RUSH: Now, I want to remind all my Republican friends that there are many states after Iowa and New Hampshire where the Republican populations are far more indicative of the conservative base, and to get caught up in what happened in Iowa, to get caught up in what’s going to happen in New Hampshire as though they’re the only two states that matter and that they’re going to determine the fallout on both parties is a little bit over the top.
Iowa is a caucus; it’s a weird setup. New Hampshire allows independents to vote in the Republican primary, which is why McCain is doing as well as he is doing, and it’s why the media want this to be a bellwether against Romney. I mean, Pat Buchanan came in second. He came in a very strong second in New Hampshire in 1992. Now, I’m not saying that these contests are not to be taken seriously here, and that they’re not to be fought and to be won, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. New Hampshire is no longer the conservative barometer it used to be. The state has changed, it is now quite liberal. A lot of people who used to live in Massachusetts have moved into New Hampshire to escape New Hampshire’s high taxation and other problems. New England generally the northern states, states like Iowa, is not where the conservative base resides in large numbers. The Drive-By Media would love to destroy the conservative coalition. They would love to destroy the conservative base to the Republican Party. That’s why they are promoting Huckabee; it is why they are promoting McCain.
The Drive-By Media, ladies and gentlemen, will tell us each and every day who the true conservatives in the Republican primary are, and they will tell us by virtue of who they attack and also by virtue of who they prop up. They are propping up McCain; they are propping up Huckabee. The Drive-By Media hate conservatives. They want to destroy conservatism. It is the bulwark standing in their way of power and monopolistic control of all the apparatus of the country, government, media, and everything else. It’s one of the best indicators I can offer you. If you’re asking who is the genuine conservative out there or who is most conservative, who is most liberal on the Republican side, just take a look at who the Drive-Bys are enamored of and you will be able to answer the question yourself without me having to tell you. Why do you think that Senator McCain is making his big stand in New Hampshire? Because he did well there in 2000 and because he knows he runs really well with independents. He knows that New Hampshire is not a big conservative state.
If McCain were running on a genuine conservative agenda he’d be focusing on South Carolina for example, but he’s not. He’s focusing in New Hampshire because he thinks conservatives can be outnumbered there by this new influx of independents. You know, he’s up there in New Hampshire, if you listen to McCain, touting his left-wing environmental agenda with Joe Lieberman, for crying out loud. Now, recently there has been an endorsement that have people scratching their heads. ‘Jack Kemp, supply-sider, endorsing McCain? What’s this all about?’ I’ll give you two reasons, and I’m just hazarding my own guess here, but I think it’s the old boys club in Washington, the inside the Beltway establishment apparatus, and the dirty little secret: Congressman Kemp is an open borders guy. So is Senator McCain. Have you noticed that in these forums and debates, McCain doesn’t want to talk about immigration; he doesn’t want to talk about campaign finance reform; he doesn’t want to talk about the things that genuinely rile conservatives? He wants to sweep those issues under the rug, and try to redefine what those issues were all about and what his position was on both of them.
Now they’re saying if Romney finishes second, he’s finished. How can that be? How can coming in second in the first two states finish somebody? If he comes in second, it may disappoint some people, but it also means that in these two states he’s the only Republican to win high spots in both. The idea that anybody’s finished after New Hampshire and Iowa is absurd. It’s Drive-By Media spin designed to dispirit and depress people. They’re out there saying, ‘Where does Romney go after New Hampshire?’ Where do any of them go? It’s wide open! They go on to the next primary! South Carolina and Michigan. That’s where they go. For the Beltway crowd — not just the media, but for people that live and work inside the Beltway — to make conclusive statements about who’s going to win and who won’t based on all this — two states — is nuts, at least as far as the Republicans are concerned. There is no one candidate that has any front-runner momentum right now at all on the Republican side.
RUSH: I know it’s easy to get caught up in the spin of the Drive-By Media — and not just the Drive-Bys, but the whole inside-the-Beltway crowd — making conclusive statements about who’s going to win and who won’t based on Iowa and New Hampshire, at least as far as the Republican Party is concerned — no one candidate has any front-runner momentum right now. Listen to this. Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll for yesterday shows McCain and Huckabee tied at 19%, Giuliani at 17%, Romney at 15%, and Fred Thompson at 13%. At some point, we’re going to get past these states that work for Huckabee and McCain. But there’s no clear front-runner on the Republican side. The only thing that you could say that might happen to somebody on the Republican side after two states is that expectations weren’t met. Now, it’s different on the Democrat side. You can see the panic in Hillary’s camp. You can see a big slide in her national polling. Obama has overtaken her nationally. He’s up double digits in two polls, in New Hampshire for tomorrow night. Unlike Romney, Romney has never led in the national polls, even though they talk about him as the front-runner, he never has led in the national polls.
