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RUSH: Here is Laurie in Monroe, Michigan. Laurie, nice to have you on the program. Welcome.

CALLER: Hi, Rush.

RUSH: Hi.

CALLER: I’m just calling because I personally believe that there is absolutely no difference between Hillary and John McCain. There’s absolutely none. I’m a strong, strong Republican, but I’m a conservative first, and I will not cast a vote for McCain come November.

RUSH: Now, wait a minute —

CALLER: I will not.

RUSH: — wait, let me ask you to reconsider.

CALLER: No, no, no. Let me finish. I will vote for local issues. I will vote for representatives. I will campaign. I’m a strong campaign volunteer, but I cannot — McCain can’t stand conservatives, and I know this, and I have to stand for my conservative allegiance to my God, my country, the Constitution of this great country —

RUSH: Wait a minute, what do you mean — whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait — wait a minute. Wait a minute. What do you mean, McCain can’t stand conservatives?

CALLER: Oh, he can’t, he despises conservatives. He’s done everything against conservatives. McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Kennedy. Come on, Rush, come on, he can’t stand conservatives. He’s in bed with the liberals all the time.

RUSH: You think McCain —

CALLER: I’m sorry. I am blunt about this, but that’s how I feel.

RUSH: Testing, one, two, three. There we go. Do you think McCain is trying to undermine conservatives?

CALLER: Yeah, he can’t stand us.

RUSH: Pretty tough statement there. Pretty tough charge.

CALLER: That’s how I feel.

RUSH: I understand that. There’s not one difference that you know of or can cite?

CALLER: Not one. Hillary says she’s to pull out, she wants to pull out of Iraq, but she doesn’t. She’s just doing that for the Cindy Sheehan gang. Those two really feel the same way with Iraq. I personally feel she knows that we need to stay in Iraq. There is no difference between these two at all, except maybe Kennedy would endorse McCain over Hillary.

RUSH: All right. Well, look, Laurie, from Monroe, Michigan, I appreciate the phone call. Thanks much. Let me move on here as time dwindles in this segment. Seattle, Dan, you’re next, great to have you on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Well, great to be on, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: And it’s a good segue from Laurie’s call.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: Because I was with you 32 years ago. I wanted Reagan, I did not want Jerry Ford, but, oh, my God, the alternative was Jimmy. I have not heard you say — I hope you have, and I would like you to — that if McCain is our nominee, and I have my favorites other than he, but if it’s McCain versus Hillary over Obama, you will be pulling the lever for McCain, will you not?

RUSH: I don’t discuss my votes on the program.

CALLER: No, no, no, no. I understand that you don’t endorse in the primaries, and I remember your joke about Bill Clinton several years ago, about deciding to endorse him.

RUSH: Right. Well, I was trying to illustrate to people just what kind of guy Clinton was, because just telling them didn’t seem to be accomplishing anything, I wanted to illustrate it, show it.

CALLER: Oh, yeah, and Hillary is the same way, it’s just she’s not as slick. She’s like Algore. He tries to be as good of a liar; he just falls short. Nobody meets Bill Clinton’s standards.

RUSH: Let me answer your question this way.

CALLER: Sure.

RUSH: If McCain is the Republican nominee — and it certainly looks that way — it’s going to be an uphill slog for Mitt Romney now because he’s running against three people. He’s running against Huckabee, he’s running against McCain. Well, Giuliani got out — yeah, Huckabee and McCain, but they’re doing a tag-team to split the Romney conservative vote. As we sit here right now, this could change. We’re not even to February here yet, Dan. You heard the last call. I’ll tell you, the people inside the Republican establishment in Washington do not understand that her sentiment, Laurie’s sentiments are widespread out there. And my answer to you, even if I do vote for McCain, it may not matter.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I’m getting questions here from people out there such as our last caller: ‘Look, if McCain gets the nomination, will you vote for him?’ Let me ask those of you who support Senator McCain: ‘If Mitt Romney gets the nomination, will you McCain people vote for him?’ and I would ask this of you Huckabee people: ‘If Romney gets the nomination, could you vote for him?’ You always ask the question your way. ‘Well, if McCain gets the nomination, are you gonna support him, Rush?’ I understand because I’m a powerful, influential member of the media, and people think that my opinion on these kinds of things matters, but the question could just as well be asked the other way. Jean in Bear Lake, Idaho, thank you for calling, thanks for waiting, and welcome to the program.

CALLER: Hi, Rush.

RUSH: Hi.

CALLER: I’ve just called to say, you taught me how to pay attention, and now I’m a nervous wreck. I don’t think I like to pay attention!

RUSH: (laughter) What’s caused you to be a nervous wreck?

