Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I was dead serious. We talked about this yesterday. The Democrats, Obama, they can’t win in the arena of ideas. That’s not what their campaigns are about. They can’t even give voice honestly to their ideas, so what they do is simply discredit, tarnish, destroy, ruin, whatever word you want to use, their opponents. And they do it, in the case of the presidential campaign, there was two to three months in the spring to summer where all that Romney stuff ran. Romney didn’t have any money. He couldn’t use any of the money he’d raised for the presidential campaign ’til after the convention, opted not spend any of his own.

So all those ads about Romney being a felon — and Stephanie Cutter was out yesterday repeating it, by the way. And Romney still is a felon. And the ads about Romney not caring that some guy’s wife died of cancer. Romney doesn’t care about dogs, mistreated his dog, put him in a cage on the roof of the family station wagon in a on-the-road vacation. And I tell you, it showed up, the exit poll question. I told you this. They got the exit poll, the first wave at five o’clock. There were two things, I said, “Oh, my God, we’re gonna lose this.” Five o’clock. One was that nearly 60% still blame Bush for the economy. I said, “Well, that alone is the election, if that’s the case.”

But then the big one, 81 to 19 in favor of Obama, the question was “Cares about people like me.” Now, how were they able to pull that off? I’m telling you it was with their ad campaign that totally destroyed Romney. And in truth, Romney may be the most decent, full-fledged citizen of the United States ever to run for president. The most decent, most charitable, most self-less, most giving man and family ever to run was successfully portrayed as the devil incarnate when it came to what he would do to you if he were president. I don’t think there’s any of question about it.


RUSH: Here is Susan in San Antonio, Texas. I’m glad you called. Great to have you here.

CALLER: Thank you. It’s such an honor to be able to speak to you.

RUSH: I appreciate that very much. I understand.

CALLER: Rush, my question to you is: If what you say is true, that the majority of people believe the lies that were told about Mitt Romney, what can a conservative candidate do to get elected in the future?

RUSH: Okay, one thing: I don’t believe a majority of people did. A majority of the people who voted, voted for Obama for a host of reasons. But, remember: Four million Republicans that did vote in ’08 didn’t vote in 2012, and that wasn’t because of Obama’s ad campaign about Romney. They didn’t vote for Romney for different reasons. But the answer for your question — I don’t want to cloud the issue — is very simple: You tell the truth about Obama. Do you realize that not Romney nor any Republican consultant ever ran a single ad telling the American people who Obama is? Not once!

When Romney goes out and says, “Hey, I like Obama! You know, he’s a nice guy. He’s just in over his head, or he’s just a little misguided,” and you put that up against, “You are a felon and you don’t care when guys’ wives die and you don’t care about poor people and you don’t care about dogs,” what’s gonna win? We were afraid to tell the truth about Obama because of his race. Now, the lesson learned here is that we are gonna have to define the opponent, in addition to defining ourselves. We let them pick our candidates, A, and then we let them define our candidates, while we sit around and believe this silly notion that if we are critical, the independents are gonna get mad.

So we sit there and we play Mr. Nice Guy, and we say, “Ah, Obama, he’s a really nice guy! He’s a great family man! You know, but the president is just in over his head.” We didn’t touch him on Benghazi, for crying out loud! We didn’t go anywhere near it. We let Democrat media people moderate these debates. There’s all kinds of stuff that could be done. It’s called being aggressive, it’s called being energetic, it’s called being passionate, it’s called articulating conservatism. You tell people who you are! You tell people how much you love them and how much you love this country and what you expect of them and what you expect of the country and greatness and exceptionalism!

And then you tell them how all that’s threatened by the Democrat candidate.

We didn’t do any of that! We didn’t do any of it! So we’re not even on the same playing field that Obama is on. A conservative can win. Ronald Reagan won two landslides without a supportive media because he had the ability to get to the American people over the heads of the media. But the way to respond if they’re lying about you? A, you run out and you confront the people who are lying about you, and you tell the truth about yourself and then you tell the truth about them! There’s another thing that we’ve gotten into notion of believing: “A negative campaign doesn’t work. The American people are turned off by negative campaigns.”

The hell it doesn’t work! This last campaign is paramount evidence that it does work. Negative ad campaigns work, but we have ourselves in a straitjacket. “We’re not gonna go negative, and we’re not gonna be critical of Obama. The independents don’t like that. The independents want us to get along. Independents want bipartisanship. Independents don’t like Obama being criticized.” Meanwhile, they can accuse us of rape, murder, incest, and that doesn’t bother the independents! They just vote against us. Why do you think, folks, that Dr. Ben Carson is so popular right now? Because Dr. Carson took it right to Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast!

