RUSH: Have you ever seen this? Have you ever seen a primary campaign where the two top front-runners in a party are both trying to be destroyed by that party?
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: Do you ever remember seeing anything like this? Forget in your lifetime, because you haven’t. Or maybe you — no. Not two. The two top front-runners, factions, different factions within the Republican Party are trying to take out both of these guys.
Greetings, my friends, and welcome to Open Line Friday on Rush Limbaugh’s EIB Network, the most listened to radio talk show in America. Great to have you here, as always. The telephone number if you want to be on the program’s 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
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So over here you have establishment Republicans trying to take out Ted Cruz by sidling up with Donald Trump. Over here you have conservative intelligentsia, the intellectual leading light of conservatism, National Review, trying to take out Trump. The establishment, which National Review has been plenty supportive of in recent years, is trying to take out Cruz, sidling up to Trump, while National Review is trying to take Trump out.
If Ted Cruz becomes president of the United States, I am here to tell you that there will be more knives needing to be removed from his back placed there by fellow Republicans than by any number of knives in his back placed there by the Democrats, ’cause the Democrats’ attacks will be from the front, and he will see those coming.
I have never seen anything like this, where the two top front-runners are both being targeted by different wings or elements, if you will.
RUSH: I’ve seen in I don’t know how many places, Trump does not have a ground game. That all Trump does is fly in, do a great show for an hour and a half or two hours with tens of thousands of people on hand, and gets on the plane and splits the scene leaving nothing behind, no ground game.
And, again, this is what those of the standard, ordinary operating procedure, conventional wisdom American politics, this is what they’re saying to comfort themselves. “Trump’s not gonna win anything. You gotta ignore the polls. But, no, he doesn’t have a ground game. Trump doesn’t have any campaign experts. He doesn’t any specialists. He doesn’t have any people working the caucus area. He doesn’t have people working in New Hampshire to get out the vote, man the phone banks. He’s not doing any that. You wait. You’re gonna see. The polling numbers don’t mean diddly-squat.”
People are so threatened by what’s happening. Folks, in one sense a lot of this is easy to understand, easily explained from even the psychological and standpoint of human nature. Politics is like anything else. Let’s call it a business just for the sake of it, just to call it something. It has its own rules. It has its own stars. It has its own wannabes. It has its own power cliques. It has its upper strata. It has its worker bees. It has its people that everybody else makes fun of. I mean, the whole gamut.
Politics is thought to be different from that, though, because we learn from the early days in school that politics is civics and it’s policy and it’s the best people with the best ideas, campaigning and receiving support for those ideas and integrity and character. It looks good on paper. But this business is as cutthroat — it’s like any private club. You golfers, you want to join Augusta National, forget it. You don’t have a prayer. The requirements to get into Augusta National are things 99.999% of the people who play golf in this country will never, ever accomplish or qualify for.
You can dream all day long. Politics is the same way. The people who run it are not interested in new blood. They’re not interested in it unless they bring the new blood in themselves and shepherd them and mentor them. But if you’re an outsider and you’ve never been in the business before and all of a sudden you want to come in and run the show and assume the leadership, people are not just gonna back away and let you have it, no matter how great you are, no matter what you might do for them.
Let me put it this way. Forget the name is Trump. If a candidate could guaranteed fix everything that’s wrong in this country the way the Republican Party thinks it’s wrong, if it were a slam dunk, if it were guaranteed, that candidate will still be opposed by the Republican Party establishment. If they’ve never heard of him before or if he’s never been in politics before, if he’s not part of the structure, the infrastructure, if he hasn’t paid his dues, if he’s not part of the clique, they don’t want him in there. It’s exclusionary and it’s got all kinds of people who want to get into it, who want to climb that ladder, who want to be at the top, and you just don’t get there.
In many ways it’s not merit based like so many other things in life are. So there is a natural enmity to outsiders, to intruders. And when an outsider or intruder gets in, gets a nose under the tent and starts making noise, then the establishment lifelong members start caucusing together to figure out how they can get rid of this intruder who might just shake everything up. When it comes time to get rid of the intruder all they know to do is what they’ve always done. They go to their playbook. Whatever party politics playbooks there are, they go to them.
