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RUSH: The New York Times, by the way, yesterday, hold onto your coffee cup or your steering wheel if you haven’t heard this. After months of pondering, the New York Times announced its endorsements for the Democrats and Republicans, and here they are. There was no surprise who they endorsed for the Democrats, and there was not much surprise about who they endorsed for our side. They endorsed Hillary on the Democrat side and they endorsed McCain. So this is a serious, serious question. A serious number of liberal newspapers have endorsed John McCain. I ask myself — I’m not even asking you to think about this — I’m thinking to myself here, and I happen to be verbalizing thoughts. What in the world am I supposed to think when liberal newspapers endorse McCain as the Republican, when I know for a fact they’re not going to vote for him? When I know for a fact that when it comes to November, whenever they issue their final endorsements, they’re going to endorse Hillary or whoever the Democrat is? So what is the game plan here? What is the gambit? What are these liberal papers trying to do? Are they trying to be consistent?

Well, if we’re going to endorse a liberal Democrat on the Democrat side, how can we endorse this big-time conservative on the right? I don’t understand it. Well, I do understand it, but I don’t understand what they hope to accomplish. Well, I understand that, too. Sorry, I do know what they hope to accomplish. What I don’t know is what Republican primary voters think of all this. They probably don’t think too much about it because they don’t care about the New York Times. Three newspapers here in Florida have endorsed McCain, one the Palm Beach Post. I forget the other two, Gainesville, maybe. Tallahassee was maybe the other one. There will be others. They’re all liberal newspapers. When we get to November they’re not going to endorse McCain. So what will the Republican primary voters’ reaction be to this? And also in this New York Times editorial, my God, folks, the hatred, the out-and-out hatred for Rudy Giuliani in the New York Times editorial endorsing McCain and Hillary. They savage Rudy. They almost draw and quarter Rudy Giuliani, which gives me pause. If the New York Times, and we all know who they are and what their ultimate objectives and desire for the country happen to be, if they are savaging Rudy Giuliani, maybe he deserves a second look.


RUSH: Great to have you, El Rushbo, Open Line Friday, back to the phones to Falls Church, Virginia. This is Jason. Hi. How are you, sir?

CALLER: Rush, it’s an honor. How are you?

RUSH: Fine, sir. Thanks very much.

CALLER: Great. Rush, if I had a dollar for every time Huckabee complained about Romney being rich and Huckabee being poor, I’d be as rich as Romney.

RUSH: Well, that’s what populists do.

CALLER: You know what’s crazy is when a man can be very successful, work very hard, become very rich, I mean isn’t that the promise of conservatism?

RUSH: Well, yes. It’s the promise of America, if administered by conservatives. Because of the founding, everybody’s entitled. We are all endowed by our Creator, certain inalienable rights, among them, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, however you define that. If happiness to you is earning a lot of money, then that’s what this country is for, within moral grounds. If happiness to you is sleeping with horses, then, of course, we draw the line, except in Seattle.

CALLER: So how is it that Republicans can use this as sort of like a negative attack?

RUSH: Because they’re not conservative. It’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. I’m trying to tell you we’ve got a couple people in this list who are not conservative. I’m trying to hold the coalition of the Republican Party together. If a couple people, one of the two people win this party’s nomination, we’re going to lose in a landslide that would make Goldwater look like a victory. When that landslide happens, the finger-pointing in the Republican Party is going to start, and everybody is going to get blamed by everybody. I’m going to get blamed. Candidates are going to get blamed. Peggy Noonan is going to get blamed. David Brooks is going to — well, sorry. Brooks and that group will not get blamed. They’ll be assigned the duty of assigning blame, and then we’ll sit around and tell ’em how they’re wrong. But, no, your question is right on the money. And Huckabee — I saw this last night — he’s just out telling jokes. He doesn’t have any money in Florida, he’s run out of money, so he’s using the debate here to try to shore things up. The latest poll in Georgia is he’s leading everybody in Georgia. Yes, Huckabee, Governor Huckabee, leading everybody in Georgia now.

