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RUSH: This is Doug in Stamford, Connecticut. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Thank you for having me on. Appreciate it.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: I gotta say about Trump, he has the Republican Party in the palm of his hand, Rush. Either way, like him or dislike him, he’s giving the Republican Party no choice, I want to be the nominee. If I’m not the nominee, I’m gonna be the nominee of another party. So they have no choice, if they pick any of the other candidates you know for a fact more likely he’s gonna be a nominee for another party.

RUSH: You don’t — wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You don’t think Trump’s gonna be hurt even by his supporters by refusing to take that pledge?

CALLER: I don’t think he’s gonna get hurt. I’m just saying in case he’s not the nominee, I feel that he’s — he said last night he wants to be the nominee, no question about it. He was, in other words, telling those people out there: “Doesn’t matter you like me or dislike me, I’m gonna the nominee one way or the other.”

RUSH: Let me ask you this. Quick question.


RUSH: Got about a minute. When you heard that question being asked, what was your reaction?

CALLER: I thought he was not gonna say anything. I thought he was gonna just keep quiet and then —

RUSH: No, no. No. No, I mean, you weren’t bothered by the question, thought it was a good question, bad question —

CALLER: No, it didn’t bother me at all, ’cause I’m gonna support him no matter what. I’m an independent, Rush. I’m not a Republican or Democrat.

RUSH: I understand that.


RUSH: It doesn’t matter. That’s not relevant to the question. I’m not asking you as a Republican or a conservative, even though I think you should be, but you want to be who you are, that’s fine and dandy. I’m just thinking, when I heard that question, I said to myself, “Something’s wrong here. I don’t feel right about this.” To me, that opening question put that thing off on a bad footing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, why, just something about it. Doug, hang on a minute. Hold you over here through the break since I have interrupted some of your time, so don’t go away.


RUSH: Back now to Doug in Stamford, Connecticut. The only thing I want —

CALLER: Set ’em up. Really do.

RUSH: No, no. When I saw that first question… I hate these raise-your-hand things. You know, they worry me. So Trump refuses to take the pledge, and your point about leverage is right on the money, because what Trump is saying, “Hey, look, why should I pledge to these people? If they’re gonna be mean to me, they’re gonna criticize me, they’re gonna try to run me out of the race, why should I promise loyalty to them when they’re not gonna the same to me?” That’s his point. You agree with that?

CALLER: Yes, I do. I agree with it. But I think they also were trying to set him up, and I think that second question from Megyn Kelly was terrible on her behalf. You don’t start a debate off asking a question like that. I thought she’d be more professional at her job. I like Fox News, but, I mean, something like that really bothered me. I thought they were “fair and balanced.” I guess they’re not. I mean, they didn’t ask the other candidates those kind of questions or those personal type of questions.

RUSH: Yeah, but they’ve done it enough to Republican candidates that our guys have to know. It’s no excuse.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: You can sit there and say — and a lot of people are — that it was cheap, that it was unprofessional, that it was personal, whatever. (sigh) Look, I wish it weren’t the way it is. But we just have to deal with certain realities until we change them, and one of the realities is that Republicans are a bunch of things to media people. They are objects to humiliate. They are opportunities to notch your belt. They are a chance to belittle and demand that the Republican justify his or her existence and life and what have you. And people entering the…

(interruption) What, Snerdley? You’re raising your hand. (interruption) You…? (interruption) Well, I’m not legitimizing it. This is tough. I just think crying about the refs isn’t gonna get you anywhere, and Trump’s not doing it. A lot of people, a lot of Trump’s supporters are livid, and I totally understand. Trump’s not crying about the refs. What he’s saying is, “I do not remember saying all that stuff.” But he didn’t feel confident enough last night to say that. You know, folks, one thing you don’t know, or most people don’t.

This not a criticism. When I was talking earlier about one of the many reasons I don’t like TV is that no matter what ever happened on a TV show of mine, when I left it a bunch of people told me, “You know what you shoulda said?” I just got tired of it. Or even doing a TV interview. You go up on Meet the Press, I don’t care, whatever show it is. Invariably (angrily), “You know what you shoulda said when she asked you that?” Did you not hear what I said? “Yeah, but you know what you should have added to it?” Okay, fine.

It just it got to the point of being very frustrating. I think being in the pressure of the moment, spotlight on you and all that… It’s a rare person that can shed total self-consciousness and be completely relaxed and free of tension, and it’s only when in that state that your brain is working 100%. If you are the slightest bit self-conscious about how your tie looks, how you look, “Am I smiling?” If you’re thinking about stuff like that and a question like that comes at you, it’s really hard.

Most people are narcissists.

Most people are self-focused.

Most people care about themselves.

Most people think everybody else is looking at them, and most people think everybody else cares about ’em. Most people think everybody else is judging ’em. It’s really hard to step outside yourself. To me that is the great talent actors have. Now, what was your question? (interruption) Do…? (interruption) Mr. Snerdley has asked if, in my esteemed opinion, a front-runner candidate would be hurt by simply saying, “You know what? I’m not debating. The way these things are shaking out and shaping up, I’m not showing up.”

It wouldn’t help, and it would hurt. I think it would hurt, simply because the catcalls from the media asking, “What are you afraid of? You’re the front runner! How in the world can you be expected to face the Ayatollah Khamenei if you’re afraid to face the media and your opponents?” stuff like that. There be no win. No win. Unless… I don’t know. I mean, if you had the kind of popularity that we can’t even imagine. (interruption) Yeah, but he went over the media’s head but he didn’t avoid the media in doing it.

He had the ability with the media in the room to go over their head. I mean, at a press conference he was able to go over their head. He’s able to escape their questions, ignore their questions, look in the camera, and speak right to the American people. He didn’t avoid the media to get to the American people; that’s the trick.

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