RUSH: In Reno Donald Trump with a rally on Sunday afternoon. Now, Trump has, for five days running now, been toying with this idea that Ted Cruz has a citizenship problem. And it’s understandable. Cruz is leading in Iowa. Trump wants to win Iowa. Trump has had some success going after Obama’s birth certificate and his eligibility and so forth. It could be argued that’s what put Trump on the political map, in fact.
So now Trump has focused on Ted Cruz. All of the official recognition is in and there’s no question. Ted Cruz is a United States citizen, up, down, sideways, inside out. There’s no question there. He’s a total, 100% American citizen, and it’s not a matter of dispute. Now, that doesn’t mean the Democrat Party won’t sue if Cruz is elected president. They will sue, just like people sued Obama to find out the truth about his birth certificate. So Trump is running around saying: do we want that distraction? Do we want to nominate somebody who’s gonna end up being the subject of a lawsuit? “So, Cruz is a problem. And here’s the problem: It’s called uncertainty. It’s called you just don’t know.”
Trump said yesterday that “‘this is not a settled matter’ and that he’s not the only one raising questions. He said if Cruz becomes the Republican nominee, the Democrats could challenge his eligibility in lawsuits that could drag on for years. ‘Does anyone know more about litigation than Trump?'” Trump asked. And, believe me, nobody does. Trump is the king of litigation. “Okay? I know a lot. I’m like a PhD in litigation.” And then he led his audience in a chant. He let the audience weigh in at the rally yesterday afternoon. He shouted, “Is he a natural born citizen?” It was in a ballroom at some Reno hotel. And members of Trump’s crowd shouted back, “No.” And then Trump said, “I don’t know. Honestly, we don’t know. Who the hell knows? We have to find out.” And then you know what the song Trump played to open his rally was? (laughing) Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA.
Now, it’s funny, I’ll grant you, but this, you know, Born in the USA is a leftist anthem. Actually it isn’t, but the way it has been used up to now in pop culture is it’s a song that the left uses to criticize America in many ways. That’s kind of the irony of it. I’ve always found it kind of curious. They think Springsteen’s song, it’s about a vet that comes back and is royally dumped on, and mistreated and America’s at fault and so forth. So that’s the anthem and Trump using it borders on Trump going after Cruz again from the left. But there’s nothing here. I mean, there’s no question about Cruz’s citizenship.
But Trump’s right, the Democrats will file lawsuits. They’re still litigating Florida and the recount in 2001. They will probably file lawsuits if Trump wins over hairstyles or some such thing. But Trump’s not letting this go, and I think the reason is he’s bothered by Cruz’s resiliency in Iowa, which takes us back to the audio sound bites. We’re up here to number two. And this happened this morning on CNN’s New Day. The cohost Chris Cuomo speaking to Errol Louis, who is a host on New York 1, Inside City Hall. And they had this little chat about evangelicals and the Hawkeye Cauci and Trump and the power structure and what really makes it all happen there.
CUOMO: How confusing is it for these voters, the evangelical types, but just really mainstream conservatives in Iowa to have the radio people, these demigods for them saying don’t listen to this stuff about Cruz, this is crazy, Trump’s way off. Meanwhile, at the same time, they have all this enthusiasm for Trump. I mean, there’s a real clash of the titans.
LOUIS: Trump is their guy because they think he’s a warrior who can go in there and set things right. And that doesn’t mean they’re not evangelical, and it doesn’t mean that they’re overlooking the fact that he, has one author put it, almost runs the table on the seven deadly sins, you know, wrath and all this. But he is somebody who they think can do something that they want done, which is to stop a process of erosion and of slippage and of losing their position in the country and in the world.
RUSH: And Chris Cuomo frustrated there because his guest did not pick up on the real meat of his question, and that’s who is responsible for all this, and that’s the radio people, these demigods, the talk radio people, these demigods. No wonder these people in Iowa are confused. These people on the radio have way, way too much influence. Same network, CNN this morning, Alisyn Camerota, speaking with the senior political editor of the Daily Beast, her name is Jackie Kucinich, about the presidential primary, the battle between Trump and Cruz. And Alisyn Camerota said, “Trump has been raising questions about Cruz’s eligibility to be president. And so far, all Cruz has done in response is put out a video of Fonzie and trying to signify Trump has jumped the shark. Does Cruz need to do more than that?”
