RUSH: This is A.J., San Francisco. A.J., thank you for holding. Great to have out program. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, I had a question Rush. On your Friday show you took a call and you said that if the GOP passes the immigration law, it’s the end of the GOP, they’d be dead. On yesterday’s show you took a call from somebody and you said that Marco Rubio is a true conservative, basically we should still support him. So my question to you is, how can we support somebody who is sponsoring a bill that will kill the GOP?
RUSH: Well, I don’t think that’s what he thinks he’s doing, number one. You know, you’re putting me in a bit of a bind here ’cause I’ll just tell you, I think — whew. I think Senator Rubio is a little naive on the immigration stuff, and I also know that this bill is not intended to pass. You cannot take that out of the equation. I’ll tell you something else. I’m glad you actually got through here, A.J. I know you thought it was stump the host day. But you’re gonna help me look really good here, which is the purpose of a caller anyway.
Marco Rubio has so artfully positioned himself on this bill. It’s a Gang of Eight. He controls four of ’em. Marco Rubio has it within his power to make or break this bill, because the Democrats and Chuck-U Schumer have allowed him to become the face of it. He has played this, I think, artfully well. He’s got an opportunity here to demand everything he wants on this and to hold out if he doesn’t get it. Now, he’s gotta do that, but I think he’s in a catbird seat if he wants it. I’m not saying he does. I don’t know that he’s looking at it this way. This is my interpretation of this from afar, but I think he’s in a pretty decent situation. The reason I say he’s a force, there’s no question this guy is one of the few real conservatives in elected office today, folks. There’s no question about that.
RUSH: Marco Rubio has said repeatedly — and he’s a good person — he only wants what he thinks is the best for our country. I don’t question secret motives, intentions of any deceptive kind where he’s concerned.
RUSH: Now, let me address this Rubio stuff because the staff on the other side of the glass is very concerned that the headline in about five minutes on every website in the world is gonna be: “Limbaugh: Rubio Naive on Immigration.” In the first place, let me say at the outset that Senator Rubio and I are friends. We know each other and we communicate somewhat regularly. So these efforts that are underway or might be underway to drive a wedge between Senator Rubio and me simply will not work.
There was a story last week. I don’t remember the details of it, but it was essentially that I had been highly critical and was ripping Senator Rubio. His staff called me and said, “We know that’s not true. We know that’s not what happened. We know that’s not what you said. We got it,” and the same thing here on this immigration business. Folks, I’m not gonna backtrack from what I said. If we grant amnesty — and Rubio does not support amnesty.
He’s never come out and said he’s for amnesty. If we do amnesty for 11 million or more illegal aliens, I’m telling you, it’s the end of the Republican Party are. And it isn’t just me saying so. The Politico ran that story 10 days ago. It’s mathematics. That’s all it is, and it’s all I ever said it is. I’ve asked Senator Rubio about this. That’s what it was. There was supposedly a report about how I really raked Rubio over the coals in his interview here and how he was mad at me over something
They called and said, “Look, we know that’s not what happened,” and it wasn’t. I forget the express details. But it’s simply a matter of mathematics. The voting percentages, polling data indicate that 70% of the Hispanic vote’s gonna vote Democrat no matter what. McCain has even said that if we did amnesty tomorrow, it’s not gonna get us a single Hispanic vote. But what it is gonna do is put us in the game. Right now we’re not in the game, he thinks.
We don’t have a chance to compete for their minds and hearts because they think we want ’em deported. I said, “That’s a crock.” We don’t need immigration to reform to compete for the minds and hearts of any voter. We don’t need to pass a law tomorrow before we can compete for anybody. We can go get votes. We can campaign. We can take our message to anybody or any group we want. We don’t need a piece of legislation first.
But full-fledged amnesty is the end of the Republican Party, and I asked Senator Rubio, “Look, why would we want to do something that the Democrat Party is salivating over?” The Democrats want amnesty so bad they can taste it, because they know what it would mean. It would mean a number of new Democrats automatically that we simply can’t compete with no matter what we do. That’s why they are so eager for it! There was an AP piece three days ago: “Rush Limbaugh, Marco Rubio Show GOP Rift Over Immigration Reform.”
(interruption) No. Ted Cruz was attacked by Republicans for participating in the gun filibuster. Republicans were yelling at him and saying mean things. You want courage? Try being Dr. Benjamin Carson. That’s real courage. Now, I’ve said that I think Senator Rubio is a little naive here. Let me explain to you what I mean by that. Senator Rubio, when you listen to him — and I’ve said this before. This is all repetition, but I’ll do it again. Senator Rubio is a young guy. He just got elected to the Senate.
This was supposed to be Charlie Crist’s seat. It was way too early for Senator Rubio. He wasn’t supposed to be here yet. You listen to him, and he has — and this is good, by the way. He has an enthusiasm for conservatism that anybody new to let scene has. His attitude is, “Okay, maybe we’re in trouble, but I’m here now, and I’m conservative, and I’ve got the ability to convince anybody.” He brings that to the table. We need that!
Too many elected Republicans today are backing away from conservatism. They’re afraid of it because of how the left attacks anybody who is. Senator Rubio’s undaunted by that. He’s not afraid of it. When I say he’s naive, I don’t mean about immigration. I think… Maybe “naÃ¯ve” is not even the right word for it. I just think that he’s not quite… How do I say this? He’s willing to give liberals a much bigger benefit of the doubt than I would, based on my experiences with ’em.
