RUSH: Marty in Springfield, Virginia, I’m glad you called, and welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Yeah, look, you’re halfway, more than halfway through the show and you haven’t talked about the most important news to a lot of us conservatives. I mean we need you to intervene on this squabble between Romney and Huckabee. It’s escalating, and I’m afraid it’s going to tear up the Christian right coalition.
RUSH: Are you talking about Huckabee attacking Mitt’s Mormonism?
RUSH: Don’t Mormons believe Jesus and the Devil were brothers?
CALLER: Yeah. I mean, come on, you know, he’s in the lead, why does he have to stoop to something like that?
RUSH: Why did he say in 2002, why did he go to George Bush and ask him to relax the Cuban embargo so that he could have a market for Arkansas rice, and then he was told, ‘Well, you got markets over there in Taiwan, you know, over in Asia.’ ‘Oh, oh, okay, fine, well, then forget the embargo.’
RUSH: Those markets existed — Cuban market for rice? How am I supposed to intervene here? I’m serious, what would you like for me to do?
CALLER: Well, just tell ’em to speak to the issues. If they’re not going to stick to the issues, why don’t you do it? I think you’re doing a pretty good job. Spell out what their position is, but say something that, you know, this doesn’t need to get ugly. This is only going to come back and bite us, you know —
RUSH: That’s not going to come back and bite us. How is it going to come back and bite us?
CALLER: No one wants to hear this negative crap that they’re associated with. I mean, what’s going to beat Hillary is, yeah, the right stand on issues, but it’s going to be a positive type of person who comes across as positive versus Hillary’s negative —
RUSH: How do you think Mitt’s dealing with this?
CALLER: Let me qualify myself. First, I am a Latter-day Saint. I’m going to go with Mitt. He wasn’t my first choice but, you know, when Gingrich bugged out, I was upset about that, and Allen got screwed by the media but I mean all things considered, whether I was LDS or not, I’m going with Romney, but I’d vote for Huckabee, but, I mean, for crying out loud, you know, I think Romney doesn’t need to be too negative. I think his ad that he just came out with is pretty straightforward, here’s the similarities, here’s the —
RUSH: Yeah, it’s not negative at all —
CALLER: I don’t really think it was. The media says it’s negative, but I don’t think it was, but I wish he wouldn’t hammer Huckabee so much. I mean, I want him to clearly delineate the issues. But Huckabee certainly goes over the line a little bit.
RUSH: It’s a campaign, and I don’t care what people say, these negative ads, they work. They just do. Now, let’s talk about Huckabee for a second here and this Lucifer and Jesus comment. Aren’t Jesus and the Devil brothers in Mormons’ belief? What I think Huckabee is — you know, Iowa is one thing, but he’s gotta take that beyond Iowa. And right now he’s at 9% in New Hampshire. He’s got a ten-point lead in Iowa and he wants to build on that. The audience he’s shooting for is the evangelical crowd in Iowa, latest numbers I saw, 48, 49% of the evangelical crowd is for Romney. I saw another poll, I think yesterday, that said 17% of evangelicals said they would never vote for a Mormon. So I think what Huckabee is trying to do is really build that lead, not just win Iowa, but have a smoking win to give him some momentum to go elsewhere, because the evangelical crowd in New Hampshire is not as big a crowd, even if he got them all, he wouldn’t move up. Romney is way ahead there. So I think he’s just trying to capitalize on the strength that he’s deriving in Iowa from the evangelicals.
It is an unfortunate comment, and Romney came back and said, yeah, these religious comments are over the top. It was what his speech was about last week, which I thought, as I said many times, I thought it was a fantastic, inspirational, and uplifting speech, and it wasn’t so much about religion as it was about religion’s ties to the founding of this country, and very, very important. I think Huckabee is showing us who he is, and he thinks this is what it takes to win, and he’s a Baptist minister, and his religion is very serious to him, too. He’s using it for all it’s worth for him, and I think I understand why. I don’t think I could stop it, either.
CALLER: Well, I don’t know. I think you could. I think you control America, and that’s good. I think at the very least, you ought to be able to control the Republican nominees. I mean, they’re all beholden to you, they wouldn’t be in power anyway.