You know who has led in the national polls has been Giuliani. But they speak of Romney as the front-runner; they attack him as the front-runner. Mrs. Clinton has always been the big front-runner in the Democrat Party, and she’s lost that status now in these national polls. And she’s losing to somebody, Barack Obama, who has absolutely no experience or qualifications to be president — and that is astounding, and it goes directly to her lack of likability. Now, I’m not sure she can’t recover someplace. She may be finished. I don’t know. The point is, nobody knows what’s going to happen. Even after tomorrow night, nobody knows, and it’s silly for anybody to start saying that they do. I wouldn’t be completely certain of her being finished. You know, she still has the support of the party machine. Now, that could be threatened. The stories are out there that Mrs. Clinton’s money is drying up. I thought she’d raised a hundred million bucks! I thought she’d raised all this money. Now we’re getting stories, that her donations are drying up; staffers are becoming dispirited. Maybe so. We’ll just have to see how it plays out. There’s no doubt she’s in deep trouble. Make no mistake about that. But to say that she’s finished, at this stage, is a bit premature.
I’ll tell you, there’s so much conventional wisdom out there. I, for one, just want to repeat this: I don’t think McCain’s a lock in New Hampshire tomorrow night. I believe these debates matter. I believe people in New Hampshire watch ’em. In both the Saturday night debate and the Sunday night forum, McCain did not do well. I don’t care what anybody tells you. You can look at the focus groups and see for yourself: He did not do well. He came off as sinister, mean, and strident on Saturday night. Sunday, he came across as tired and out of it, as though somebody had said, ‘Look, you’re a little too strident last night on Romney. Back off,’ which he did — and then for McCain to sit there and whine and moan about attack ads? Come on! This ain’t beanbag! Politics is a blood sport. You know, McCain has run his share of attack ads. But these guys have been in politics all their lives. They’ve had attack ads run against them. They act like big babies, they can’t deal with attack ads. And, by the way, what’s an ‘attack ad’? You know, McCain is just like the Democrats in this regard. If you run an ad that’s truthful about their record, all of a sudden you’re ‘attacking’ them. There have been some truthful commercials about McCain.
McCain has been the author of the first official intervention in the First Amendment in this nation’s history: McCain-Feingold. He has opposed tax cuts, the Bush tax cuts. So to put that out there in an ad is not an attack ad. It happens to be true. You have all this sensitivity about these attack ads. You don’t see Romney whining and moaning about these things. You don’t see Fred Thompson whining and moaning about these things. You don’t see Rudy whining and moaning. But you do see Huckabee and McCain whining and moaning about this. It’s unbecoming, because this is what it is. Politics is what it is. I’ll tell you what I actually think. This is based on truth, and it is in fact truth: the media are out to break up conservatives. I was instant messaging with F. Lee last night, and to me, there is no question. I spent this weekend in intense study of what’s going on up there. I watched more political TV this weekend than I have watched probably in the last six months. My instincts were confirmed: Media are out to break up conservatives, dispirit us, destroy us, destroy the Republican coalition of the evangelicals; the social and fiscal conservatives; they’re out to destroy that.
They want to destroy that by getting McCain or Huckabee nominated. That’s how they intend to do it, and we have pundits, including some who are conservative, who are falling all over themselves to be the first to announce permanent realignments, permanent trends; the end of this era, the beginning of that era. In truth, all they have to be making such sweeping predictions is the results of the Iowa caucuses, where a couple hundred thousand people voted, 10% of those eligible, in a very odd format. Now New Hampshire is coming where the more liberal or populist candidate in the Republican Party now benefits from the flood of independents who vote in the GOP primary and skews the results, which means that you cannot draw conclusions about the Republican Party based on New Hampshire but they will anyway, and you’ve got to keep this in mind. Whatever happens in New Hampshire tomorrow night, the Drive-Bys are going to try to spin this as the end of conservatism as it’s known. Now, let me be blunt about some things here. Governor Huckabee does evangelicals a disservice when he uses faith to promote what is a liberal, populist agenda — an agenda that includes large tax increases, which were not offset by tax cuts.
I hope you saw the question from Romney last night to Governor Huckabee about taxes. He wouldn’t answer the question. He got very testy, and said, ‘I’m not talking to you, Mitt! I’m talking to the moderator, Chris Wallace.’ So Wallace simply repeated Mitt Romney’s question.
‘Well, did you raise taxes, a net increase, after all your cuts and increases?’
He didn’t want to answer the question. When he finally got around to answering, he said, ‘Well, the courts made me do it.’
