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RUSH: Roy in Naples. Roy, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Thanks. Go ahead and bawl ’em out. My question is, I’m a conservative with core beliefs, and I’m a little fond of Ronald Reagan. Reagan made it a policy to support the party nominee.

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: What should I do?

RUSH: You gotta do what’s in your heart. You gotta do what’s in your mind. You gotta follow your gut. You gotta follow your instincts. You gotta do what you think is right.

CALLER: I don’t think you’re answering me.

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: That’s a very good answer, Rush, but it’s not up to date.

RUSH: Love these Monday holidays. What do you mean, it’s not up to date?

CALLER: If I don’t vote, based on what I hear from you, if I don’t vote, I am actually voting for the guy I don’t want. There’s no way out of that.

RUSH: Roy, are you saying you’re waiting for me to advise you how to vote?

CALLER: No, I’m trying to figure out what you’re doing.

RUSH: What do you mean, figure out what I’m doing?

CALLER: I think you’ve put a lot of people who listen to you and have some respect for your positions, put them in a corner, maybe yourself in a corner with your opposition to McCain. That may be your core belief, but McCain is the nominee of the Republican Party. You’re telling them just follow their core beliefs? They follow their core beliefs, they don’t vote for McCain?

RUSH: Not necessarily. Depends on where your core beliefs are. I don’t know what yours are specifically.

CALLER: Hmm.

RUSH: No matter what I say, it’s not good, it’s not enough. (laughing) First two calls I’m 0-for-2 today. I’m not trying to slither out of your question here. I’m not going to tell you how to vote. That’s up to you.

CALLER: Okay. I know what I’m going to do. I think I know what Ronald Reagan would do. And that’s what we hear from most of our conservative talk show hosts and telling us to quit on McCain.

RUSH: Nobody’s —

CALLER: Yes, you are.

RUSH: Nobody is telling you to quit on McCain.

CALLER: You’re certainly putting him in a hole somewhere.

RUSH: You think I’m telling you to quit on McCain?

CALLER: You’re telling me he’s not very good to vote for.

RUSH: No, I have not said that.

CALLER: Oh. Come on, Rush.

RUSH: I have not said he’s not good to vote for. No, you have not urged anybody to vote against Senator McCain.

CALLER: Hmm. Well, that’s not what I’ve been hearing.

RUSH: What I have done was what I always do, and that is to share with you my concerns about Senator McCain.

CALLER: Well, let’s put it a different way. Is there any condition under which you would vote for the Republican Party nominee?

RUSH: Well, of course. I’m sorry that you have missed that. I have said on this program and in two recent major Drive-By outlet interviews that I would never vote Hillary or Obama.

CALLER: Hmm. Well, we’re getting close.

RUSH: I have also said —

CALLER: I think that’s what every conservative —

RUSH: Wait. Now, wait a second here, Roy. I have also said that I probably am doing Senator McCain a big favor by not endorsing him. Senator McCain’s campaign right now is based on attracting a number of Democrats, moderates, and independents to the Republican Party. Democrats, moderates, and independents have no love for me, as you know. Many of them prefer McCain over Obama or Hillary, particularly in New York, I have discovered, having just been there. If I were to come out and become one of the biggest foot soldiers for Senator McCain, I could drive a hole right through his primary strategy. I’ve thought about this every which way from Sunday.

CALLER: But he also needs a lot of support from the base.

RUSH: Yes, and —

CALLER: He may get all those moderates and independents —

RUSH: You know something, I’m going to play a sound bite for you. I want you to listen to this. This is amazing. This is Chip Reid of CBS, and he’s on Reliable Sources yesterday with Howard Kurtz. Chip Reid used to be with NBC. Grab audio sound bite number five, Mike. Get it now! All right, now — (laughing)

CALLER: Don’t bawl him out, Rush.

RUSH: We’re just having fun here. Howard Kurtz said, ‘Chip Reid, some conservatives don’t like McCain, they’re reluctantly supporting him, but the guy has all but won the nomination. A remarkable comeback. I wonder if journalists are just putting too much emphasis –‘

REID: I don’t think this story is McCain versus Limbaugh and company. It’s McCain versus the base. And I was at the CPAC convention last week, and I don’t think I’ve mentioned Limbaugh in any of my stories, but I sure have mentioned these people who just don’t like him and may not show up. And that’s the story. The story is not just conflict. The story is that he could end up losing this thing in the fall because a lot of the base stays home. And we need to keep the focus on that rather than this rivalry between Limbaugh and McCain.

RUSH: A little Drive-By Media, one Drive-By Media guy understands what’s going on out there. Chip Reid used to be with DNCTV and is now with CBS. Understands what’s going on out there, Roy. McCain’s problem is not me. In fact, I said in a TIME Magazine interview last week it would be a mistake for Senator McCain to try to reach out to me. He is who he is. He needs to continue to be who he is. His job is not to satisfy one person. It’s a different thing than trying to appeal to me. That’s just a horse race type thing that the Drive-Bys are all caught up in. Thank you, Chip Reid, for getting it. He’ll be the only one that gets it even after he said it, though.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: President George H. W. Bush endorsed John McCain today at Houston Hobby Airport. It’s the old airport in Houston. The new modern airport in Houston is George Bush Intercontinental, but George H. W. Bush lives closer to Houston Hobby. And, by the way, Houston Hobby is where the chartered and private aircraft fly in, primarily, and which McCain flew in there. So no big deal. I just wanted to point out that the older airport in Houston is Hobby and that’s where McCain flew into because it’s where the chartered jets go. George H. W. Bush in his endorsement said that the attacks on McCain are unfair. ‘Former President George H.W. Bush urged disgruntled conservatives on Monday to rally around John McCain, calling their criticism of the Republican presidential front-runner ‘grossly unfair.’ The father of President George W. Bush said he was annoyed by attacks within the conservative wing of the Republican Party against the Arizona senator. The elder Bush said even former President Ronald Reagan, an icon of the conservative movement, faced attacks from the right wing of the party, citing several quotations from diaries written by Reagan in his early years in office. One lambasted Reagan for ‘betrayal of the conservative cause’ and another, in the Conservative Digest, accused Reagan of being a ‘kind of turncoat conservative.”

Don’t you find this interesting that here we have — by the way, this is such a tough day — I started out in such a great mood, but, you know I have such respect for President Bush. I have played golf. I’m a member of the First Tee organization that he’s the honorary chairman, but he was the one who accused Ronald Reagan of engaging in voodoo economics. I just find it amazing that in an endorsement of Senator McCain, the focus of that endorsement tended to be turned on conservatives who were being grossly unfair. It does seem to indicate that the people behind Senator McCain here do have a sense of the problem he faces with the base. ‘Even former President Reagan, icon of the conservative movement, faced attacks from the right wing of the party, citing several quotations from diaries written by Reagan in his early years in office.’ I don’t know how many times I gotta say this. This is not a personality cult. This is not identity politics here. Nobody is comparing Senator McCain to President Reagan, except Senator McCain. It’s been an examination of Senator McCain’s record, pure and simple. But that’s water over the dam, under the bridge, he’s the nominee. So at any rate — yes, Snerdley, I think he was talking to me.

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