Dr. Ben Carson, in describing what he would do to fix health care, took it right to Obama and told him what’s wrong with it. At the same time he was telling people what he would do. When he said, “Why do we need to punish the guy who’s putting a million dollars in the pot? Why do we need to punish a guy making $10 million when he’s already put a million in the pot? What do we need to punish the guy for? Why are we punishing people here?” You notice this guy is now becoming a hero? They’re talking about him running for president, and he’s saying, “Well, I’m thinking about it.” You know what he’s gonna do?

He’s gonna quit surgery this coming summer, and he’s gonna go out and start educating low-information voters. Dr. Ben Carson has created this wave of support because he was very plainspoken, he was rational, he was simple, and it was what everybody has wanted to hear. We played just two sound bites of Dr. Carson at the prayer breakfast, and my first reaction is: “Why isn’t there an elected Republican saying this, and why hasn’t there been one saying it for 20 years?” Instead, the Republicans are running around wringing their hands. “Oh, we gotta rebrand and we have to market differently.

“We’re gonna reach out to the Hispanics, and we’ve gotta make sure that this group knows that we don’t hate them and we gotta make sure that group knows we don’t hate them.” So they’re admitting that all of this hate stuff works. Hispanics hate us. Women hate us. Why? ‘Cause the Democrats have told them who we are! We’ve been defined by Democrats and the media, and we don’t respond to it. So here comes Dr. Benjamin Carson who is an obvious antidote to all of it. He’s a living testament to how none of it’s true, and the guy is wildly popular, and people are reacting to him not as a cultlike figure and not as a savior, but as finally somebody coming along — once again outside of talk radio or Fox News — and articulating what they believe.

He did it right to Obama’s face where Obama was on the same dais. When’s the last time a Republican did that? The last time was when Paul Ryan did it at a health care hearing that nobody saw because it was on C-SPAN. He took it to Obama on how his health care’s plan was all full of it, and his budget process all full of it and so forth. But other than that, it doesn’t happen. And we have a Republican Party’s afraid to stand up for conservatism, afraid to articulate conservatism, and here comes a plainspoken, very rationale, sensible guy like Dr. Carson, who, whether he knew it or not, was articulating conservatism, and everybody is going (clapping), “Yeah, yeah! Where’s that been?”

That’s why the level of frustration that I have and many of you have is so high, ’cause this is not complicated. We don’t have to “rebrand” anything. We don’t need to rebrand the Constitution! We don’t need to figure out a new way to market the Constitution. All this hand-wringing about outreach to this group and that group? “We’ve got to let ’em know that it’s not true that we don’t like ’em. We do! We’ve gotta let people know that we want to help ’em.” That’s the latest thing the Republicans are saying. Conservatism, by its very nature, is about people seeking the best in themselves and throughout society, throughout the culture. It’s about that. Intrinsically.

But if your opponent is gonna run ads saying that you are a felon and that you don’t care?

If they say, “When you’re at a company, as long as you get your millions out of it, if some guy’s wife died from cancer, you don’t care,” and you don’t respond to that because you think nobody’s gonna believe that? For 25 years, I’ve been hearing the Republicans say, “Nobody’s gonna believe those claims.” I heard the Bush administration people say, “No, we’re not gonna respond to that because the news cycle is 24 hours. There will be something else tomorrow; people will have forgotten about it.” Yeah, people forgot about it? Look at what they did to the Iraq war.

Look at what they did to the economy in terms of the media and the Democrat Party convincing the American people that we were losing soldiers at a rate unlike any other war in American history.

It wasn’t true.

The surge wasn’t gonna work before it was even tried.

Petraeus was lying through his retreat before he uttered a syllable.

Harry Reid says (paraphrasing), “Mitt Romney hasn’t paid his taxes. I got a guy who said he doesn’t pay his taxes. He told me he’s never paid his taxes, not in the last ten years.” It’s an obvious trap. It’s an obvious trick. There are ways to respond to this kind of stuff by calling out Harry Reid. You don’t accept his premise, you call him out. “Okay, Dingy Harry, you say Romney hasn’t paid his taxes. Can we look at your phony land deals? How in the hell have you become a multimillionaire on a Senate salary?”

We don’t do this kind of stuff because we’re afraid people will get mad at us and the media will be mean to us. I’m voicing an elected Republican’s mind-set, not mine. I don’t care, the media hates me, they always have. That’s a badge of honor for me, but those guys don’t like that. They want to be loved by the media. That’s another thing that’s never gonna happen. But I understand your question: “Well, how can any conservative ever win if people are gonna believe the lies that have been told?”

Well, you know what? There are a lot of people who believe a lot of lies that have been told about conservatism over the years because they haven’t been reacted to or responded to properly.

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