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RUSH: I want to get back to this story in TheHill.com, and then, after we finish this, we’re gonna get to some of the latest polling data that is hidden in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, because there is some shocking internal information.

In addition to the fact that Trump’s lead continues to grow, there is some really surprising inside stuff about… I’ll just tell you one thing. Of all the Republicans in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, while it acknowledges that Donald Trump is adding to his lead, there is one Republican, according to the people polled in their responses here. There’s one candidate who could beat Trump for the nomination, in the eyes of Republican primary voters, and that’s Ted Cruz. Now, I don’t have to tell you that that little tidbit of information is not something that’s causing ’em to do handstands and flips at the GOP.

“Ted Cruz? Are you kidding me?”

They want that name to be Jeb Bush — and if the name isn’t Jeb Bush, they want it to be Marco Rubio, as we said yesterday. Now we’ve got stories all over the media — Politico, the New York Times — about how the Republican Party is all of a sudden saying, “Well, yeah, you know what? Maybe we can live with Ted. Maybe Ted’s not looking so bad now.” The establishment people say, “Yeah, Ted could be one of us.” So they do want to win. I don’t doubt that. But I found one guy who doesn’t, if the victor is conservative. And let me get right back to this. It’s in TheHill.com.

It is about a Republican donor and organizer (a young man, by the way) named Ford O’Connell. He’s a “strategist,” Republican strategist. He’s one of the many in the Republican Party “who has long insisted that the party must expand its demographic appeal.” He’s one of the people that believe the Republican Party simply cannot win with Republican votes alone, so they have to go out and get other voters. They’ve gotta go get Democrats, they’ve gotta go get Hispanics, have to get African-Americans. They have to go get whatever.

Which is fine, but don’t do it acting like Democrat Lite! If you want to go get these other voters, go do it as a proud Republican conservative. That’s what’s not happening here. And this story details a nightmare scenario for the “modernizers” of the GOP. The modernizers are these people that think for the Republican Party to have any long-term chance of survival as a winning and dominant party, it has got to expand, and it cannot be known as conservative. It’s gotta go much farther than that. The nightmare scenario, as detailed in this story, the nightmare scenario is a conservative candidate becoming the nominee and then winning the presidency.

That is described as “a perfect storm,” an outcome that will “postpone the hard conversations the party needs to have internally.” In other words, Ted Cruz becoming president is a problem, according to this Republican strategist, because it will falsely portray the GOP as a conservative party, “and that’s guaranteed to kill the GOP,” is what these people think. Even in the scenario where Cruz becomes president, that very fact is seen by these people as a death knell for the GOP. What can you conclude from that?

“‘If they are successful,’ O’Connell said of candidates such as Trump and Cruz, ‘then those who are arguing to broaden our appeal will be pushed to the edges of the party.'” Can I translate this for you? This guy and whoever else in the party he’s talking about do not want a conservative to win no matter what. I remind you: How many times have you seen — in the past weeks, recent months — various Republicans quoted as saying if Cruz or Trump are the nominee, they will vote for Hillary? You may have heard me pass that news on to you, or you may have heard it for yourself.

But it’s not just a few. It’s a rather significant number of Republicans who’ve been public, saying, “Hey, if it’s Trump, I’m voting Hillary. If it’s Cruz, I’m voting Hillary.” A conservative winning the presidency is a nightmare beyond belief. Mr. Priebus, what are we supposed to think here? I’m not making up anything anybody believes. I’m not manufacturing what people are saying. I do what I do every day. I sit here, I read, I consume whatever is to consume out there, and I react to it.

And contrary to what people might think, I do not arrive at the Golden EIB Microphone with an agenda. Meaning, I don’t plan this program every night and say, “Okay, do this. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do that. Tomorrow we do that. Friday that and Thursday this, all for the purposes of expanding…” No. I deal with what happens as it happens and react to it accordingly. Here’s how this story begins. It’s by Niall Stanage. It’s S-t-a-n-a-g-e. I’m not sure how you pronounce. S-t-a-n-a-g-e.

