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RUSH: Adam in Grand Junction, Colorado, as we stay on the phones. Welcome, sir, great to have you here.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Tebow mania size dittos to you.

RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

CALLER: I think Santorum is the only real conservative left. Although he may have the hair, do you think that he is tall enough or has the looks? I mean in the debate I think he came off like a little whiny pest when he was challenging the other candidates.

RUSH: You’re basically commenting on Santorum’s petulance. You like him, you think he’s the only real conservative, but he came off like a whiny pest.

CALLER: I’ve always supported him, but I thought he looked awful whiny and baby-like.

RUSH: There were a couple times in the early debates I thought that myself, to be honest with you, Adam, and I thought it was rooted in the fact that Rick Santorum was frustrated that he wasn’t getting as many questions, as many opportunities to participate in the debate as Ron Paul was. The people running these debates were looking for ratings, and the kookier, wackier they could go, that means Paul on foreign policy, the bigger they think their ratings are gonna be. And I think he was a little frustrated. As the debates went on I saw that mannerism fade away. I didn’t see it. I’d agree with you in the early phases of the debates, but not toward the end.

Here’s the thing, Adam. We’re gonna find out. He’s from front and center now. He got a million dollars yesterday. The media is gonna be zeroing in on he’s a pro-life extremist. He’s racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. They’re gonna be zeroing in on all this and you’re gonna find out how he bears up under it. We are all going to find out. He was on with O’Reilly last night, and O’Reilly put him through his paces. O’Reilly said, (paraphrasing) “Look, I don’t want to debate these issues with you. I’m not telling you you’re right and wrong. I just want to tell you what you’re gonna get hit with,” and he started peppering Santorum with some quotes that are from Santorum’s past about abortion, about race, about welfare, about this or that. And it was interesting to see Santorum parry them, deal with them.

O’Reilly, in his own way, did a service, ’cause this is going to happen. It’s Santorum’s turn to get the media anal. So you’re gonna find out here fairly quick, Adam, whether or not you like his demeanor, whether or not you think he can deal with this in a way that you think is presidential. We all will. We’ll see. We’ll find out. It’s all gonna happen right before our very eyes. Now, there is a debate Saturday night. The problem with that is that there is also the first round of the NFL wild card playoffs are Saturday, and Saturday night it’s the Detroit Lions in New Orleans to play Saints. Now I have to think that the Lions and Saints are gonna out-rate wherever this Republican debate is on a Saturday night.

So whatever happens in this debate is going to be seen by people after the fact in highlights, or if they endeavor to find replays. I don’t even know what cable network it’s on. Is Fox doing this debate Saturday night that’s in New Hampshire? Wherever it is, it’s not gonna have big audience.

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