And so when you hear a lifelong political professional, consultant, fundraiser, donor, whoever, when you say, you hear them say, “Well, you know, Trump, he doesn’t have a ground game. I mean, come on, you can’t win without a ground game. You can’t just fly in and do speeches. Even if 30,000 people show up, you gotta have a ground game.” They’re trying to make themselves feel less frightened. Because what’s really going on is the potential here that everything so many people have relied on that’s made them rich, that’s made them famous, that’s given them power, is on the verge of being destroyed and turned upside down.
A lot of people who in their hearts know that they are irrelevant are about to have it demonstrated. In their minds, that’s their fear. And so it’s circle the wagons time, and the Republican Party, for these reasons and others, is really animated, motivated, energized by taking out both of their front-runners, so much so you have heard many of them say they would prefer to lose the presidency of the United States. They would prefer to lose the most powerful office in the world if it meant somebody other than them within their party that they don’t like or approve of winning that office.
Not only that, you’ve heard some of them say they would even go so far as to vote for Hillary Clinton. Does anybody think that’s in the best interests of the country? Does anybody think that’s in the best interests of the future of the country for your kids and your grandkids? No. What is that? That’s self-preservation. That is protection, trying to hold on to little kingdoms and fiefdoms and so forth. But it’s certainly not what you would consider to be in the national interest.
Now, they will tell you opposite things, but that’s why what’s happening here is momentous. You can see by the panic, you can listen, you can hear, see, read the panic whenever anybody in the establishment phase, long there, entrenched, been working it for years and years, decades, when they react to Trump, when they react to Cruz, you can, in many of them, detect the fear.
So then learning what it is they’re afraid of, to me that’s interesting. What I know is that neither of these two parties, in recent years — well, one party is destroying what I wholeheartedly, fervently believe with every fiber of my being is the best nation ever conceived by human beings. One party has set out to destroy it. They call it transforming it. Now, to me, that is a clarion call to opposition. Whatever else, they must be stopped. Whatever must happen, that has to happen.
And this I think is the primary motivating force behind people supporting Trump and Cruz. It’s not about being loyal to an ideology. It’s not even about being loyal to a party. Being loyal to a party hasn’t worked anyway. That’s gotten nothing done. Being loyal to the Republican Party with donations, votes, hasn’t done anything.
Look at National Review. My memory on this, somebody’s gonna have to check this for me, but it seems to me back in 2011 they ran a similar cover story or editorial that was against Newt Gingrich. You remember this, Mr. Snerdley? It was 2011, I believe. They ran a very similar anti-Newt Gingrich cover, an editorial back in 2011. Rich Lowry said back then that, quote, “I don’t think we’ve ever done anything like this,” and by that he meant gather together a group of conservative writers to try to dislodge a Republican. I don’t know whether Gingrich was front-runner or — “National Review to Newt Gingrich: Drop Out.”
So this is not the first time. And who ended up being the cover-endorsed candidate? Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney’s not a conservative. Mitt Romney had to fake being a conservative. He was out there, “Oh, I’m a severe conservative.” Mitt Romney is the architect of what became Obamacare. We nominated a candidate who could not even criticize the number one Obama “achievement” with credibility! So people, Republican voters and donors, look at all this, and they think there’s a genuine crisis happening in this country, a genuine crisis that threatens the very existence of this country as founded.
They don’t see any opposition to it in the Republican Party. They see opposition to it pooh-poohed, laughed at, made fun of. To them, the people who make this country work, there’s a genuine crisis for their kids and their grandkids. So when it comes to being loyal to conservatism or libertarianism or whatever, that’s of secondary importance to stopping what’s happening. Which, translated, is opposition to the Democrat Party, opposition to the American left, opposition to liberalism, communism, Alinskyism, whatever you want to call it.
It’s opposition to Hillary Clinton, opposition to Bernie Sanders. That is what is motivating, energizing, and inspiring this. And that is not recognized, it’s not acknowledged, it’s not even given any respect at many areas in the Republican Party. So what are people gonna do? They’re not gonna say, “You know what? I must make sure that conservatism does not get watered down in whatever…” It’s way beyond that now. Ninety-four million Americans are not working. The border is wide open. Floods of unskilled, uneducated, non-English speaking people are arriving here monthly, and they will work for diddly-squat or go on the welfare state rolls.
