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RUSH: Well, what’s the question? (interruption) Snerdley wants to know how does anybody overcome Trump’s 67% essential approval rating on the economy if you’re another Republican nominee. You have to hope that something’s gonna happen to force Trump out. It really is stunning. The polling data that we shared earlier, it’s a CNN poll. And this number, it’s a poll of Nevada and South Carolina, where Trump is leading by 16 points, Nevada, 18 points in South Carolina, and he’s way ahead in both states where voters are asked which Republican has the best chance of winning the general election. I didn’t mention that to you, but that number, there’s nobody even close to him.

In Nevada and South Carolina on the question of best chance to win the general election. It’s Trump going away, of the entire Republican field. But the number that has everybody standing up and taking notice — you know everybody thinks that Trump’s numbers are big because of immigration, and there’s no question that that’s true, but Republican voters in Nevada and South Carolina combined — what I’m looking for here, to see if this is nationwide or in these two states. This is Nevada voters, not nationwide, it’s Nevada voters, who’d be best on the economy. Donald Trump, 67%. Closest is Fiorina at 7%. The South Carolina number is 59%. Fifty-nine percent. Closest is Bush at 7%. Those are huge leads.

Okay, so in Nevada it’s 67%. In South Carolina 59% favor Trump, say Trump’s best on the economy. Now, when you go to Nevada, Republican voters and ask ’em, “What’s the most important issue to you?” They say the economy. So Snerdley’s question, “How do you overcome that?” You don’t. You don’t overcome that at all. You have to wait for Trump to stumble. The best thing you could do, if you’re in the Republican field, if you’re Fiorina, Bush, Carson, Rubio, Paul, Cruz, if you’re looking at Trump at 67% and yourself at anywhere from 4 to 7%, the first thing you do, “Okay, what is Trump saying about the economy?” That’s the first thing you have to ask yourself.

So let me just ask you. What is Trump saying about the economy, Mr. Snerdley? What has he said about the economy that would engender 67% of people in this poll claiming he’s the best to deal with the economy? (interruption) No, I don’t think he said much about the economy, really. He’s had a tax plan. But other than that, all he’s said is, “I’ll make this country great again. We’re gonna make this country great, and I’m gonna run rings around the ChiComs, and I’m gonna run rings around the Mexicans. And we’re gonna put the best people in and we’re gonna put the American people first and we’re gonna build this country back up. We’re gonna the greatest economy we’ve ever had. I’m gonna have the greatest job creation.”

That’s what people are reacting to. He hasn’t had a whole lot of specifics in how he’s gonna do it, and so far the people who favor him don’t seem to need any. They’re just, I think, celebrating the attitude. They’re not hearing that attitude from anybody else, in their minds, and certainly no Democrat. There is no Democrat that talks about America the way Trump is talking about America. A lot of the other Republicans do, but they’re not using the verbiage that Trump uses. He doesn’t specify how he’s gonna do it, other than his tax plan. But he says we’ve been there before.

(imitating Trump) “I’m gonna build it back. I’m gonna have the best people, the smartest people. I’m not gonna take any gunk from the ChiComs. I’m not gonna take any gunk from the Mexicans. We’re gonna fix what’s wrong here. We’re gonna have the best buildings. We’re gonna have the best bridges. We’re gonna have the best roads. We’re gonna have the best here, the best this, the best that. We’re Americans, we do it the best, and we have the best, and that’s what I’m gonna do.” People are going, “Yeah!” (interruption) Well, I think the Republican consultants are experiencing a massive number of conflicting emotions, and I think that they end up still being in denial. I think that most of them are telling themselves that Trump’s not really in this for real.

There’s something else going on, and once Trump’s accomplished what he’s really trying to do here, then he’ll get out. That’s what I think the majority of the consultants are thinking. (interruption) Hmm? (interruption) Yeah, Ivanka went out and she did an interview, and she is said to be the energy behind the campaign, the brains behind the campaign. They point out that she’s entirely opposite of him in private and so forth. But all that did, by the way, was cement the fact that his campaign’s serious. And all it did was cement the fact that women are crucially important to Trump. I mean, the Ivanka interview is a massive net positive.

I think the consultants and the Republican establishment in general, it’s gotta be very difficult for them. This is all upside down to them. Everything Trump is doing, in their world, would have sent their candidate into retirement by now. In their view, saying, being, doing, behaving the way Trump is is instant death, instant political death, your campaign will be brought to a screeching halt. I mean, you don’t hear Trump talk about the independents. You don’t hear Trump talk about all the things that the establishment talks about. In fact, grab audio sound bite number one. On Monday of this program I had an assessment. I saw something and I issued a bit of a warning on Monday where the Trump campaign and his voters are concerned, and this was it.

RUSH ARCHIVE: I have noticed not-so-subtle changes in the way Trump is going about this every day. He’s not making flamboyant statements nearly as frequently and as profoundly as he did early on. He’s still bombastic. He still goes out and does the “I’m the greatest. I’ll be the greatest. It’s gonna be the greatest. We’re the greatest,” you know, all of that, which is entertaining, and it’s inspiring, too, to people who want it to be the case and to people who believe that he can make it happen. But he is more and more issue oriented and substantive each day. His answers to various questions now have a little bit more depth to them. And it’s not, I don’t think, because he’s had to study up on things. I think his approach is changing. You know, you have a sense of presence, everybody does when you’re a public figure, and if you’re good, you know when it’s time to transform and how to transform.

