RUSH: If the media succeeds in scaring the entire Republican apparatus into buying what they report — and that has been a problem. You and I both know it. One of the problems that we faced over the years is that you and I understand what the media is trying to do. The Republicans fall prey to it — and if it keeps up, the whole damn apparatus is gonna need to go out to San Francisco and get an addadictomy operation (and Lord knows that’s not what we hope becomes necessary).
Here’s Scott in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as we start to the phones today. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Thank you for taking my call. Rush, I am not an establishment Republican. I too am very optimistic about our chances in 2012 —
CALLER: — to make this a one-term president, but I have to ask the question, and it predates this article today. Why are you so hard on Mitch Daniels? I think if you look at his record, there’s a lot of very conservative things that this guy’s done over his eight years in office.
RUSH: When have I been hard on Mitch Daniels? I’m not even being hard on him today. I’m just telling you what the Democrats in the media are saying. The bottom line doesn’t have anything to do with Mitch Daniels. I’m just tired of Democrats picking our candidates.
CALLER: Well, ummm… I guess…
RUSH: I’m just sick and tired of Democrat Party and the media picking our candidates. They picked McCain. They picked Dole. I’m tired of it. I don’t care who the candidate is, I’m sick of Democrats picking them, because I know they’re not gonna pick somebody that can win. That’s the whole point.
CALLER: Well, I — I guess I would… (chuckles) I would agree. I don’t want the media picking our candidate.
RUSH: Well, that’s what’s happening.
CALLER: But I would… But I guess the first question you asked is when have you been hard on him, and like most of your listeners, I have a job, so sometimes I can’t catch all the show, but I hear enough over the last two to three weeks that, you know, you know, you slip a comment in about the social issue truce comment that Governor Daniels made, and I’m somebody who cares deeply —
RUSH: Wait just a second.
CALLER: — about many of the social issues.
RUSH: How in the world…? How in the world is that being hard on Mitch Daniels when I’m simply telling people what he said?
CALLER: Because I believe that that comment is being dropped, and sometimes it’s not even attributed to Governor Daniels. I believe that comment’s being dropped because it is aimed certainly at not flattering him, and I think that it is out — you’re gonna jump on this, but I believe — it’s out of context with the record that Governor Daniels has put together over seven years. I mean, this is a guy that decertified the public unions his first day in office. I mean, stack that up relative to the rest of the field. I mean, we’ve got some people that are thinking about running that couldn’t even complete one term in office.
RUSH: Have I chosen any of them?
CALLER: No, sir, you haven’t.
RUSH: Okay, then. Where are we here?
CALLER: Well, I guess what my… As I listen to that CPAC speech, which — and there was a comment out of there that you — or there was a quote out of there that you pulled today, or at least a paraphrase, that… (sigh) Rush…
RUSH: What was it?
CALLER: Something about we can’t burn the house down, we have to actually have victories. Something like that, that, you know, we actually have to get things enacted.
RUSH: Here’s what he said. It was actually Alex Castellanos who said it, which is who I quoted, not Mitch Daniels. It was Castellanos, a Republican media consultant. “Daniels is the adult in the room saying the party’s over, time to clean house.” Wait. Wait, wait, wait a minute. “That contrast in maturity is how Republican beats Obama.” Daniels did say at CPAC, “Purity and martyrdom is for suicide bombers.”
RUSH: “Purity and martyrdom is for suicide bombers.”
CALLER: Right, and I — I guess —
RUSH: I know what he means. He means, “If all you are is conservative, we’re gonna lose. We gotta be moderate. We gotta go get the moderates,” which we’ve done, by the way.
CALLER: No. Rush —
RUSH: We have not even opened our mouths.
CALLER: Well (sigh)… You know, and here’s where… Rush, Lord knows — (chuckles) and I’ve always been afraid when I call that it would be an issue about where we might disagree and then I’m gonna get accused of being a seminar caller which, believe me, I’m not.
RUSH: I think you are, but I’m having fun anyway.
CALLER: What’s that?
