RUSH: Let’s go to the audio sound bites, shall we? This is Mitt Romney last night. He was on Hannity on Fox and they were talking about the remark that he made that he’s “not concerned about the very poor.” Hannity said: “Obviously, taken out of context, but this is what you’re gonna deal with in the campaign. Is this frustrating to you?”
ROMNEY: Well, it’s the reality. And I misspoke. I wish I wouldn’ta said it that way. I made the same thought part of my speeches over the last year or two, which is I’m really concerned about middle-income Americans. I want to help middle-income Americans. I want to get people out of poverty, into the middle-income category. But of course I’m concerned and worried about all Americans and I want to make sure our safety net is appropriately able to care for our poor. I’m concerned about all citizens. But now and then you misspeak, you have to acknowledge it. It was something I did not intend to say in the way it was said (chuckles) but I recognize that’s part of the political process.
RUSH: All right. So that’s gonna be out there throughout the campaign. Obama, even in the debates, will more-than-likely bring this up. Last night on MSNBC, Hardball, Chris Matthews talked with Steve Kornacki, who is the, I guess, news editor at Salon.com. Matthews said, “Six percent of whoever these full-mooners are said that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate after a Trump endorsement.” Matthews couldn’t believe it, couldn’t get over it: 6% of people said that Trump endorsement would make a difference to ’em. That’s why he called them “full-mooners.” So he’s asking Kornacki: Who are these full-mooners? Who are these idiots? Who are these one-in-16 people that say they would more likely switch to Romney after Trump said he’s my guy?
KORNACKI: I don’t read this as a general election move at all. The entire story of the 2012 Republican race is Mitt Romney’s struggle to relate to and win over the Tea Party base of the Republican Party. They watched Gingrich come back from the dead once before. They think they have him right now — they probably have ’em right now — but, you know, Donald Trump has credibility with that Sarah Palin-Herman Cain-Rush Limbaugh wing of the Republican Party.
RUSH: So you see this is not about the general. This about winning the nomination. And the Trump endorsement is all about getting me and Palin and Herman Cain to sign on to Romney, ’cause we’re big on Trump. That’s the theory. We love Trump and whatever Trump does, that’s what we’re gonna do. MSNBC again yesterday afternoon. Martin Bashir spoke with Lehigh University Professor of African-American Studies James Peterson about this. Martin Bashir said, “It does seem remarkable that a man who said he wasn’t concerned about the very poor should today align himself with another multimillionaire.” Now, what kind of a disconnect…? What’s he supposed to do, go out and find a hobo and get an endorsement? (laughs) Rachel’s in there laughing at the use of the word “hobo.” Yeah, let’s get a group: Hobos for Romney! What’s he supposed to do? I mean, this is a huge disconnect, but that’s what Martin Bashir’s known for. So he goes out and it’s “remarkable,” because Romney wasn’t concerned about the very poor. Now he aligns himself with another multimillionaire. What’s going on here, Professor Peterson?
PETERSON: When you get folk like Rush Limbaugh critiquing, you get those folk on the far-right coming at you, Mitt Romney understands that in order for him to close this deal, he’s gonna have to pander to them and continue to do so. I think he makes too many political faux pas. People are now critiquing you about whether or not you have any compassion for the poor whatsoever or the fact that the middle class is becoming the poor, and the next day you’re standing side-by-side with Donald Trump.
RUSH: It doesn’t matter. It’s an entire disconnect. That’s the least we see! That’s the last thing anybody sees about this. You want to talk about wealthy people endorsing candidates, go look at the money talking for Obama. It’s another of these silly, stupid double standards that have always existed. Last night on Hannity, Gingrich was on. (I don’t know if it was before Romney, but he was on there.) Hannity said, “Look, this has happened to you twice. You’ve had to withstand pretty strong attacks in Iowa, negative advertising. Now it’s happened in Florida. And I would anticipate that Obama will do the same thing if you’re the nominee, Newt.”
GINGRICH: The other thing that became obvious in Florida, historically interesting, is that the entire Republican establishment became unhinged. I mean, when you have a guy as smart as Elliott Abrams write an article that’s so false that Rush spends two hours taking it apart, you get some flavor of how frightened the establishment is that I could win.
RUSH: Yeah. So… Look, we’re playing the sound bites here just to show you how influential, important, and necessary to the news cycle your host is. Where would the news cycle be without your host? Where would the media be without your host? What would they be talking about? That’s why this is show prep for the media. Rachel’s in there. Rachel’s in for Dawn today. Dawn is dealing with something, and so Rachel is our substitute court reporter who transcribes people on the phone. You may not have anything to do today, Rachel, depending on how things go. But Rachel, she says, “Wow, you’re so popular. I am so impressed. You’re just everywhere! Everybody’s talking about you.” Yeah, it happens every day, Rachel. Happens every day. Here we go to Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier, Special Report with Bret Baier. He had John Roberts on, the former CNN reporter now over at Fox. And this was a report about the Santorum campaign.
ROBERTS: Santorum — who’s also campaigning heavily in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota — got a boost of his own when Rush Limbaugh recently said he is the only candidate not guilty of a transgression against conservatism. Since that time, and that was just a couple days ago, Santorum has seen his fundraising nearly triple.
RUSH: Wow! Santorum’s fundraising has tripled ever since I said that about him, and that was just a couple of days ago. It might have been Tuesday, but I think… No, it probably was Tuesday.