Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Look, I know. I’m a lone wolf. I’m really a lone wolf on what I’m gonna tell you. Some of you may be where I am, but within the circle of friends that I have (and beyond that people I know) I’m telling you: I’m practically alone on this. I’ll illustrate it for you. I had ten friends — well, five couples — in for the annual Spring Fling. It’s a blast. It’s a combination Big Chill weekend, plus it’s like-minded people. It’s some of the finest intellectual stimulation… This what my guests tell me: It’s some of the best intellectual stimulation they get all year. They’re with friends. They know it’s self-contained and private. They’re free to say whatever they want to say — and, unless I talk about it, nobody’s gonna hear about it.

Every night at dinner… Well, actually the whole weekend. It’s not just at dinner we discuss these things. It’s afternoon out by the pool. It’s the morning at breakfast. But specifically one night at dinner somebody… And a lot of these people, a lot of the guests are immersed in politics professionally. I’m not. This is a key. I am not a professional politician. I’m a broadcaster. I, as you know, pay very little attention to political consultants. Political consultants, to me, all exist to accomplish one thing, and that is to sell their candidates on the idea that they and they alone are the only ones who can tell the candidate how to go out and win the independents.

Every presidential election is about the independents.

You know the theory: You shore up your base during the primary, and then after you win the nomination and head into the general election, then you move to “the center,” where you have to pick up the independents. What this ultimately leads to is an election where, if the consultants have their way, campaigns are tailored to winning a majority of 20% of the voters in the country. Well, I’m sorry, that leaves me cold. I’ve never understood it. I’ve never liked it. I’ve never intellectually understood what the point is in trying to win a majority of 20% of the population who takes pride in telling you they don’t think anything. Now, this is not a put-down of you independents.

I don’t want you to misunderstand here. Independents and moderates are two different things. But independents, by definition, don’t have any opinions. Independents, by definition, are not tied to either ideology. Sorry, I don’t believe that. Whether people know it or not, they are either conservative or liberal. They’re not squishy sponges. If you’re not conservative and you’re not liberal, you are just existing. And you are totally unaware of anything other than your own pleasure. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But aiming campaigns at them is something that does not interest me. Now, I am totally aware that there are a lot of people whose lives are totally devoted to their sybaritic pursuits.

But to base presidential campaigns on that has always puzzled me and left me cold. Because I believe you want to win elections on the basis of specific policy that gives you a mandate after you win. And I believe that cheerfully articulated conservatism wins every time it’s tried. Consultants do not, particularly Republican consultants. (Well, leave out the liberal consultants because they, of course, would never believe in conservatism.) And so the quest every four years is to go out and get the majority of 20% of these people. And people wring their hands over it, and they worry what the independents are gonna do.

And look at the trap that we Republicans or conservatives have allowed some of us to fall into. And that is, “Any criticism of the left, any criticism of a Democrat — the Democrats or Obama — will force those independents running right to the Democrats!” So we tie our own hands behind our backs because we think, “These independents, they don’t like confrontation! These independents, all they want is conversation. They don’t want confrontation! They don’t like raised voices. They don’t like passion. The independents don’t like opinionated people! Oh, no, no, no, no! The independents like squish. They like mush.”

I’m sorry; I just don’t buy it. But every consultant goes out and tries to get the gig by selling candidates on how he or she or their team knows how to get those independents. I say all this just as an illustration that I am not a professional politics person. I am not a political scientist. I will admit this may not… Hmm. Let’s put it this way. When looking at the presidential race, I don’t say, “Okay, well, such-and-such has to win Ohio because he’s gotta get to 271. If you don’t win Ohio, you have to win Florida.” I know it’s the electoral vote tally and all that stuff matters, but not to me. Not as far as campaigns are concerned, as far as winning the election.

When you start divvying up the country this way, when you tell a candidate, “You’re gonna have to win Ohio.”

“Okay, what do you do to win Ohio?”