At any rate, telling jokes about Romney’s wealth, that’s populism, that’s what liberals do, make fun of people that have money, or criticize them for having money, or say they’re out of touch because they have money. Mitt Romney — this is not an endorsement — has demonstrated economic expertise. Where are we headed? Where do most people think we’re headed? They think we’re headed into a recession even though we’re not. Not one Democrat has demonstrated any knowledge about the economy. Senator McCain last night got caught in the debate. He said he doesn’t have much economic knowledge, his expertise, his foreign policy and that sort of thing. In fact, he’s reading Greenspan’s books. He needs more knowledge on economics. So Russert asked him about that quote. McCain said, ‘I don’t remember saying it. I don’t think I said it.’ And he said it a month ago! He said it a month ago, six weeks ago, the Washington Post. He has said it a couple times. Now, Romney has demonstrated an understanding of economics — (interruption) No, it’s Clinton that says, ‘You can’t hold that against me, Limbaugh, for what I said in my youth.’ But President Clinton, it was six weeks ago. ‘Prove it!’ Anyway, that’s the answer.

Let me go to audio sound bite number four. David Gregory on MSNBC Nightly News. This is before the debate.

GREGORY: It was Reagan who united social, economic, and national security conservatives into a Republican coalition that has held the White House for 20 of the past 28 years. Mitt Romney is campaigning as the only heir to that legacy, and now some leading voices in the party, like Rush Limbaugh, fear the GOP will lose its way if McCain or Mike Huckabee wins the nomination.

RUSH ARCHIVE: I’m here to tell you if either of these two guys gets the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party, it’s going to change it forever, be the end of it. A lot of people aren’t going to vote. You watch.

GREGORY: But in red state South Carolina, conservatives did vote for both McCain and Huckabee. Change is in the air this campaign. But is the Grand Old Party ready to become something new?

RUSH: In your dreams. You want us to become something new because you want us to become like you, and that’s what we’re trying to stop here. The Republican Party is not the minor leagues of the Democrat Party, and that’s what people want to turn it into and I’m not going to play on a Triple-A team. I’m not going to play on a Double-A team. I’m not going to play in NCAA Division IV. I’m not going to be a farm team for the Democrat Party, and that’s what these people like Gregory and all these others, the New York Times endorsement of McCain, Palm Beach, all these other people are trying to destroy this party. Peggy Noonan called me absurd today for saying this, that if Huckabee or McCain get the nominations, it’s the end of the party. It’s the end of the party as we know it. The Republican Party is not going to go away, but I will guarantee you that if either of these guys get the nomination, it’s going to be a landslide defeat and it’s going to be the Clintons pulling it off, because Obama is not going to get the nomination. You can dream, but he’s not going to get the nomination.

If we’re not careful, we’re going to have such a landslide defeat that the first thing that will happen is the evangelicals will get blamed by the country club blue-bloods who have wanted to get rid of the evangelicals in this party for as long as I can remember. They didn’t even particularly like Reagan. And, by the way, Gregory, this business of Reagan, united social, economic, and national security conservatives into a coalition that’s held the White House — yeah, we’re trying to hold that together — but Reagan did not attract those people by being like them. Why do we, as the Republican Party, have to sit around and use as our basis for existence, ‘Gee, we hope the Democrats will accept us. We hope we’ll get some Democrats to vote for us.’ Why don’t we have the attitude the Democrats are the damn farm team forever, and guess what, very few of them ever get drafted up to the big leagues? They have to go a long way to prove that they are worthwhile to be in the Republican Party, and they’re not going to be in the Republican Party being commie libs. But, no, we don’t have this attitude.

We still have this attitude of inferiority and defensiveness, that somehow what we are as conservatives isn’t enough, it isn’t good enough. We have to open the tent and we have to show that, ‘Yeah, we got some of those crazy conservatives, but look at the rest of us. We’re reasonable, and we are understanding, and you can trust us, and we’ll do our best to portray our own conservatives as a bunch of kooks, just like you do. Please join us.’ Well, screw that. This coalition that Reagan built was dynamic, and it did consist of Democrats and independents and moderates, but he didn’t do it by running around acting like them or trying to make them think he was one of them. He changed their minds. He showed them a better way, and they reacted to it, and they loved it. McCain had a news conference in Florida today on his way over to Tampa. I’m hearing that McCain’s internal numbers show him down like all the other polls do. He slammed Mitt Romney today, I mean really slammed Romney on being a manager, not a leader, in business. And McCain, of course, I don’t think has been in business. Manager or leader, he doesn’t know economics.

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