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RUSH: It’s Open Line Friday, and I am your host, the award-winning Rush Limbaugh, all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing, all-everything Maha Rushie. We are here on the day after the first Republican presidential debate last night on the Fox News Channel from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, and we go to Rocko up in Westchester County to kick it off on the phones today. Hi, Rocko, great to have you with us.

CALLER: Rush, thank you for taking my call. I tuned in to the debate and I had to check the channel because I thought I was watching MSNBC. The moderators methodically torpedo each candidate, with Donald Trump being the biggest target. Scott Walker worked miracles in Wisconsin but they dug up some statistic that he hadn’t reached the economic growth he promised. Jeb Bush sat on a board of a Bloomberg organization that donated to Planned Parenthood. Jeb didn’t even know it, but Fox News did. And the worst was Megyn Kelly, who you just referenced, who thinks she’s all that and just too cute, asked that ridiculous name-calling question and referenced the nonexistent War on Women. I have lost all respect for Fox News.

RUSH: Yeah, you know, you’re not the first. (laughing) I’ve heard this stuff from the beginning last night. And it is frustrating. I don’t know about you, Rocko, but we’re in the middle of seven years of an all-out — you talk about war, we got a war on the way this country was founded being conducted right now by Barack Obama and the Democrat Party. And these guys on that stage have not done one thing, they have not contributed one iota to the mess in this country, and they have to justify themselves?

We never, ever are treated to the same kind of demands made on Democrat candidates. But look, Rocko, here’s the thing. Everybody should have known this was gonna happen. This is presidential politics, and Republican candidates are where media people score their points. It’s where they build their careers. It’s where they establish their credentials. And that’s why I say, a lot of ’em, Trump, he was genuinely surprised by that question, you could tell. But as I say, you’re not alone in your reaction. MSNBC —

CALLER: I know how he could have turned the tables on that question. I know how he should have reacted.

RUSH: Well, okay, go for it. I mean, yeah, what should he have said?

CALLER: He should have said, “Well, Megyn, I didn’t realize there was a War on Women.” First of all, initially dispelling the made-up War on Women. That’s the first thing he should have done. And then he should have went on to say, “But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that there is this alleged War on Women. Don’t you think that it would be based on something more substantive than name-calling?”

RUSH: Well, here’s the thing about that. This is one of the reasons — and I don’t mean to be making this personal, folks, but it’s the way I share with you my examples and how I’ve learned things. And this is one of the reasons I don’t like TV. I used to do a TV show for four years, and every day after the TV show, I heard what I should have said. And I got fed up with it. I do a 30-minute TV show that I thought rocked, that I thought was a grand-slam home run and I’m getting calls and e-mails, “You know what you should have said when you played that Clinton soundbite?”

Believe me, when you’re up there and the lights are on and it’s the first question and you’re the front-runner, I’m telling you, you don’t have 35 minutes to think of the best response or an overnight to do it. So I thought his recovery was fairly quick when he segued back into a problem in the country being political correctness. I thought that was a pretty good recovery all in all. But, Rocko, I’m not yelling at you, don’t misunderstand here. I’m just sharing personal experiences.

I know what it’s like to be told how you could have said something. It never happens on the radio. You know what? That’s the point. I’ll finish every radio show, I have yet to have — now, I know it will start tonight. I have yet to have an e-mail say, “You know what you should have said in that monologue this afternoon or whatever,” it never happens. But on television, finally I figured out, you know what? I got more comments on the ties that I was wearing and on the video. I said, you know what? I’m wasting brilliance here. Nobody’s catching it. Because the picture is overpowering everything that’s said. And I am a verbal guy.

So, anyway, that’s why I have not beaten the path back to a TV studio, ’cause, A, I don’t collaborate. You have to collaborate to do a TV show. There’s no way to do one without collaborating, and I just don’t do that. I’m not good at it, I never have done it, and it’s too frustrating, just too frustrating. But I appreciate the call, Rocko.

Here’s Chris in Pleasanton, California. You’re next. It’s great to have you with us. Hi.

CALLER: Yeah, hi, Rush. Honor to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: I’m watching the debate, and when it’s over, I’m looking at the analysis and I’m listening to Dr. Krauthammer, and he’s giving me an extremely negative review of Trump. He’s almost saying it’s almost like the beginning of the end of Trump with Republican voters. And then I’m looking at the Drudge Report and I’m looking at the polling that’s going on, and here’s Trump, the runaway winner, he’s in the high 40%. Everybody else is down in single digits or just barely above that. And I’m asking myself, how could there be this contrast?

How could a professional pundit, a very obviously brilliant guy like Dr. Krauthammer, be getting this so wrong? At least the way it appears right now. And I think what’s happening is they’re underestimating the frustrating and the anger of folks like myself, Republicans, with the Republican Party itself. We feel almost betrayed. You know, we voted in and gave them the power, it’s not being exercised, and that anger is so palpable, I almost don’t view it as two parties anymore, like Republican versus Democrat. I view it like it’s almost like two versions of one party, and the other side is the outsiders that aren’t part of it. And I’m wondering if the analysts like Dr. A Krauthammer are realizing the degree that this is happening. I think it’s throwing off his and others’ analysis.

RUSH: I don’t think they do. I think you’re right about that. They have awareness, but I don’t think they — it’s not just Dr. Krauthammer. Call it the Beltway, the Washington-New York corridor, whatever, the political class, they’re aware, I don’t think they’re aware of how much, but at a certain point of their awareness they begin to have disdain for it, not respect for it. Meaning the anger at the establishment is not something they worry about, not something get a lot of credence or credibility to.

The comments — I saw Dr. Krauthammer essentially say that this was Trump who finally exposed himself as a buffoon and we’re finished, now he’s taking himself out, this is the first phase of that. They followed that up with a Frank Luntz focus group to make the same point. And I think they don’t understand that a lot of Trump fans are not gonna abandon him because of what happened last night. In fact, I don’t know what percentage, but quite a lot of them are gonna rally around him even more. He’s gonna have to do more than what happened last night to blow this. But the establishment wants him to blow it, so they got a little head start on thinking it’s happened.

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