KUCINICH: Trump does have to be careful when he’s going after Ted Cruz. You remember a couple months back it actually backfired on Trump because of those talk radio guys. They started to really not like how Trump was going after Cruz, someone who has really pushed the conservative message during his day job in Washington. So while Trump keeps on hinting and putting this out there, he does need to be careful with some of those voters who really do like Ted Cruz, not to overplay his hand.
RUSH: Well, that’s the way Trump’s handling it, he’s saying, “Hey, we got a problem. I don’t know, we might have a problem, could be a lawsuit problem. I’m the king of litigation. I know how it all works. I like Ted Cruz, good guy, but we could have a problem, I don’t know. What do you think? Is Ted Cruz naturally born?” “No.” “Well, it’s a possibility. We don’t know.” Here comes Springsteen singing Born in the USA. So it’s a bunch of subliminalty going on here. Trump is saying it without saying it because, according to the Jackie Kucinich, he’s gotta be afraid of these talk guys. Trump’s gotta be very, very careful, ’cause it backfired, those talk radio guys, she said.
Now we move on to CNN’s Reliable Sources. This is their version of the media navel-gazing. This is the show where the media analyzes itself and supposedly calls out its problems or sings its own praises. Michael Harrison is the guest. He’s the publisher and editor of Talkers magazine. Brian Stelter, the host, says, “Do you credit talk radio with Donald Trump’s success in the past six, seven –” Now, that question, let me explain the question. People on the left — and remember, I made a point of this last week. You have to understand the way these questions are asked and where they come from, and it’s not just the Democrats. The Republicans are the same way.
When it comes to you, people they think are considered to be average, ordinary Americans, you must understand one thing: They do not believe you are capable of independent thought. Whatever you think, if it goes against what they want to believe, if you happen to support things they don’t think should be, if you believe things they don’t think should be, then somebody’s to blame for making them think that, for making you think that, and it’s always been me.
Talk radio has always been blamed for what you do and what you think. And Brian Stelter (obviously schooled in this art) thinks the same thing, that you are incapable making up your own mind about anything. You’re incapable, otherwise you’d be a good liberal. You’d be a good liberal and willingly turn over your life to the government. You don’t want to do that. You want to turn your life over to talk radio. Therefore, you are mentally disabled. You are incompetent; you’re incapable.
And that’s where the question comes from. Here’s the question he asks Michael Harrison. “Do you credit talk radio with Trump’s success?” So it couldn’t be anything to do with Trump, see? It couldn’t be that you independently and on your own like Trump. No, no! It has to be that you’re being brainwashed. It has to be that you are being propagandized by talk radio. Here’s Michael Harrison again, the editor/publisher of Talkers magazine. Here’s his answer…
HARRISON: Absolutely not. Talk radio is just one of many media that is playing into Donald Trump’s success. Donald Trump was created by Donald Trump, and Donald Trump’s media success was created by NBC and The Apprentice. He’s a shock jock that is now running for president.
RUSH: Whoa! Donald Trump is “a shock jock.” Do you know what he’s saying? He’s saying, “Donald Trump is talk radio,” not that talk radio is Donald Trump. But Michael Harrison’s a believer in talk radio. He’s not a critic. Well, I mean, he’s a critic in the sense he likes certain things, but he’s not a universal critic of the format. He believes in it deeply and admires it. And so here’s Stelter sitting there at CNN (impression), “So on are the talk radio guys…?” No, Brian, actually you are. NBC and The Apprentice, your favorite networks, they’re the ones that gave Trump the media exposure. Don’t blame it on our talk radio guys. They’re just capitalizing on it.
So Stelter’s not totally satisfied, and he probes, now making it personal.
STELTER: You don’t think that Rush Limbaugh’s show and others, they represent and they reflect the anger in the country that Donald Trump has taken advantage of?