In either case, they’re squeezing the people in this country who are working, limiting their opportunity for wage increases, career expansion, and forcing them to pay tax increases necessary to fund an ever-expanding welfare state. They don’t want to be part of it. To them, it’s not about compassion. The Constitution’s not a suicide pact to them. They love the country. They want it to survive. They don’t want it being destroyed. They don’t want it tampered with.
They don’t want it transformed. They have thought for eight years that there was an opposition party joining them in this effort and they haven’t seen it. Now, we’ve got this internecine fight going on over who’s a real conservative and who isn’t, and to me all this is so much bigger than that. It’s momentous. It is profound, and I think hugely important — and really great things can happen here in one of two different scenarios. It’s not all wrapped up in just one.
RUSH: Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He was on Megyn Kelly last night. The whole issue here was trying to take Trump out. They got contributors, 300, 400 words each, and the editors, noted staff columnists and writers in a giant singular focused issue designed to inform people that Donald Trump is not a conservative, and whatever else he is, you should not support him. He represents an existential threat.
So Rich Lowry, the editor — and by the way, National Review once put me on the cover. I forget the year. It was in the early nineties. And it was called “The Leader of the Opposition.” Bob Novak wrote it, the late great Robert Novak wrote the story. They affectionately called him the prince of darkness. He was not a dark guy. He was a great, great guy. Robert Novak had that show on CNN with Rowland Evans, and it was a hoot, it was a hoot to watch. They asked me to be on it and I kept saying no, I don’t want to do it. And finally I accepted the invitation, went over there, and, “Mr. Limbaugh” — (laughing) Rowland Evans was trying to run things by me that he just — I mean, he was the quintessential private club guy.
Rolly Evans, at the end of the day, you’d see him in the lobby of the Exeter Club with a cigar and port with a newspaper open sitting there talking about things with his buddies. He’s classic. But it was a great time. They wrote this story on me as the leader of the opposition early on in this program’s life. And it was rooted, if my memory serves — I have it somewhere on one of my computers or drives here. But I think it was rooted in the fact that the Republican Party should take some guidance from me. The theme of the story was, leader of the opposition, meaning I was conservative, the Republican Party should start paying attention.
I remember, it ran not much — it was ’92, I think, because — okay, well, whenever it was, I ran into Bob Novak after he had written it, at the Republican convention in 1992 in Houston. It was some sort of a cocktail party. And I walked up to him, and they did not talk to me about it, they didn’t interview me, I had no idea it was coming. Wait a minute. No Novak — no, no. Sorry. Novak did not write it. Novak wrote a column in 1992 that was the same theme. I’m sorry. It was a different guy that wrote the National Review cover story on me. Bowman? Was the last name Bowman? Anyway, we’ll find it.
But the theme was the Republican Party’s not conservative enough. You need to listen to this guy. And I can’t tell, it was the highlight of my career, at the time, second only to the night that I met James Bowman. I knew James Bowman. It was second only to the night that I met Mr. Buckley, which was long after that cover ran. Well, not long after. It was some time afterwards. What year was it, 1993? So how many years ago is that? That’s 23 years ago. Yeah, September 6th, 1993, and the theme of the story was the Republican Party should pay attention to me, what’s going on, because they weren’t conservative enough.
Obviously they were trying to provoke the Republican Party with the cover. They provoked a lot of people, actually. But for me it was a great honor. And here we are 23 years later and I look at myself as having not changed. Yeah, I’m still the leader of the opposition. But in terms of the core principles, my core, I haven’t changed. I haven’t bent with the wind. I haven’t bent and shaped, figured out, you know, I haven’t chosen the more popular position on things and gone there. But that’s not true of quite a few others. It’s interesting to go back and look at the landscape. Anyway, as I say, this is, to me, in my lifetime, anyway, it’s unprecedented where a political party is attempting to take out, or elements of the party are attempting to take out both of the front-runners, Cruz and Donald Trump.
