RUSH: Here’s Gary in Shelby, Michigan, great to have you, sir. I am glad you waited.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, Democrat dittos to you or debate dittos. We watched the other night, played your drinking game. My wife’s so mad she’ll never let me watch another one, ’cause I drank all her wine, but —
RUSH: (laughing) Okay.
CALLER: Other than that, hey, listen, Rush, to my point, I’ve been a longtime listener since 1992. I love you, and I’ve always heard you say you never endorse a candidate during the primaries. I’ve never questioned that. That’s your prerogative. But I’ve also heard you say on a lot of occasions that you’ll let us know when it’s time to panic. If we get the wrong person elected this time, is it time to panic? We have a true conservative in this race. You’ve said it many times, that Ted Cruz is the only true conservative we have. And if we don’t elect him, I think it’s time to panic. What do you think?
RUSH: Well, that’s tough. Because what I’ve always meant by that is it’s time to give up on the country. And I don’t think we’re there. There’s too many of us out here, Gary, to just cede the country to these people. Now, on the endorsement side — can you hang on while I play a couple sound bites here? ‘Cause it dovetails with —
RUSH: — exactly what you’re asking about here. Gary, don’t hang up, no matter what you hear here, because I’ve coming back to you when this is finished. We’ve got Megyn Kelly on her show on Fox last night. And, by the way, I get grief every year on this no-endorsement policy. And today there’s an editorial at Investor’s Business Daily praising me for what I said about Cruz but claiming that it’s too late. If I’d have said this weeks ago, that it might have mattered, but since I didn’t say it weeks ago and only said it this week, that it’s too late.
I’m flattered that so many people think that I could determine who wins and loses these things. That’s what I reject by saying I don’t endorse. The thing about this, folks, one of the things that I’ve always from the first day of this program, and this program in particular because it was national, if it worked it was gonna be a big deal, and one of the things that I have always strived, striven, whatever, to do, is keep myself in perspective. You hear complaints that the moderators become the story in the debate, or something similar. I never wanted to do that, and I never get lost contemplating how important I am or how big I am, ’cause I’ve just made a concerted effort to keep what I do and who I am in perspective, so I don’t get lost in ego, become insufferable.
I could give you names of people who have become — they’re out there now — what I never have wanted to become. Not endorsing is made up of many theories and strategies, and in no particular order one of them is, I don’t know these people that well, and I’ve got no control over how they’re gonna run their campaigns. And I’ve got no control over whether they’re gonna stay true to who they say they are or not.
The last thing I’m gonna do is tell you by virtue of endorsing somebody that you can give it up for them, too, months and months ago, only to find, say, at this point in time or next week or whatever they totally bail and become something else. Since I can’t control them doing that or not doing that, I’m not gonna invest myself in it. I don’t control them, I’m not part of their campaigns, I’m not part of their staff, advisory or otherwise.
In addition to that, there is this business of not wanting to trample on the event. I’m not running. I look at newspaper endorsements and I read about all these people that do, and I think they’re full of it to think they’re bigger than the process. The process is where we determine who wins. It’s up to the candidates to win, not me or anybody else. Now, I’m flattered that people think that I could be the margin of victory for somebody, but I don’t look at myself that way. And, if I ever did, you would not be able to put up with me.
I would make Max Headroom look like a dwarf. And I vowed never to do that. But I’m not running, therefore I’m not going to act as though I’m the guy with all the answers and these people are all doofuses and idiots. I will tell you what I think of the process as it goes by and what I think of the people as it goes by the same as you. You are free to agree with me or not.
When we get to the general, it’s a whole different thing. Then that becomes our team versus their team. And that’s a whole different thing. There are any number of people that I think running now who can beat whoever the Democrats throw up there. And it’s not contrary to people who might wish me to utilize whatever power they think I have. I do not think in those terms.
So when I said what I said about Ted Cruz, it was because it was important to say at the time. There were Republicans that were beginning to cave, and they were trying to tell everybody how conservative they were but yet they were trying to sidle up to Democrats or one thing other another and one thing I felt confident saying is that Cruz wouldn’t. I don’t mean to be putting down Rubio when I say that Cruz is the closest thing to Reagan we’ve ever had. It doesn’t mean that Rubio is no good. And it doesn’t mean that Trump is no good.
I also said yesterday at the same time I said what I said about Cruz, I don’t think Trump is ideological. That’s not a criticism. Not everybody looks at things through the ideological prism like I do, or maybe like you do. Like I said about Trump, when he comes at Chuck Schumer, he doesn’t see a raging commie leftist. He sees a New Yorker that he has to get through, go around, deal with, whatever in his business. It’s better to be friends with the guy than not, but in politics that all changes. But Trump doesn’t look at people that way. And it’s not a criticism.
Everybody in this race is different. Trump is attracting a wide variety of people. His coalition is made up of people above and beyond those who call themselves conservative. There’s this new group out there called alt-conservatives, which are basically a bunch of young populists, when you get right down to it. They’re not doctrinaire conservatives ideologically, but they are right-wingers on enough, but they’re also populists and nationalists. And they think conservatism doesn’t go far enough in some cases. So he’s got a broad-based coalition out there.