HARRISON: There’s anger in a lot of places. I think liberal talk radio has created Bernie Sanders, if you want to look at it that way.
STELTER: That’s interesting! But liberal talk radio is so much less influential than conservative talk radio. You know that Rush is number one.
HARRISON: Yes, but I think that we give far too much credit to all of talk radio for creating the situation, that talk radio really — very intelligently like the rest of the strategic media — is reflecting. I wouldn’t be so quick to say that conservative talk radio is creating the hate and anger that, uhh, Donald Trump is tapping into.
RUSH: I don’t know about hate, but, look, this came up last week. Why shouldn’t people be mad at what’s going on to this country? Why shouldn’t people be angry at what’s being done to this country? Anger is called for! Anger is perfectly legitimate! But the reason people are angry is not because talk radio or Trump is making them angry. They’re angry at Obama! They’re angry at the Democrat Party, the Republican establishment. They’re angry at what? At what liberalism and its implementers are doing to this country. Trump’s tapping into something that already existed. But listen to little Brian here.
(impression) “Wait a minute! You don’t think Rush Limbaugh…? You don’t think Rush Limbaugh is reflecting the anger and Donald Trump is reflecting the anger in this country? You don’t think Rush Limbaugh’s responsible for it?” is essentially his question. “You don’t think Rush Limbaugh’s…?” “Well, liberal talk radio’s hate…” “Oh, come on,” Brian said. “Liberal talk radio doesn’t have any influence at all.” He’s right about that. “But I don’t think Rush Limbaugh’s responsible…” See, they believe — and I guess saying they really believe that when things are not going their way and people are mad at them, it’s only ’cause you’re too stupid to know and you’ve been told to be mad at ’em by me. Anyway, good job by Michael Harrison here.
RUSH: Back to the phones. This is John in Redding, California. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you for taking my call, Rush.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: Yes! You being the tenured professor at the Limbaugh Institute of Advanced Conservative Studies have taught us students out here that words mean things.
CALLER: That being said, I have looked at the every Naturalization Act from 1795 —
CALLER: — to 2016, and I do not find the words “natural born citizen” in any statute. So then how is it that Cruz, being a n-naturalized citizen (sic)…? How is he a natural born citizen?
RUSH: No, he is natural born.
RUSH: You have to go back. This is why the original intent of the Founders is so important when talking about the Constitution. Back in the days the Constitution was written —
RUSH: — in Article 2, “natural born citizen” was a derivative of “natural born subject.”
CALLER: Ehhh, I believe that the Founders used the (unintelligible) more than they did Blackstone or somebody along those lines, which he stated “born in country to citizen parents” is a “natural born citizen.”
RUSH: Well, it has been debated. Words have been written. There have been lawsuits over this. I mentioned last week, I saw a blog post of 75,0
00 words — some legal website with 75,000 words — of opinion on this, because it was not defined in the Constitution. The best anybody’s been able to do is go look at what is meant —
RUSH: — by “natural born citizen.”
CALLER: The Supreme Court has weighed in in Minor v. Happersett. Very clear, very clear on what the definition is.
RUSH: Uh, then I wouldn’t —
CALLER: That was a 9-0 decision by the court, and the chief justice wrote the opinion.
RUSH: Are you telling me the Supreme Court has opined in such a way that Cruz is not a legal citizen?
CALLER: That is correct.
RUSH: Then you’re not right.
CALLER: No, no, no, no!
CALLER: Don’t put words in my mouth!
RUSH: You’re not right!
RUSH: You’re not right. I don’t care what, you’re not right. You can sit there all day long and try to tell us that Ted Cruz is not a citizen, and you’re wrong. I don’t care what you’re citing or sourcing. The Supreme Court… If it were true, Cruz would be out. There are legal opinions all over the place quite to the contrary on this. (sigh) I endeavored to answer the question honestly, and the moment I got the first sentence of my heartfelt, honestly intended answer, bam! Here came the, “You don’t know what you’re talking about, Blackstone v. The Town.” I’m saying to myself, what the hell is Blackstone v. The Town? Natural-born subject, Founders, British law at the time. It’s settled. Cruz’s mother was a citizen. Therefore he is. Deal with it.
