RUSH: I’ve got an odd feeling about this debate tonight. And, no, it’s not trepidation about what’s gonna happen. What happens happens. It’s that we all know, I mean, without any doubt here, we all know what is on tap tonight. (interruption) Well, what do you mean “some of it”?
The main focus of this, everybody is going to be trying to destroy Trump, everybody. From the moderators to the post-analysis analysts, to the pre-debate analysts, to the candidates themselves, to the Iranians. (laughing) Everybody’s gonna be trying. If there’s anything that’s been telegraphed prior to a debate, it’s that, on this debate.
Hey, don’t misunderstand. I’m not complaining about anything. There’s something about this, I just have an odd feeling that this is not something I’m really going to enjoy looking at. I can’t explain it any more than that. It’s not that I have any fear anybody’s gonna bomb out. It’s none of that. Maybe it’s all good. I think we’re gonna have politics-as-usual on display and I’m hoping that that’s what bombs out. We’re gonna have oppo research out the wazoo. If there’s been anything in the future telegraphed any more than this one is, I don’t know what it is, I don’t know what it would be.
Anyway, we’ll get to that in due course. Thoughts, predictions. There really aren’t too many predictions that you have to make here. I mean, you pretty much know what’s gonna happen, and you know how they’re gonna try to make it happen. Somebody’s gonna have some sort of secret bit of information about Trump that we haven’t heard before that they’re gonna accuse him of. Or they’re gonna run list of names by him and make him defend his relationship with them or his knowledge of them, or some such “gotcha” technique as that. And then we’re gonna have probably a contest of who’s the real conservative, what’s a real conservative, what isn’t a conservative, who’s the fraud conservative, this kind of stuff.
Remember, it’s on CNN, so every damn one of these candidates is gonna have to justify the fact that they breathe. They’re gonna have to justify the fact that they’re alive. And they’re gonna have to justify this audacious belief they have that any of them should be president. How dare they? Who do they think they are? That’s gonna be the attitude of the media on this.
In the meantime, there’s other news happening out there, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it to you, and I think I’m gonna start with some of that now, because once we get into the debate and the predictions and the forecasts and the discussions, that’s gonna dominate everything here. Which is fine. Folks, I’m not complaining about anything. I don’t want anybody to misread the tone of my voice. I’m not complaining about anything. I don’t complain. I don’t whine. I hate whining. I hate moaning. I hate it. I don’t do it. I’m the mayor of Realville.
RUSH: You know, I’m looking at the shots of the Reagan library where the debate’s gonna be tonight. I have made a speech very, very close to there. The podium where I spoke was very close to where they’ve constructed the stage where the candidates are gonna be tonight, the fuselage of the Air Force One Boeing 707. Last in service, by the way, for George H. W. Bush. The 747 came into service during, I think, the last two years of his term. Reagan exclusively flew this 707. It’s the most amazing sight.
When I made my speech there, I was positioned in such a way that my sight line as I looked at the room was down the right side. I was almost looking parallel down the fuselage. These people are gonna be standing right in front of it, and the words “United States of America” above the windows is what you see. It’s the most… It really is a dynamic place, the Reagan library. It’s a gorgeous place. It’s beautiful. This room where they’re gonna be is just ideal for something like this.
I think, folks — and I don’t want to come off here as Pollyannish or a Miss America Pageant contestant type. And I don’t mean to be insulting there, but you know what I mean. When they get the questions and answers… This debate is not gonna be a debate about issues. This is gonna be a… I don’t know what. Everybody’s gonna be ganging up on one guy here tonight. It wouldn’t matter who the guy is.
Anyway, I gotta take a break here. I’m up against it on time. We’ll come back, and I’ll evolve and develop my thought when get back.
RUSH: One of the things we know is gonna happen tonight, in view of the venue, Reagan library, Reagan’s comments, Reagan’s past comments about immigration are probably gonna be used like a cudgel on Trump. You know, Reagan signed Simpson-Mazzoli, 1986. And if Reagan were alive today he would tell you, “Yeah, they told me they were gonna secure the border and that’d be it, and then they never did. The border never, ever got secured.”
