RUSH: Even when I don’t say anything, I get credit for it. Even when I don’t do anything, I get credit for it — or even when I don’t say anything or do anything, I get blamed for it. It happens. NBC Today Show today, Kelly O’Donnell reporting on Dave Brat’s primary victory over Eric Cantor, talking about what Brat did yesterday.
O’DONNELL: Brat was not at his own headquarters and kept a very low profile Wednesday. Rush Limbaugh spoke up for him.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Dave Brat is not a wacko. He’s not a kook. He’s an economics professor.
O’DONNELL: The aides who ran Brat’s campaign say they are suddenly swamped with calls and requests.
RUSH: So it is I, El Rushbo, speaking up for Brat. It is I, El Rushbo, doing the heavy lifting for Brat. (chuckles) Can you believe this? Get this next one. This is yesterday in Boston on the radio. Some guy from the Cook Political Report asked national editor Amy Walter about this loss. She was asked, “What about crossover voters? I’m reading here that they didn’t come out in such numbers.”
WALTER: If you went into the most Democratic precincts in his district, the turnout was really pretty abysmal. Where Eric Cantor lost was in heavily Republican areas of the district. He lost among Republicans. And I think one thing we have to remember, too, is, ahh, the amount of national attention that was being brought to bear in this race — folks like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham — really encouraging folks to turn out. So you have that added momentum the weekend before the election.
RUSH: Now, it’d be easy for me to play this and let it go and let it slide. But, folks, those of you who listen here regularly every day know the facts. This is a typical, by the way, low-information, inside-the-Beltway political reporter blissfully unaware. I do not get involved in primaries. I have had that policy since day one.
Well, it might have taken a couple of years, but I’ve had that policy for 23 years. I do not get involved in primaries. How many of you have called me over the years angry at me for that, wishing I would get involved? “Rush, you’re gonna have to get involved. Now it’s got down to nut-cracking time here, it’s too crucial. We’ve gotta get the conservative in here.”
I don’t get involved in primaries, and I didn’t get involved in this one. Can I tell you another reason why? Yes, I can, because it’s my program, it’s my mouth, and I’m in charge of both. There’s another reason why I don’t get involved in primaries. If you have looked at any media either in print or on the air about the Brat victory, what are you hearing? You’re hearing that Brat had nothing to do with it.
You are hearing that a whole bunch of conservatives in talk radio are responsible for Brat’s victory. Now, I don’t deny that a whole lot of people spoke up for him, but what is the real message here? What is the underlying premise of reporting this? When’s the last time…? When Obama wins, do they credit the media for it? They credit Obama; they credit the campaign; they credit the consultants; they credit the voters.
When a guy like Brat wins, it can’t be because he was any good, and it can’t be that Republican voters were able to make up their own minds. No, no, no! Because you people are mind-numbed robots who can’t and don’t do anything until you’re told. It is a subtle continuation of the idea that you are brainless and mindless, and you sit out there in your stupidity waiting for marching orders.
That’s another reason why I don’t do primaries.
I do not want to give the left, the Democrats, and the media that ammo. This is not to be critical of anybody. People that do this can do it any way they want; that’s fine. Free market. Have at it. My only point is, don’t ignore Brat. He was the candidate. He’s the guy who got the votes. People showed up and voted for him. I don’t deny that there were education efforts taking place to let people know, but I think people were mad at Eric Cantor no matter what.
I think there are a whole lot of Republicans that people are mad at no matter what.
I think Eric Cantor was in trouble no matter what, because of substance, because of ideas. Ideas matter. Ideas and substance have consequences, and Eric Cantor just learned them. So another reason, just to restate, that I stay out of primaries, is I don’t want to give the left the ammo to suggest that any result is illegitimate, which is what they’re trying to do, by pointing out that the voters “only did what they did because they were told to do it by powerful people in talk radio.” What does that do? It diminishes the candidate. It diminishes the voters, and it perpetuates this idea that you and everybody else that chooses conservatism in the media is really an idiot, unable to make up your own mind, incapable of thinking yourself.
Whereas when Obama wins, did they credit, say, Chuck Todd? Did they credit, talk about what a great job the New York Times did for the guy? No way. He got all the credit. Yeah, I did. But Obama got all the credit. And his campaign consultants got all the credit. And David “Fluff” got all the credit. They didn’t waste any time, and they didn’t say that Democrat voters were dumb idiots that had to be guided into voting for Obama. They left it up to everybody to conclude that people independently, brilliantly made up their minds about Obama. I resent this I can’t tell you how much. It’s been going on for as long as I’ve been doing this program. It’s just another reason why I don’t get involved in primaries ’cause I don’t want to have anything happen here actually take away from whoever wins these things.
There are other reasons, too, that I’ve mentioned before. My success is not determined by who wins elections. Ratings, all that. That’s another thing. Even conservative media people out there, “Well, these rabid talk radio people, they’re the problem in the Republican Party, ’cause all they care about is their ratings. And so they’re getting people all worked up about immigration. They’re getting people all scared, and that’s why Brat won, because talk radio is so reactionary.”
You got people like John Podhoretz and other so-called conservative media leveling that charge, saying that all we’re interested in here is ratings. These people don’t have the slightest idea if that’s what they think how ratings are achieved. I’ll just remind you again, I’ve been saying this for 25 years: My success is not determined by who wins elections. If it were I wouldn’t be here still, would I?