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RUSH: Hard to pinpoint the biggest thing to happen in the debate last night. I have a series of observances — sorry — observations. Observances would be taking the day off for a holiday. Sorry. I seldom misspeak like that, linguist that I am. One of my first observations was if anybody is wondering why Trump can say things that don’t appear to make sense and not lose anybody in his support base, I would call your attention, I would direct your attention to when Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if he would pledge not to go third party.

Trump, in that answer, immediately morphed from whatever performance persona he adopted — and, by the way, they all have performance personas. I’m not singling Trump out here. Some of them are better than others. Rubio had his performance persona, Cruz had his, Carly Fiorina, Kasich, hard to tell, Christie, they all do. Trump has his. He came off of his in that answer. And what you got was the Donald Trump that people know him, see every day. Gone was the bluster. Gone was the combativeness and he just answered the question to the point Hugh Hewitt actually applauded. First time I’ve seen a moderator applaud at a debate, on our side.
You see the moderators applaud Hillary all the time.

And what basically Trump said, and again, gone was the braggadocio. Here came the humility. He talked about how honored he was to be the front-runner. How honored and proud he is to be a Republican. He has no intention of going third party, and he looked everybody in the eye and promised to work his hardest and do his best to beat Hillary. I’m not talking about what he said. It is the way he said it that, if you don’t understand, just get it and look at it. That will tell you, that will illustrate for you, if you’re having trouble understanding Trump and his support base, that will show you how and where he makes his connection to his supporters.

Now, those things, those type of events or instances happen frequently in his personal appearances. And if you haven’t been to one, or if you haven’t seen one televised in toto, then you may have missed some of these. But that, to me, was quite telling. And, in addition to that aspect, just the subject matter makes it a pretty big item in the debate, cause he’s gonna have a tough time walking that back. It’s gonna take something momentous for Trump to walk that back with credibility, because he pretty much promised last night from the bottom of his heart, it wasn’t just words.

Then you run across this Politico story: “Bush v. Trump: Behind the Vegas Rumble — Jeb Bush has considered declaring he would not support Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.” Now, something like that, let’s say that if Jeb gets out, and if when he gets out he says, “I’m not gonna support Trump. I will not support him in a Republican Party nomination.” Well, that could give Trump grounds to say, “Yeah, I’ve always predicated this on being treated fairly and being supported. If that’s gonna happen, then screw you guys.” I mean, I could see that happening, if Jeb or other powerful figures in the Republican Party publicly claim that they’re gonna split the scene. But aside from that, I mean, it was a pretty serious commitment, and it was sincere, and it was from the heart.

It’s important to point this out because there are still people trying to figure out how is it that Trump gets away with saying things that if anybody else says them he would lose support, and in some cases a big amount of support. He doesn’t, and that’s why. Folks, it’s all rooted in the personal connection, that what is perceived to be the personal connection or personal bond, and Trump has it, and people who have not seen it or are not looking for it, may not know it, and if they don’t, then that would confuse them.

That’s one thing. I’m sorry about this, but I could not believe the open to this debate last night. I was doing double-takes. What was last night? It was a debate, right? What happens in a debate? People argue, right? Sometimes their voices raise and people jockey for position. And sometimes people ignore the rules and try to assert themselves if they’ve got maybe their last chance here to make something of the campaign. So the question was, “Governor Kasich –” I don’t even remember the question. All I remember is the answer. The answer was: “I was talking to my daughter and I asked her what she didn’t like about politics. She said, ‘Dad, there’s too much arguing. There’s too much shouting.'”

Really? Governor Kasich opens a debate claiming there’s too much arguing going on? Did I hear that right? I asked myself, could I possibly have mistaken that? At the beginning of a debate we’re arguing and positioning and fighting and asserting and all this is the order of the day. One of our candidates — and I know what he was trying to do. I was telling Mr. Snerdley earlier today, I really — especially now, folks, there apparently is still a large swath of the Republican establishment, primarily the RINO club, that apparently still believes that what the American people want to hear is how Republicans can cross the aisle and cooperate with the Democrats to get things done, to show that we can govern, to show that we can cooperate, to show that we will consider opposing ideas. And that’s what Kasich was trying to score points on.

