RUSH: The audience is not happy with El Rushbo. A sample e-mail. “Dear Rush: When it comes to Mitt Romney, at first –” this is from Pamela “– when it comes to Mitt Romney at first I thought possibly that you were the dumb one. But then I realized it’s not that you’re dumb at all; it’s just that you think we are dumb. You know Obama doesn’t want to run against Romney. But you’re telling us, your audience, that he does. You know that Romney’s the only one that can beat Obama. And you’re doing the same crap you did last election. In my conservative head Romney is a conservative. I’m so tired of you spending so much time trying to ruin Romney and paint him as if he isn’t. I used to listen to you daily. Lately, I only turn you on now about once a week. And as soon as I hear you bashing Romney and trying to paint him as a liberal I turn you off like I already have done today. You got turned off at my house and several of my friends and family, too.”
They always throw that in. My friends and family don’t listen to you anymore either. “People who are your loyal listeners have had it with you, how you lie about Romney. You and Hannity caused us to have McCain last time. At least Hannity’s not acting like that this time, thank goodness, but you’re doing it again, you’re on a power trip. You’re trying to alter who conservatives vote for. I’m voting for Romney ’cause he’s the only one that can beat Obama. I can get that Beltway crap from Sean. I get the real deal from other people, so if you don’t stop your crap with Romney, a lot of people won’t need to listen to three talk shows every day anymore, two of them will give them all they need which leaves you out. But don’t think you’re fooling us, Rush. Obviously you hate Romney for some reason, and when you bash him, we know it’s because you hate him, not because you actually think Obama can beat him. It’s just because you hate Romney. I know a lot of friends and family who the only occasion tune in to Rush because they, too, had it with Romney’s lies and bad — you’re losing your audience with us. Stop being so hateful and power hungry. From a one-time daily listener, Pamela.”
Whew. Whoa. I don’t know how anybody could say I’m responsible for McCain, and I don’t know how anybody could say that I hate Romney. I do like Romney. Romney came to my 20th anniversary bash. He was there, along with Fred Thompson. And he didn’t crash it; we invited him. Yeah, yeah. Do I sound power hungry? Let me tell you something. If I were power hungry I’d-a chosen somebody and I would have been out there trying to use my power and get you people to support whoever my nominee is.
Anyway, I just thought I’d share the e-mail with you: I hate Romney, I think the audience is stupid, and I better stop, ’cause they don’t need to listen to me anymore. Every time I bring Romney up I get three or four of these. This is just the one at the top of the inbox. This was at ElRushbo@eibnet.com. So you see, we do read the e-mail.
Anyway, I gotta take a break here, folks. We’re at it again the at the top of the hour, a break which really doesn’t float much.
RUSH: I want to take you back to the archives of this program, February 4th of 2008. From my website, RushLimbaugh.com: “One candidate now stands for all three legs of conservatism.” February 4th, 2008. You people have forgotten. I supported Romney in 2008. I was defending Romney against the fact that Huckabee and McCain were ganging up on him in the West Virginia primaries. I did everything but endorse Romney in 2008. And when we got into Florida and came after West Virginia, Charlie Crist endorsed McCain, and that was it. Giuliani dropped out. And Romney knew that was it when that had happened.
So Romney immediately began planning for this presidential race. But from this program, February 4, 2008: I think now, based on the way the campaign has shaken out, that there probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney. The three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives, and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives are the cultural people; fiscal conservatives, the economic crowd, low taxes, smaller government, get out of the way, so forth and so on. Back in 2008 Romney was the guy. There weren’t too many alternatives.
Remember, now, also that McCain was the anointed one from the Republican point of view. I remember getting into it, you know, Huckabee was mad at me because I was disputing the thoroughness of his conservative credentials. So this idea that I dislike Romney, that I don’t like Romney, that I’ve got something out for Romney is simply not true. I’ve tried to explain this I don’t know how many times. We have, folks, a really, really wonderful opportunity here, and I am of the belief, and I said this in my CPAC speech, that this is not an election for policy arguments, you know, contrasting our policy with Obama’s policy. The voters are doing that, they already did it in November of 2010. The voters know they don’t want this. It’s solution time.
Conservatism is the solution, proud, unabashed, cheerful conservatism. I believe the campaign ought to be run on ideology. I know there are a lot of people, “No, no, we can’t go ideology, Rush, it’s too limiting, it thwarts, it scares off the independents.” I think ideology is what sells conservatism. Ideology is what attracted immigrants of all stripes to this country. There was a distinct American culture. One of the things wrong with immigration today is that there isn’t. There is no assimilation. People are coming to the country not to be Americans anymore. They’re coming here for different reasons. Some are, don’t misunderstand, but compared to the influx of immigration in the twenties and thirties, this is a different kind. And that distinct and unique American culture that everybody wanted to be part of has been under assault and under attack for 50 years.
So what we have now are immigrants who want to come to America and establish their own Balkanized areas of the country, their own outposts, enclaves, if you will, where they want to speak their own language first. And the great distinctive American culture, which was rooted in all of the things: freedom, liberty, American exceptionalism, the opportunity to be the best you can be for everybody, or the worst that you can be, whatever you wanted to do. Many things have changed, but among the things at the top of the list that have changed is that those who practiced, lived and breathed that great American culture are now our suspects. They are considered the enemy within our own borders. They are the ones who have to be taken from, they’re the ones who have to be gotten even with.
