RUSH: Here’s Dave in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. How you doin’? What I’m calling about is these polls that have come out where Romney either trailing or close and some of them even have him in the lead. I’m actually amazed that he’s even that close in the polls. I think there are probably millions of Americans like myself who really are not Romney supporters, but I’m absolutely gonna vote for the guy. And I think when that happens, I don’t even think this thing’s gonna be close.
RUSH: I think you’ve hit on something here. I think — as hard as it was to understand what you were saying because of the cheap phone that you’re using, I think — you are exactly right. Well, we have to admit this: There’s not a whole lot of passionate excitement behind Romney. But the alternative? People don’t want any more of this. They just don’t. The frustrating thing with Romney — and the reason there’s this lack of personal passion, this connection — is what he did the other day, yesterday. I’ll play the sound bites. He was on with Larry Kudlow. Kudlow said, “Why single out the rich? Why not just have deductions for everybody?” A lot of people look at him as pandering, and out of a fear that he has to deal with this notion he’s some rich guy and out of touch.
But I think you make a great point.
RUSH: Let’s go to the audio sound bites, because our last caller (even though he was on a cheap phone) is exactly right about Romney. The thing is, folks, the frustration that people have with Romney… And I know that many of you in the audience are passionate Romney supporters. I know you’re out there. A lot of you are. The frustration is that the Republican nominee should be walking away with this. There is no way an incumbent president with this record should have a chance. There is no way an incumbent president with this record should even be running for reelection. Most of them would quit in shame, like LBJ did.
In most cases, in circumstances like this, the Democrat Party would be doing everything it could to get Obama not to run. Promise him leader of the world at the UN or something. Get somebody else in there. Even with the media in their back pocket. That’s the frustrating part. This should not be close. And a lot of people think that if we had a pedal-to-the-metal, unafraid, cheerful conservative who every day could explain conservatism — because it is in his heart and he believes it — then it wouldn’t even be a contest. There’s never been this opportunity to draw such a contrast between us and the Democrats. It’s never, ever been this stark. We’re up against, for all intents and purposes, an admitted socialist. (interruption)
No, I said “for all intents and purposes.” He denies it, but there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind. Let’s go to some Romney sound bites. Here is Romney being interviewed on Breitbart TV. And, by the way, when I saw that he did this — I got on a plane last night to fly home and I saw this — I said, “Whoa.” Romney does surprise me, positively, and he’s been doing that more and more lately. And this is one of those pleasant surprises. He was interviewed by Larry O’Connor, the editor-in-chief at Breitbart TV, who said, “We, at Breitbart, and other conservative news sites have been tracking this, and we see all these independent organizations like Media Matters for America and Think Progress.
“They are coordinating with Obama, getting these talking points out, lying about conservatives, lying about us. They’re just literally making stuff up. They are the meanest, unhappiest people in the world out there. Now, you, Governor Romney, you are going to battle with the media, as well as the Democrats. You are going to battle with these nonprofit groups who are all working together. Are you really ready for this?” This was the question: Are you really ready for what’s coming your way. Not just from Obama, but from the media and from all of their support groups, like Think Progress, MoveOn.org, Media Matters for America and all of that.
ROMNEY: There will be an effort by the, quote, “vast left-wing conspiracy” (chuckles) to work together to put out their message and to attack me. They’re gonna do everything they can to divert from the issue people care most about, which is a growing economy that creates more jobs and rising incomes. That’s what people care about. The Democrats know that given the president’s record over the last three-and-a-half years, they cannot run on that record and therefore they will try and make this race about anything but the president’s record and the economy. Many in the media are inclined to do the president’s bidding, and I know that’s a battle. It’s an uphill battle we fight with the media generally.
RUSH: Now, let me say one thing. A lot of you might be a little disappointed that he didn’t go after the media harder. There is… I don’t know if it’s unwritten, but there’s a rule. It is considered beneath a presidential candidate to attack the media. Whether you like the rule or not, it is considered by many to be a sign of weakness even though the media is what it is, totally stacked for Obama. I mean, the media is liberals. It is a bunch of leftists. It’s not that they’re objective people and have chosen sides. They are Obama. They are Axelrod. They’re all the same people.
But you know that going in. So to complain about it is not very manly. And Romney, it’s good for him to acknowledge this. We want to hear that he understands it, but to go after ’em, it would be unseemly. It’s the same thing, folks, as a teacher, after five years, complaining how little they’re paid. Sorry. You knew that going in. It may be unfair, it may be, but you knew that going in. It’s like there are over, I think, 1,200 former players in the National Football League who are joining up together in a series of class-action suits against the NFL because they claim that they suffered physical damage, brain damage while they played the game.
The suit probably doesn’t stand a prayer because the League never made anybody play the game, and everybody knows it. The players today who they’re trying to help with rules changes, who are complaining about the rules changes…? Like just the other day, Vince Wilfork, who’s a great defensive tackle for New England Patriots, says these quarterbacks are just a bunch of sissies. They make $30 million, a bunch of sissies! Hell, we can’t hit the quarterback anymore. (This is in the midst of the league trying to protect the quarterback, trying to protect everybody, particularly with the focus on concussions.) So these players know it going in.