RUSH: You may have a point, now that I think about it in that regard. You might. People don’t believe this, but my staff would believe me when I say, I walk around here with such humility, you would not believe it. They’re all laughing because they know it’s true. Okay, so, you know, I’m thinking you may have a good point here in the sense that what you’re asking for is somebody to stand up and say, ‘Would you guys stop acting like kids and start talking about the issues that are going to get us elected president: taxes, immigration, the future of the country and so forth, and stop all this stuff.’ That’s the kind of thing you want me to say?
CALLER: You got it. We need a referee, Rush.
RUSH: I just said it. All right, I just said it. They’re going to start a debate here in 20 minutes in Iowa.
RUSH: We’ll see. The Des Moines Register is doing this debate, and they’re putting out the news that this could be seismic. How can a debate at one o’clock Central time be seismic? How can anything that happens at one or two o’clock be seismic? I think you’re also suggesting, maybe, that I call them personally, that I call Huckabee personally and McCain and all these guys, and say, ‘Cut this crap. This is serious. What we’re facing here is serious, the future of the country, and you all know you’re far more qualified than anybody on the Democrat side to lead this country. Don’t destroy our chances by making yourselves out to be people you really aren’t.’
CALLER: Exactly. If you could do that, it would be great. If Rove is giving advice to Obama and Chris Matthews is giving advice, you can give advice to both of them, if they just stick to the issues, because seriously, it’s getting to the point now that Huckabee —
RUSH: Well, now, wait a second, Romney is sticking to the issues.
CALLER: He is.
RUSH: Even that so-called attack ad against Huckabee was about issues.
CALLER: I agree. I think he needs to say things in a positive way, but, you know, people are going to — in the general election, if Huckabee’s going to start, you know, sure it’s fine to target, you know, the fear on the part of — or even bigotry on the part of some evangelicals to get elected, but that’s going to come back and bite you if in the general election the people who are undecided say, ‘Yeah, that just justifies the left’s portrayal of the Christian right as being a bunch of bigots.’
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: I mean, I’m going to vote for Huckabee if he gets the nomination. But, you know, for crying out loud, you know, he’s only going to shoot himself in the foot and put us at a disadvantage if he has to stoop to some things to get nominated.
RUSH: You are putting me in a really, really unfortunate position here because during primaries, you know, I do not —
CALLER: We need you, Rush.
RUSH: — take a position on specific candidates. I know you’re not asking me to do that. You’re asking me to get in there and referee this and get these guys to grow up and stop it.
CALLER: You got it.
RUSH: All right, I’ll do it. Staff all shouting on the IFB, ‘Thank you!’ I gotta hold my fire here. Huckabee, he got the endorsement of the minuteman guy. Do you realize what Huckabee’s immigration positions have been in the past? That endorsement stunned everybody. I couldn’t figure it out. I thought I was performing a service by staying out of this because I don’t take sides against or for candidates during primaries. But believe me, this thing you said about Romney and Jesus and Lucifer, this is not the first time that statements have been made from the Huckabee campaign that you go, ‘What?’ (interruption) See, I know, I’m not refereeing. See, this is the risk, I’m running a huge risk here. But, look, I —
CALLER: No, you’re not.
RUSH: Actually, I’m not, because I can withstand it. I am running the country.
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: You know it and I know it. All right, look, you know, Marty, I appreciate this. You have beat me upside the head in a very productive way, and I appreciate it.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush.
RUSH: All right.
RUSH: I’m going to tell you something about this. One more thing here, before we move on, on Romney and Huckabee and Huckabee saying, ‘Well, doesn’t Romney believe that Jesus and the Devil were brothers?’ What this does… I happen to think that Romney… Look, you can figure this out, too. Romney has to have been waiting for something like this to happen. He’s probably surprised it’s taken this long. He knows what a target his religion is. That’s why he gave the speech last week. He’s been waiting for this. It puts him on the high ground, I think. I think the way he came back and what he said is over the top. What did he say? This is ‘going too far.’ Attacking somebody’s religion is going too far. I’ll tell you something. I mentioned this the other day. There’s a history of Democrats attacking the religion of conservatives, Christianity and evangelicals and the people who practice them. This time, it’s a Christian attacking a Mormon and so forth. But it gives Romney the high ground, temporarily. It just know he had to be waiting for this. He just had to be — and these things tend to work themselves out. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to intercede, I don’t want you to misunderstand. I’m not looking for outs.