“Well, you go to Ohio and you figure out what Ohioans want to hear.”

Sorry, that defeats my purpose of having across-the-board conservatism for everybody, which I believe is wonderful and great. And is the best thing that’s ever been devised for human beings as a means of managing their affairs and their lives, securing prosperity and freedom and so forth. Conservatism’s it. And I’m all for teaching it to people who don’t understand it rather than pandering to people that don’t understand it and give ’em what they claim they want. So if Ohioans (just to pick a state) are interested in the mating habits of the Australian Rabbit Bat and that’s the thing that’s gonna determine their votes?

Then a consultant’s gonna come along and give a candidate the best way to go out and get people to care about the mating habits of the Australian Rabbit Bat. Sorry, I’m just not interested in that. And I don’t think it works anyway. And even if you do win doing this, it’s not real. And, as you know, I live in Realville. I believe in conservatism. I believe in shouting it. I believe in passionately teaching it, passionately explaining it, passionately living it. And I’ve got the evidence on my side. This country is the evidence. Our founding is the evidence of the greatness of that particular ideology. It triumphs over all others.

Communism, socialism, Marxism, independentism, moderatism, you name it. That is a lengthy (and I apologize for it) setup to the dinner conversation that I wanted to describe to you. The question was asked around the table: “Do you think Romney has a chance to win?” That was the question everybody at the table was asking: “Does Romney have a chance?” I appreciated the question. It’s a great question to get discussion going. But, at the same time, I was admittedly a little appalled by it. Can Romney win? The question is, can Obama win? In my world, the question is: “Can Obama win?” But I understand. Obama’s the incumbent. He’s got a lot of power.

There are a lot of things an incumbent president can do that a challenger can’t do. He can forgive mortgages. He can forgive student loans. He can give away the country. I understand that. But conservatism has overcome that stuff when properly articulated, properly utilized in a campaign. Conservatism works pretty much every time it’s tried, particularly against this kind of liberalism. Never before in my lifetime have we had the opportunity to draw a greater contrast. Anyway, a couple of the guests are professional politicians. They have been involved in running campaigns, and they started answering the questions in that context.

“Well, you got 235 electoral votes here. You need 270. North Carolina could be big. Ohio, too. Romney’s gonna have to…”

All of this consultant esoteric stuff, and I’m just listening to it. And it sounds impressive. And it is. It sounds like the person answering the question is a lifelong expert in this stuff. It’s very impressive, if that’s your business. And then everybody else took their turn at answering the question, and almost everybody was filled with insecurity, lack of confidence over whether or not Romney could win. And finally somebody said, “Well, Rush, what do you think?” And I went through my little, “Look, I’m not a professional at this. I’m not a political scientist. Counting votes, securing votes, that’s not my business. My business is attracting an audience and holding the audience for as long as I can so I can charge confiscatory advertising rates, and that’s not the same thing as getting votes. That being said, I think Obama’s gonna lose in a landslide.”

And their mouths fell open! And these are all “us,” folks.

By the way, don’t misunderstand. None of this is criticism. If anything, I’m trying to tell you how out of the mainstream of thought at this particular dinner I was. Nobody else at the table thinks that Romney is gonna win in a landslide or Obama’s gonna lose in a landslide. I didn’t say it’s going to happen. I said it could. The way I look at things, Obama could lose this big, and I went through my riff of the problems the White House is having, the polling data that they have that shows them scared. I illustrated my belief that they’re scared by citing examples of what Obama’s doing and how he’s doing it and where he’s going and what he’s saying, how he can’t run on his record. There’s not one positive thing that’s happened in this country since he took office that he can cite.

