RUSH: Boy, the Drive-Bys are beside themselves with the results of the Michigan primary last night. They cannot get it through their heads, they’re just skunked that Republicans actually voted against McCain. They cannot believe it, and so now it’s time to trash Republicans. I don’t care what anybody wants to say, Mitt Romney is now the front-runner. That may not last because this is a very, very fluid situation. But here you have McCain, who lost, and nobody’s out saying, ‘Why, he’s gotta win South Carolina, he’s gotta win South Carolina, he’s finished, he’s done!’ Nobody’s saying that. They continue to say it about Romney in every primary. He’s leading the delegate count now. Even some of the commentators on our side are a little flummoxed and upset about this.
RUSH: You look at these exit polls on the Republican side last night, and Mitt Romney beat Mike Huckabee among evangelicals. Now, we’ve been living under a bunch of misconceptions that have been put out there by the Drive-Bys, and that is that the evangelical vote is monolithic and the evangelical vote is mad. They have been ignored; they have been used; they have been abused; they’ve been discarded by the Republican establishment, and so they’re flocking (no pun intended) to Governor Huckabee. Not in Michigan. It happened in Iowa. It did not happen in New Hampshire. Did not happen in Wyoming, certainly, and it didn’t happen in Michigan. Romney beat Huckabee among evangelicals. Romney beat McCain among those who support the Iraq war. Now, how do you figure that? McCain is out there trying to sell his leadership and his prescience on advocating the surge, and yet Romney beat McCain among those who support the Iraq war.
Romney also won big over McCain with conservatives. McCain got 11% of the conservative vote in Michigan yesterday — 11%! But, in addition to that, Romney won among people who cared more about the issues, and he came in a statistical tie with McCain among those people who care more about character. McCain, independents and Democrats, that is who gave him the vast majority of his support, but it wasn’t enough, and this was a state McCain won in 2000. The Democrats were free to do whatever they wanted in Michigan yesterday, because their votes on the Democrat side didn’t count. So all these moderates and independents that gave McCain Michigan in 2007 could have done the same thing: crossed the line, gone in there and voted for McCain. They did not. Most of them ended up voting for Hillary or ‘uncommitted.’ Now, the Drive-Bys, even some on our side, are just beside themselves with this. Here, listen to Mort Kondracke last night on Fox News election coverage. He said this about Mitt Romney and the Republicans.
KONDRACKE: His great advantage is that the regular Republican conservatives are the people who rule the Republican Party, and he seems to be ahead among them in the primary so far.
RUSH: Really, Mort? Why is this a surprise? I’m sitting here, I’m watching all of this analysis last night, on Fox, all over the place. I get sometimes frustrated because I’ve been saying, ever since Iowa and New Hampshire, ‘Folks, wait until Republicans start voting in these things.’ In Iowa, you had a bunch of independents allowed to vote, Democrats. New Hampshire, of course, you could bus in from out of state if you wanted to. I said, ‘The Drive-Bys are propping up these two guys that Republicans are not going to vote for and are not voting for, and that’s Huckabee and McCain. Wait ’til we get to states where Republicans can go out and vote and see what happens,’ and you see what happened last night. Yet the Drive-Bys are stunned. They’re more angry about it than anything. Somebody even last night said, ‘Well, yeah, this is good for Romney, but it just puts him back to square one.’ Puts him back to square one? He has won two primaries. He’s come in second in two primaries. He’s ahead in the delegate count. You have to say Romney right now is the front-runner! That’s not going to hold up. Dick Morris has a piece today: The Republican Party is in chaos. You don’t have anybody that’s taking over. One guy wins here, one guy wins there.
We might not have a nominee, Morris says, after Super Tuesday on February 5th. Who knows what’s going to happen. The notion that the Republican Party is in chaos? It’s the Democrats who are in chaos! It’s the Democrats who can’t keep everybody on the reservation. The Republican Party only appears to be in chaos because the Drive-Bys, in their preanalysis, have been totally misunderstanding who votes in Republican primaries: conservatives do. When conservatives dominate a Republican population in a state, guess what’s gonna happen? It ain’t going to be McCain, and it’s not going to be Governor Huckabee. Now they’re saying, ‘Well, you know, Huckabee is a lock to win South Carolina.’
Why? How do we know this?
‘Well, you know, Mitt’s not going to get a bounce out of Michigan. It isn’t going to translate.’
Really? McCain didn’t get a bounce out of New Hampshire. I’d venture so far as to say McCain may be cooked. Let me join the analysis. Everybody is saying, ‘If Romney doesn’t win New Hampshire, he’s finished. If he doesn’t go on to New Hampshire, why, he’s done. If Romney doesn’t take Michigan, why, he’s out of there.’ But we’re never hearing that about McCain or Huckabee. McCain won Michigan in 2007. What happens if he goes down to South Carolina, which he also has high hopes for, and doesn’t win there? His last great hope may be Arizona, his home state, and that’s not even a lock. Huckabee can’t get more than 15 or 16% once you get out of Iowa. Where are the death knells for Huckabee? ‘If Huckabee doesn’t do well in South Carolina (grumbling), he could be done.’ I mean, these people doing the analysis on our side of the aisle and of our side are blowing this big time, and they’re risking their professional reputations here by getting this so wrong. They’re doing it on purpose because they’re trying to depress conservative turnout.