RUSH: And gets the point that I was making on Monday. Okay, Trump’s been in this a long time now. It’s not the first day. And I think what we’re seeing is evidence of just how serious he is. He is in the midst here of a transformation to a more substantive, less flamboyant (but still there) place. And he can revive it at any moment and with credibility, and does. But there’s a new depth of character here to the Trump campaign and to Trump. And what I chalked it up to was a sense of stage presence. Anybody who is a public performer has a sense of stage presence. It is the sense of empathy that tells the successful performer how he or she is being perceived. And it is that empathy and that stage presence that then instinctively instruct a public figure what direction to take.

I think what’s happening to Trump is that as he’s in it longer, it becomes more and more likely that he can win and will. And that carries with it new levels of responsibility, public perceived responsibility. I’m not saying that Trump was joking at first and is all of a sudden getting serious. I’m talking about the way he is presenting himself in public. If you have a sense of stage presence about this — and he does — then you know when it’s time to either evolve or transform yourself. And he’s in the midst of doing that now, which was my point. Now, let’s go to the Today show this morning on NBC. Katy Tur interviewed him about the campaign. It’s about 19 seconds. This is the result.

TUR: The GOP front-runner is still ahead, but with Ben Carson creeping in, now signs he may be changing his tone. For a candidate not known for second-guessing himself, the brash billionaire does admit —

TRUMP: I think I could be perhaps a little bit, um, I can watch my words a little bit, maybe be a little bit more politically correct.

RUSH: See, now, he doesn’t really mean he’s gonna be politically correct. He’s voicing what I just told you is happening. He now has a sense that his chances are really rock solid good. And so he’s admitting here that his tone is gonna change a little bit. He’s gotta be very careful, though, that the substance doesn’t change. I really don’t think he should even be talking about this. It’s the old, you execute the marketing plan; you don’t tell people what it’s gonna be. You just do it. But she asked him a question, and he answered it. And he said, “Yeah, yeah, I’m gonna be watching my words a little bit, maybe a little bit more politically correct.”

Don’t worry, Trumpsters, it doesn’t mean he’s going PC. It just means he’s going to get a little bit more serious more of the time. That’s all it means, because he has a sense that the situation requires it now and that the circumstances demand it now. Now, having said that, just to show you that he has not lost anything. I don’t want any of you Trumpsters getting worried yet. Let’s go to Richmond, Virginia, last night, a campaign event, Trump back to form.

TRUMP: I watched Hillary last night with, “We’re gonna give this! We’re gonna give that!” The poor woman. She’s gotta give everything away because this maniac that was standing on her right is giving everything away; so she’s following.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

TRUMP: That’s what’s happening!

AUDIENCE: (applause)

TRUMP: This socialist, slash, communist, okay? Nobody wants to say it.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

TRUMP: I call him a “socialist, slash, communist,” okay? ‘Cause that’s what he is!

AUDIENCE: (applause)

TRUMP: So then you see her stand up, now it’s her turn, and she goes, “Oh, I’m gonna do that, too.”

RUSH: Yeah. So don’t worry. I’m just showing you: Trump’s there. He still has the capacity to do what it is that put him on the map, and he’s willing to do it. But he’s gonna be mixing other tones in with this now. Now, he got heckled in Richmond, Virginia. I think what’s happening here is that the establishment is sending hecklers out. We know that a Jeb Bush campaign babe ended up at the No Labels event in New Hampshire. And the Jeb Bush campaign babe — Lauren Becktolder, Beckmelon, Beckbeckt — stood up and said, “Mr. Trump it sounds to me like you don’t care for women much and as a woman that really bothers me that you don’t much like women.”

So she was a Jeb Bush plant.

He gets heckled in Richmond last night, and (snorts) I think it’s pathetic, but I think some of these oppo-research people figure it’s the best they can do. They think Trump can be taken off his game. I’ll tell you what they think. They think that he’s such an egomaniac that one voice of disagreement or challenging him will so shock him and so anger him that he will lose his cool and expose who he really is to people — and then Jeb could come riding to the rescue!” That’s what they’re thinking, so they send these hecklers in. It could be the Democrats doing it, too, but at this stage my money would be on the Republicans paying for the hecklers. And they may not even have to pay for them. They may have to send ’em in there.

Again, Richmond, Virginia, campaign event…

TRUMP: That’s why we have freedom of speech, folks. I’ll tell you how dishonest the press is. We have thousands of people in this room — six, seven thousand. We have about 10 people over there. They’ll get the headline; you won’t. That’s pretty disgusting.

RUSH: Yeah, I know exactly what he’s talking about. One of the first Rush to Excellence appearances I made was Lafayette, Louisiana. And there were two — two — (pause) women (I was going to describe them, but I thought better of it) standing out front of the arena inside where there were 2,500 people, and the headline the next day: “Limbaugh Protested in Baton Rouge,” and they had a picture of the women holding signs, and there were 2,500 people inside. He is exactly right. That’s how he handled the hecklers.


RUSH: By the way, an important point on these hecklers at Trump in Richmond. They look like they could have been illegal immigrants. But regardless, you know what happened? It wasn’t really Trump that shut ’em up. It was his audience. His audience was just not gonna put up with it. I’m gonna tell you something. This is remarkable, too, and it speaks volumes about the depth of Trump’s support, that these people are not gonna put up with the usual politics, stuff that usually happens. When hecklers show up, usually people just stand or sit silently while the hecklers do what they do.

And security comes along, finally after, and escorts ’em out.

The Trump people drowned them out, the Trump people out shouted ’em and basically let them know that they weren’t affected by ’em, didn’t care what they were saying, and get the hell out. And when that happens, whether it’s Trump or anybody else up there, that inspires you and gives you all kinds of confidence as well. But mostly, it indicates the depth of support people have for Trump. They’re not gonna let a bunch of outsiders come in and ruin the event that they have waited a long time to attend. And they’re not gonna let somebody come in, more importantly, and do any damage to the candidate they support. They’re not gonna put up with it.

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