So in a sane world, in a just world, which isn’t the one we have. We don’t have a just world. We don’t have a sane world right now, but if we did, Obama would be laughed out of office. I also said there’s a big, big vote out there lying to pollsters. Pollster calls you on the phone, you don’t want the pollster to think you’re a racist so you tell ’em that you approve of Obama’s job performance and you might even vote for him. I said, “I’m not predicting it, but I won’t be surprised if this is a blowout.” And I cited the 1980 campaign as an example. I said, “Effectively we’re going through Jimmy Carter’s second term here, only worse.” And I’m mentioning this to you only because I believe it. And also I’m mentioning it to you because it explains why I am not wringing my hands over Romney and his flip flops.

Look, at this point it’s academic anyway. Romney is the nominee. There’s nothing that could be done about that. If you don’t like it, if it disappoints you — and I understand, look, the Tea Party, big 2010 midterms, it would have been great if we had a full-fledged conservative that could have gotten this nomination, but that didn’t happen. I told these people I think Romney’s gonna end up surprising a lot of them. A lot of them were negative on Romney, his tendency to flip-flop, his baggage of things he said in the past. I said, “I’ve seen some evidence of Romney running a much, much different campaign than McCain did that will have many more attacks on Obama and his record than McCain ever had the desire or guts to engage in. And I think you all are gonna be surprised,” I said.


RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, Mitt Romney, with all of his material advantages, has not spent the last four years, six years of his life in seedy, run-down motels only to roll over for Obama after Labor Day. John McCain was content to be nominated. (imitating McCain) “That’s right, Limbaugh, that’s right. Looks great on the resume, that’s right.” Romney is determined to be elected. This is not a faux campaign. That is going to make a huge difference.

Now, we’ve got polling data out here, and I’ve got it coming up in the audio sound bites. Remember all this war on women stuff. This is just to put these consultants in their place. Remember I mentioned to you that the Republican establishment wanted me to shut up about all this war on women, don’t go there. They wanted me not to talk about the social issues, “Don’t do it, Rush, please, it’s gonna scare the independents.” During this whole past six weeks, the war on women and all this phony stuff that the Democrats mounted, Romney is leading huge in independents right now.

So we have an opportunity to dispel a myth. And that is that criticizing Democrats sends independents running right back to Obama. Folks, there is no reason for people — this is not a standard, normal, run-of-the-mill, every-four-years presidential election. We are losing this country. People are losing their freedom, and they know it. They are losing their opportunity for economic advancement, and they know it. They see the debt piling up, they know what the tax rates for themselves and their kids and their grandkids are gonna be, and they don’t like it. This is not an average, run-of-the-mill, every-four-years presidential race. We’re losing the country, and people know this, and they don’t want to lose the country.

The days where independents would get mad at Republicans for being critical of Obama and run to the Democrats, there’s no reason to run to Obama. The only people Obama’s gonna have are the people he’s already bought and the people he’s gonna be able to buy between now and the election. But there’s nobody that’s gonna run to Barack Obama who’s not already there because of policy, because of track record, because of competence, because they want more of it. Not one single person wants any more of this. Not one.


RUSH: Now, let me finish on this Romney stuff for the election before we move on. And understand: This is April 26th, and anything can change. I’m telling you what’s in my mind and heart right now, and I will admit to you that a lot of what I’m telling you is something I really hope for. I’m not fooling myself. I’m not in denial. I am not ignoring reality. I am sharing with you where I hope the people of this country are. And I also am sharing with you where I think the people of this country are. But many, many people disagree with me, particularly when I say Obama could lose in a landslide. For Obama to lose in a landslide it means a lot of people are gonna have to vote for Romney.

And there are people who don’t see any enthusiasm for Romney.

And I can’t deny that.

There are some people that have zilch enthusiasm for Romney. I’ve always believed here that to win an election, you have to have people voting for you. And I believe that here. I don’t think a landslide’s gonna happen simply because people are voting against Obama, although in 2010 that’s what happened. In the midterm elections, with not a single Republican name on a ballot anywhere, nationally — of course, there were House races and so forth — that was an anti-status-quo election. And it was deep, and it was big, and it was down the ballot, and the Democrats lost in excess of 700 seats in the House, in statehouses, all the way down to town councils.