“The front-runners for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, are casting aside the lessons of the GOP ‘autopsy’ that was intended to prevent Republicans from losing the White House in 2016. The autopsy report, issued by the Republican National Committee (RNC) in March 2013 after Mitt Romney’s losing campaign and titled ‘the Growth and Opportunity Project,’ was intended to help the GOP set itself up for victory after losing two presidential elections in a row.”

So this thing was set up 2013, here we are 2016. We’re coming three years old is this battle plan. They have been operating on a three-year-old report on how to win that was done by a bunch of insiders who told them exactly what they wanted to hear but not what was correct. “In both cycles, GOP candidates lost badly to Barack Obama among minority voters. The former Illinois senator also defeated Romney in 2012 and Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008 among women and voters under the age of 30. Now some Republicans fear their party is making the same mistakes.”

The same mistakes that were made nominating Romney and McCain, I guess? What “mistakes” are we making? That’s what we’re trying to stop here is the same mistakes. We keep nominating people that don’t have a chance. We have a three-year-old report talking about how to prevent that from happening and they want to keep repeating the process that guarantees them defeat. But it makes them feel better but who they are. “‘To win the White House, a political party has to make folks feel welcome and show that it cares about their daily life,’ said Henry Barbour, who was one of five authors of the 2013 report.

“‘Attempting to appeal to only one segment of the population,” that would be conservatives, “is bad for governing and even worse for winning a general election. And that’s what Trump and Cruz are largely doing.'” What what what what? Trump is conservative now, along with Cruz? These people, that’s what they’re saying? So here again, Trump or Cruz winning? Bad for the party. Who ever…? You know, the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the Denver Broncos on Sunday in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Antonio Brown, their best playmaker, their best wide receiver, maybe the best one in the league, was ruled out today because he cannot pass the concussion protocol after the hit by Vontaze Burfict of the Bengals last Saturday night. So they don’t have their best player. Their best quarterback may not be able to play anywhere near 100%. Should the Steelers stay, “You know what? We don’t want to win. We don’t have our best players on the field, so we’d just as soon lose. It’d be very, very bad to win.

“We don’t have our best players here, and if we win without our best players, our fans are gonna get the wrong idea and people are gonna think that management doesn’t know what it’s doing. If we can win with the backups, then why aren’t the backups playing?” Is this the way they think? You think the Steelers don’t want to win because they don’t have their best players going this weekend against the Broncos? It’s silly. But apparently we have ranking members the RNC preparing this three-year-old report on how to avoid what happened to Romney happening.

They’re saying, “We cannot win if we have a conservative nominee that wins the White House. That’s bad for the party. That’s bad for our long-term plan to expand and grow the party.” And who’s telling them they have to expand and grow the party? Isn’t it the Democrats and the media telling them what they have to do? Isn’t it the Democrats saying, “You can’t win with your attitude on immigration”? Democrats say, “You can’t win the way you look at women.” Democrats say, “You can’t win with your lack of diversity.”

Meanwhile, you look at RNC field, the GOP field; it’s more diverse than anything the Democrats could hope to put up. The Democrats are in the process of destroying this country. The people at the RNC don’t seem to think there’s anything out of the usual about that, nothing out of the norm about this. “Yeah, it’s just the latest Democrat to get elected, but we gotta get ’em back! We gotta get our guys.” Voters think that we’re in the midst of a major, major crisis with the country hanging in the balance, and the RNC people at the GOP apparently don’t think that. So they think anybody who does think that is kooky, a little weird. “We can’t have those people determining who our winner is!”

The story goes on. Haley Barbour gets to this quoting Ford O’Connell.

I’ll tell you who he is. Ford O’Connell’s a young guy.


RUSH: Okay. I’d never heard of Ford O’Connell, so we did a little research here, and here’s what we came up with. He’s a young guy, maybe a Millennial. He founded something called Project Virginia, which is a political action committee that’s supposed to help Virginia Republicans seeking public office to better utilize social media and voter mobilization technologies. He claims to have worked for several campaigns, McCain-Palin in ’08. In 2013 he published a book called “Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery.”

