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RUSH: This is Kansas City, Missouri, again. Chase, you’re up next on Open Line Friday. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. How are you today?

RUSH: Just fine. Never better, sir.

CALLER: Fantastic, man. You know, everybody always said, ‘I can’t believe I’m on,’ but, you know what? ‘I believe! I believe!’ as Obama would say.

RUSH: (laughs)

CALLER: (laughs) I’m a first-time caller, and I’ve been listening to you since October of ’92.

RUSH: It’s amazing. Everybody remembers what they were doing when they first heard this program. Everybody. They remember the date. Well, I’m honored, my friend. Thank you very much.

CALLER: Rush I’ll tell you, yesterday when my wife said, ‘Who’s the senator from Arizona? Who’s the senator?’ I said McCain, ‘Why, what?’ She said, ‘I can’t believe it. Romney has given his delegates over there,’ and I said, ‘What?’ I tell you, Rush, I was livid yesterday.

RUSH: I know. It’s tough.

CALLER: Not only did he take our vote — What?

RUSH: I totally understand your emotional reaction to this.

CALLER: My goodness! I was saying, ‘If Rush could get on the radio right now, he needs to be on the air now!’ (laughter) I’ll tell you what, Rush. I heard you mention it for a minute. I need to hear some replies in regard to that. I just feel like he took out vote from Missouri, you know? Here we were voting for him, backing him —

RUSH: Look, I’m going to explain this. I’m not going to try to persuade you.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: Don’t misunderstand here. I’ll explain to you what’s going on. This is what happens. Party people come together. Once there is a nominee, the party is going to come together. You are required to do this, particularly if you’re Mitt Romney and you want a political future in the Republican Party — and he does. He wants to run again. I’ll tell you something else about Romney. It was just three or four weeks ago that Romney was out calling McCain a liberal.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: And there’s not much difference between McCain and a liberal, and that’s what your problem is. ‘How can he three or four weeks later turn around and pledge his delegates in support to McCain?’

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: Well, for one thing he’s a team player. Number two, he’s a nice guy. He’s just a nice guy. Third, he wants a future in the Republican Party, and this is what you have to do. See, it’s easier for you and me to say to keep our distance, but we’re not seeking votes in this party; and you and I are not seeking fundraising in this party, which is fundamental to achieving elective office. There are a lot of people who are party loyal first before they are ideologically loyal. This is one of the challenges that we have. We conservatives are predominantly loyal to our ideology first and the party second, particularly when the party deviates from our ideology. But a politician in the party doesn’t have that kind of latitude at a time like this. But depending on what happens in November and who wins the race, the Republicans are going to start lining up — if McCain loses, they’re going to have to start lining up — very soon to run in 2012, and Romney wants to be one of those people, and he pretty much has to do this if he wants to have a future in the Republican Party. I know it’s distasteful, and I know it’s puzzling, and you voted for him. Now he’s turning over his delegates to McCain. Something that you didn’t want to happen, but that’s the way it is.

CALLER: Yeah. You know, just from what you just said there about having a future, and I said that to my wife. I said, ‘Does he think this is going to get my vote later?’ I said, ‘He just got done slapping me in the face for getting out two days after I voted for him, then he slaps me on the other side.’ I was just remiss and, ugh! Beside myself

RUSH: What would you prefer Mitt Romney have done?

CALLER: Well, what I’d preferred and —

RUSH: No, no. Don’t tell me you wish he’d have stayed in.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: After he got out, what did you want him to do with his delegates?

CALLER: Give them to the Huckster. You know, he would have been my second choice, and I would have voted for the Huckster if I had known Romney was getting out. You know?

RUSH: Well, you want some political reality?

CALLER: Well, okay.

RUSH: You want some political reality?

CALLER: The Huckster has not got a snowball’s chance in Kansas City.

RUSH: The point is, Romney — I’m going to hit you right between the eyes. There’s no way Romney is going to give his delegates to the Huckster.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: He blames the Huckster for taking the nomination from him, not McCain.

CALLER: Mmmn?

RUSH: He blames the Huckster for staying in there and splitting the anti-McCain vote. Now, he will never admit this publicly, but I know these people like every square inch of my glorious naked body, and you gotta trust me on this. Don’t doubt me. There’s no way he’s going to give his delegates to Huckabee, because I’m just sure as I can be that he thinks if Huckabee had gotten out, because Huck’s never had a chance, he thinks Huckabee stayed in there sort of tag-teaming with McCain — especially after West Virginia, when Romney won the first round of caucusing there and all of a sudden Huckabee and McCain’s delegates formed a coalition and won West Virginia for McCain. There’s no way that Huckabee’s going to get these delegates. So if there’s any enmity that Romney might have, it would not be for McCain right now so much as it would be Huckabee.

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