RUSH: This is this morning on the Today Show, Meredith Vieira is talking to former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. And she said, ‘Obviously he’s not on the ballot, but what will the outcome say about the president’s ability to deliver?’
PLOUFFE: The results of these elections tend to be overread. The most important development coming out of today actually has nothing to do with the results, it’s that congressional race in New York 23 where the Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck wing of the party drove out a moderate, not just out of the race, but out of the Republican Party.
RUSH: It wasn’t a moderate, she was a liberal, but see how this shapes up, (imitating Plouffe) ‘Oh, no, no, the results tend to be overrated, the most important development here, nothing to do with the results, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck wing of the party drove a moderate out of the party.’ You can see how this is shaping up, ’cause they know what’s going to happen in New York 23. So already the spin has begun from the Obama: ‘Oh, no, it’s not about our guy.’ So Vieira then said, ‘He wouldn’t be campaigning for them if he didn’t think the race was important, right?’
PLOUFFE: This tends to be overcovered, it’s a place I agree with the Bush administration in ’01 and ’05. These are local races. There’s 18,000 lifetimes between now and next November.
RUSH: Ah, it doesn’t mean anything. I guarantee if it was going the other way in the polling all Plouffe would be talking about here is, ‘Look at the power of Obama, Obama has swept this country. He has captivated this country, the mind-set of America is now Obama’s.’ Now it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. This stuff tends to be overcovered. And finally David Plouffe and Meredith Vieira have this exchange.
PLOUFFE: Palin continues to be something in our party we treasure. Because what she’s doing up in New York-23 along with her partner —
VIEIRA: Supporting the conservative right?
PLOUFFE: Yes. I think they’re driving moderates out of the party. And, let’s remember, comparatively, the Republicans are at the lowest point they’ve been in their history. Why? Centrists and moderates are abandoning that party.
RUSH: It is conservatives who are the largest identified group in the latest Gallup poll, Mr. Plouffe. You can throw your party politics out of here. It’s conservatives at 40, you guys at 20, and the moderate independents or whatever they are at 36%. You guys are at the bottom of that totem pole. But you see there’s two things about this. They will tell us who they fear. Our Democrat buddies will tell us who they really fear and I’ll tell you right now who they fear is Sarah Palin. They have done everything in their power to destroy her, and they haven’t. If they really, really believe that Sarah Palin was the death knell of the Republican Party, they’d be shutting up. They would be encouraging her, some other way to go out and get seen, be seen as much as possible. And this business about centrists and moderates are abandoning the party, do you really think David Plouffe gives a rat’s rear end about the health of the Republican Party? Do you think Obama and Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel and David Plouffe sit around and say, ‘Boy, you know, we really hate to see the Republican Party destroying itself. I mean, can you believe the Republicans are driving moderates and independents out of the party? I mean we gotta help ’em out here. We gotta figure out a way for them to hold onto those moderates and independents.’
If the moderates and independents are being driven out of the Republican Party, I ask, where are they going? They’re going to the Democrat Party, you would presume, and that should make them happy. This is why you gotta be very careful in accepting the premises of these people. They wish we didn’t exist as a party, and they are trying to wipe us out politically. They’re not worried that we’re losing moderates and independents. They’re worried that conservatism is on an ascendancy, they are scared to death of it, and they are really scared of Sarah Palin. They will tell us who they fear the most by trying to destroy them. I find this laughable. David Plouffe, all concerned, (imitating Plouffe) ‘Oh, driving moderates and independents out of the party, oh, it’s horrible, look what’s happening to the Republican Party. Oh, we care about the Republican Party so much. We really wish they weren’t driving all these moderates and centrists out of the party ’cause we wish to have a viable opponent.’ What? These people think we’re idiots? They do. They obviously do think that we are idiots.
RUSH: It’s not easy being CNN. They got a poll out today: 54% job approval for Obama. Nobody believes that. Nah. Nobody. In their same poll, only 42% support Obama’s health care plan. How do those two work out for you? Forty-two percent support the health care plan, but 54% support his overall presidency. It doesn’t jibe. And then here’s John Roberts, CNN’s American Morning cohost says this about me and New York-23.
ROBERTS: Rush Limbaugh and others said she’s too liberal to be representing the Republican Party so she has now quit. She is, uhh, supporting bill Owens but people are watching this race to find out if this will have an affect on the 2010 midterm elections if conservatives will be ascendant.