If I was asked to a meeting of a bunch of liberal senators, and they were trying to persuade me to agree with them on immigration? (snorts) I’m sorry. I’d take the meeting, but I would be suspicious of it. There’s no way that I would get or be persuaded by them. I know them too well. But he’s got this new enthusiasm. He’s arrived here and he thinks he can do anything — and that’s good, and maybe he can. I do think now that Senator Rubio, in this Gang of Eight arrangement, is actually in a really good and unique position, since they have made him the face of it.
Schumer and the boys pushed him out as the face of it because the theory was, “Let’s get a conservative out there who ostensibly wants what we want, and it’ll make it harder for people in his party to oppose him, ’cause he’s got presidential ambitions, and nobody wants to cut those short. Nobody on the right wants to take Marco Rubio out, so let’s use him.” It’s a way to stifle any criticism of the Gang of Eight for putting him out there. He knows this. He’s fully aware of it.
You know, Marco Rubio, from his own experience, that of his family, isn’t as worried about immigrants willingly becoming underclass, happy to live on government benefits, as some of us are. The Democrat Party is counting on the fact that the vast majority of these illegals are just gonna become immediate wards of the state. That’s what they want them to be. Now, Rubio… You’ve read the story. His father is from Cuba. His father sacrificed everything. There is nothing ward-of-the-state-like in any aspect of Rubio’s experience or his life.
You’d have to say Rubio, he’s Latino, Hispanic, however you define these things. He’s from Cuba, and he believes, because of his own experience, that people like him can be reached. He believes, because of his own experience, that the conservative message is exactly what these people can be persuaded to support. I admire that. That kind of enthusiasm is needed. That kind of excitement and positive nature is needed. How else would any conservative have any say in Congress’ push for immigration? It was inevitable, and he’s positioned himself here brilliantly.
Now, when I brought up that the immigrants legalized would not be supporters of the Republicans electorally, I mentioned all this to him. I’m not saying anything here I haven’t said to him, privately and in interviews on this program. He allowed that most would likely vote Democrat. He said and believed that they could be won by campaigning for them on the strength of the conservative message. And his point was compelling, about not fixing immigration for political reasons. The GOP will lose if they’re doing this for political reasons. He said that right on this program. He said it’s not in the best interests of the country. And Republicans are doing it for political purposes. The Republicans are totally convinced that the only way that they’re ever gonna get more of the Hispanic vote — I can’t emphasize to you how much the Republican establishment really believes they lost the election because of the Hispanic vote.
Now, we heard yesterday, there’s a new Pew survey or some survey, everybody believes it, that what really lost Romney the election was the white turnout, something we have been stating on this program since the election, by the way. The real question, why did the white vote stay home? If the percentages of the white vote and the black vote in 2008 had been replicated in 2012, so goes this report, Romney likely would have won. The difference wasn’t the Hispanic vote. The difference was the white vote. So now we must ask why did they sit home?
Now, there are some who believe that the white voters that didn’t vote for Romney stayed home because of me and talk radio during the primary. They believe that people like me during the Republican primaries were so insistent that Romney just be a full-fledged card-carrying conservative, that’s when he wasn’t, that we inspired the white vote to stay home. I think that is a crock. I’ll tell you what is going on, in my humble opinion. I think the white voters that did vote in ’08, didn’t vote in 2012, are middle class voters who are listening to all the rhetoric coming out of Washington and they’re convinced that nobody gives a rat’s rear end about them. We gotta do this for that group. We gotta do that for that group.
We’ve got an economy crumbling. In 2012 we had an economy crumbling — middle class white working — the Obama campaign gave up on them. You remember that column that came out in November of 2011 by Thomas B. Edsall. I’ve quoted that thing thousands of times, where the Obama campaign wrote off the white working class vote. They knew they had already lost them. They’re the bitter clingers. I think they probably thought, with all this other talk about doing this for that group and this, I think they’re conservative to an extent, they’re never gonna vote Obama, but I don’t think they didn’t vote for Romney ’cause he wasn’t conservative enough. Nothing to do with it. I think it had to do with the fact that they just didn’t think that anybody in Washington policy-wise had anything that was gonna fix what was wrong in their lives. And they said, to hell with it.
The Republicans who think that they lost because of the Hispanic vote are wrong. I mentioned this to Senator Rubio, too. The Hispanic vote was 7% of the electorate. By contrast, the evangelical vote was 28 or 29% of the electorate. Now, of the 7% of the Hispanics, Republicans got 27 or 28% of it. Big whoop. But on the evangelical side, of that 28 or 29% turnout or percentage of the electorate, Republicans got 80% of it. And in that group, why didn’t they get a hundred percent of it? They weren’t gonna vote Obama. Why didn’t they get a hundred percent of it? Because they just felt ignored, overlooked, or what have you.
I don’t think it anything to do with the primaries, anything to do with anything other than they heard all this talk about everybody else. Many of them think they’re the backbone of America, or have been, and everything’s being pulled out from under ’em. Meanwhile, it’s their taxes that are supporting all this other stuff. And they just said, to hell with it.