RUSH: We have Michigan Democrats. This is last night, Erin Burnett’s show on CNN. She’s talking to Michigan Democrat strategerist Joe DiSano about Michigan’s Operation Chaos. She said, “How many people do you think you’re gonna get –” meaning Democrats “– to come in and vote for Santorum here? I know you said you had 12,000 of them ready. Some people say that’s an inflated and inaccurate number. What’s your response?”
DISANO: We’ve had a program over the past seven days to identify as earlier today 12,000, I think it might be a couple thousand higher once I start going through the data tonight, but we’re gonna do everything we can to turn those folks out. This is a razor-thin election. Mitt Romney is incredibly weak as a candidate. This is his home state. Rick Santorum’s a religious fanatic who has absolutely zero reason being in this race other than the fact that Mitt can’t close the deal.
BURNETT: It does sound like you think Mitt is stronger than Rick. That’s why you are doing this, but, however, you and Rush Limbaugh, I get it. It works on both sides.
RUSH: Okay, this is a Michigan Democrat. Santorum’s a religious fanatic, how in the hell is he still here? My gosh, he’s probably saying what a lot of you are. He’s probably saying what a lot of the Republican establishment is. He’s a religious fanatic, how in the heck did this happen? But I’m gonna tell you, remember when Mrs. Clinton said — when Operation Chaos was going on — “Rush, be careful what you wish for”? I’m gonna tell you, you Democrats, be careful what you wish for here, because I can cite you, I’ve got it in the Stack, poll after poll, data after data, the social issues are not hurting Santorum. The social issues are helping Santorum. One of the reasons Santorum is alive and viable is precisely because of them.
Look, he has something about him which is unique, and that is his fearlessness in standing up for moral values and social issues. Why shouldn’t he use it? It’s a way he can stand out from the pack. It’s a way he can show people he’s not the typical Republican that puts his head in the sand and acts afraid of everything that comes up. Why shouldn’t he use this stuff? Don’t forget Stanley Greenberg’s memo, we told you last week, the big Democrat pollster, said Obama — this is Carville’s polling company — if you think that you can create this image of a roaring back-to-life economy it isn’t gonna work, because people aren’t living it. Greenberg, right here, I had the story printed out earlier today because I remembered it from last week.
“Dem Pollster: Voters Don’t Think America’s Back.” Voters don’t want the federal government mandating where they get contraceptives from. And, by the way, if the government’s gonna mandate contraceptives why don’t they start mandating something that really matters? Why just contraceptives? People are sophisticated now. They understand the political ploy that’s involved in this. But the social issues are not hurting Santorum. And remember Jeff Bell, we’ve talked about his book. He’s gone back and he’s looked at Republican elections in the past, and the last two elections where Republicans won the popular vote, the last two presidential elections, social issues were prominent in that Republican’s campaign.
Now, folks, if the social issues were gonna kill somebody, how is Santorum still alive? Remember, we were told the social issues, half the Republican Party doesn’t want ’em discussed either, so Santorum ought to be nowhere near viable. But all the polling data suggests just the opposite. It’s like I always say, don’t buy into and believe all the conventional wisdom in politics.
So here’s Carville himself. Carville was on Erin Burnett Out Front last night and she asked him, “Well, what do you think? Do you actually think these people, Democrats can cross over and vote for Santorum? Or is this just you guys trying to play mischief and spoil this?”
CARVILLE: Well, first of all, it’s hard enough to get Democrats to vote in a Democratic primary. (chuckling) I doubt he’s gonna have very much luck getting to vote in a Republican primary. This kind of thing has been done before. I think Rush Limbaugh had an Operation Chaos —
BURNETT: Yeah, he did! (giggling)
CARVILLE: — in Pennsylvania in ’08. You know, so my experience is this is always (unintelligible) not very successful. Uh, he’s trying to scrap every — every vote here in. You know, uh, some of the Democratic organizations in Michigan had sorta talked about the this but my guess is it’s a factor gonna be very negligible. I hope maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but we’ll see.
RUSH: He doesn’t sound enthusiastic about this. I don’t think he does. (impression) Rush Limbaugh had Operation Chaos. I think Rush Limbaugh…” He knows damn well I had Operation Chaos. They all know about Operation Chaos, and we’re now just really finding out how effective it was. Now they’re emulating it! Now they’re emulating it, at the same time trying to put it down. (interruption) Yeah, I know. Ides of March. Ides of March! I told you: Ides of March, the first 38 minutes of that movie is about Operation Chaos, and how ticked off the Democrats were over it. The ides of March, a nominated movie. The first 38 minutes is about how the Democrat (it’s a gubernatorial candidate I think in Ohio) is gonna use his own Operation Chaos.
They’re ticked off about it. They’re happily using it in Michigan. But Carville doesn’t sound all that thrilled. He doesn’t sound all that into it. I’m not sure what he thinks is going on. I think everybody is confused now over Santorum doing well and why. Folks, do you understand? This goes against every syllable of conventional wisdom in American big time politics. None of this should be happening. None of it! Here’s David Frum. He was also on Erin Burnett Out Front last night. So she to your mind to Frum and she said, “By Democrats saying, ‘Hey, Democrats come over here vote for Santorum,’ is this insanity?”
FRUM: No, I think it’s, uh, nostalgia; that Rick Santorum remembers a time when there were a lot of, um, socially conservative Democrats, uh, who were not averse to the Republican economic message. The famous Reagan Democrats of 30 years ago. Um, I think this is a case where you see a kind of, um, the weakness of the Santorum campaign staffing operation. ‘Cause those people are not there in the strength that they used to be. And the place where the independents today are, they are disaffiliated Republicans. They are on the… The independents tend to be more on the far right than they are on this Reagan Democrat middle. And the action of course, is to, umm — among the best educated and the most affluent are those people will be pulled to Mitt Romney, not to Rick Santorum.
RUSH: So the conventional wisdom here, Frum expressed, is: There aren’t that many Reagan Democrats anymore. So it’s not a smart play. There aren’t that many of ’em.
I’m not sure that’s true, but regardless, it doesn’t matter. Santorum is taking everything he’s got that is unique about himself and he’s trumpeting it, fearlessly so. Here’s a fun thought, if you want to play it out. If the Democrats actually do help Santorum get the nomination — as unlikely as that seems, and as impossible as it seems that Santorum gets the nomination. If the Democrats help Santorum get the nomination, and then he beats Obama ’cause I think he would… I think any of these guys is gonna beat Obama, folks. Any of them is going to beat Obama. If they help Santorum get the nomination, he beats Obama, what will Carville and the other Democrats say then as they’re jumping off the nearest bridge?