RUSH: I think you are.
CALLER: Do ya?
RUSH: Yeah, but I’m having fun anyway. I like seminar callers.
CALLER: Oh, please. I would take any investigation you want to heap on me, and I will tell you —
RUSH: We don’t do investigations here.
CALLER: — I never voted for one Democrat my entire life.
RUSH: That’s okay. We don’t do investigations here.
RUSH: We rely solely on my instinct.
CALLER: Anyway, your quote about the intellectual purity is… You know, Reagan — and I completely understand about negotiating, okay? I totally comprehend that. I totally get that. But at some point you have to get things enacted — and even Reagan, Rush; Reagan didn’t get everything that he wanted every time.
RUSH: We’re talking about two different things. Now, I didn’t start out this program being critical of Mitch Daniels. I’m just telling you… You know, it’s amazing here what’s actually happened. I’m telling you what’s in the Washington Post, and you’re mad at me for reporting it. All I’m doing is telling you what’s in this story, and you’re mad at me for saying it! I have not attacked Mitch Daniels. He has gone after me, but I have not attacked him.
RUSH: Okay, our last caller. Judging by the e-mails, the vast majority of those of you who wrote me in the last ten minutes think that he was a seminar caller. No matter to me. Sometimes seminar callers are fun. But the one thing that the seminar caller — uh, the caller — said that I want to react to here is, “Sometimes, Rush, you gotta go along with the other side to get things done.” That’s what he meant. All right, fine. Well, we’re talking about a campaign now, and I don’t remember Ronaldus Magnus telling social Republicans to shut up or saying that we need to have a truce so that what they believe is not a factor.
I remember Reagan embracing conservatives. He didn’t care social, fiscal, what have you. It’s interesting. The last time there was this amount of panic with phone callers — and Snerdley tells me that ever since my first hour today, the droves of people calling here angry at me for savaging Mitch Daniels have been numerous. The first time this kinda reaction on the phones happened was with Trump. So I’m sitting here thinking, “Okay, what is this?” Let’s just review this. I live in Realville, and I have a purely logical mind, combined with an insatiable curiosity. So I’ve got this piece here from Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post.
Headline: “Mitch Daniels: The Man Who Could Reshape the Republican Field.” Okay, I think Chris Cillizza wants Obama to be reelected. I know Chris; he works atthe Washington Post. Chris Cillizza is like everybody else in the mainstream media: He doesn’t want a conservative to be elected. So here we get a piece in the Washington Post telling us that the only chance we really have as Republicans is if Daniels is the nominee. Sorry, folks, it’s the messenger here that is alerting my antennae — and in this piece is a quasi-endorsement of Mitch Daniels from none other than Obama!
Okay, well, I know Obama does not want Mitch Daniels elected president. So why the hell is he endorsing him (or quasi-endorsing him)? I know what I saw in the debate Thursday night. I saw robust, energetic, proud, aggressive conservatism, and this piece rips it to shreds. I know what I saw. What I saw Thursday night at the debate does not lead to our defeat. This story tells me it does. This story tells me that that will cause us to lose, and therefore somebody who would not have sounded that way Thursday night is the only one that can win — and in today’s case it happens to be Mitch Daniels.
Tomorrow, it could be Huckabee. Who knows? But I don’t have the Huckabee story to react to yet. But I do have this. Now, we’ve “been there, done that,” with this business of (McCain impression), “We got to cross the aisle, to work with the other side.” We had that. We’ve been there; we’ve done that. We’ve had candidates who tell us that conservatism’s not enough. We’ve had candidates that told us conservatism is an albatross. Sorry. It’s the way of the future. From the Cillizza piece: “A Daniels candidacy probably would be taken as a sign that the games are over for the Republican Party, that it is time to buckle down and organize to beat President Obama.”