Did you see, by the way, National Review had their invitation to co-moderate the next debate rescinded because of this issue? You want to talk about weird. Look, folks, you and I know, the Republican establishment no more wants Donald Trump than they want Cruz. They don’t want either of them. But they hate Cruz. They despise Cruz because they’re afraid of Ted Cruz. At the Republican Party conservatism is an outlier. Conservatism is something to make fun of or be afraid of. Conservatism is something that you only make a pretension of accepting, but in the inner sanctum where the people that run the show really are, you’re not gonna find any real conservatives in there. They’re gonna be laughed at and mocked and manipulated or what have you. And Cruz, they can’t manipulate him, they can’t, as the vernacular is, do deals with him. He’s doctrinaire. He believes it. He’s persuasive with it. He can articulate it. And it’s just scares the heck out of ’em, because in both things are at stake here, in a sense.
Ted Cruz would demonstrate the irrelevance of the Republican Party by winning. Trump, on the other hand, they don’t even think is a Republican. When you get right down to brass tacks, the people inside the Republican Party don’t even think he’s a Republican. They don’t think he’s a party man one way or the other. They think he’s an opportunist maybe engaging in a little populism here, maybe engaging in a little nationalism. But they don’t think there’s a Trump core outside of what’s good for Trump. And if it weren’t for the fact that Cruz is in there, everybody would be joining National Review trying to take Trump out. But Cruz represents the greater threat to the Republican establishment if he were to win.
They’ve got themselves convinced, you listen to Dole or whoever, can’t remember the establishment types piping up, Lindsey Graham, they’re all coming out and saying that Trump, well, yeah, yeah, we can work with Trump. They think Trump is malleable, meaning that they think they’d have their way in persuading him on things now and then. But with Cruz they know that’s a last cause. But either way you slice it, elements of the Republican Party are trying to wipe out their two front-runners and going so far as to say on the Cruz side that if this guy wins, I’m voting Hillary. Some of them have actually been quoted anonymously as saying that.
You remember yesterday on this program toward the end we saw an AP story that Richard Burr, North Carolina senator, was in one of these private meetings with somebody, donors or staff or whatever, and somebody in the meeting reportedly told AP that Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina, told the group that he would vote for Bernie Sanders over Ted Cruz or Trump, I don’t remember which. Anyway, that caused all hell to blow up at the Richard Burr office and campaign.
“Campaign aides for US senator Richard Burr Thursday denied a report that said he had told people he’d vote for Bernie Sanders over Ted Cruz. Aides have asked the AP for a retraction and an AP spokesman said the news agency’s sticking by its story.” They will not retract it. Richard Burr and his people are out shouting from the rooftop: Please don’t believe this! We didn’t say it, Senator Burr didn’t say it, AP won’t retract it, but we didn’t say it.
AP when they were asked about it: No, no, no, no, we’re standing by the story, we got a good source, our source told us that’s what the senator said. We’re sticking with it.
So you can see it doesn’t fly when people hear it. Richard Burr is not the only one. There are a number of Republicans who are leaking to the media via spokesmen or anonymous admissions themselves. “Oh, if Trump or Cruz, largely Cruz, if Cruz wins, oh my, I’m outta here. We can’t have Cruz. Count me in. I’m voting Hillary. I’m voting Bernie, whatever.” And it just sits there because it’s anonymous. We don’t know who it is actually saying it. We’re told it’s a prominent elected Republican in each instance. There are four of them that I know of. This one mentions a senator, Richard Burr. Look what happened when the news was identified and attached to an actual senator, the senator goes into gear and denies it.
Why? If Ted Cruz is such a bad thing to happen, why not, when you’re accused of not wanting him to be president, why not stand up and own it? Forget it’s Burr, anybody, any one of these Republicans or senators, if they’re out there anonymously whispering to anybody in the media, “Hey, let me tell you something, I’ll tell you how bad it is,” they say, “If Cruz gets the nomination, that’s it for me, bud, I’m voting Hillary or Bernie, whoever it is on the Democrat side.” They write it down and they save it for a rainy day.