RUSH: He got it right! He got it right! They’re going to have to slap this down. You’ll not hear that anywhere on CNN the rest of the day or tomorrow. That’s not the spin. John? John? Let me clue you in. The spin, you gotta get… I’m sure you got the memo from the White House, probably from Gibbs. Look it up. The Republican Party is falling apart. The Republican Party is split. The Republican Party is done, and the Democrats are really worried about it, John. I mean David Plouffe is on television today saying, ‘Oh, no, moderates and independents are leaving the Republican Party! Oh, my God, they’re stupid! How could they let this happen? Hmm?’ I mean, that’s the spin. Actually, I’m kind of happy to see independents leaving the Democrat Party because that’s apparently what’s happening. (chuckles) Here’s tortured logic from Gloria Borger again back to CNN, the Situation Room last night with Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer says, ‘The Wall Street Journal said, ‘Democrats did themselves no favors driving Lieberman out of their party. Conservatives will do their cause no good, forcing Republican candidates in Illinois, California, and Connecticut, to sound like Tom DeLay. If conservatives now revolt against every Republican candidate who disagrees with them on trade, immigration, abortion, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will keep their majorities for a very long time.’ This coming from a conservative editorial page.’
BORGER: Very conservative. Not to mention probably helping to keep Barack Obama in the White House. I’ve spoken with lots of Republicans today about this, and they say, ‘Look, this is a strange situation. This candidate was chosen behind closed doors by the Republican establishment. People don’t like that. She was kind of to the left on a lot of cultural and economic issues.’ However! Unless this party gets big tent — and there’s always a fight when you’re not in power between the big-tent folks and the purists, but they say if the party doesn’t grow big tent — they’re going to lose those independent voters who are the margin of victory in any presidential race. And as Mary just pointed out, they’re also the margin of victory in this congressional race.
RUSH: And where are they going, Gloria? They’re breaking big for the Republican! They’re breaking big for Hoffman. What tortured logic. So if I heard her correctly, if a conservative Republican wins a race, proving he can get the votes of independents, that’s bad for Republicans and good for Obama. ‘Cause it will drive independents away. How does that work? If Hoffman can win, that means conservatism can attract independents. And that’s exactly what’s happening here. But here again we have the fake, phony concern from Gloria Borger about the health of the Republican Party. This big-tent argument… I think it’s a gene. G-e-n-e. I think people are born with a gene that turns ’em into liberal journalists, and they have several template beliefs.
And one of the template beliefs is that the Republican Party has to be a big-tent party if it has any chance whatsoever of winning. The second template is that ‘big tent’ means attracting moderates and independents. Their view on this is narrow. They got blinders on and it’s totally wrong. The Republican Party is a big-tent party. You know what the tent covers? The country. The Republican Party big tent is the United States of America. I don’t know where these people get it in their thick heads that we are exclusionary. We are people of principle, conservative principle and belief: Individual freedom and liberty, private property rights, the whole nine yards. Colorblind society, respect for life, the pursuit of happiness, all of these things.
Things that every American values or should. People that are in favor of policies that limit freedom, that promote the loss of freedom, that take away economic opportunity, I’m content to let the Democrat Party have and lose with those people. Why do we want people in our so-called tent that do not and are not grounded by the principles of the American founding? So we welcome anybody. But this is the problem I had with McCain. I love the Republican Party to be as big as it could but I don’t want to go out and get Democrats as Democrats and say they’re Republicans but not change their mind about anything. What…? Big whoop! What does that do for the country? So the Republican Party’s tent covers the country. And we have satellite tents: Hawaii and Alaska. We didn’t waste time building a tent over the Pacific Ocean on the way to Hawaii because all that’s there is a bunch of whales and fish, and we haven’t figured out a way to get them to vote yet. But we have the tent over Hawaii. We want every American to stand up for the principles that made this country great. Okay, a quick time-out here, folks. Much, much more straight ahead.
RUSH: All right, folks, look at me. Look at me. I want to issue you a profundity here. If any Republican wins today, it has to show that it is attracting independents, right? Because the White House, David Plouffe and all these people are saying that GOP party affiliation is at an all-time low. If party affiliation is at an all-time low and Republicans win today, why, it has to be independents, by their own definition. I’m going to hang that around their necks tomorrow, and I can’t wait.