It was big.

And it’s worse now than it was then. Now, one of the theories — ah! One of the FEARS is that there are many millions of conservatives who so distrust Romney that they just won’t vote, is that they are unhappy with the way the nomination process ended up and they’re not happy with Romney. They’re not enthusiastic, and they just might stay home. They just might sit at home and not vote. There are people who fear that that will happen. There are people who think that no matter how bad Obama is, Republicans don’t have the answers, either.

Not conservatives don’t have the answers; Republicans don’t have the answers. And I will concede these hardcore Republican operatives and the consultants and so forth, I do think they’re like everybody else in the Beltway: They live in a bubble, and they don’t know what’s going on outside the Beltway. They think they do, but they don’t. And I think too many of them are counting on people like me to gin up enthusiasm for them.

They’re counting on Obama to gin up enthusiasm for them rather than doing it themselves. I don’t think that they grasp the lack of confidence in them among Tea Party conservatives and Tea Party Republicans. So anything can change between now and then. I just wanted to share with you the dinner party story and what I said. There was one other guest who agreed with me. He thought that Obama was gonna go down big, and I think it’s still entirely possible.


RUSH: Dave in Sherman Township, Pennsylvania. Hi.

CALLER: Hi. How you doing? I believe you’re gonna see the largest Republican turnout ever in this election.

RUSH: Why do you say that, Dave?

CALLER: I think they’re just gonna vote against Obama. Normally, like you said before, people want to vote for somebody. This time they’re gonna be voting against somebody. There’s millions of people that wanted to vote for Obama last time. They did vote for him because they wanted to believe in this guy, and now they’ve seen what he really is and they’re gonna come out in droves against him along with all Republicans in this country.

RUSH: Okay, what about the thought that Romney doesn’t inspire anybody, that there’s not a whole lot of enthusiasm behind Romney?

CALLER: I just don’t think it’s gonna matter this time. I mean, I’ll be honest with you, he doesn’t inspire me, but everybody I’ve talked to is voting this time. Everybody I’ve talked to is gonna go out and vote this time, and I believe you at your dinner party when you said it could be a landslide. I think you got it. I see it coming.

RUSH: Why does Romney not inspire you? No wrong answer, I’m just curious. Doing a little market research here.

CALLER: I guess maybe I’m just skeptical of a northeast Republican. It could be that simple.

RUSH: Okay, so you’re skeptical of a northeast Republican. But are you so skeptical that you — and I’ve heard your call, I’ve heard what you say — I’m still gonna ask this. Are you so skeptical of another northeast Republican that you might not vote?

CALLER: Oh, no, no, no, no, not at all.

RUSH: Yeah. Okay. Okay. That’s good. That’s cool. All right. Dave, thanks much.


RUSH: One little observation. And when I make this observation, then what I’m gonna tell you hasn’t happened will obviously start happening. Koko up at the website just reminded me: We haven’t had… Snerdley, you tell me if we’ve had one. You haven’t put it up. Have you had any calls from people who have said (angry caller impression), “You know what? To hell with it! I’m just gonna stay home. I hate Romney and I’m gonna sit at home and if people are this stupid, they deserve to have this country go to hell in a handbasket and I’m gonna sit at home and let Obama win and see how bad this is gonna be and we’ll get rid of all these liberals and moderates forever!”

Have you had one of those calls?


You’ve had “two since the beginning of the cycle”? Well, when is “the beginning of the cycle”? (interruption)
Since the beginning of the primaries. So in eight months you’ve had two people. Normally, we’re flooded with them, when they’re unhappy with what’s happening. (impression) “Well, the hell with it, Limbaugh! The hell with it. Hell, I’m just gonna sit home! We should all sit home, let Obama win again, and let the stupid people in this country find out how rotten these people are — and these northeastern liberals, too!” We normally get those calls. We haven’t had those. And, of course, my theorem is that the anti-Obama enthusiasm is much higher than anybody wants to admit.

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