MACCALLUM: All right. Well, he rallied his Republican listeners to vote for Clinton, and now Rush Limbaugh is taking partial credit for her big wins last night in Ohio and Texas. The conservative radio host says it’s all about creating chaos on what he calls the other side, and arguing that it would help the GOP in the end. So here to explain all that, Rush Limbaugh joins me live for an exclusive interview. Hi, Rush. Good to have you here.
RUSH: Thank you, Martha. How are you?
MACCALLUM: I am great, thanks. Thanks for coming in tonight. Tell me this. Do you believe that this Rush Effect of Republican voters voting for Hillary is really what turned the game last night?
RUSH: Well, I think it was partial, sure. What was more fun for me was watching all the rest of Drive-By Media today react to it as though it was corrupt and it was ungentlemanly and so forth. I mean, all we were doing yesterday was acting as mavericks. I mean we were sending our side across the aisle to join the Democrats and try to elect — or nominate somebody that we thought we could beat. The whole idea here, Martha, was if the Democrats and the media can choose our nominee — which is what’s happened here in Senator McCain — then why can’t we choose theirs? To me, this is all about Republicans winning. It’s all about coming out victorious in November. I just heard the previous conversation that Monica and Beckel had. Neither think that Hillary or Obama would agree to be vice president. I’m not so sure of that. I think Hillary wouldn’t mind being vice president. She could undermine Obama and perhaps lead impeachment hearings against him. I don’t think people understand how desperately she wants this. But the main point for me in all this is to create as much chaos and bloody up Obama politically. Half the country already hates Hillary, if you look at her negatives, but nobody hates Obama yet. The Republicans have indicated that they’re not going to engage in a campaign highlighting Obama’s negatives, but Hillary and the Democrats have already done that — and I think Republicans need for that to continue, and who better to do it than the Clintons?
MACCALLUM: You raised about 15 things that I would love to go at one by one, but let me start with a couple of them, Rush. The first one is that you basically said that Democrats and the Drive-By Media have nominated the Republican side of this ticket, so why isn’t it okay to go after arranging the desired candidate on the other side. What did you think today when you saw John McCain standing next to the president and the president giving him his wholehearted support?
RUSH: Well, of course! I mean, the Republican Party is the Republican Party, and the establishment is going to hang together; but I would call your attention to Senator McCain’s acceptance speech last night where he specifically thanked independents and Democrats for joining his campaign and helping him succeed in getting the nomination. It’s clear that in early states, in the primary season, where most of the states did not feature a majority of conservative Republicans, that it was independents and Democrats crossing over to nominate Senator McCain and make him the Republican nominee. And I maintain to you, Martha, that the Democrats are not doing that in order to elect McCain president; they’re trying to choose somebody they think it would be easier to beat. So we’re simply employing the same philosophy. McCain has made a habit here and a career out of walking across the aisle. Not just reaching across, but walking across the aisle and letting Democrats write legislation with him that is not really totally conservative. So I don’t think there’s any question about that.
MACCALLUM: Well, all right. Well, you look at this situation and you implored conservatives and Republicans to cross over and to vote for Hillary Clinton because the GOP nomination was pretty much tied up at that point, or it looked like it was going to be. What would you ask them to do as the next stage in this game?
RUSH: About Senator McCain?
MACCALLUM: Conservatives, in terms of, you know, what they should do next, in terms of how all this plays out.
RUSH: Well, the conservatives are just going to have to sit around and wait and see what Senator McCain does. If Senator McCain attempts… You know, Martha, here’s what’s frustrating about this — and you and I have talked about this — there’s a Republican-conservative model for landslide victory: Ronald Reagan 1980, Ronald Reagan ’84. By the way, this is not cult of personality; this is about winning. Ronald Reagan won two landslides in ’80 and ’84. He had no Republicans in the House, but he was able to move his agenda forward. He was able to do it with a conservative agenda that reached out across the American public and brought people of all walks of life into the conservative movement because it’s basically a principled way of living and a principled way of managing affairs. The Republicans won the House in 1994 on a conservative agenda.
RUSH: And, for some peculiar reason, Republicans today, the Republican establishment wants to eschew all that and think they have to build their party by attracting Democrats and independents, which is fine if you bring them in as conservative converts; but if you’re going to bring them in as Democrats and independents and expand the Republican Party that way, then you’re polluting and corrupting the party itself.
MACCALLUM: Right. And I hear what you’re saying. Before I let you go, though, I want to get your thought on this. Hillary Clinton could become the candidate, and you have worked to help make that happen. John McCain is the nominee of the GOP party. So what do you think is the best outcome of this situation now for the country?
RUSH: The best outcome for — Well, the best outcome for the country is that neither Hillary nor Obama win. We’re in dire straits if either of those things happen, and I’m just trying to see to it — with what little influence I have and what little I can do, to see to it — that liberalism is defeated and does not triumph in November of 2008.
MACCALLUM: All right. Rush Limbaugh and an exclusive interview here tonight on Election Headquarters. Thank you, Rush. We’ll see you soon.
RUSH: Thanks, Martha.