Court orders were not responsible for $500 billion of tax increases, folks. I hate to tell you. There’s no governor that can say a court made him raise taxes that many times. It was a bit sad. The Huckabee agenda is large tax increases, not offset by tax cuts; open borders; amnesty for illegals, particularly their kids. He was also nailed on that last night.
‘Well, governor, you’ve said that you want the kids of illegals to stay and go to school.’
‘Well, federal government hadn’t done its job. Kids have to be educated.’
‘Yeah, but you said that you want to give college students in-state tuition, and federal government doesn’t say anything about that.’
And then he said, ‘Well, what’s really going to happen here is when we deport all these illegals, they’re going to take their kids with them, if they go out of school, have to go back to Mexico, get in line, they come back, they’ll go back and finish school.’
‘Uh, but I thought it was great to have ’em here and stay in school?’
It was just all over the ballpark. And then McCain trying to defend his amnesty (laughing) by saying it wasn’t amnesty because there was a $5,000 fine. Yeah, right. Let me say a couple of things about that $5,000 fine. Do you know who’s going to pay the fine, if anybody? Their employers are going to pay the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill. But besides that, there’s no enforcement in that bill, or there wasn’t. Who’s going to track these people down and collect the money? What if they don’t have it? If the $5,000 is paid, then okay, there’s no amnesty. There’s a big penalty, right? No amnesty? It’s an annuity! If you’re going to get five grand from these people and that puts ’em on the Social Security rolls and on the welfare rolls, it’s an annuity! It is amnesty! He’s going out of his way to say it wasn’t amnesty, but it is — and in New Hampshire, you know, they’re not so concerned about it, the independents that have moved in there from Massachusetts, but this kind of stuff is not going to fly once we get out of New Hampshire. Once we get out of South Carolina, some of the border states, it ain’t going to fly, folks. Amnesty is not amnesty because we’re going to fine them $5,000?
Everybody knows they’re not going to be tracked down to be forced to pay the five grand in the first place! Our memories are not that short, here, Senator McCain. We remember this amnesty bill like it was yesterday. Our memories are not short on campaign finance reform, either. I mean you’re out there complaining. I thought you got the money out of politics! I thought you got all the mean-spirited out of politics. Now you’re out there complaining about ‘attack ads from Mitt Romney.’ I guess we need some more campaign finance reform, don’t we, Senator McCain? (Big sigh) Anyway, back to Huckabee. You start granting amnesty for illegal aliens, that’s going to hurt the incomes and jobs of church-going, middle class Americans. And, by the way, this includes negotiating with Islamic fascists: The Golden Rule, treat them like we’d like to be treated and so forth? These Islamic fascists, they murder American soldiers. They’re set on destroying Israel. They’re threatening to kill President Bush when he touches down Wednesday in Jerusalem.
There just is nothing Christian about dealing with the enemy the way Governor Huckabee has proposed doing it. McCain is running away from his opposition to tax cuts. He did this last night. He never mentions McCain-Feingold, anymore — we do — even though he wouldn’t stop talking about it for years before this election. Senator McCain’s support for more rights for the detainees and the closing of Club Gitmo, to me illustrates a serious weakness in terms of securing this nation. You know, open borders and closing the borders is as much about national security as it is about the illegal immigration issue. Senator McCain has repeatedly joined with Feingold and Kennedy and other liberals to undermine one conservative issue after another, and this will be remembered once we get out of New Hampshire. We’re finished with Iowa. Once we get out of these places and go to places where the Republican conservative base really is, then all these soothsayers and wise men inside the Beltway are going to be in for a huge shock.
RUSH: Larry in Eugene, Oregon, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi Rush, I watched the Fox News forum last night. I thought Chris Wallace did an excellent job. I really enjoyed it.
CALLER: I haven’t made a decision on a candidate. In fact, I’d vote for any of them. They’re all infinitely better than what the Democrats offer, that’s my first point. But I’m just a little disappointed you came out of the chute kind of focusing on some of the negatives of McCain and Huckabee, which I agree, that’s valid constructive criticism I would hope, but I thought there was so much positive out of there, and if you don’t mind, I’ll give an example. I’ll point out Rudy Giuliani, where he talked about going into poor neighborhoods and communicating to the people that Republican conservative programs help them to get out of poverty, it’s a message that they don’t hear enough of.
RUSH: Well, now, wait, that’s an excellent point. We’ve got audio sound bites of all of this. I can’t squeeze it all in, in the first hour. But I also — you know, I can’t win. On Friday, everybody was upset with me because I won’t lead and because I won’t endorse, and because I won’t tell you what I think. I come out today and say, ‘Okay, I’ve intensely studied it this weekend, and here’s what I saw, and here’s what I think,’ and now I’m getting grief for that. Well, I will plug ahead using my instincts guided by intelligence.