RUSH: Here is Steve in Naples, Florida. Steve, I’m glad you waited. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. What an honor.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Thank you. I just wanted to tell you that 12 years ago I started listening to your show, and that was just about the time that you ran a series of shows motivating people to never give up, despite some failure in their lives. You spurred me actually to start my own business back then, 12 years ago, and after 12 years of hard work, I just want to thank you for the encouragement you give everyone.
RUSH: Well, thank you. Are you happier?
CALLER: Oh! Unbelievable. What a difference between working for someone else.
RUSH: You may have hassles, but they’re not the same hassles as when you work for other people and you have no control over what they’re doing, and when you’re smarter and more motivated and willing to work harder than they are, they could hold you back. But that can’t stop you in your own business.
CALLER: As usual, you are absolutely correct. Again, I just want to thank you.
RUSH: You’re welcome.
CALLER: My question to you, sir, is, the Drive-Bys think they seem to have something on Mr. Huckabee. And it concerns me, because even though I’m still weighing my options about the upcoming election, I do like Huckabee for his conservatism and his religious background. But my question to you is, I guess, how closely do you think candidates are vetted at this point by the RNC? Could they actually have something on him that they are waiting to pull out, or are they just fooling themselves into thinking that most of the people in the US think like them and will reject someone who is religious?
RUSH: Well, I don’t know that what they think they’ve got is just strictly tied to the religious aspect of him. When the Democrats put this stuff out, ‘Oh, yeah, we got all kinds of stuff on Huckabee, and we’re going to hold our fire ’til he gets the nomination, because we hope he gets the nomination, because we can ruin him,’ now, the Democrat National Committee supposedly put that out, then somebody at the DNC said, ‘No, it wasn’t us. That’s Romney’s camp doing it.’ So now we’ve got this little contretemps. I still think, you know, the DNC doesn’t speak with one voice. You’ve got plenty of people in there who will leak. Every organization leaks. So probably did come from the DNC. So now you gotta say, what’s the strategy? Is the strategy to convince the Republicans, ‘Oh, my gosh! The Democrats are going to destroy Huckabee. Well, we can’t have Huckabee.’ So is it trying to…? You really don’t know. So you don’t even know if what they’re claiming to have they really have. And then you don’t know if they do have something if it really is as damaging as they think because they think the whole country agrees with them on issues like religion and whatever else. So I think you have to look at this for what it is. It’s a strategic move by somebody in a campaign aimed at the current front-runner in Iowa, and that’s Huckabee.
RUSH: The guy’s is also gaining nationally, right behind Rudy. None of this was expected except by me. So I’d be hard-pressed to tell you what the real strategy is here — other than, in most cases, you would have to say that the purpose of this is to harm Huckabee, even if the Democrats are doing it, because if they’ve got the stuff, why put it out? You know, why say they’ve got it?
CALLER: Well, they haven’t said they’ve got it, yet, have they?
RUSH: Yes, they have.
CALLER: Oh, I thought —
RUSH: Oh, yeah, a couple days ago.
CALLER: I thought that was just a leak basically.
RUSH: Well, they’re denying it. But the guy that they leaked to is, of course, standing by the source in the story.
RUSH: It’s high intrigue.
CALLER: It seems it’s come down now to Huckabee or Romney, and they think that Romney is going to implode on the Latter-Day Saints issue.
RUSH: They think every Republican is going to implode, but, look, Republicans just won two seats in special elections yesterday, seats that they held, and the Democrats thought, in one case, that they were going to win one of those seats. There’s so much conventional wisdom out there that the Democrats are going to expand their majorities in both the House and the Senate, and they’re going to, by fiat, automatically win the White House. None of this is known. These are all stories that people are telling themselves, and with the Drive-By Media, the narrative is, ‘What do Democrats need to do to win?’ and, ‘How are Democrats doing?’ and so forth. You get the wrong perspective. You can’t read the stitches on the fastball or read between the lines. It’s politics as usual. It’s intriguing, and, in time, the truth will out. We will know who has what on whom and whether or not it’s going to work, and depending on what it is that they have on whom, and how they use it, and if it offends and bothers me, then it isn’t going to work.