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RUSH: My theory as to why Scott Walker is running away with all of the Republican preferential polls right now is precisely because he fought back. This same bunch of people tried to destroy Scott Walker. Not just his career. They tried to destroy his life. They tried and targeted his family for the same purpose. They used illegal tactics.

They incorporated the Democrat legislature in Wisconsin and the judiciary and they attempted to rig the game against him. Three elections in four years, Scott Walker won! They tried to recall him twice under bogus premises. He beat ’em back, and he beat ’em back with substance, issues, conservatism, you name it. He beat them back, and he has reformed that state. He has reformed the education system. He has diminished the power of a minority bunch of union people. He’s grown that state.

They have a budget surplus, tax cuts. They have unemployment, which is going down. Literally Scott Walker, in my mind, is showing the blueprint for the rest of the Republican Party how to do this. Okay. So, The Politico today has picked up on this. We’re gonna move to sound bite eight, Mike, instead of 20 and 21. We’ll come back to those. In The Politico: “Rush Limbaugh Rallied Behind Scott Walker — Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is what’s been missing from the Republican Party: a fighter.

“‘Scott Walker’s doing it, and he is running away, and these clowns on our side don’t even understand it yet,’ Limbaugh said Monday on his radio program. Limbaugh said that Walker, who is preparing for a possible 2016 White House run, might not be right on all of the issues, but the base is ‘gonna support him because he is fighting back. That’s what has been missing.'” I do believe that the initial wave of support is simply applause and recognition for Scott Walker being gutsy and standing up to these people.

Which our base voters have not seen anywhere near enough of. When the Republican Party doesn’t stand up to these people, the Republican Party is not even defending its own voters, who are also attacked and assaulted and lumped into all these defamatory allegations of racism, sexism, bigotry, War on Women, and all this rotgut drivel. There’s one guy who has stood up to it. Ted Cruz stands up to it, and note that he’s pretty popular, too. Marco Rubio’s had his moments standing up to it. Note he’s pretty popular.

You take a look at the bottom of the Republican poll and find out who’s not as popular now, and you’ll also find they’re the ones that talk about working with these people. They’re the ones that talk about compromising with them. The people on the tail end of these polls with the least support right now are the ones talking about, “Well, you know, we were not sent to be confrontational. We gotta work with ’em. We gotta make Washington work.”

Washington “working,” as defined by being run by Democrats, is the problem in this country, and that’s what our voters want stopped, and they have expressed it in two straight midterm elections. It can’t be any clearer! So, to me, it makes perfect sense that Scott Walker right now is being supported — vastly supported — over any of the other candidates right now simply because he’s fighting back. Like I told you, one Romney fundraiser/bulk donor and so forth that I ran into on the golf course not long ago.

I was convinced if Romney ran again, he would be right in there raising money and bundling and all that, and I figured this guy would know whether indeed Romney would run. Now, this is six weeks ago. I figure this guy would know if Romney’s really gonna run or not, so I walked up and said, “Look, I know you’re being peppered here with this question, but tell me: Do you think Romney’s gonna go?” He said, “I don’t know, but I hope not,” and I was taken aback. This guy’s only raised millions for the guy!

He said, “I’m tired of this. We need a fighter, Rush. We need a fighter. You know who I like?” And he named Rick Perry. Now, the point of this is that here’s somebody who’d gone all-in with Mitt Romney, loved him, great guy and so forth. But even he recognized that we need somebody that’s fighter, and that’s Scott Walker. He has written the blueprint on that — and not just written the blueprint, he’s built the house from the blueprint. Okay.

So we have The Politico story. They picked up on this on Fox News last night, and O’Reilly says to Karl Rove, “Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin leads the poll, 15%. I don’t think that tells us very much. Jeb Bush is not gonna run in Iowa. I don’t even know if he’s gonna compete there. He’s a moderate, and that’s a Conservative Caucus. Am I wrong?”

