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RUSH: Rick in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Hi.

CALLER: Rush, I love you, but I haven’t been as mad with you as I have now since you did that Playboy interview, you really begin to make me so angry right now. Rush, you’re decimating the Republican Party right now. You’re so blind to what’s going on down here in South Carolina and the national election here —

RUSH: Hold it. Enlighten me. Show me the light. I’m blind. Tell me how I am to blame for this. I want to know.

CALLER: All right. You are truly, like you say, you’re all powerful, influential media, and there are a ton of undecided people here. There are people who will be influenced by what you say. Fred Thompson has never had the numbers. If anybody’s been listening to you, Rush, over the past few weeks, everybody knows you’re a Fred Thompson supporter, that’s fine.

RUSH: No, they don’t. No, now wait a second. And, by the way, to all of you callers, I want you to listen very carefully because if I have to interrupt you, you may not hear me unless you’re paying attention. I appreciate your sensitivity there, Nick. I haven’t endorsed anybody and, in fact, most people the last three weeks think that I’m in the tank for Romney.

CALLER: I didn’t say you endorsed. I said amongst the group of Republicans running, everybody knows you’ve been —

RUSH: I know where you’re going with this — you think — well, I’ll let you get there, but you think that because I quoted some news stories about a possible Thompson surge on Friday, that all of a sudden I’m for Thompson.

CALLER: No, Rush, you talked for three hours. You throw these atomic fireballs and you give a caller two or three minutes with a cup of water to douse your flames, and it’s impossible. The main point here is, Rush, not so much what you said Friday about Thompson, it’s been consistent. We hear you, we listen to you, we know you like the true conservatism of Fred Thompson. I’m not saying you endorse him, you won’t admit to that, I’m not going there, but what I’m saying is, Rush, he’s never had the numbers, and with all of these undecided voters, they gotta go somewhere. McCain’s people are not going to budge one inch. They’re always going to be there. So what happened was, because a lot of these radio guys have been giving all this hurrah for Fred Thompson, the voters gotta go somewhere, so he’s going to pull some support from somewhere, either he’s going to pull from Romney, or he’s going to pull it from Huckabee. And so what happened is you saw this nice growth of Fred Thompson because of the likes of you and some others, and they pull people away from Romney, pull people away from Huckabee. And what happened was —

RUSH: I think you’re missing the point here.

CALLER: You’re missing —

RUSH: Sadly, Fred Thompson does not get enough votes if he pulls from anybody to even notice them missing. I mean that’s the truth. I’ll tell you who’s pulling votes from somebody, it’s Huckabee is pulling them from Romney, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Huckabee and McCain are two-timing to get Romney out of there. It’s Huckabee taking votes from Romney in these places, it’s not Thompson. In fact, the stories are out there today, Thompson considering pulling out again. I don’t know if these are true or not. But a lot of people think he ought to stay in because he does have the potential to diffuse some of the Huckabee support. I don’t know. As I say, you know, I’m just sitting here analyzing and watching and commenting. But if you think — it’s even worse for me than I thought if you’re right. If I’m out there encouraging Thompson — (laughter) — oh, that’s bad. I’m glad the Washington Post didn’t report that.

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