That would dovetail with the 2013 RNC report on how to avoid repeating the mistakes of McCain and Romney. This guy’s book is “Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery.” He’s been talking about this stuff even before Trump arrived at it on the scene. Here are some of his 10 steps. “‘Hug the Gays;’ embrace them and make them part of the political base. Reform the GOP primary process to make it a little more like the Lincoln Douglass debates and less like a deathmatch version of ‘survivor.’

“Reach out to nontraditional and Leftist media. End the Reagan fetish. Come to terms with the fact that Ronald Reagan and the Reagan coalition are dead and not coming back.” That’s who The Politico has written about today that is very worried that if a conservative is nominated and win the presidency, then it delays implementing all of these things that he thinks the Republican Party has to do if it’s to be viable down the road in the future. So the Era of Reagan is over and that’s a “fetish.” Come to terms with that; realize it’s not coming back and move on and hug the gays, embrace ’em, make ’em part of the political base. Hug the media. Same thing. The left-wing, nontraditional left-wing media.


RUSH: Let me read one more little passage from this three-year-old autopsy report prepared by the GOP establishment. After in 2016 loss, they sat town and they wrote this big autopsy of what went wrong and then their suggestions. And in addition to everything else I told you, they say a conservative winning the nomination and becoming president would be the worst thing that could happen for the Republican Party. It would set it back a generation in modernizing.

Honest to God. I’m not making this stuff up. I’m not. I couldn’t even make that up. Not even I would have believed that until I had read it. If you’d have come along and told me that there are forces deep inside the Republican Party who don’t want a Republican conservative become president because it sets the party back… Well, wait a minute. I might have believed it. But, anyway, one more little passage. ‘We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,’ the 2013 report said. ‘If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.'” Meaning, “All we’ll have is the base — and yuk to that!”


RUSH: So I checked the e-mail here. “Rush, what’s so wrong if the Republicans don’t want to get taken over by conservatives and so forth, what’s?” I’ll tell you why it matters to me, folks. It’s not a power thing. I think conservatism’s the only solution we have to our problems. Liberalism is what’s destroying this country. I’ve made the case for 27 years. We don’t need to be redundant and go through it issue by issue, event by event. The solution to our problems is conservatism, as an ideology, as a political movement, as a philosophy, as an economic theory, as a social theory.

It’s the solution to our problems.

I don’t believe it is the problem.

We happen to live in a day and age where a lot of people are so afraid of it because it is the solution. They don’t want that solution. They have to impugn it and try to relegate it to insignificance and so forth. A little story here, a short little story. I was on the golf course, and it was a typical Republican membership club. Not so much conservative, although there were some. A particularly vociferously guy spotted me and came up and started not quite yelling, but accusing me of standing in the way of the party moving forward and it being backwards.

“What do you think you’re doing? What in the world…? Why can’t you…? Can’t you just give it up?”

I said, “What are you talking about?”

“You’re just focusing on all this stuff that doesn’t make sense. You’re the reason! You’re talking about things and you stand for things that are the reason why people hate us and think we’re this and that and everything else.”

“Let me ask you a question.”

“Sure. Ask away.”

This guy’s a he’s in his sixties, late fifties. I said, “Was there a day when you were younger that you opposed gay marriage?”

“Oh, hell, yes,” he said.

“I assume in your teenage years, if you thought about it, you thought it was a crazy idea?”

“Oh, hell, yes.”

“What about in your twenties?”

“Hell, yes. No way.”

“What about in your thirties?”

“Hell, yes. There’s no way. I mean, we never even thought of it!”

“What do you think of it now?”

“I think it’s… Well, um, I don’t know. (stammering) It’s… it’s… We… I… I… I don’t think it’s good.”

“Well, where are you, then? For your whole life you thought it was a dumb thing, a bad idea. You’re the one changed, not me. Why? What made you change? Why do you accept it all of a sudden?”

It boiled down to his kids. He’s got young kids going away to school. They’re coming back and they think it’s cool. He wants to stay hip to his kids. I got him to admit it that he still opposes it, he thinks it’s damaging, but he won’t stand up against it. But I am a problem because I am perceived as somebody standing up against all this stuff. I said, “To me, you’ve got a bigger problem and you have more to explain than I do. Because you’re willing to stand aside and let all this stuff that you don’t believe in, happen. It seems like you’re the one who owes me an explanation, not the other way around.”