CALLER: All this political stuff. I’m learning how to be very serious about how to vote for a presidential candidate. I consider myself a Christian-American conservative. The way I vote is everybody that’s running gets a consideration. Then I do the process of elimination. Just about everybody’s been eliminated.

RUSH: Yeah, you know, that’s where a lot of us have been all along here. I mentioned this at the beginning of the program. One of the reasons why the conservative vote is split is not because the Reagan coalition has gone away. You have basically three legs of the conservative stool. There’s subsets of this, but you’ve got the economic, the fiscal; you’ve got the social; and you got the foreign policy conservatives. Among these foreign policy conservatives — these are the neocon guys — they believe in a big government. They believe in big, active executive, compassionate conservatism. They love this. That’s why they like McCain. He’s a big government guy. Without anybody in this race that has all three of those legs firmly understood, then the conservatives all over these states and all these primaries are splitting off one of those three legs, the two, three that matter to them most. Like the social conservatives, a lot of them are going Huckabee because he’s a minister, because of abortion. The economic conservatives, a lot of people are going to Romney — and those are the small government types. The foreign policy national security conservatives, those are the most important ones, those are the ones going to McCain. Of course, he’s picking up independents and moderates as well, and so the reason for this fracture is, the reason you’re a wreck is because there’s not one candidate that incorporates all three legs of the stool.

CALLER: I’m not liking all these giveaway programs. I mean, my father taught me how to fish and I’m sure you’ve heard the analogy before.

RUSH: Oh, yes.

CALLER: I want somebody who will teach us how to fish and not give us the fish.

RUSH: Well, then you never vote Democrat. I don’t care what, you never, ever vote Democrat. Their objective —

CALLER: Before I paid attention, I did.

RUSH: Well, I know, but that’s before we fixed you. You know, we fixed you. You’ve straightened out. You ought to be feeling really optimistic here. I mean, look at how educated and informed you’ve gotten on what you understand. The fact that what you deduce disappoints you, that’s part of the game. That’s part of the game of learning how to analyze. We all go through this; we all get disappointed. You look for the best of the options. Whoever is the last standing in this race is going to be the one that we dislike the least. It’s just as simple as that. Jean, look, I appreciate the call. It’s great to have you and congratulations. It’s a very, very positive thing you’ve said, that you are now paying attention that you’re a wreck. Deal with the wreck stuff, but the fact you’re paying attention, we like that. Cindy in Atlanta, thank you four calling. Nice to have you here.

CALLER: Yes. Thank you, Rush, for having me. I just wanted to ask your opinion on what we should do actively if someone like John McCain does get elected. I mean it’s all — you know, a lot of people are talking about what will happen negatively, but what can we do to further conservative principles and actually get something accomplished?

RUSH: That’s impossible to predict because we don’t know what the events from day to day are going to be with the next president. I think that we’ll probably have to stop amnesty again. I think that you’ll get very frustrated. Like, Senator McCain will be going out of his way to make deals with Democrats, reaching out to them. That’s what’s launched him, in his mind, to where he is. He will reach out to the media. I think you’ll get more of the same. The death tax will be coming back. There will be any number of things that we’re on the verge of cleaning out and wiping up. We probably won’t get income tax cuts made permanent if Senator McCain is elected. Because, remember, he forms alliances with Democrats in the Senate, and that’s I think what he will do as president — and that’s going to frustrate you. It’s going to frustrate a lot of us, and there’s not going to be a whole lot we can do about it, other than behave as we did during the first amnesty bill and flood Washington with attention. You have to fight for it.

You have to fight for what you believe. This fight never ends because liberalism is never going away, and there are always going to be Republicans who are not conservative, and there are always going to be Republicans who are moderates and so forth. But all of these things are all part of the mix. I keep saying this. You know, I don’t want to sound like a broken record on this, Cindy, but we talk about that the disappointment of the Republican Party or a large portion of it was palpable when Reagan lost in that convention and Gerald Ford won. Ford was a likable guy. There wasn’t a lot of animus to Ford. He was just an establishment guy. He wasn’t conservative. Reagan was where the future was. Reagan was excitement. Everybody wanted the future now. We had to wait four years — and, arguably, Carter. You could say that Jimmy Carter played a large role in so wrecking the country, in so destroying it. You talk about being humiliated and embarrassed in the world? Nobody’s done a better job of that for this country than Jimmy Carter! So it may well be that a President McCain or a President Hillary is what it takes to forge a conservative candidate who, as I was saying to the previous caller, incorporates all three legs of our stool.

CALLER: Okay. Thank you very much.

RUSH: I’m glad that helps.

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