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RUSH: Yesterday on this program, one of the two monologues that people were talking about all day was the state of conservatism and where it’s headed. I bounced off a comment made by Newt Gingrich on the George Stephanopoulos ABC show on Sunday in which he said that the Reagan era is over. Newt, of course, heard about it, sent me a note, ‘Hey, I want to come on and talk about this.’ He was on Fox & Friends this morning, and they portrayed this, Steve Doocy and his gang portrayed this as a feud between Newt Gingrich and me. I don’t think it’s a feud, ladies and gentlemen, but I want to talk to him about this. We never hear the libs say that the FDR era is over. We never hear the libs say that that the Teddy Roosevelt era is over. We never hear anybody say the Churchill era is over. We never hear that the Great Society is over and the New Deal era is over. We never hear that. The Dems don’t do this to themselves. Newt clarified this morning, by the way, he said, ‘Look, I’m all for conservatism,’ but he didn’t say this on Sunday. That’s why I reacted. What he said today, we’ve got the audio. This is an exchange, a portion of it between Steve Doocy and Newt Gingrich about his comments, the Reagan era is over.

DOOCY: Some comments you made over the weekend I heard replayed on Rush Limbaugh yesterday. Is it true, sir, that you think that the Ronald Reagan era is over in America?

GINGRICH: That’s just objectively a fact. I think if Governor Reagan were here today, and he were looking at where America should go, he wouldn’t be saying, ‘Let’s go back to 1980.’ He’d be saying, ‘Here are the solutions, here are the policies, here’s what will carry us into the future.’ And I think we’ve watched these guys run around saying, ‘I’m like Reagan. I’m like Reagan.’ Reagan was a unique one-time personality whose great achievement in eliminating the Soviet empire was historic. Now we have a different world with a different set of problems. I don’t think it can be, ‘Here’s how you go back 28 years to reinvent Reagan.’ It’s gotta be, ‘Here’s how you apply conservatism to solve America’s problems today.’

RUSH: Wait a minute, Newt, how are you going to apply conservatism to today’s problems when you just said it’s dead? Reaganism is simply conservatism. That’s all it is, and if the era of Reagan being over is objectively a fact, then conservatism’s finished. Now, nobody’s talking about going back to the 1980s and reliving the same set of policies. What we’re talking about is applying principles, which is what Reagan did, to the existing problems of that era. Those policies, the premises of conservatism, work. They are timeless. It’s not a scheme. It doesn’t have to be bent, molded, and shaped. Tenets of conservatism survive throughout the ages, just like liberalism does. They’re both philosophical ideas. For our side to run around saying, ‘Well, it’s over,’ misses the whole point. Nobody’s talking about bringing Reagan back the identical set of problems in 1980. We’re talking about the principles of conservatism and applying them to today’s problems, and not moderating them, not modifying these principles so they’re a little liberal here, a little liberal here, maybe a little moderate over here.

The Era of Reagan Is Not Over01.14.08

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