RUSH: Seriously, my friends: If any Republican wins today, it has to show that the Republican Party is attracting independents, because you heard the sound bites earlier. David Plouffe and Axelrod and these guys are all out there saying that the Republican Party affiliation is at an all-time low. That’s what they’re going with — and they seem so concerned about that! They seem so concerned that we’re losing the moderates, that we’re losing the independents. (Gasp!) They’re really, really worried. Heh-heh. Not! And if indeed Republicans win — by their own definitions, by the measurements that they have set — it will have to be with independent voters, will it not? Indeed. Gloria Borger continued on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer said, ‘So if the conservative candidate Doug Hoffman goes on and wins tomorrow, how will that impact the Republican Party?’ Get this.
BORGER: Well, lots of Republicans I talked to said they’re going to overreach and overread the results of this and what that may mean, for example, you may have a situation in Florida, in the Senate race, where you have John McCain endorsing, uh, Governor Charlie Crist and you may have his former running mate Sarah Palin endorsing the more conservative candidate, Marco Rubio.
BLITZER: And so if you’re a Democrat, you want to see this kind of stuff going on.
BORGER: You want to see this stuff because, you know, you split the Republican Party right down the middle, and you’re going to get those independent voters. So be careful what you wish for in this victory in the 23rd.
RUSH: All right. So these two wizards of smart, folks… (laughing) It’s almost not fair playing these sound bites and commenting on them. These two wizards of smart have come to the conclusion that if Hoffman wins it’s great news for the Democrats. Did I not tell you that before I even heard the sound bites, in my brilliant monologues in the first hour of today’s program predicting media spin and reaction? So here she is. Gloria, you know, you’re… I got an e-mail. I’ll tell you the story. I got an e-mail about a quarter ’til one, Eastern Time, 25 minutes ago, from a journalist at a magazine. And the e-mail said, ‘You know, Rush, we’d like to offer you a thousand words or 2,000 words to write a column making a case for a third party, looking at what’s happening in New York-23.’
So I wrote back during the commercial break, ‘Sorry, but I can’t make the case for a third party. What’s happening in New York-23 is not anything to do with a third party. There was no primary there. Party bosses picked a losing candidate and Republicans in the district got fed up and one of them decided to run himself on the Conservative Party line. The Conservative Party is not a third party. It always backs the Republican Party when it’s worth it, in New York. So find somebody else to write your pro-third-party business, because as far as I’m concerned the third party means eternal victory for Democrats.’ So she writes back, ‘Oh, oh, I… Uhhh, I… You know, I haven’t looked at it that way. I think I see your point.’ As for Gloria Borger, how many Republicans has she actually met who are conservative?
The Republicans she talks to? Who are the Republicans she talks to? She’s talking to moderate, independent, liberal Republicans. That’s who she talks to. Those are the Republicans that she knows and would probably deign to spend time with. She talks to Washington Republicans and claims that they’re conservatives. She’d have been saying the same nonsense when Reagan was taking on Gerald Ford. This is the thing. You’ve gotta understand: This is the exact kind of thing that the media was saying back then. ‘The Republican Party is tearing itself apart. It’s blinding itself. It’s splitting itself in half. Ronald Reagan,’ blah, blah, blah, and look at what happened. Have I chosen the Democrat candidate yet Snerdley? Have you picked…?
No, I haven’t yet. I haven’t picked. You know, ladies and gentlemen, depending on the outcome of these races today, I, as the leader of the Republican Party (and its number one entertainer as well) will have a statement tomorrow where I will explain fully what has happened today, and I’ll take my rightful credit for it. Of course, if we lose it’s not going to be my problem. But if we win, it’s another situation.
RUSH: I’m going to tell you something else, folks. A lot of people voting in these races today, these elections, they’re not voting Republican, Democrat. They’re voting pocketbook. People are hurting and there is no relief in sight, and they are voting pocketbook. That’s another thing for Mr. Plouffe and Mr. Axelrod and Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Obama to remember. At the end of this day, the Pocketbook Party is what will be triumphant if Republicans win here. Because you, Mr. Plouffe, and Mr. Axelrod, and you Mr. Emanuel, and you, Mr. Obama, are stealing money from people. It is not yours. They have earned it, and you’re taking it, in many cases before they’ve earned it.