RUSH: Mike Huckabee is continuing to run as though he has a chance for the Republican nomination. He swept two out of three states over the weekend, and Washington is up for grabs and he’s up in arms about it being up for grabs. They stopped counting with 87% of the votes in, and he’s very suspicious. The party went ahead and declared McCain the winner, and they’re going to have final results today. But get this, Huckabee is starting to sound like us. ‘Huckabee suggested the Republican Party could meet the same fate as 1976 if it elected a moderate candidate who does not inspire voters. Speaking at a press conference after addressing Thomas Road Baptist Church,’ that’s Jerry Falwell’s church, ‘Huckabee continued to compare himself to Ronald Reagan, who ran in 1976 against the party establishment, which led to a floor fight at the national convention. When reminded that the Republicans lost the 1976, Huckabee said it wasn’t because the party was divided, but because Gerald Ford did not energize the party. ‘He never championed himself as a conservative, not a pro-life person for whom that was important,’ Huckabee said. ‘He was a really nice moderate Republican, a true gentleman. But a member of Congress and more a part of the Washington Republican establishment than representing the grassroots of conservatism.’ And in a thinly veiled reference to McCain, Huckabee went on to say Republicans could lose again with a similar candidate.’
So Huckabee is not going away. This is not sitting well with the Republican establishment, folks. We were supposed to now be unifying around and behind Senator McCain, after his sweep on Super Tuesday. But with Huckabee continuing to win these primaries, it illustrates that there is no unification going on. As you know, on Friday or Saturday, I forget when this was, the days all run together, but the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, who is supporting McCain, ‘called Huckabee Friday asking him to pull out for the good of the party, according to a senior Huckabee campaign aide. Huckabee confirmed he received the call, and said he didn’t take it seriously. ‘I told him that while I appreciated it, with all due respect, since he was already on someone else’s team that I had to discount his advice since he had a vested interest in my not winning and McCain winning. Since he was endorsing my opponent, the recommendation rang a little hollow to me. Again it was a cordial conversation but not one that I would take seriously.” Huckabee also said, look, people keep telling me about the math out there. ‘I didn’t major in math … I majored in miracles.’ The crowd loved that kind of talk, just ate it up. And now Huckabee is not going to concede the state of Washington.
The Republican Party is resuming their delegate count out there. ‘The results of the state Republican caucuses were called into question Sunday after presidential candidate Mike Huckabee challenged the party’s declaration that Arizona Sen. John McCain had won the delegate count.’ Then the Wall Street Journal today, as I mentioned the top of the program: ”McCain Still Dogged By Conservatives’ Ire’ — Ever since he became the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain has had a rough ride, and the bumps continued through the weekend. Last week, he was booed at the premier convention of conservatives and endured harsh criticism from conservative leaders and talk-show hosts. And then over the weekend he lost two of three states to Mike Huckabee.’ So here’s the delegate count right now, by the way. McCain 719, Huckabee 234. A total of 1,191 is needed to claim the nomination. Huckabee talked about me yesterday to Meet the Press’ Tim Russert. We have the sound bite. Russert said to Huckabee, ‘Rush Limbaugh has taken after both you and McCain. This is what Limbaugh said: ‘I’m here to tell you if either of these two guys get the nomination, McCain or Huckabee, 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.” And Huckabee reacted.
HUCKABEE: I really like Rush. I’ve been a fan for many, many years and love his show. I think he’s been a great voice of conservatism. He’s been one of those guys that has used a lot of humor and sometimes some sharp-tongued zingers to kind of keep the movement thoughtful. You know, I’m disappointed with what he said because I don’t think it reflects me and my record. I think he allowed some people to put information in front of him that was not accurate. But the point is, you know, he’s got a right to say what he thinks. I will make this observation, Tim. You know, he did everything he could to knock McCain and me out of the process, and unfortunately for him, we’re still the two that are on our feet.
RUSH: Unfortunately for me. (laughing) (interruption) Look, I’ve got some things. I want to get to the bites here because I’ve been musing. I spent the weekend musing. Nantz asked me at this dinner Saturday night, ‘Do you want to say anything about politics?’ ‘No, I don’t want to say anything about politics at this event, not to the table.’ Everybody stands up and makes some remarks during the course of dinner. Phil Mickelson is and his wife were right across the table from us. Dina Eastwood and Clint were to the right of Mickelson. We were all very close, and we’re having our own little political conversation at our end of the table, but I didn’t want to stand up. This is not an occasion to go through a political riff. But I have been musing about all of this. I’ll get to those thoughts here in just a second. I’m just setting up my thoughts with these bites. Here’s one more, this is from CNN this morning, John Roberts, a cohost, spoke to Huckabee and said, ‘Your campaign figures that there were 1500 votes that went uncounted in Washington State.’
HUCKABEE: That is not what we do in American elections. It may be how they used to conduct it in the old Soviet Union, but you don’t just throw people’s votes out and say, ‘Well, we’re not going to bother counting them because we kind of think we know where this is going.’ I mean I was just stunned, and it’s the kind of thing that Republicans across America, not just in Washington State, ought to be outraged over. And what really bothers us, we were leading — I mean we’d already won two states, two of the three that were in play, and then for the chairman to make this decision arbitrarily, potentially denying us a sweep of three states, we just want to get to the bottom of it.
RUSH: Wow, you people in the state of Washington, Huckabee has just compared your tactics to the Soviet Union. And of course, speaking of that, there is a column from some guy named Mackenzie, Ross Mackenzie, who’s a former editor I guess of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who’s comparing me and my talk show brethren to Maoists and Stalinists because they were the last true ideologue. I’m not kidding you. This is how outrageous this has become. Those of us who are simply standing for constitutional conservatism are now being called all of these names. It’s funny to watch this happen.
Okay, my musings. I’ve been thinking, because I’m aware of what’s been written. I’m aware of the Newsweek cover story. I’m aware of all this stuff on television. I’m aware of the New York Times, what they’re writing, and all this. I’ve been thinking about this. The Bill Kristol, David Brooks wing of the party right now consists of about three people: Kristol, Brooks, and McCain. They’re being repudiated, and they may not be comfortable with this. So I’m thinking that maybe I should support McCain to help them out. The New York Times-McCain wing of the party’s in trouble. Obviously, they’re in trouble. Huckabee keeps winning. I’m thinking about subscribing to the New York Times and endorsing McCain to help him out. But then again, Huckabee keeps winning, and he’s not going away. Maybe I should endorse Huckabee. Or maybe we should just rally around Ron Paul, at least he believes in the Bill of Rights. There’s any number of ways to go here. I could back Huckabee. He keeps winning. He was the Brooks-Kristol team’s favorite candidate four weeks ago. But there’s a third way, folks. We’ve got all kinds of options here. How about Lieberman for president and McCain for vice president? All kinds of options. But I will tell you this, if this keeps up, if Huckabee doesn’t get out of this, if he keeps in there and he keeps winning and he keeps objecting to the results and keeps calling the Republican establishment essentially Stalin-like or Soviet Union-like, I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. Senator McCain is going to be in a rocking chair wearing his mother’s wig sitting above the Bates Motel.