RUSH: Now, here is Norah O’Donnell. We’re going to go back to the audio sound bites and the Drive-Bys dealing with Michigan. She says you gotta call ’em traditional Republicans.
O’DONNELL: When you take a look inside the exit polls, you see that a major reason is that those considered traditional Republicans turned out in big numbers. Well, independents and Democrats were just not the factor that they had been for John McCain in New Hampshire, or, quite frankly, what they were eight years ago in Michigan when McCain beat George W. Bush.
RUSH: Well duh! These are supposedly the smartest and most informed people on the face of the earth, and they are ignorant. They just assume because they love McCain that everybody else does, and then when real Republicans, finally, traditional Republicans — and they say that with disdain — show up at a primary and McCain gets 11%, the Drive-Bys just can’t believe this. So they conclude we’re all just stupid, or we have some kind of incorrect animus, false animus against McCain, we don’t like McCain for some reason. When you take a look inside the exit polls, you see a major reason is those considered traditional Republicans turned out in big numbers, wonder why! You people have been driving turnout; you’ve been infuriating and insulting Republicans in the whole primary process. And Republicans finally had a chance to not only tell you what for, but to vote for somebody they really want, rather than let you elect our candidate. People know you guys in the Drive-Bys are doing this because we know when you elevate a Republican, it’s not a conservative. When you start trying to trash certain Republicans, we know that they are, in your mind, conservatives.
So, these people, they’re flummoxed by this. They just don’t understand it. And to explain it to themselves, they start insulting you and me and what a bunch of blockheads we are and how we just don’t understand how wonderful McCain and Huckabee are and what they might mean for the country. Among evangelicals, here are the numbers: Romney, 34%, Huckabee, 29%. Among evangelicals. Drive-Bys don’t believe that, either. How can that be? They think they’re all a bunch of idiots and monolithic and they’ll respond to all this stuff. Romney also beat McCain among registered Republicans 40-26%. Drive-Bys say, ‘That could bode well for Romney.’ Really? It could bode well that Republicans prefer a conservative to somebody who’s not? None of this is a surprise. If these people would just listen to me more often their jobs would be easier; they would understand things that they apparently don’t.
Now, we’ve talked on this program on many occasions about our old buddy at the Associated Press Ron Fournier. I didn’t know until last night that Mr. Fournier, a reporter, also is a columnist for the Associated Press at random times, and the title of his column is, ‘On Deadline.’ Now, I thought you were either a reporter or, as Bob Woodruff says, a ‘raporter,’ or you were a columnist, but I didn’t think that you combined the two. Now, I know a lot of columnists go out there and report for their columns, but a reporter is a beat writer following a story. I didn’t know you turned those guys into columnists whenever you wanted to. (interruption) Nope, nope, nope, it’s not analysis, H.R. Here’s the editor’s note at the end of this piece. ‘Ron Fournier covers politics for the Associated Press. On Deadline is an occasional column.’ It doesn’t say Fournier occasionally attempts analysis and usually gets it wrong. It says On Deadline is a column. You want to hear how this thing starts?
”Mitt Won, Authenticity Lost’ — Mitt Romney’s victory in Michigan was a defeat for authenticity in politics. The former Massachusetts governor pandered to voters, distorted his opponents’ record and continued to show why he’s the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate. And it worked.’ Aw, damn it, Ron, it’s politics. What are you going to do? None of this happens on the Democrat side? That whole debate last night was a giant pander. Ron, the whole Democrat campaign is a giant pander. ‘The man who spoke hard truths to Michigan lost. Of all the reasons John McCain deserved a better result Tuesday night, his gamble on the economy stands out. The Arizona senator had the temerity to tell voters that a candidate who says traditional auto manufacturing jobs ‘are coming back is either naive or is not talking straight with the people of Michigan and America.’ Instead of pandering, McCain said political leaders must ’embrace green technologies,’ adding: ‘That’s the future. That’s what we want.’
Romney jumped all over McCain, playing to the fears of voters in a state with the nation’s highest unemployment rate. ‘I’ve heard people say that the auto jobs are gone and they’re never coming back,’ Romney told his audiences. ‘Well, baloney, I’m going to fight for every single good job.’ Of course, he’d fight for every job. So would McCain, or any future president. But how?’
He goes on to trash Romney. Now, that’s fine. You have a free press. But then this guy crosses over, goes back to reporting. I’m never going to believe another thing this guy says. Well, that’s not right. I’m just going to filter it through what I already knew existed anyway, a huge liberal bias.