RUSH: Well, we have a new poll out from Quinnipiac, a poll that many consider to be credible, and in this poll, Donald Trump has retaken the lead in Iowa by two points over Ted Cruz. The margin of error here is four points, so it’s essentially a tie. Trump leads the Republican field in Iowa, according to the Quinnipiac poll just out, 31, Cruz has 29. But again that lead is within the four-point margin of error.
Now, in the same poll voters view Ted Cruz more favorably than they do Trump, however, and more are open to the possibility of voting for him. One of the things that the powers that be running around, the way the establishment’s dealing with Trump now, “Okay, yeah,” they’re admitting, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s got big crowds, yeah, yeah, yeah, and he’s got a lot of polling support.” But, they ask, how many of his supporters are actually gonna show up and vote?
So now the latest grasp the establishment’s taking is taking is that, yeah, Trump’s got a lot of supporters, but we don’t think very many of them will actually show up and vote. They just like to go to his rallies and be entertained. But as far as actually registering and voting, nah, ain’t gonna happen.
And then there’s this. The Republican establishment is also trying to comfort itself by telling themselves that Trump has no ground game anywhere. Meaning, he doesn’t have armies of volunteers in various places in New Hampshire and Iowa working the phones and pounding the pavement and knocking on doors and trying to get out the vote. What they’re saying is Trump flies in, he lands, his entourage goes from the airport to the venue where he’s speaking, he does his little appearance, he heads back to the airport and leaves. He’s got no ground game. He has no prayer. There’s no mechanism here to help these people get up and actually go out and vote.
This is what the establishment’s telling themselves. So they’re gonna look at this Quinnipiac poll and they’re gonna be enthused, they’re gonna be encouraged because the Quinnipiac poll says that Cruz is viewed more favorably than Trump and that more of his supporters claim that they’re gonna vote than Trump supporters do. It’s phrased “more are open to the possibility of voting for him according to the new findings. This is only the third poll of the last 11 in Iowa in which Trump has led. Other recent polls have shown Ted Cruz in first place.”
So I tell you what’s gonna happen with this. Trump is gonna think that what has bumped him back into the lead here is focusing on Cruz’s citizenship, his eligibility. So you can expect Trump to double down on this now, my guess, anyway. ‘Cause that’s what they’re gonna think has resulted in the change. So just be prepared, keep a sharp eye. That’s probably what Trump’s gonna do. And then all eyes will be on Cruz to see how he plans to deal with it.
RUSH: CNN Inside Politics. Are we still here with little Brian? No, this is John King’s show, talking with senior political reporter Manu Raju about the presidential primary. He said, “Ted Cruz starting to move in Iowa. We talked about this for a while. But number two, if you’re Trump, you’re close enough still, and Quinnipiac now. Trump’s back up by two there. The idea’s to keep Cruz from growing. Is Trump looking for a win or just to keep it close in Iowa?”
RAJU: Trump has finally found something to go after Ted Cruz. Remember, he tried to, you know, raise questions about his being evangelical. “There are not many evangelicans (sic) who came from Cuba.” Kind of a questionable attack. He also said that he acted kind of crazy in the Senate. And when he did that, he got blowback —
RAJU: Yeah! He got blowback from conservative talk radio. Rush Limbaugh said, “What are you doing? Of course, that’s great! He should be doing that.”
KING: Yeah, that was —
RAJU: And now he finally on the ethanol and the Canada thing, he’s had some traction. I’m sure he’ll continue to push that.
RUSH: So Trump has to try to attack Cruz without drawing blowback from me. That’s the upshot here. Because, you see, you people? You’re too stupid to be able to understand what Trump is saying if you’re a Cruz supporter. You need me to tell you when you should get mad at Trump. And Trump also needs me to tell him when he should stop doing what he’s doing. That’s what these people think. It’s amazing what I control. Just amazing. Why doesn’t Sean Penn want to interview me?