RUSH: Your host had a couple of mentions over the weekend. First off is actually this morning on The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Former Virginia Republican representative Tom Davis is a guest of Savannah Guthrie. She said, “What kind of compromise is Speaker Boehner willing to make here on the budget? He has his House Republicans pass some money in budget cuts. We know the figure is gonna be somewhat lower than $60 billion. The final deal, is it a matter of how many votes he has to lose?”
DAVIS: The players here, too, are the media. You know, Rush Limbaugh.
DAVIS: It shapes a lot of opinion. A lot of phones light up on this kind of thing. There are third-party players in this that we don’t talk about.
RUSH: “[T]hird-party players that we don’t talk about.” This is about $105 billion of implementation costs of health care. The whole point of the election in November was to roll back, repeal Obamacare. Here’s a chance to defund it of $105 billion costs that would go a long way toward repealing Obamacare, and the leadership says, “Maaaaaaaah, we’d have to break a rule to do that. Continuing resolutions don’t allow us to. We’re not going to go there. We’ll cut five or six billion dollars every two weeks in our continuing resolutions.”
They continue to fear a government shut down. They fear that they will lose it PR-wise. Meanwhile, Friday night on MSNBC, David Brooks had an entirely different view of the conservative media and whether or not they have any influence at all. The fill-in host was F. Chuck Todd. He talked to David Brooks, said, “Bachmann, Trump, Palin? They’re the cable catnip, the media catnip. What do you do if you’re Romney and Pawlenty when you’re dealing with those three?
BROOKS: You gotta distinguish between the conservative media industry and the people who are actually running for office — and there’s been very little evidence, I think, in past elections that one has really affected the other. So, for example, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, a lot of the conservative radio jocks, spent two years ago attacking John McCain. McCain still won the South Carolina Republican primary, the Florida Republican primary. One Republican consultant once told me, “Rush Limbaugh can’t deliver a pizza.”
BROOKS: People like listening to Rush. They like listening to that stuff, but it doesn’t really affect how they vote. They want somebody who they can plausibly see as president.
RUSH: This is the gentleman who looked at the crease in Obama’s pants and decided not only was he going to be president, but a good one. He was gonna be a great president, said David Brooks. A Republican consultant once told him “Rush Limbaugh can’t deliver a pizza.” I bet I probably could. I bet I could deliver a pizza if I set my mind to it. Anyway, this is the kind of stuff that is out there.
RUSH: Moscow Mills in Missouri. This is Rich. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Listening to the program today and just had to call, you know, hoping to get through because it seems like Mr. Brooks is kind of on edge out there.
RUSH: David Brooks?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: New York Times, audio sound bite we just played, saying I couldn’t deliver a pizza?
CALLER: Yeah, it seems like he — I don’t know. It might have something to do with that crease and the fact that his political discourse is going from, according to listeners to you because I don’t really know the man other than through you ’cause I don’t go the liberal media outlets, but it seems we’ve gone from a crease in Obama’s pants to you and delivering pizza, and it just seems like the political discourse has really gone downhill.
RUSH: Yeah, the civility was missing —
RUSH: — in the comment, that’s true, even though Brooks himself didn’t say it. He was quoting a Republican consultant. It is quite insulting and cutting to say that I can’t deliver a pizza. I clearly could deliver a pizza. I know where to take pizzas if somebody wants one. I could clearly do this.
CALLER: Well, they usually say if you spell a person’s name right, that that’s all the publicity they ever want.
RUSH: Right. Well, look, you understand what’s going on here. Clearly, there’s an internecine battle going on within conservative media, as there is within the Republican Party at large, the RINOs, the moderates, the leftists, and the elites don’t want anything to do with conservatism in the Republican Party. (interruption) Well, that’s right. Snerdley is saying Brooks has been ragging me for two years. I can’t say that Brooks has been ragging me. I may have started it. In fact, I probably did, if you want to call it starting it. I have been offering critical analysis of Mr. Brooks’ analysis for quite a while. I don’t care. He can fire back however he wants. Look, Lewinsky delivered pizza. Look what it got her. I don’t take it as an insult. And I know these Republican consultants don’t like — (interruption) Snerdley, the one thing you’ve never been able to get through your head and understand because you don’t want to believe it and it’s the one thing I do know and, folks, the rest of you out there, you would be wise to listen to me on this. When talking about the Republican Party, people like me are a thorn in their sides. They have to act as though they’re happy we’re around, that we’re somewhat helpful, but I guarantee you the honchos of the Republican Party get together with the honchos of the Democrat Party and they both complain about their so-called media friends and allies. I mean we hold ’em to high standards.
I’m under no illusions that I’m loved and adored by these people and Brooks is a great illustration of that. I could probably name the consultant who told him that I can’t deliver a pizza. Look at the consultants who got all ragged off when Christine O’Donnell won the primary in Connecticut. “Okay, you guys know how to do this, then go ahead, you run her campaign, you go do it.” These are the guys that make their money trying to tell candidates, “I can get you the independent vote.” They’re not ideologues. They live and breathe in this great 20% of undecided voters, the independents or whatever. That’s where they make their money. That’s where they go sell their abilities. And, of course, I’m not undecided, I’m not an independent, nor are very many of us in this audience. I know who they are, and I know — (interruption) That’s a good question. How do we win the independents without them? In the November election, you mean, right, H.R.? It’s a great question because the Republicans didn’t do anything to win the independents. The reason we won the independents is because Obama — that’s why I kept telling you guys on Friday you’re out here demanding that I pick somebody, endorse them right now on the Republican side. I’m telling you, the election’s gonna be about Obama.
The independents flocked to the Republicans because they are appalled at what Obama is doing. They are appalled at the direction the liberals are taking the country. This is why people like me get frustrated at the Republicans who are afraid to be conservative. Because finally more and more people than ever before are seeing as clearly as they’ve ever been able to see what liberalism is and what it does to a society, to a country, to our fiscal standing, fiscal responsibility, what have you. We are broke. They see it. They finally see the incompetence that is Obama. They see it now. Where did they flock? They flocked the only way they could, the Republicans. In fact, if there’s anybody who could make a claim to attracting the independents, it would be the hated Tea Party people, because they were the ones offering an alternative. The Tea Party, much more than the Republican Party, was offering policy alternatives. And the Tea Party, much more than the Republican Party, was offering substantive criticism of Obama, Obamacare, the stimulus, TARP, the subprime mortgage mess.
There was substance in the Tea Party, grassroots substance. The Tea Party was not afraid of articulating what it believed, what it thought the problems in the country were. So the independents heard that, they saw the things in front of their face, Obama was doing, and so, yeah, you could make the case that the Republicans won the independent vote without one political consultant coming up with one strategy to do it. It was, pure and simple, liberalism on display.
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