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RUSH: Rich Lowry posted something interesting yesterday at National Review Online. He entitled it ‘The McCain Weakness.’ This is what he wrote: ‘This is it: Conservatives were 54% of the electorate [in New Hampshire] and McCain lost to Romney among them by seven points. When the race moves south, conservatives will probably be 75-80% of the electorate, and they will presumably dominate in closed primaries. But this is the thing: At the outset, it looked like the way the early states were stacked up would help Romney. But once Romney lost Iowa, they were stacked up to help McCain.

‘The Arizona senator might be able to all but knock Romney out of the race in Michigan with another strong showing among independents, meaning he could possibly KO Romney without ever beating him handily among Republicans. Weird, huh? Then, with Romney gone, McCain is presumably competing with Huckabee and Rudy (although Fred is still lurking) for those conservative voters and that’s a fight he could well win.’ Now, this is really fascinating, and it also illustrates how the little people actually knew before all these primaries began. All this hype about who has to win where and who has to win what, is meaningless — except for what I said. You have Iowa, New Hampshire, two states that do not feature conservatives. The caucuses are a weird setup in Iowa, and, of course, New Hampshire anybody can cross the state line and vote, and among conservatives Romney beat McCain by seven points! It was with independents he won. Now, we’re Republicans, and theoretically we’re out there trying to nominate a conservative to run as president here, as close to one as we can get, and yet the guy who wins New Hampshire is going all over the board, and the guy who wins Iowa getting votes from independents, who by definition are not conservatives! This is why, folks — this is precisely why — McCain and Huckabee are feverishly trying to get Romney out now, as soon as they can, and this is why they are being vicious in their attacks on Romney.

This is why we repeatedly point out here that the states that allow independents and even Democrats to vote in their Republican primaries are not indicative of the Republican Party, which is why McCain and Huckabee have shots in them. McCain and Huckabee are winning these early states, where Republicans are outnumbered. It’s not Republicans; it’s not conservatives in majority who were electing Huckabee or McCain, so far, voting for them. Michigan is the same. Now, the Democrats in Michigan, they got a little bit different problem because Michigan violated party rules and is running ahead of when the party wanted to, so Michigan’s getting no delegates. The Republican Party is penalizing Michigan a little but not totally, so there are delegates at stake for the Republicans in Michigan. So Hillary is the only person on the ballot in Michigan. Nobody else is competing there. The Democrat Party in Michigan is urging people on the Democrat side to vote nobody. They don’t want them crossing the aisle. They want nobody, because they’re trying to get even with the party and make amends at the same time to try to get some delegates that can vote and count at the convention. So they’re trying to not vote for Hillary.

They don’t want them crossing the aisles and voting on the Republican side. But McCain clearly wants that, which is what happened last time in Michigan in 2000 and Huckabee clearly wants that. So if McCain and Huckabee can combine to pick up most of the independent Democrat vote, and even if Romney gets most of the Republicans, he’s still going to be outnumbered. So Romney will be defeated if this happens in three states, not by Republicans voting against him, but by Democrats and independents. This is key to understanding, and it’s fascinating because Romney figured Iowa and New Hampshire would launch him. Now he’s gotta go to Michigan, and he’s gotta go to Nevada, and then everybody’s gotta go to South Carolina. So it’s fascinating to me, folks. Here we have Republican primaries in which Democrats and independents are determining our winners! It’s important that you understand that. Romney… I hate to say this, but Romney may be out of this before we ever get to states where a majority of Republicans, conservative Republicans are going to vote — and look at who the choices might be then! I don’t think he’s going to get out. But I mean the definition is he’s done, he’s cooked, he’s lost four, hasn’t won one. At some point you gotta win something for momentum. He’s not going to get South Carolina. By Super Tuesday, Republicans might have as their two choices people that are not conservatives that have been elected, I should say, and have their leads based on votes from Democrats and independents. Can you say ‘screwed’?


RUSH: Now, I want to clarify something. I might have left the impression that Romney would get out after Michigan. The press is talking about that. The press, once again, is repeating the mistakes: ‘If he doesn’t win in New Hampshire, he’s finished. He’s gone.’ He’s still in there, and he leads the delegate count right now, and they’re saying, ‘If he doesn’t win Michigan, he’s going to get out. It’s done. He’s finished. He’s not going to get out.’ He will precisely not get out until Super Tuesday because the real conservative voices in terms of the American people have not been heard! It’s independents and Democrats who have given victories to Huckabee and McCain so far. It was Romney who won a majority of Republican votes in New Hampshire. But they were outnumbered by all the other people that could cross over and vote from whatever party or no party. So Romney’s not going to get out. His strategy is to wait ’til Republican conservatives actually start voting here, in these primaries, and they haven’t yet, in terms of a majority, and it’s not going to be the case in Michigan, either.

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