The people who do not wish to assimilate, do not wish to engage in that distinct American culture, the receivers, if you will, the people who are moving here want to accept whatever can be taken from the successful and those who have achieved, it’s a profound difference. And I believe to fight it requires ideology, somebody’s not afraid to be conservative. I know the effort is intense to force conservative ideologues to tamp it down. I fully understand that. I see the evidence of it each and every day. But who is it, name a name? When you get excited about a candidate or an elected official, public figure, who says something that really rallies you, why has that happened? That person’s engaged in ideology. And what I mean by that is principles. The person has supported, can explain, optimistically advance principles.
Conservative principles, I believe, are the principles that founded this country. They work. Look at Bobby Jindal. Conservatism works every time it’s tried. Bobby Jindal was reelected in Louisiana as a conservative, in Louisiana. He won big the first time. He wins reelection again yesterday as a conservative. A gigantic landslide in Democrat Louisiana. He ran as a tax-cutting social conservative. Bobby Jindal is a great example of old-style immigration. And there hasn’t been any press about Jindal’s reelection because there’s abject fear over Bobby Jindal’s reelection. Not that Bobby Jindal is gonna run for president, not that he’s gonna be elected or get the Republican nomination. They’re ignoring it because it works, it wins elections. It’s what won the November 2010 elections. “That’s not right, Mr. Limbaugh, and you yourself even said that the Republicans were not campaigning to attract those votes that the independents –” yeah, what did the independents run away from, Mr. New Castrati? The independents ran away from socialism, liberalism, Marxism, whatever it was, however they described it, they didn’t like it. They ran away from Obamaism.
Now, another thing. Continuing to check the e-mail, and predictably a lot of people are agreeing with Pamela and a lot of people are telling me to tell Pamela to take a hike. But the people who agree with Pamela, who are ripping me, telling me they’re never gonna listen anymore, and neither are their friends and neither is their dog, are telling me that Romney’s the only guy that can win and that I’m full of it, that the White House would love to have Herman Cain or Perry, ’cause that’s who they know they can beat. They know they can’t beat Romney. They’re scared to death. That’s why they’re trying to discredit Romney, because they think Romney can beat Obama.
I think any of our candidates could beat Obama, especially if the election were tomorrow, any of our candidates could beat Obama. Well, maybe two exceptions. I’m not sure that Huntsman could and I’m not sure that Ron Paul could. But the rest of them up there, Santorum could, on the basis of policy, the basis of ideology, on the basis of principle. Bobby Jindal, among other things, proves that conservatives are not xenophobes or bigots. It still frosts me that that has to be proved. Ticks me off to no end that that has to be proved. Makes me mad when we have somebody on our side running around trying to prove it.
Let me give you an example. Somebody did a Jack Kemp. This is October 9th in 1996 in Tampa, University of South Florida. Vice presidential debate, Jack Kemp and Algore. Algore said, “Throughout most of his career Jack Kemp has been a powerful and needed voice against the kind of coarseness and incivility that you refer to –” This is an audience member question. “I think it’s extremely valuable to have a voice within the Republican Party who says we ought to be one nation. I compliment Mr. Kemp for the leadership he has shown in moving us away from that kind of attitude.” It was a question about racism in the Republican Party and what Gore basically said was, “Well, Jack Kemp ain’t one of those guys. Jack Kemp’s a great conservative. Jack Kemp’s not a racist Republican.” What did Kemp say?
KEMP: Well, I thank you, Al. I mean that very, very sincerely.
RUSH: And a lot of people, “Wait a minute. So everybody in the Republican Party is a bunch of racist, sexist, pigs, but you’re not so you thank Algore for singling you out as being one of the conservatives who’s not?” Thereby illustrating the defensive nature that a lot of people on our side have. They say we’re racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes. Somebody comes along from their side and says, “Except you’re not.” “Thank you. Thank you.” (interruption) I know it’s bad memories, I know. The proper answer to something like this is, “Excuse me, Mr. Vice President, but you are as wrong as you can be in your characterization of the Republican Party or of American conservatives.” Friday night on Hardball on PMSNBC, Chris Matthews is talking to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and Matthews said, “You know what I want to say to you? Thank you for your service, thank you for your service, for being the sane man in the Republican Party. It reminds us there’s actually someone who has their feet on the ground in that party.”
HUNTSMAN: Thank you, Chris.
RUSH: “Thank you, Chris.” “Thank you, Chris.” The only sane man in the Republican Party. Now, my point is, the pressure is always on to get ideologies to shut up. The pressure is always on to get conservatives to shut up, to go moderate, to go centrist, and even be critical of conservatives in their own party. I’m telling you it wins every time it’s tried.
RUSH: I want to ask my phone a question here. Okay. Let’s see how this works. Siri, do I dislike Mitt Romney?
SIRI: Rush, I don’t understand: “Siri, do I dislike Mitt Romney?”
RUSH: Okay. Okay. Should I vote for Mitt Romney?
SIRI: I don’t think you have any meetings with Mitt Romney.
RUSH: Well, don’t have any meetings with Romney, so I guess that means I shouldn’t vote for Romney, don’t have any meetings with Romney. (laughing) It coulda ratted me out. If I had a meeting with Romney on the calendar, it could have said, “Well, you’re meeting with Romney on –” (laughing)