It’s time to get serious now? Well, given the source, I read that is a giant slam. That’s an insult. That is a profound insult, and I consider the source: Where is it coming from? And you couple that with my belief (that is not a belief; it’s a fact) that they’ll always tell us who they fear. So you end up here with one giant cloud of suspicion on the part of your host — the all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing, all-feeling, all-concerned Maha Rushie, and, “Should Daniels opt not to run, on the other hand, the unpredictability that has ruled the race would almost certainly continue unabated,” and that would be bad.
“A field without Daniels … would mean a race that remained in considerable flux as candidates considered sideshows at best … dominated headlines and complicated GOP efforts to convince the public that the party can present a credible alternative to Obama.” So only Daniels? The Washington Post is telling me today that only Mitch Daniels is a credible alternative? I’m surprised you want me to believe that, folks. If you people really wanted me to think that, then I don’t know why you would listen to me ever again. Can you imagine if…? Let’s say there was no Chris Cillizza story here, and I just happened to come on the microphone today and say, “Folks, guess what?
“I thought about this long and hard. The only creditable alternative to Barack Obama is Mitch Daniels.” Where would I be in your minds and hearts today? What would you think had happened to me over the weekend? Who would you…? You’d say, “Okay, who bought Rush off?” or “What happened? Did Rush have an accident and bang his head? What happened?” if I were to tell you that. But we’ve got a Washington Post piece saying it, and I tell you about it, and I, El Rushbo, am the problem today. Well, just so all of you know, we aren’t as confused as I might be making it sound here. We know what’s going on here at the EIB Network. We know why the seminar callers ramp up as they have today and as they did during Trump.
We know why it is, and I’m gonna tell you. It’ll infuriate you because a lot of people don’t like it when I’m right, which is most of the time (99.6% of the time, almost, in the latest audit). You believe it’s the kiss of death if I oppose your candidate. That’s what you’re afraid of. So if your candidate is Mitch Daniels, and I oppose him, you think that I can do almost permanent harm. (interruption) I don’t know if they’re right or not, Snerdley. I’m just telling them that I think that’s what they think. I’ll tell you what I’ll do, folks. I will give up “the social issues” when the Democrats do. When the Democrats announce that they no longer care about killing babies in the womb, I’ll go public and say I don’t, either. But as long as they’re for it, I’m not gonna give it up. Sorry.
Now, where do we go next? Back to Indiana. Hmm. And Henry in Indianapolis. Hi, Henry. Welcome to the program. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, mega dittos from a transplanted Floridian living in Hoosierville.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Long, longtime listener, very first caller. All I can tell you is that I’ve live under Mitch Daniels; my taxes are lower than when I got here, and I actually agree with you, he’s not the last great hope of the Republican Party, but I do hope that the other 56 states get to see what we’ve been enjoying up here for the last few years. He’s a great conservative. I think it’s a question of message over substance in that I don’t think he’s willing to cede abortion or any other social issue to the Democrats. But I do agree with him that in order to get the mandated that we need to basically cut the federal government in half, that we do need to attract people that don’t listen to your show, unfortunately.
CALLER: And, unfortunately, I think the only thing that most people know about Mitch is the Weekly Standard article, perhaps, and the CPAC speech. So I do hope that he runs. He has some problems because, let’s face it, he’s vertically challenged and bald, but he’s a wonderful candidate. He ran a brilliant campaign up here, and I just hope that he runs.
RUSH: Let me go back to this. I want to get your understanding of something. You said it was unfortunate that you agree with him. In order to get the mandate that we need to cut the federal government in half, we need to attract people that don’t listen to my show — and, I think, he also said Hannity’s.
CALLER: He did, he did.
RUSH: All right. What does that mean to you in this context?
CALLER: Well —
RUSH: Apparently there are some people out there who don’t listen to me, and there’s a reason why they don’t, and we’ve gotta go out there and we’ve gotta convince them that…what? The party is not Rush Limbaugh?
CALLER: No, no, no. It’s not that at all.
RUSH: What is it?
CALLER: Indiana is a state that is conservative by culture, but it’s also Democrat by culture — and Mitch Daniels, at one point… I don’t know what his current approval rating is, but it was 70-some percent. Is that Mitch Daniels changing his message to fit the people or the people being brought along by his message? And I think it’s the latter.