ROVE: The interesting thing in this poll is not exactly where everybody is, but that there was so much movement between October and today for Scott Walker, and you have to chart it to one fact: He went and made a fantastic speech at the Iowa Freedom Forum, which got played on radio. That’s why there was a lot of movement on behalf of Walker, because he made a good speech and it got the buzz. But there’s gonna a lot of campaigning between now and next February, 12 months away.

RUSH: Now, as everybody knows, I like Karl Rove. Karl Rove is a friend of mine. Karl Rove’s not an enemy to me. He is to a lot of people, but he’s not to me. I have a good relationship with him and so forth. But I think he dead wrong here. Scott Walker is not where he is because we played sound bites of his speech in Iowa on the radio. That’s what Karl meant there. Well, he went and made a fantastic speech at the Iowa freedom thing and it got played on the radio and that’s why there’s lot of support.

There was movement and buzz for Scott Walker long before he got to Iowa. The reason Iowa shocked ’em because they didn’t know him. This is what amazes me. I would think and everybody in the Republican establishment would at least know what Walker’s done. They have to. I would think that they would be able to understand how big it is what he’s accomplished in that state, a blue state. He showed up in Iowa already vigorously supported. But they’re trying to say that he showed up a nobody and he made a great speech, which just shocked everybody.

Because they all thought he was dryball and dull.

That’s why all the talk about, “Where’d he go to get his charisma transplant?” That’s what they think of it. He gives great speech that supposedly shocked them, and then it got played on the radio, and that explains the 15%. I just think that’s dead wrong, and I think they’re fooling themselves if that’s what they think explains Scott Walker’s standing in these early polls. Anyway, so the Hemmer bite now. That was last night. This morning, Bill Hemmer cites all this and got Rove in there, and this is how that conversation went.

HEMMER: Rush Limbaugh was making the case that Walker, people like him because he fights back. How do you see that?

ROVE: We need to take this news with a little bit of caution. We shouldn’t get a case of premature surveyitis. At this same point in 2007, the front-runner in the polls was John McCain with 21%. He came in fourth. At this point in 2012, Huckabee led. He didn’t even run. We’ll see a lot of movement. And the leader now is not likely — rarely is the leader later.

RUSH: Now, I understand this, because clearly Walker is not Karl’s choice. Obviously Karl is a Jeb Bush man. That’s common sense, and understandable. So no beef there. But I don’t think if Bush had come out on top of this poll, Karl would be rejecting the poll as handily as he is rejecting this one. They’d be attaching meaning to it. I am not attaching a long-term meaning to this. I’m not endorsing Walker. I have no idea what’s gonna happen in this campaign down the road.

I’m just telling you that I think I know why he is scoring around 50% or higher in all these polls right now. I know the Republican base. You do, too, folks. We are it. You know how frustrated people are. Here’s a guy who’s… I’m about being repetitive. Everything we think we’re up against he has beaten, and we don’t see anybody else even trying. We don’t see anybody! You know, Ted Cruz is. But he’s in the Senate. But Walker, in terms of actual governors/elected officeholders?

He’s the only guy that’s tried to beat them back, and he’s done it three times in four years. Here’s Albert Hunt, noted liberal, married to Judy Woodruff. Last night he was on Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect. That’s the John Heilemann, Mark Halperin show. Let’s see. “The big headline in the poll, Scott Walker at 16%, ahead of everybody else, whether Romney’s in the field or not, he’s in the lead. What explains this, Albert? He’s come from nowhere to the front of the pack. Albert, what does this mean?”

HUNT: I was in a lunch on Saturday with a bunch of really, I mean, huge heavy hitters — uh, and money in politics and some pretty sharp political minds. They were talking the Republican field; no one mentioned Scott Walker. This poll was a shock, I think, to a lot of people. He made a terrific impression at that conservative forum. Look, this guy has proven that he’s a player. This is not a flash in the pan. I think Scott Walker is really in that top tier now for real.

RUSH: See, that? He’s talking big money, that’s what this means, and they never even heard of the guy. He comes out of the blue? It has to be because he made a speech and it got broadcast on the radio, right? Can’t be anything else.

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