RUSH: To the audio sound bites of the Republican debate. This is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We’ll start with Huckabee. The Fox moderator, Carl Cameron, said, ‘Governor Huckabee, your advisor, Ed Rollins, recently said the Reagan coalition of economic, social, and national security conservatives is gone. You’ve been quoted as saying that you’re not running for another Reagan term. Tell us, sir, what part of the coalition is gone and what has it been replaced by?’
HUCKABEE: The Reagan coalition has certainly not seen those same middle-class, working-class Republicans feeling a part of the Republican Party as they should. Over the years, sometimes Republicans have thought that one part of that coalition was more important than the other. I think they’re all important, and we need to recapture them. But we need to make sure that we can communicate that our party is just as interested in helping the people who are single moms, who are working two jobs, and still just barely paying the rent; as we are the people at the top of the economy.
RUSH: That’s exactly right, folks! We’ve gotta talk to these people making a hundred grand who have to take public transport. We have to reach out to these single moms whose 18-year-old daughters have to wake up an hour early in Los Angeles, to take public transportation to go to the ice cream scooping job. We have to acknowledge that this suffering and this pain is going on and that we’re going to have, what? A new Reagan coalition of Big Government to fix it! That’s not what conservatism is. It’s not what Reaganism was. Reaganism did not steer such people to the governments for solutions. Reaganism steered people inwardly. It steered people to themselves. It inspired people to realize that they could be far better than they thought they could be, that they had more potential than they realized. Reagan conservatism had as its purpose the uplifting of all people, not looking at people and seeing them as members of groups and bestowing victim status or sympathy upon them and saying, ‘I, a politician, in Washington will fix you.’ In the meantime, we have Governor Huckabee who continues to use this line — and I’m going to have to paraphrase it.
He keeps using this line about, ‘I’d rather get to know the guy that I work with than the guy who fired me or what have you.’ Yeah. Yeah. ‘People would rather vote for the guy they work with than the guy that laid ’em off.’ Now, I’m going to repeat something. I’m 56 years old. Throughout my life, there has not been one CEO… (interruption) I’m 56, Dawn! Nitpickers. All right, 57 tomorrow. You know what else I just found out? Dawn put 58 candles in the cake! One to grow on. All right, 57, whatever. That’s fine. I’ve always wanted to be older. This is another thing. I’ve always wanted to be older because I knew the older I got, the better life would be, and it’s been the case. Every year has been better than the previous for me, and I knew it would. That’s why when I was 16, I wanted to be 30. Well, I wanted to be 21. When 21, wanted to be 26. Twenty-six, wanted to be 30. When I was 30, I wanted to be 40 because I wanted to get all that behind me. They don’t let you enjoy life in this country ’til you’re 40. They don’t let you make any money in this country ’til you’re 40, unless you luck out and end up on Wall Street. Some of those guys make money, but those are exceptions to the rule.
Anyway, I have not lost my place. In all my life, this hasn’t been one Big Oil CEO, hasn’t been one Big Drug CEO. There hasn’t been a CEO of any organization that did me any harm. There hasn’t been one CEO that could! I don’t care how much the guy made or she made; I don’t care what they were being paid. Throughout the course of my life, there has not been one CEO of any large- or medium-size American corporation who has harmed me, who has tried to harm me, or who could. But throughout my life, there have been politicians too numerous to mention who could cause me great angst with policies of increased taxes, increased regulation, and telling me what I can and can’t do with my land, telling me what I can and can’t do with my lights nine months a year because of a bunch of turtles; telling me what kind of lightbulbs I can’t use in 2012; telling me what kind of stupid little car I have to drive in 12 years. But no CEO is telling me this. So this business about, ‘We’ve gotta start understanding victims out there and that we offer solutions when government programs,’ you can call it what you want, and you can espouse that and be for it. Do not call it Reaganism. Do not call it conservatism.