RUSH: Well, see, that gets to my question: Do people not listen to me because they disagree with me?
CALLER: No, not necessarily. I think —
RUSH: Well, then why do we need those people?
CALLER: No, you touched on it a couple days last week when you said that some people get turned off by your schtick thinking that you’re arrogant and all that, and I have some of those in my family who are conservatives but they don’t listen to you because they don’t get it.
CALLER: The first line of one of your first books was, “Lighten Up,” or something like that.
RUSH: Yeah, it was a chapter.
CALLER: People listen to you for lots of reasons, Rush. Other people listen to you for lots of reasons, people who agree and disagree. Mitch Daniels is a conservative. As somebody who is a social and a fiscal conservative, I’ve lived in this state under, you know, Mitch Daniels’ rule for the last, say, seven years; and, you know, it’s indicative of his weakness right now from a recognition standpoint that there’s a debate on whether or not he’s conservative or not. Because if you look at his record, he is a conservative, socially and fiscally. I think the comments in the CPAC speech were such, just saying by message: You know, we’re not gonna change who we are as conservatives but we have to approach people where they are as opposed to where we are.
RUSH: Meaning we’ve gotta compromise with them?
CALLER: Not at all.
RUSH: Let them set the rules.
CALLER: It’s not a question of changing your views.
RUSH: Well, but you are. You’re saying they have to accommodate their premise in order to perhaps convince them or persuade them.
CALLER: Well, Rush, let’s look back at Mitch’s campaign. You know, the idea that all Republicans are rich white males who don’t care about poor people. Well, Mitch Daniels campaigned in an RV. He went to —
RUSH: See, this is my point.
CALLER: I’m sorry?
RUSH: I think accepting that premise is insulting.
CALLER: I agree.
RUSH: And, by the way, along the same lines: Why do we need a “mandate” to cut the deficit in half? Obama’s already promised to do that and he’s not doing it, and he’s “unbeatable.” Why do need a mandate? I mean, that’s what they’re telling us. I’m jumping back to something you said previous. Not fair. I’m taking you back to something I’m sure you thought we were finished discussing. But, you see, Mitch Daniels: What are you using here to convince me he’s a good guy? “He drives an RV! He’s not a rich fat cat who doesn’t care about people.” Well, is that not accepting the premise of all liberalism that that’s who we all are?
So Mitch Daniels is driving an RV in a campaign to prove that he’s not what they say. Well, I wouldn’t drive an RV to prove anything to anybody. I’d drive an RV only if I liked it. I wouldn’t get in an RV just to have somebody think something of me. I’m very proud of what I believe. I’m happy to stand up for what I am and what I believe every day of the week, and I’m happy to try to persuade as many people along the way as possible. (sigh) You know, “social issues, let’s have a truce, let’s put ’em aside,” I know what that means. Ronald Reagan won two landslides with ’em, and I don’t know where… Well, I do know! I do know where this notion comes from, we can’t win on social issues. It comes from liberal Republicans with nag wives.
RUSH: In 2009 in February at the White House, Barack Obama convened a meeting of congressional leaders, Republicans and Democrats. And at that meeting President Barack Obama, liberal, socialist, Marxist, whatever you want to call him, said to John Boehner and the Republicans, “You can’t listen to Rush Limbaugh anymore. That’s not how things get done.” Barack Obama, 2009. Here’s Mitch Daniels this February at CPAC.
DANIELS: We must be the vanguard of recovery, but we cannot do it alone. We have learned in Indiana, big change requires big majorities. We will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean, who surf past C-SPAN to get to SportsCenter, who, if they ever heard of CPAC, would assume it was a cruise ship accessory.