I headed off for the first tee, and haven’t seen him since.


RUSH: Let me make another point about this, folks, this attack on conservatism. Look, I don’t want to repeat a bunch of stuff. Just to remind you of the story we’ve had earlier in the day in TheHill.com about this Republican strategist who thinks the worst thing for the party that could happen would be for a conservative to get the nomination and win the White House. That would be the worst thing because it would delay the modernization of the Republican Party that has to happen. I mean, we have to embrace the gays, we have to embrace “comprehensive immigration reform” and amnesty, and we have to get rid of Reagan, and until the Republican Party does all of that, it’s gonna never have a chance at being anything major and dominant.

JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!

RUSH: Okay, so in the midst of all of that — and that by no means is the only such story that’s out there. It’s not a secret that the Republican establishment is not crazy about its own base. It’s this three-year-old “autopsy” written after the Romney defeat that we’ve been quoting from today. I just highlighted these things. We have heard the Bush campaign brag about how they were gonna get the nomination despite the base. They’re gonna be the first to win a party nomination by doing it without their own base.

That was an objective, and to revisit that, the way they were gonna do it was money. They were gonna outraise everybody, number one, and thus be able to outspend everybody else and the other nominees or the other candidates for the nomination, albeit conservatives. They have divvy up all the votes and support. They would divvy up all the money. They would basically cancel themselves out. Jeb would be the last guy standing, and the establishment wins, despite having been supported by the base. That was the objective.

So don’t tell me… Don’t anybody try to tell me that the Republican Party loves its base, wants its base, wants to capitalize on it. That’s not the case. They’re trying to grow and expand this party and deemphasize the conservative aspect of the party. It’s not even arguable. Okay, now, here’s why this so frustrating to me, folks. You and I and anybody with common sense understands what we’ve had governing us for the past seven years. It’s been liberalism on steroids. You can call it socialism, you call it totalitarianism, whatever, but it’s liberalism and whatever other offshoots.

And it’s a disaster. It has destroyed the economy. Ninety-four million Americans not working. It has destroyed… Look at retail sales, a five-year low. Walmart’s closing 159 stores in America, 200 some worldwide. We do not have an economy recovering. We do not have a great recovery or great economy, period. The health care system, which was once the best in the world, has been turned upside down and is nonfunctioning. It costs more. People are now finding ways around utilizing it. But more than anything, it’s not anything like it was promised.

The liberals told us it would be cheaper, that if we liked our doctor and insurance plan, we could keep them. They lied to us through their teeth, and everything they told us about this has not come true. Just the opposite has. Students are graduating college with worthless degrees, like this studies or that studies. There’s no practical application for any of it in the real world; thus they’re not gonna get paid for it. There aren’t any career-type jobs to have out there. Worldwide governments have overspent.

They don’t have any money, with us at the top of the list: $19 trillion in debt. You know where they’re gonna go get the money? They’re gonna get the money from your pension plan. Have you seen the European Union all of a sudden thinks Apple has underpaid its taxes by $8 billion because of the way it structures itself in Ireland. The point is, governments don’t have any money. They have outspent. They have taxed their citizens to the point that everybody is a pauper in one degree or another, particularly in Europe. Now, all of this — and I could go on.

I could detail many other disasters that have befallen aspects of life in the United States, and touched on the cultural rot that liberalism has brought us. You want to talk about the fact we don’t have any borders, about liberals who want this country to have absolute no limits on the people who come here, who they are, how they are, what they do when they get here? The last thing liberals care about is that they become Americans. You can extrapolate that to calculate what it’s gonna mean for job opportunities, wages, career opportunities.

The expansion of the welfare state to support whoever’s coming here and not able to support themselves? That is just fine with liberals, just fine with the Democrat Party. My point is there’s one solution to this: It’s conservatism. There has never been a better time to contrast it. There has never been a better time to demonstrate it. There has never been a better time in the midst of this country being transformed and nearly destroyed by liberalism. We have a greater opportunity than we have ever had to present the solution to people in the form of conservatism and we’ve got evidence for it working.