RUSH: You just heard Huckabee say, in defining Reaganism, ‘We need to make sure that we communicate that our party is just as interested in helping the people that are single moms, who are working two jobs, still just barely able to pay the rent as we are the people at the top of the economy.’ Now, that, I have to tell you, it offends me because the whole point of Ronald Reagan conservatism was to be interested in just that group. This is a media myth. It’s a cliché that conservatives only care about the rich.
For crying out loud, in the Obama Stack, wait ’til you hear who it’s been that’s been bankrolling Obama! Major corporations, nuclear power energy companies, George Soros. The Democrat Party today has more wealthy constituents in its states and districts than the Republican Party does. It’s another myth just like the Democrats are directly responsible for making the civil rights movement happen. It’s not true! And that’s why I cringe when I hear Republicans like Governor Huckabee falling into this trap, or maybe purposely going into it, implying that Republicans don’t care about the downtrodden. The whole point of conservatism is to lift the downtrodden. The whole point of liberalism is to keep ’em suppressed and then lower the rich and punish achievement! It’s so damned obvious all you have to do is take a look at what they say and what they propose! The economy is going great. People in the lower income brackets are moving out, moving up during the last eight years. This is frankly absurd for a Republican candidate to start running and talking that the Republicans don’t care about little people. So here’s Fred Thompson and what he said about that.
THOMPSON: Governor Huckabee’s campaign manager said it accurately in terms of what they believe. They believe that it is over. This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future. On the one hand, you have a Reagan revolution; you have the Reagan coalition of limited government, and strong national security. On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in. He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies.
RUSH: And, you know, now, this was unique. This has not happened to date in Republican debates with a Republican calling another Republican a liberal. And this is why Fred was considered to be on fire. He continued.
THOMPSON: He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy in the tradition of blame-America first. He believes that Guantanamo should be closed down and those enemy combatants brought here to the United States to find their way into the court system eventually. He believes in taxpayer funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas. He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers. He said he would sign a bill that banned smoking nationwide. So much for federalism, so much for state’s rights, so much for individual rights. That’s not the model of the Reagan coalition. That’s the model of the Democratic Party.
RUSH: Where has this been? Everybody is asking, ‘Where has this been,’ besides on this program? Where has this been in the context of the Republican debates? When I got home from dinner last night and started checking e-mail both from friends and just others, it was just shy of orgasmic — there was so much excitement and happiness, and people were also frustrated, where’s this been? Fred’s finally come alive. This is an annunciation of the conservative agenda that has not been present in their debates before, and everybody has known, a lot of people have known it’s there. It just hasn’t surfaced. So now, because of Fred’s stellar performance last night — I should say Senator Thompson’s stellar performance, guess what’s happening? It’s predictable. The Drive-Bys, media commentators, the pundits who ought to be so ashamed of blowing New Hampshire as badly as they did, they shouldn’t be able to show their face, they suffer no embarrassment whatsoever, they are saying it’s too little, too late. We had two states. We had the Hawkeye Cauci; we’ve had New Hampshire. We had two states. It’s too late? Fred doesn’t have a chance? Just wait ’til we get to these states where there are full-fledged conservative Republicans, not like New Hampshire, where McCain won the election with Democrats and independents. Mitt Romney got a majority of the Republican vote in New Hampshire. But the Republicans, in a Republican primary, were outnumbered by Democrats and independents.
Speaking of New Hampshire, Dennis Kucinich wants a recount, not because of him. He thinks something’s really strange here. He thinks these polls are not that wrong, he thinks there’s something astray, something wrong, and he wants an investigation. Precisely because he wants one is why we won’t get one. The Drive-Bys are never going to do a story on Democrat voter fraud, even if it happened, they’re never going to do that. It will stoke up the kooks. I mean the kooks are demanding it on Democrat Underground and so forth. The Drive-Bys are trying to write off our good guys, and they’re going to have to be stopped. They’re trying to write off genuine conservatives and prop up those who are not genuine conservatives on the Republican side. They are trying to tell us who will win South Carolina, who’s going to win Michigan. They already got it on the books. And when that happens, it’s the end of Romney, it’s the end of Fred, probably the end of Rudy, leaving us with McCain and Huckabee before we even get to states with genuine conservative Republican voters. The Drive-By Media, all these pundits, are trying to dictate the terms of this election and ultimately back their guy on our side, and their guy on our side is the guy they think will be most easily beaten by their real guy on the Democrat side, or girl, depending on how it ends up.