RUSH: Okay. So Barack Obama, “You can’t listen to Rush. That’s not how things get done here.” Mitch Daniels, “We’re gonna need more people, isn’t gonna cut it, we need people more than Rush, Laura, Sean,” whatever. By the way, Ronald Reagan — and I know nobody disagrees with me on this — Ronald Reagan campaigned on uniting social and fiscal conservatives. Ronald Reagan never said, “By the way, if you’re an ex-conservative, I don’t want you. If you’re an ex-conservative we need to call a truce. We need to make you irrelevant for this campaign.” Ronald Reagan never said to ex-conservatives, “You’re the problem in this race. Somehow we’ve got to make sure nobody hears from you.” Reagan never said that. Here’s one more Mitch Daniels bite, again, this from CPAC, February 12th, in Washington.
DANIELS: We should distinguish carefully skepticism about big government from contempt for all government. After all, it is a new government we hope to form. I urge a similar thoughtfulness about the rhetoric we deploy in the great debate ahead. I suspect everyone here regrets and laments the sad, crude coarsening of our popular culture. President Reagan would admonish us. Remember, we have no enemies, only opponents. Good advice, then and now. I submit that as we ask Americans to join us on such a boldly different course, it would help if they liked us just a bit.
RUSH: Now, hmm. It would help if they liked us. We’re gonna need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean. We need people, it would help if they liked us. Well, why don’t they like us? There’s another premise. They don’t like us, they hate us. Why? If we’re so hated how come we won a landslide in November? You know, it’s one thing to tailor a message to those who don’t know you or have the wrong idea, I can understand that, folks. But it’s another thing to want to reach those people by distancing yourself from or criticizing or trashing those who might support you or who do support you. I mean it’s one thing to go out and tailor a message to people who don’t know you and say, “Look, I’m this,” but you don’t do that by saying, “And, by the way, these other people that don’t like me, screw them, I don’t care about them.” We’re not unifying here when you do that.
RUSH: Now, look, folks, don’t misunderstand. I know that Mitch Daniels is not saying that people should not listen to me. I know he’s not saying that. My question is, why is it that it’s always us who have to change and accommodate the real extremists out there? Why is it they never have to change and make us like them? Why is it? Why does this seeming disparity always exist this way?
RUSH: Another call from Indiana. How’s this happening today, Snerdley? This is John in Indianapolis. Hello, John. I’m glad you waited. Welcome to our program.
CALLER: Hi, sir. Hey, it’s too bad you’re not driving the pace car this year, that would have been a party in itself.
RUSH: Yeah? I wouldn’t have lasted long as Trump did in the driver’s seat.
CALLER: Hey, could I share with you before we get started in the meat of this conversation my favorite Ronaldus Magnus quote?
CALLER: He said, “It’s not that liberals aren’t smart, it’s just that so much of what they know isn’t so.” Ronaldus Magnus.
RUSH: Yeah, that’s a great quote, you’re right.
CALLER: Exactly. Also, I think Obama’s opponent will have the strongest advantage of all, the advantage of not being Obama.
CALLER: Now, being from the great state of Indiana, I heard what you said last week about Mitch Daniels, about him not wanting to debate Obama on foreign policy. I myself kinda scratched my skull over that one. But anyway, I think that Daniels has been my dark horse. I think that Mike Pence will waltz right in to the governorship.
CALLER: I really do. I think Daniels will run. I think he’s kept Indiana fiscally responsible, and the last I heard, you know, in my uneducated mind, Indiana was one of three states financially still in the black. So the scary thing about this, Rush, is the open primaries. I mean you could have10 or 12 guys running and still they’re gonna pick the weakest candidate, and that’s what scares me the most. It could be Daniels, you name one that they all hate, we could end up with another McCain. That’s my biggest fear. It’s still early in the game, and it’s way out there from —
RUSH: I know.
CALLER: — 2012.
RUSH: That’s not gonna happen if there’s a genuine, unapologetic conservative running. That simply won’t happen. But, you know, I had forgotten until you just now reminded me that Mitch Daniels did say last week that he wasn’t yet ready to debate Obama on foreign policy after the Osama mission. Hm-hm. I had totally forgotten that. John, I appreciate it.
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