Now, this all came up last night on Megyn Kelly on Fox. She had Dr. Krauthammer on there. By the way, I pronounce his name that way ’cause it’s how Henry Kissinger pronounced it to me one time. He asked me, “Did you see the Krauthammer column?” I said, “Which one?” “It’s the Krauthammer column in the Washington Post this morning.” “No, I didn’t see it.” Ever since he said that, when it comes time to mention Krauthammer’s name, “Dr. Krauthammer.” It’s just my Kissinger impersonation. I don’t mean anything by it, trying to be clever.
Anyway, Megyn Kelly, two sound bites here with Dr. Krauthammer, talking about Cruz, me, and what it all means.
KELLY: What’s so fascinating about Trump is — and Rush Limbaugh was making this point — that he’s not ideological. What Limbaugh was saying: He’s not a Republican, but he’s not a Democrat; he’s not an ideologue at all. He was saying: If you are an ideologue, if you are going for the more conservative guy, you go for Cruz. Trump’s got sort of a different group. I’ll let Limbaugh say it in his own words here. Listen.
RUSH ARCHIVE: If conservatism is your bag, if conservatism is the dominating factor in how you vote, there is no other choice for you in this campaign than Ted Cruz, because you are exactly right: This is the closest in our lifetimes we have ever had to Ronald Reagan.
RUSH: Yeah. I’ve heard people say, “You left out Rubio!” No, I didn’t. We’re talking here about other factors. Rubio’s a good guy, don’t misunderstand. This is another reason why I don’t endorse, ’cause for everybody I would endorse, 90 others would get ticked. Can’t make everybody happy. (Kissinger impression) “Here’s Dr. Krauthammer of the Washington Post responding to what I just brilliantly had said moments ago…”
KRAUTHAMMER: I would disagree in the sense that I think Rubio is an authentic conservative. Bush is kind of a reformist conservative. All of them I think would be comparable to Reagan in 1980. There are several candidates who are conservative, but I do agree that Trump is not a conservative. I think, you know, he would probably reject that. But I think the record would show he’s a Trumpist. He’s kind of a “what-the-hellist,” meaning —
KRAUTHAMMER: — you know, these guys have not succeeded. As he said in a tweet I think, uh, today, “You elected these guys to the Congress. They made the promises; they haven’t kept them.” And therefore he’s coming in to solve problems, and he’s not a traditional conservative.
RUSH: Okay, Gary, hang on, I gotta go to commercial break next, and we’ll be back and discuss this.
RUSH: Okay, now we bring Gary from Shelby, Michigan back into this. Now, you heard all of that. How would you react to it? Based on the question that you asked me.
CALLER: Well, Rush, first of all, I really respect your humility. A lot of people wouldn’t believe you’re a humble man, but you’re a very humble person, and you don’t think you make that big of a difference. But I also know that the only true principled conservative with the Constitution ingrained in his brain is Ted Cruz, and what concerns me is the possible four Supreme Court nominations in the next four to eight years. We’re barely hanging on by a thread there right now. It’s 5-4. It could go either way.
RUSH: That’s true. That’s ballgame kind of true.
CALLER: That’s time to panic if that happens. If we get somebody — and I’m talking anybody but. Because I’ve heard some of the nominations suggestions from the other candidates, and they’re scary. Ted Cruz is the only person that will stand up and use his political will to put the right people in the court, and he’ll be damned if he doesn’t.
RUSH: Well, let me illustrate it. When I said what I said yesterday, I got some e-mail reaction. When I said what I said about Trump, that he’s not a conservative, that Dr. Krauthammer thinks he might disagree; that Trump might think he is. But my point is Trump, I don’t think, is. Not like you and I are. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to do the right things, in my mind, by any stretch. But my illustration that when Trump sees Chuck Schumer, he doesn’t see a raving leftist. But I think he should!
Given what Trump believes on immigration, Chuck Schumer is in the way. If Trump really believes this stuff about building a wall and sending ’em home and send ’em back and make immigration legal again, he’s got to realize Chuck Schumer is a pro-amnesty leader. Now, I don’t worry that Ted Cruz will not see Schumer that way. That’s all I mean by Trump not being ideological. A lot of people aren’t, folks. It’s been one of the most frustrating things about doing this program for 27 years.
I’ve always said (I’m blue in the face) that if we could have educated… We tried here to get more and more people just attuned to the ideological identifications of people. If we could have, we could have spared ourselves so damn much trouble. If people knew what liberalism meant to their lives, if they really knew what it meant — not Democrats equal compassion and caring and equality. If they knew the destructive nature of it, if they knew the reason they can’t get a job is liberalism rather than Bush and the recession — which is what liberals tell them —
Do you realize how many people still think that the economic problems today are Bush’s fault, partly because the media gets away with lying about it and the Democrats do? But it’s also due to the fact that people are not educated to the realities of liberalism, and they do not understand the direct, hands-on role Barack Obama and the Democrats have had in the economic destruction. How do you still blame Bush? It’s eight years ago! But they are. “We still haven’t recovered from the Bush recession.” That’s what they tell themselves. You want to talk about frustrating? And I’ve always thought the cure for this is ideological education.
But hell, when the Republican Party won’t even go there.