And I frankly, folks, I don’t think even you, and you in this audience are among the most engaged, you are the most informed and the most knowledgeable of all broadcast media, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. I think even some people in this audience don’t realize the extent to which the media is attempting to dictate the terms of our primary elections. They’re using phony polls; the nonstop commentary trying to demoralize conservatives; the media’s unwillingness to actually report, for example, on Senator McCain’s record. They have their techniques, and they are in full use right now. It’s plain as day for me to see. The Drive-Bys are not just trying to help the Democrats. They helped the Democrats by hurting us. They will always tell you, the Drive-By Media will always tell us, ladies and gentlemen, just who is and who isn’t a conservative on the Republican side. Brit Hume said, ‘Governor Huckabee, did the American commander in the Strait of Hormuz yesterday make the right decision by responding passively when approached aggressively by the Iranian fast books believed to be from the Revolutionary Guards? He also received a warning that said the American ships might be about to blow up, did he make the correct call, sir?’
HUCKABEE: I’m going to trust that the president, with the information that he had and that those commanders had, made the right decision. I think we need to make it very clear, not just to the Iranians, but to anybody, that if you think you’re going to engage the United States military, be prepared not simply to have a battle. Be prepared, first, to put your sights on the American vessel. And then be prepared that the next thing you see will be the gates of Hell, for that is exactly what you will see after that.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, right on, right on, right on, people got all excited about that. I have a question. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, I have a question. We’ve gone from, ‘We need to treat the enemies of the United States, terrorists and so forth, with the Golden Rule, do unto them as we would have them do unto us,’ whatever it is, vice-versa. Apparently that’s not playing well, because now if you’re one of our enemies, and you target our military, you better be ready for the gates of hell from Governor Huckabee. So we’re getting a, how do we say, a more strident tone here. Sometimes it’s tough to keep up, even for somebody like me.
RUSH: A few more sound bites from the Republican debate last night. Brit Hume said, ‘Senator Thompson, did the commander on the ground make the correct call in not blowing the Iranian ships out of the water?’
THOMPSON: You can’t take the judgment like that out of the hands of the officers on the ground there. I think one more step, you know, and they would have been introduced to those virgins that they’re looking forward to seeing.
RUSH: Wendell Goler of Fox News asked Senator Thompson, ‘Would your administration continue to back Pakistani President Musharraf despite polls that show two-thirds of the Pakistani people want him to resign?’
THOMPSON: Oh, my goodness, go against a poll?
THOMPSON: How can anybody ever do that? In the first place, you can tell that the news is good news coming out of Iraq because you read so little about it in the New York Times.
AUDIENCE: (laughter and wild applause)
RUSH: Where has this stuff been? I’m trying to race through this. It speaks for itself. But Fred really scored some exciting points himself last night. It was fascinating, too. I went to a bunch of different websites, and the evangelicals thought that Huckabee just owned the night. Look, I learned in ’92: You’re not going to talk people who have an emotional connection to anything about it. You may be able to emotion them out of it, but I don’t have that ability. You’re not going to be able to talk ’em out of it. Chris Wallace said, ‘Governor Huckabee, in your ten years running Arkansas, you raised taxes. They were higher at the end of your ten years than they were at the beginning by hundreds of millions of dollars, and you increased the size of government. Is that your idea of change, to be a Big Government Republican president?’
