hampshire, are not in play for Thompson. So, it’s South Carolina.

If you play this out, and Huckabee does well and maybe wins Iowa, which I asked you to think about two or three weeks ago, what happens after that? What I was talking about is: What’s the media going to do with it, and to what extent will the media’s treatment of that influence New Hampshire voters? So if Romney doesn’t win Iowa, and that was supposedly in the bag for him, and Huckabee does an upset there, then New Hampshire is up for grabs. We’ll see what happens there. Thompson does little in either state but comes out and wins South Carolina. What if this happens, despite all the hubbub about Huckabee coming out of Iowa and going into New Hampshire? So it’s still extremely fluid. Rudy appears to have tried something few others have been willing to do. He apparently has ceded Iowa and New Hampshire. He’s just not even competing there, thinking that he can’t win either of those states, and what he’s doing is banking on subsequent larger states where he hopes to pile up delegates for the convention. By the way, folks, at the end of the day, it is delegates at the convention that determine who gets the nomination.

That’s the name of the game. So Rudy is focusing on states with lots of delegates, ceding New Hampshire and Iowa. McCain’s strategery: he seems to be running more of a general election right now rather than a primary. Would you not agree with that, Mr. Snerdley? McCain really doesn’t seem to be running any kind of a primary at all. He’s running more of a general. He’s not strong in Iowa. The Manchester Union-Leader just endorsed him. We’ll see if this has an effect. They endorsed him in New Hampshire. Romney is expected to win there. In South Carolina, McCain was counting on Lindsey Graham for help but there may not be enough, as McCain is lagging behind there, and Lindsey Graham’s sphere of influence is somewhat questionable now after his role in the amnesty bill. Now, I’m not trying to be clichéd here, but there is a tremendous amount of fluidity in the Republican side. Now, on the Democrat side, things are starting to heat up here. We’ll have details of all this as the program unfolds further today. But the pundits (who are, frankly, rarely right), were talking not long ago about Hillary’s flawless campaign.

Just last week they were marveling — as they do with anything the Clintons do, they were marveling — at her flawless campaign; her fundraising juggernaut; and her commanding, insurmountable lead in the polls. But she’s got problems on all fronts. She’s not necessarily — these problems are not deadly, but they are worrisome for her, and she didn’t expect to have any worries in the race, and she’s reacting in such a way that the Drive-Bys are a little concerned here that she’s overreacting and acting like she’s down by double digits in some of these states when she’s not. Her fundraising is the usual case. This is why if Obama… Folks, it’s just sitting there, for Howard Wolfson to go out there and is that Obama’s PAC is a slush fund, what’s the Clinton library? What’s Media Matters for America? What’s MoveOn.org? What are all these Clinton organizations if not slush funds that are designed to promote her candidacy and to make her president? So she’s run around now, and her campaign advisor says Obama’s PAC is a slush fund. She’s got a PAC too called HILPAC. All he’s gotta do is come back and say, ‘I can’t believe that the leader of slush funds is accusing me of having one.’

This is what the Clintons do. Mrs. Clinton is also saying that you can’t get a straight answer out of Barack Obama. Maybe not, but you’re never going to get one out of Mrs. Clinton, ever! So she’s setting the table for Barack, if he’s got the onions to get serious about this. You can’t just sit out there and rely on Oprah to try to persuade people. He’s going to have to show that he can get in there and roll up the sleeves and respond to this sort of stuff because he’s got the ammo on his side. Look at her fundraising: unlawful contributions from Norman Hsu to the Chinese dishwashers in Chinatown. Her campaign is not flawless. It has not been flawless. She blew it big time for driver’s licenses on illegal aliens and she’s considered all over the map on the war. She is a big-spending, high-taxing leftist. She has flip-flopped all over the place. She’s used her gender as a defense, claiming victimhood. Her husband, Bill, is as much of a liability as an asset with his tendency to pop off. The dirty little secret about that is — and I think they’ve probably come to this conclusion — that it would be much easier for people to think they’re reelecting him than electing Hillary, because he’s far more popular than she will ever dream of being.

Now, you might say, ‘Will that upset her ego?’ I don’t think so. Their quest for power is all consuming. However they get there I don’t think is relevant, unless we’re making a miscalculation about Clinton’s ego. He may be trying to sabotage her out there. People are still holding that out, because he wants to be the only Clinton that was ever president. We’ll see. So all these things remain to be seen. So Iowa, Iowa could be up for grabs as far as the Democrats are concerned. If Hillary loses there, her invulnerability becomes obvious. It’s like Wesley Pruden said last week in the Washington Times: Candidates of inevitability cannot lose even once. If you are inevitable, and you lose, then, of course, you weren’t inevitable, but you were at one point, and somehow the inevitability vanished. What happened? All sorts of question marks get raised. Her tendency will be to resort to angry, shrill personal attacks because that’s who she is, and it’s already starting: these angry, shrill personal attacks on Obama.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Reggie in Chicago, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hiya, Rush, I think you’ve been over the half hour, you’ve been hitting the nail right on the head. You know, the mainstream media has been literally falling all over Governor Huckabee, and I’m real suspicious about that, and I want to give you an example. I watched that YouTube debate the other night, and at the end they had like a panel on at the end. They had Bill Bennett, a conservative commentator, and three or four liberal commentators.