Simpson-Mazzoli legalized via amnesty about three million illegal immigrants, and all the advocates assured us that that would be it. New border security and we’d fix the problem, then amnesty for those three million, and that was it. And of course here we are today, we’re looking anywhere from, they say the number is 11 to 12 million, it’s probably closer to 20 million. They’re promising the same thing today. But it’s gonna be all out warfare against Trump.
Now, given that, what modus operandi should Trump assume tonight? Trump was asked what he’s doing to prepare for the debate. He said he’s just gonna show up. You know, I’m just who I am. I’ll be who I am. What do you mean, prepare for the debate? Study a bunch of stuff? I already know it, what I’m gonna do. I know what my plan is. It’s gonna be interesting to see because everybody aligned against Trump comes from the position he’s got no business being there. That he is fooling everybody that’s supporting him. That he’s not qualified. That he’s not serious. That he’s not conservative. That he portends great danger for conservatism in the future and the future of the movement.
There’s also something else which you will hear in the audio sound bites coming up. A number of people in the media, conservative media and elsewhere, are already imploring Trump to be nice to Ben Carson. Don’t attack Ben Carson. Ben Carson is, depending on the poll, either tied with Trump or very, very close. And it’s as though Ben Carson can’t take care of himself. All these people, it’s almost, “Hey, be nice to little Ben here. Please, Donald, don’t go after Ben Carson,” as though Ben Carson can’t take care of himself. I assure you he can.
RUSH: And let’s hit the phones, find out what excitement’s lurking there. We’ll go to Palm Coast, Florida. This is Patrick. I’m glad you called, sir. Great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I just have a question: “Do you think the bombastic bully Donald Trump is now the underdog in the debate?”
RUSH: Is “the bombastic bully Donald Trump … the underdog in the debate?” Have I…? Has anything I said given you that idea, or is that your original thought and question?
CALLER: Well, I just look at the underdog as always everybody’s favorite, and also he’s united the Republican Party against him along with the Democrat Party is against him. So he’s also a uniter, the way I look at it.
RUSH: (laughing) So where does this underdog come from? The fact that everybody’s against the guy, that makes him an underdog?
CALLER: Well, you’ve got presidential… You got the… You can see the campaigns. His opponents run ads against him, which is fair, but then you have other groups run ads against him. You’ve got the vice president out talking against him. You’ve got people showing up at his rallies protesting him.
RUSH: Yeah, you got Obama now commenting on him indirectly. You got Biden out there talking. You got Club for Growth announcing they’re gonna run a million-dollar ad campaign against him. You’re right about that. Every… That’s what I said top of the program. We know what this is gonna be. Every gun is trained on Trump tonight. Every gun, political gun. Every political gun. Now, in that atmosphere, let me just ask you, Patrick. Given that is a pretty accurate prediction of the scenario tonight, do you expect there to be any substantive discussion of issues, which is what all those people inside the Beltway say is needed?
CALLER: I think (garbled). But I think they’re gonna pivot most of the questions to something they want to talk about and then there will be something — a second pivot — as an attack towards Trump. So look for the second pivot to be the attack towards Trump.
RUSH: Yeah. That’s a good point. You know, when the phone rings and somebody calls you? The old coach Al McGuire, Marquette, always said this: It’s the third thing. “Hey, Rush! How are you doing?” “Fine. What’s up?” “Hey, you know what? You’re looking fine.” “Thanks.” “You know, I really need something.” It’s the third thing they get to is the reason they called. Try that. Whenever you phone rings, the third thing the caller brings up is the real reason.
So what you’re saying here is, there’s gonna all kinds of original things brought up and then a pivot here, and eventually the real objective is going to be seen. Look, you said earlier that all of these ads and all these speeches against Trump, it’s all fair. And it is. This is politics. I mean, you have a debate tonight, and there is a clear runaway leader, and this is make-it-or-break time for a lot of these people. They’ve got one shot, and the theory is there simply isn’t time to shine so brightly that you rise above those ahead of you.