We’ve got the eight years of Reagan. We could come up with many more examples of that, an individual and group, what have you, places around the world where it works and works fine. We know what we’re gonna be up against. We know that the primary opposition to conservatism comes from the socially, culturally liberal left who look at it as nothing more than an extension of judgmental religion out to deny them a good time and judge them in the process. We know where the opposition’s gonna come from.

We know how it’s made up. We know how it attacks. We should have learned by now how to defeat it and beat it back. The culture of this country is being destroyed from inside out. The education system is a disaster. Have you seen the news stories on what the drinking water in Detroit looks like coming out of the tap? Take a look at wherever liberals have run things with no check and no balance, and it is a disaster. We don’t have to say it anymore. We don’t have to predict it. We don’t have to theorize it.

We just have to point to it because it is reality for way too many people.

Now, I know the Republican Party has a “branding problem,” the party and so forth. My point here with this little dissertation is, we know what the solution is. The solution to this — in the short term, in the long haul, whatever — is conservatism. Now, implementing the solution? There are a bunch of different theories on how you do it. One election’s not enough. I understand all that. It’s not magic. It’s gonna take a real commitment. My point is to reject it, to reject conservatism as the legitimate solution to this is just wrong.

And yet the party — which ought to be pushing back against all of this that’s happened, the party been saying stop for seven years, the party that should have pushing back and trying to make sure that all of this that happened didn’t happen or that it was harder for it to happen or that while it was happening the party should have been speaking up and telling the American people, “You shouldn’t be supporting this. Let me tell you what’s gonna happen,” ’cause it would have! Seven years of a teachable moment has gone by, and we’ve missed it.

Seven years, eight years on the cusp here of really great teachable moments have been wasted because for some reason the Republican Party is embarrassed of conservatism or doesn’t believe in it or take your pick why they aren’t conservative and don’t want any part of it. But the fact of the matter is it is the solution. Now I ran across a piece today, an autopsy on the Romney campaign, essentially. It has a lot of contributors, and this guy (O’Connell I think his name), a young Millennial, spells out the worst thing is a conservative winning the nomination and then winning the presidency.

That would delay “the modernization,” the much needed modernization the Republican Party. It would delay it for a generation. Instead what we need to do is lose. Losing would be better because that will allow us to point inward at our problem and say, “We must finally embrace comprehensive immigration reform and do whatever it takes to make the Hispanics vote for us. Then we must go out and ‘hug the gays.'” I’m reading right from it. I’m paraphrasing, but we have to “hug the gays” and everything about that culture, show them we don’t oppose them, that they have a friend in us, the Republican Party.

And then we have got to get rid of Reaganism. We have to finally, it says here, just end this “Reagan fetish,” as it’s called. Well, I’m here to tell you that that’s not a solution to anything. It isn’t gonna grow the party, ’cause how are you gonna go out and “hug the gays” and make them convert from the Democrats to you? Just the hug? Is that all it’s gonna take? Don’t you realize there are there are issue-oriented, ideological reasons why the militant homosexual lobby votes Democrat? And you’re not gonna get ’em by disavowing conservatism!

I don’t understand the way these people think, which leads me to believe that it’s more personal to them. It’s simply about being accepted and not reviled and hated and thought to been kooky or hayseed or what have you. Regardless, here we are right in the midst of an authored… This is a disaster that has the fingerprints of the Obama administration all over it. This is the result of policy. But we don’t even have an opposition party willing to say that because of fear. It’s fear the media’s gonna accuse them of what being mean to the first black president or being racist or what have you.

And the worst case is that maybe they don’t disagree with what Obama’s done. They just think they could do it better and smarter; I don’t know. But my point here is, what better time to make the case that liberalism doesn’t work than in the midst of it creating this disaster? And why is there a reluctance to do so. And for those of you who think Trump’s not conservative? You know what Trump’s doing? Whether he’s conservative or not, he’s making the point that what’s happening in the country now isn’t working, and that’s why he’s drawing a lot of people who agree it isn’t working and want it stopped and want it fixed.

And by not even being willing to have anybody in the party say that, you’ve left a vacuum open for somebody like Trump to come in and suck up all the oxygen. It isn’t hard to understand what’s happened here.

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