Nobody has scored points on that since it was first tried years ago. Every candidate who based his appeal on that has been skunked and yet somewhere in the Republican establishment they still buy into it. The fact of the matter is, the reason it doesn’t work is there’s already plenty of cooperation between the Republicans and Democrats inside the Beltway. The Republicans are cooperating on all the spending Obama wants to do. The Republicans are cooperating on all the refugee importation Obama wants to do. The Republicans are cooperating on illegal immigration amnesty. The Republicans are cooperating on — well, maybe not cooperating, but they certainly are not doing everything they could be doing to stop Obamacare.

The question, the problem is not that we’re not seen as cooperative and willing to cross the aisle and bipartisan. The problem is there has been way too much of that and there aren’t any distinctions between the two parties in terms of inside the Beltway. So I don’t understand the advisors or the thinking of somebody who opens a debate claiming our biggest problem is that we’re gonna be arguing for the next two hours. Sorry. That be like starting a Major League Baseball game and saying you can’t throw any harder than 35 miles an hour. We want to make sure everybody has a chance. It’s indicative of something that’s a major, major problem at the Republican establishment. They don’t even get where we are.

They don’t understand that the vast majority of people that are gonna vote Republican are sick of all the cooperation, sick of the bipartisanship, and they want the Democrats defeated. They want the things the Democrats believe in defeated. They want ’em smoked. They want ’em skunked. A lot of people booed when Hugh Hewitt asked — and this was the second time the question was asked. He asked Ben Carson if he was okay with murdering innocent civilian children and so forth.

Yeah, the audience booed Hugh Hewitt and the question, but Wolf Blitzer tried it twice with I think was it Cruz? Wolf Blitzer tried that question twice. You know, this debate was not media bias last. It was just flat-out media incompetence. A: Way too many people on the stage for this stage of the campaign. More than half the people up there last night had no business being there at this stage. And the questions! You know, Trump was largely correct when he said that the bulk of the questions are, “Senator Rubio, Donald Trump said back on March 31st… What’s your reaction to that?”

And he was right. Even if the questions were not about Trump, they were about, “Senator Rubio said of Senator Cruz two weeks ago…. What is your reaction to that, Senator Paul?” Do you know what I couldn’t believe didn’t get discussed last night? I could not believe the whole subject of vetting Syrian refugees was not specifically addressed last night. I mean, it was talked around with the telephone metadata and what we should do about surveilling the internet and this kind of thing, but the actual vetting of these refugees was something that didn’t come up.

And it’s not specifically CNN’s fault, but when Wolf Blitzer’s up there demanding that the rules be followed… You know, had it been me when Wolf Blitzer said that, I would have said, “Mr. Blitzer, with all due respect, the audience is not tuned in to watch you make us follow the rules. The audience is tuned in here to see which of us on stage they prefer, and the only way that can happen is if we’re the ones speaking, not you.” But don’t misunderstand. This was not as bad as the CNBC debate. It was just incompetence. It was structured incorrectly.

The questions were bad, and limiting, is the problem. And the pressure was brought to bear by Blitzer that the rules be followed here. And camera time depended on the rules being followed, so the moderators did have some leverage. They weren’t gonna follow the rules; they weren’t gonna ask you any questions. So it was kind of a Catch-22 as far as the participants are concerned. But that question from Hugh Hewitt was actually first asked by Wolf Blitzer, and I think it was of Cruz. The way it was worded… It’s a valid question if you ask it a different way.

It’s a totally valid question if you ask in a different way. I mean, if you understand that the purpose of war and the purpose of armies is to kill people and break things, then that question makes perfect sense. But the way this question was asked, not only of Dr. Carson but of Ted Cruz, essentially was, “You Republicans, you really don’t care about life! You’ll just kill anybody, right? You’ll kill anybody to get what you want. You’ll kill anybody to get where you want to get, right?” That’s what that question meant.