HUCKABEE: My idea of government is to get the job done and make sure that you balance your budget, that you respond to the needs of your people. I don’t think the federal government needs any more money. That’s why I’ve signed a pledge that I would not raise taxes as president. Let me tell you what I raised, Chris. I raised hope. I raised expectations of the kids in my state who didn’t have a decent education, and our courts ordered us to put more money into it. And rather than just act about my political future, I acted about the future of those kids. I raised the quality of life by making sure that education and health and highways, were accessible to every kid in that state.
RUSH: Well… That’s a first: Making highways accessible to kids? Was that Obama? Can I ask you, was that Obama speaking? That was Huckabee? It says here on my sound bite audio roster that that was Huckabee. You know, my hearing is such that sometimes I can’t distinguish voices. Was that Obama? Tell me! (interruption) That was Huckabee, using Obama’s lines. ‘Highways are accessible to every kid in the state.’ ‘I raised hope.’ ‘I didn’t raise taxes, I raised hope.’ Raising taxes, increasing taxes equals increasing hope or raising hope? Boy, Obama, what an orator! What a soaring guy. Rudy Giuliani said this about the concept of ‘change.’
GIULIANI: Change is either good or bad, and when you just say ‘change,’ if the change that you’re talking about is raising taxes, if the change that you’re talking about is pulling out of Iraq precipitously, if the change that you’re talking about is socialized medicine, these are definitely changes, but they’re changes in the wrong direction. If the change is in the direction of lower taxes, less spending, giving parents choice over education, energy independence, these are things that are going to make a brighter future and a better America. But just the word ‘change’ doesn’t connote good or bad. You’ve gotta get one step beyond that and start looking at the changes.
RUSH: Here is Wendell Goler of Fox News: ‘Senator Thompson, the governor says that 12 million people would be looked at individually. How would you find them,’ this is an immigration question, ‘and can you do it faster than he would, sir?’
THOMPSON: We would be a nation of high fences and wide gates, and we get to decide when to open the gate and when to close it. It’s not just 12 million people. We have to be concerned about another 12 million people. I disagree with my friend John McCain on the bill that they proposed last year. I disagree with my friend Governor Huckabee when he supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, when he fought the legislature when they tried to impose verification requirements (Bing! Bing!) before a person could vote so you could determine they were American citizen. I think that we have got to enforce the border, crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and stop sanctuary cities and policies that encourage people to continue across the border while we claim to be trying to enforce the border.
RUSH: Well, it was a long time coming, but there it is: Some actual conservatism in the Republican debate last night. Now, one thing you might have noticed if you watched the debate last night: Nobody went after McCain. What you just heard Thompson say (Thompson impression), ‘I disagree with my friend John McCain on that immigration bill he proposed,’ and then he launched into Huckabee. Now, Thompson spent most of the time going after Huckabee, which is understandable. He and Huckabee might be vying for the same voters in South Carolina. (sigh) I’m not a campaign strategerist, but I think the Thompson campaign has gotta go after everybody, and especially has to go after McCain. Nobody went after McCain last night. I mentioned this earlier. Nobody on that panel, and McCain is s the anointed front-runner by the Drive-Bys, and everybody (interruption). Yeah, immigration came up at the end, but they’re still a little — not a little, they’re a lot — afraid to go after McCain here. By the way, can I ask you a question? No matter how McCain does, nobody is saying he has to win this state or has to win that state or get out and he’s finished. Nobody. Same with Huckabee. Only Thompson, only Romney, and only Giuliani are the Drive-Bys saying, ‘If Romney doesn’t win Iowa, he’s finished! If he doesn’t win New Hampshire, he’s finished. If he doesn’t win Michigan, he’s done.’
‘If Rudy can’t put that machine back together real fast, Florida is going to come too late. He’s done, too! He doesn’t have a chance.’
‘Thompson? Why, it’s a joke? Why, Thompson doesn’t have enough time! He got in too late!’
But they never say, ‘Huckabee needs to win this race, or he’s fini,’ or, ‘if McCain loses this state where he’s so up, if he loses, oh, it’s over.’
They’re not saying that.