You’ve gotta tear ’em down. You gotta go out there and you gotta destroy ‘im. And that’s probably gonna happen. Now, the surprise will be that somewhere on that stage, there are gonna end up being one or two allies of Trump in the midst of all these assaults who are going to try to gain favor with Trump supporters by not joining that fray. It’s gonna be a free-for-all. And I think… You know, what do you think the best way for Trump to deal with it is? What kind of attitude should he cop?
What behavioral model should he be following? What should he do? Should he join it, fists, start shouting back, or stand above it and let the others appear to be napping at the ankles like a bunch of Chihuahuas? Well, I don’t know. Any number of strategies here. But I have to try to put some of this in context. There are… You can’t turn on television… If you watch cable news, you can’t turn it on without hearing an attack on Trump every other minute. Either from a guest on a show or the host of a show. I’m talking about all networks.
Or then they might run an excerpt from an ad against Trump that somebody has run, right? So no matter where you go, you cannot miss it. And then if you read the newspaper you find out about, like I just mentioned, Club for Growth. They’re gonna run a $1 million ad campaign against Trump. So no matter you go, you see the equivalent of anti-Trump messages. You see Trump attacks everywhere. Now, where is Trump in the midst of all this?
He’s top of the heap, right? The only guy close to him so far is Ben Carson in a couple of polls. So the question is: “If the constant, 24/7 attacks on Trump in the Drive-By Media and on the table news channels are not enough to bring him down, how are a bunch of ads gonna do it?” But could something happen on this stage tonight that would blow the Trump campaign to smithereens? Could something happen? And if so, what is it?
RUSH: Okay, in the first debate we heard that it was donors sent out the command to candidates to take Trump out. It didn’t happen. It looked like the network did. Now the word has gone out that Carly Fiorina has been instructed to take Trump out, given that he made negative comments about her face. He’s got her on the debate stage, a woman. So that’s the next thing. That that’s a prognostication: “Carly is there take Trump out!” This is the stuff floating around.
RUSH: Now, the question Snerdley asked me during the show open was, “Do you think that Trump is once again going to be challenged to name all of these terrorist leaders and Middle Eastern leaders?” He was on the radio with Hugh Hewitt, who is one of the moderators tonight. He couldn’t name a lot of the names of terrorist leaders, presidents of Islamic countries. And Trump said (paraphrasing), “It doesn’t matter. When I’m president I’ll find out who they are and I’ll deal with them. I’ll get some people in there who know how to deal with it. Don’t worry about it, won’t be a problem.”
Reagan was hit with the same thing back in his day and he said, “It doesn’t matter I don’t know who they are. What matters is they better know who I am.” I fully expect something like that again. I have no idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the moderators says, “Mr. Trump, have you studied since three weeks ago? Can you now name for us the leader of ISIS? Can you name for us tonight the leader of Al-Qaeda? Can you name for us –” I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that happens.
I’m not predicting anything. I’m just telling you, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens. I mean, you must think it might, you wouldn’t have asked me otherwise. (interruption) You think they won’t go “gotcha” because everybody’s looking for gotcha? You think they won’t go gotcha now ’cause everybody’s looking for it so they’re gonna try to come up with other ways to go at this to surprise everybody? I mean, they know one way of doing things, though.
Remember now, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Trump or Ted Cruz or whoever else on this stage, don’t forget, you know, don’t allow the presence of Trump to make you forget what you already know about the media and Republicans. Just because the number one objective is gonna be to take Trump out doesn’t mean they want anybody else to look good. This is the media, after all. This is CNN, for crying out loud. They don’t want anybody looking good when this thing’s over tonight.
I just was watching a little CNN during the break, you know, they’re in their four-hour, 42 minute, 30-second countdown phase now. Dana Bash is talking to Wolf Blitzer, and Dana Bash looked at Wolf Blitzer and said, “You know, Wolf, it really isn’t about us tonight.” And Wolf just sat there and kind of stared at her blankly like he didn’t get it. “No, no, Wolf, it really isn’t about us. It’s about the candidates. It’s about what they say tonight, Wolf.” They think that’s news. That must be an earth-shattering thing to say, if you say it. “It’s not about us tonight, Wolf. Not about us.” Now, others will say, “BS, it’s always about the media, and they’ll do everything they can to make it about them.” And I kind of side with the latter of those.