RUSH: Here’s Cliff in Pleasanton, California. I’m glad you waited. Cliff, you’re up next. Hello.
CALLER: Yeah, hi, Rush. Good to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: Yeah. I’m watching Bill O’Reilly’s political analysis last night, and he’s basically concluding that the Republicans may very well not be able to settle on a candidate and there will be some kind of an impasse. And he’s suggesting there’s a reasonable chance that they may turn to Mitt Romney. And the reason, as he puts it, is because Mitt’s got the support of the establishment. I’m watching this and I’m saying, “He’s not getting it.” If anything, that’s the reason they would not go with Mitt. And I’m wondering when are they going to realize what’s happening here?
RUSH: What a position sometimes I end up in on this program. I mean, there is a simple answer to your question, but I have nothing to gain by providing it to you. Nothing whatsoever. Let me just make sure I understand that you saw this right. Is it your testimony here at the Limbaugh Institute that, last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly actually — forget “actually” — Bill O’Reilly suggested Mitt Romney as a compromise solution to the problems that exist in the Republican nomination process because he is an establishment candidate, he’s an establishment Republican? That’s what you heard last night?
CALLER: Almost word-for-word. And as I said, it’s almost like they’re not getting it, and that’s what I don’t understand. This is a professional pundit, obviously one of the leading ones, and seems to be at such odds with what’s happening here.
RUSH: Wait a minute. I don’t know why you’re so shocked at this.
CALLER: I would think at a certain point they would start to wake up and say, hey, this is the — Rush, it’s more than anti-establishment. It actually is what your previous caller was saying. It’s the frustration with the establishment’s failure to fight for what we want.
RUSH: I get all of that. The point is you’re talking about — folks, I’m at a no-win here. I don’t want to name other names, but Bill O’Reilly’s not the only person on that network who is a representative of the Republican establishment. Karl Rove is on that network, and Karl Rove is from the Bush camp. And if Romney is — look, this is not the first time Romney’s name has come up. Romney’s name came up a few weeks ago, again, as a sort of a fusion candidate solution to the fact that Jeb just wasn’t getting it done. The establishment put all their marbles on Jeb. The donor class has put all their marbles on Jeb, and it’s not happening yet, and so they’re actively looking for a substitute.
In fact, the name now even beyond Romney is Rubio. Rubio is said to be among commentators discussing this, the new establishment choice. They haven’t thrown Jeb overboard, don’t misunderstand. But there’s utter panic. I mean, they’re looking for salvation here. They’re looking for ways to save their campaign. I mean, the establishment wants to win this as much as they’ve ever wanted to win. And if their guy, Jeb, is not lighting fires right now, they’re looking for somebody else, and it was Romney couple, three weeks ago, the name was bandied about. And he even reacted to it by saying, “Hey, you know, if the team needs me, well, then I might consider it.”
There’s an answer to what you saw last night. I have nothing to gain by answering. I really don’t. You know, some people in the media want to carve out niches for themselves where they believe nobody else in the media is so that they can be said to be the only occupant of a particular point of view. Does that help you understand what might be going on there?
CALLER: So is it an agenda thing?
RUSH: No. No. I’m talking about professional positioning.
CALLER: So they’re speaking to positioning that they would like to arrive at, rather than their true analysis, their true feelings?
RUSH: Name me anybody else who’s touting Romney.
CALLER: Can’t think of any.
RUSH: There’s your answer.
CALLER: Interesting, Rush.
RUSH: Well. I appreciate the call out there, Cliff, more than you know. (laughing)
RUSH: Okay. I just got a note from somebody who said that is not what Bill O’Reilly said last night. I didn’t see it, so I don’t know what was said. I had a caller who says that O’Reilly thought that Romney’d be good, an establishment candidate and so forth. Somebody I know says, that’s not what happened. So I’m at a loss. But you heard me. I repeated just to make sure, for clarification, “This is what you think you heard he said?” Almost word-for-word.
This is another thing I’ve found, by the way. It’s not that the caller is trying to be wrong. People think they hear things when they don’t all the time. Communication is a challenging and frustration thing sometimes. You know, oftentimes I will say exactly what I mean in as simple a way as I know how, and people will misunderstand it and think I said something else. Hmm? (interruption) No, no, no. I’m not talking about Media Matters or any of that. I’m just talking about friends, family, whatever. And it doesn’t have to be on politics.
It could be anything.
Communication’s a really challenging thing. That’s why I believe brevity is the soul of wit and all that. So I guess we’ll get clarification if it matters.
RUSH: Okay. What O’Reilly said was that the Republicans could turn to Romney because he got so many votes last time, if they can’t come up with a candidate that wins the primary out right this time around. Best I can figure.