And that’s why there was booing in the audience, and that’s why there was some reluctance to deal with it. It was a bigoted question. It was a prejudiced question the way it was phrased. But the fact of the matter is that is exactly how you win wars. Go back and look at any of them. Look at our bombing of Germany. Look at Hiroshima, Nagasaki. You really don’t need to look beyond those two. Who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? What were the military targets there? Where were the surgical strikes? We killed innocent civilians. That’s what happens in war.

War is terrible. War is horrible. But once you get into it and you have to win, there are rules, and this is how you do it. And all it would have taken was somebody to explain this last night. Now, maybe there wasn’t a desire to do so because we’re so imbued with political correctness that that kind of truth might have been seen as insensitivity and callousness, but… (interruption) Well, I know. See, even when I say it, it sounds… Not scary. I’m not scaring people here, but people don’t think of war that way. It is shocking, but that’s precisely how wars are won.

That’s the purpose of war. It’s not complicated. Kill people and break things until the enemy surrenders and apologizes for starting the whole thing. That’s how wars end. They don’t end with negotiations. The negotiations happen long after the military defeat, unquestionable military defeat and surrender. Then you start talking terms. And that’s when you get the apology and that’s when you get the promises that they’ll never do it again, and that’s when they agree to give up all of their arms and weapons, as the Germans were forced to do after World War II.

But none of that happens until somebody gets shellacked. It doesn’t happen with the Red Cross. It doesn’t happen with Doctors Without Borders. It doesn’t happen with environmentalist wackos running around trying to “save the planet.” Negotiations don’t happen over doctors, nurses, and clean water. Wars are won by whoever kills more people and breaks more things. It may be uncomfortable hearing it, and that actually was what Hugh Hewitt was asking. When the audience booed his question of Dr. Carson, Hewitt did a quick double-take on the question.

He asked the question a different way, and I knew what he was doing. I knew where he was going. He was not trying, I don’t think, to entrap or ensnare Carson. I think they were actually… In Hewitt’s case, I think he was actually trying to learn if the people he was asking about this understand what’s at stake, when you get into one of these things, when you are serious about war. Because in wars that are won, innocent people die. Civilians die.

In most cases in the past, that has been the objective, as well as taking out military targets. It’s been the objective. That is… Why do you think the terrorists, the Hezbollahs…? Why do you think they put their military people in schools and hospitals? They know we’ve become so PC with so many rules of engagement that that’s how they escape us actually prosecuting a war in ways necessary for victory. They understand that we’re dominated and we’re ruled with a tight grip of political correctness.


RUSH: On the subject of the questions asked by the moderators last night, I just thought they were monotonous. I thought the questions were boring, and I thought at times the debate last night was boring. It had its moments, and it had its confrontations, and there were (on a couple of occasions) actual debates that took place. Primarily, as I predicted yesterday, between Cruz and Rubio. Oh, yeah. Did I ever call that, or did I call that? And it was clear why. The subject matter that they were debating was very substantive, and it was instructive, and it was important.

But for the most part, the questions were just monotonous, monotone, same, same, same. No matter what the subject, the question was, “So what are you gonna do about terrorism?” “So what are you gonna do about the NSA spying?” “So what are you gonna do about ISIS?” “So what are you gonna do about this? What are you gonna do about that? What are you gonna…?” There were no detailed questioning. There were no questions that invited a probe of depth into the subject matter. Now, again, don’t misunderstand.

I realize that the contestants here, the participants can take whatever question they want and go wherever they want with it. They don’t have to be hemmed in. But Blitzer a number of times last night made it clear that if — in his schoolmarm’s opinion — people weren’t following the rules, there was gonna be a price to pay, and that would be they were gonna be ignored. So there was leverage used in that way, and, as such, “What are you gonna do about ISIS? What are you gonna do about spying? What are you gonna do about the NSA? Do you really want to get out of the Internet?” He knows nobody wants to “get out of the Internet.”

We got caught up on things that people were trying to score points on things that were just silly and were irrelevant.

Everybody knew what everybody meant.

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