Nobody held anything back. There wasn’t research that the League knew about that they can give anybody. Players know it. So it’s the same thing here: A Republican presidential candidate knows going in that the media is what it is. So you’ve gotta be very careful. If you go after ’em, you cannot do it in such a way that people think that you’re complaining, which Romney didn’t do; don’t misunderstand. He didn’t do that. But a lot of supporters want to hear Romney attack the people who are the epitome of unfair, mean-spirited, caustic and all that. And it’s a very fine line a Republican candidate has to walk.
It’s like complaining about high humidity in August. “Well, what did you think it was gonna be when you agreed to go out and pick cotton in August? What did you…?” Well, I don’t know if you pick cotton in August. Whatever. Gonna play football in August. What did you think the weather was gonna be? Gotta be very careful about things that you criticize ’cause it comes off as a complaint. When you knew going in that this was gonna be the rule, then it doesn’t serve you well. Okay, we’ll get two more sound bites in of Romney in his interview with Larry Kudlow who questioned Romney on his plan to limit tax deductions and not permit them for the rich.
RUSH: Last night on CNBC, Larry Kudlow’s show called the Kudlow Report, had Mitt Romney. He said, “You told a Florida group –” This was the fundraiser he had here this past Sunday evening. “You told a Florida group, about eliminating income tax deductions for upper-end earners to pay for your 20 percent tax cut. You said second home mortgages, some state and local taxes. What can you tell us about that? It sounds pretty sensible. Are you staying with that?”
ROMNEY: Virtually all of the deductions and exemptions, particularly for high income taxpayers, are gonna be on the table, because we’re gonna have to eliminate the — well, limit, rather, not eliminate, but limit for high-income individuals some of the deductions and exemptions in order to compensate for the reduction in rates. Bring the rates down, the tax rates down, the top marginal rates down so businesses have an incentive to hire again and to grow, and to pay for that in part by limiting the deductions and exemptions, particularly in high-income folks because it is my intent not to reduce the burden paid by the top earners, but instead to maintain it at its current level, but to bring the rates down.
RUSH: Now, remember, Kudlow has been… well, I don’t want to sound disparaging. Kudlow’s been a supporter of Romney’s for a long time. I was gonna say “in the tank,” but that doesn’t convey what I meant. Kudlow has been really eager, he’s been one of Romney’s biggest supporters. But he is hoping in this next bite, he’s hoping he didn’t hear what he just heard. But Romney makes it clear, again, that he’s going to accept the liberal premise that there’s only a certain amount of tax revenue and that if you reduce rates, you have to make up revenue someplace. See, that’s the problem with this. You don’t have to pay for tax cuts. The idea here is to shrink government. We don’t want to run around and say, “We got to pay for this tax cut, so we’ll make sure that the rich don’t get their deduction.” What’s the point? They’re the ones that hire.
They are the ones who are going to produce these jobs that Romney is talking about. Not to mention the fact that we’re not talking about enough money here to make any difference. It’s no different than the Buffett Rule. Five billion by making sure every millionaire pays at least 30%. By the same token, so you don’t let these rich people have their deductions, A, you’re not gonna get that activity. If they can’t deduct it, they’re not gonna do it, number one. Number two, even if you go through with this, you’re not raising that much money with this. And that’s what Kudlow understands. So he said, “So you’re sticking with it, you’re not pulling back? There was a story in the New York Times, some of your aides were saying, ‘Oh, no, no, don’t take that seriously.’ It sounds like you’re staying with it. Some of these deductions are going to have to go.”
ROMNEY: We are going to limit deductions and exemptions, particularly for high-income individuals. As to which specifics and how much the limits will be and what income levels they’ll be limited, that’s something which time will tell. We’ll work out that with Congress, but we’re gonna have to broaden the tax base and limit some deductions and exemptions if we’re gonna compensate for the reduction in rates. I’m not looking to reduce the burden paid by the high-income earners. I know the Democrats always want to say Republicans are in favor of tax cuts for the rich. That is simply not true. I’m in favor of more jobs for everyone. But I want the taxes to be down. I want the burden to be reduced on middle-income taxpayers.
RUSH: This is, sadly, what I meant yesterday when I said that I think Governor Romney has a little embarrassment about his wealth. And he’s also very sensitive to the charge that he’s one of these insensitive rich guys. So, in his mind, what better way to compensate for that than to soak the rich. If not soak the rich, deny the rich what you’re giving everybody else. That way he thinks they can’t say that he’s an out of touch rich guy. They’re gonna say that if he lost everything tomorrow. They’re going to say that. So it’s accepting a Democrat premise here. You can broaden the base — The problem with these deductions is if you take them away, or if you don’t give — the rates, Everybody fears the rates are gonna go back up at some point the minute the deductions are gone, and where are we? We learned that from the ’86 code change.