Now, you think they really mean it. They’re leaking it. They’re saying it. But when the news is reported and attached to a name as it was with Richard Burr, what’d Richard Burr do? He didn’t stand up and say, “You’re damn right! You’re damn right! If Ted Cruz gets this nomination, I’m outta here. That’s the end of this party for me. I’m votin’ Bernie. I’m voting…” No, he didn’t say that. No, he ran out and begged people, “Don’t believe it! Don’t believe it! I didn’t say it!” Well, wait a minute, now. He’s not the only one.
If it’s that bad, if Ted Cruz winning is that bad that you would vote for a Democrat for president, why not own it? That’s what I don’t understand. If it’s that bad and you’re threatening to do this off the record, why not own it? Well, the answer is they’re really not gonna do it. They’re in a state of panic. They hate Cruz for any number of reasons. He has taken ’em on in the floor of the Senate. He’s challenged their integrity and their honesty. I mean, reasons are understandable. “But to hell with party loyalty. I mean, if he gets the nomination, screw it!”
I’ll tell you this. If Cruz gets the nomination, they will work — some of them will work — to undermine him. I mean, there’s no question. The same thing with Trump. There’s too much at stake here for the Republican Party, folks. This is the point that I’m trying to make. All these age-old Jurassic Park dinosaurs, they want to hold on to their club. They want to hold onto control of the club. They want to be able to be the ones determine who gets in the club. They want to be able to determine who is a leader of the club.
They don’t want to lose the club and they don’t want to lose control over it, and it doesn’t matter what happens to the country in the process. This is their livelihood, as far as they’re concerned. This is their careers. This is their money. This is their income. This is their future. See, when it’s their future on the line and it gets threatened, then they’ll do whatever it takes to protect it. When it’s your future that’s imperiled resulting from policies they either don’t oppose in Washington or support, you’re supposed to gut it up, toughen up, and understand that there are larger things we have to work on here.
And then you’re told you must continue to donate, you must save the party, you must support the party. The party won’t even come out and openly support you, because to do so might get them called racists or something by the media. I’m looking at all this, and I think it’s just momentous what’s happening here. I think it’s bigger than anybody even realizes, because everybody that’s talking about it is really looking at it personally. “Oh, my God, what’s this gonna mean for me? What’s this gonna mean for my think tank? What’s this gonna mean for my magazine
“What’s this gonna mean for my party? What’s this gonna mean for my committee chairmanship! What’s this gonna mean for…?” And to the people — the people, the voters — none of that is of any concern to them. The stakes for them are personal, too, and the places they have sent money and offered support, thinking that their causes and that their interests were gonna be advanced or represented or defended, they haven’t seen any of that. So they’re saying, “Okay, fine. We’re on our own, and we’re going wherever we think we can best stop the Democrat Party, Barack Hussein Obama, and anybody else who’s part of that organization.”
It really isn’t no more complicated than that.
RUSH: You know, folks, you’ll recall this. I have been saying for a long time, as I’ve been doing this for a long time, how the Reverend Sharptons and the Reverend Jacksons do not want the race problems of this country to end. They’d be out of business. They don’t want solutions to the civil rights problems. The Democrat Party doesn’t either. The Democrat Party doesn’t want a solution to illegal immigration. They want to profit from it and they want to register them as voters.
The worst thing can happen to Jesse Jackson is if racial harmony descended and swept the nation. They’d be out of business. Without any racial strife, without any imagined bigotry, racism, sexism, all of these left-wing social groups would be out of business. They need something to complain about. They need things in rotten shape in order to make a living, in order to seek donations, which is how most of them make their livings, off of other people’s charity. Well, that kind of thinking is not restricted to just the Democratic civil rights coalition.
There’s all kinds of people out there who enjoy the opportunity presented by the academic exercise, the opportunity to be part of the debating society to show how smart you are, how brilliant you are. In other words, some people constantly need something to run against as a reason to exist. And my point is that those people don’t claim not to understand what’s going on. The people that are abandoning both establishments for other candidates, they are results oriented. They want solutions. They want some of this stuff to be brought to a halt. They want some of these people who have been winning too long, to lose. It’s that simple.