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: And at the end of it I think Bill Bennett said something nice about Governor Romney and then the other three picked Huckabee, and then, you know, even Bill Clinton has been saying nice things about Governor Huckabee. So I’m just really suspicious of why the mainstream media is so much fallen over for Huckabee.

RUSH: Well, you said I hit the nail on the head. Why do you think?

CALLER: Well, because I think that they think he’s going to be the easiest one to beat in an election, if he ever is to get the nomination. But, you know, they’re just all over Huckabee. I’ve seen interviews with Huckabee. They don’t ask him any tough questions, and it’s just like all puff pieces, and no wonder why he’s going up in the polls, because every time he’s on a show, you know, it’s just a puff piece.

RUSH: Well, he’s going up in the polls in Iowa largely because the evangelical votes decided that he’s their guy. They’ve coalesced around him. As to other states’ primaries, you could be right. But I think you have a good point. Again, the CNN debate is very instructive. Because while CNN is out there making this point, ‘Hey, look, this was the voice of the peoples! Why, we had 5,000 submissions here from peoples that wanted to ask Republicans questions.’ Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right on, right on, right on. The fact of the matter is: CNN chose them. Those were CNN questions. That is how you have to view this. Those were not questions voiced by average Americans. I want to see what they turned away. Those questions were CNN’s questions, because they chose ’em, and those questions were what? They were all oriented around the liberal clichéd view of conservatives: guns, God, Jesus, Bible, abortion, you name it — and homosexuality, gays in the military. All of these things that in a Republican, a genuine Republican debate with undecided Republican voters, those questions would not have been brought up. And many of those topics would not have been brought up, and if the topics had been brought up, they would not have been asked by genuine undecided Republicans the way they were asked on CNN.

So, where am I headed with this? I’ll tell you. You might say, ‘Why are the Drive-Bys pushing Huckabee?’ Because they think that Huckabee is a nut. They think that Huckabee is a Bible-thumping preacher that’s going to be marching into every woman’s home and telling her, ‘No! You must not and cannot have an abortion,’ and then they think he’s going to hijack the Constitution and write Roe vs. Wade out of it without even going to the Supreme Court, and then they think he’s going to make every liberal kid go to Sunday school. This is what they think of him. This is what they think of any God-fearing pastor or conservative religious person, and as such, they think that would be easy to beat and as such, they are scared to death of it at the same time. But they figure that Huckabee is still, you know, an outlier in terms of top tier, middle tier, even though he’s doing well in the polls. But you have to know who these people are. You have to understand how they intend to influence the outcome of Republican elections, and their objective is to see to it that Republicans don’t win the White House. I’m talking CNN, Drive-Bys, I don’t care who it is: A Republican doesn’t win the White House on their watch.

The best way to do that is to get one nominated that has no prayer, as far as they are concerned, with their jaundiced view their things — and that’s clearly what’s going on. You Huckabee people out there, don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying he hasn’t earned this. I’m not saying that he’s unqualified, or anything of the sort. I am simply commenting on, if he does win Iowa — and, look, all of a sudden he’s risen in the polls look at how they’re reacting. Imagine if he does win Iowa, and let’s see if he wins it with a significant margin. You are going to see this. I’m just predicting to you: The reporting you’re going to see is unlike you’ve seen yet, and they’re going to do their best to say, ‘This is going to sweep him to the nomination. Mike Huckabee coming out of nowhere to win Iowa. Who woulda thought? It’s on to New Hampshire.’ They’re going to try to influence a high vote for him in New Hampshire, because what they really don’t want is Romney, or Rudy, or Thompson. They’ll be happy to have him. I’m not saying they’re right about this. Don’t misunderstand. I’m telling you how they think, so that you will have a better perspective of analyzing how they work.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here’s another thing to consider, folks, about the Drive-Bys and their attempts to influence the perception of Republican primary votes in Iowa and New Hampshire. They need a George W. Bush on the ballot. So much of Democrat turnout will hinge on hatred for George W. Bush. The only problem is that Bush isn’t on the ballot. They have to find somebody, therefore, who can be portrayed as Bush, and Rudy certainly can’t be portrayed as George W. Bush. Can Mitt Romney be portrayed as Bush? No. Can Fred Thompson be portrayed as Bush? No. And here’s why. One of the things about Bush that they despise is that he is public about his faith in God-d and his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his savior, and that just tears them a new one. You do not understand how that scares the pants off of these people. It just does. That’s as big a reason they hate Bush as any policy thing that he’s gotten into. Rahm Emanuel, a big-time Clinton, Inc., guy from the White House days, now congressman from Illinois, said that Bush will be on the ballot. They’re going to run against him anyway. What better way to have Bush on the ballot than to nominate a candidate that they can say is George Bush all over again? Particularly in the way that scares the left so much, and, if they can portray Huckabee as in any way pro-Iraq, pro-war on terror, this is one of the reasons he’s exciting to them. They need a Bush on the ballot. They’ve invested too much in running against George W. Bush when he’s not running.

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