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RUSH: Okay, we finally got lots of polling data in, and it’s official. Trump has not been harmed by the Saturday night debate. And, in fact, you might be able to say that he helped himself in the Saturday night debate.

Greetings, my friends, and welcome. Great to have you. Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network and Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.

Now, you know, ladies and gentlemen, I posited that there might have been political strategy involved in Trump going after 9/11, WMD, George W. Bush. I don’t know how many ways I observed and commented on what Trump’s comments on that Saturday night debate were and what they sounded like, and you’ve probably heard them all from other people by now anyway — that never in my life would I believe that a Republican front-runner would advocate for Planned Parenthood.


Never in my life would I believe that a Republican front-runner would go after the veneered former Republican president, revered in South Carolina, at least, 83% approval rating, George W. Bush. Never did I believe the Republican front-runner would sound exactly like Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, what have you, in going after a former Republican president. And this was theorized by many people as Trump losing control, out of control, becoming unhinged, emotional incontinence, any number of things were used — that was mine of course, quite clever of me — to explain what had happened.

And then the stories populated all over the place that the hall, the arena was populated by donors, the crowd was mostly donors. That has been dispelled, by the way. The Trump camp and a lot of people wanted you to believe that Trump was being booed because they’d stacked the audience in there with establishment types opposed to him. But Sean Spicer of the RNC is out saying, no, no, no, the candidates got the lion’s share of the tickets, we didn’t stack anything.

So I said maybe he didn’t lose control. Maybe there wasn’t any emotional incontinence here and maybe Trump wasn’t unhinged. Maybe there’s an active philosophy or theory, political strategy, and I explained what it was. And I’m just rehashing this because I want to add something to it. So stick with me here. My point was South Carolina’s an open state and there are internal polls from the Bush campaign that showed Ted Cruz really, really, really gaining.


By the way, speaking of that. One of my most revered and admired figures, Dr. Thomas Sowell, has written a column endorsing Ted Cruz. And it’s a really powerful, good column, and in it he is essentially asking some of the low-tier candidates that have no prayer of winning to get out, so that there can be a unification of all of these non-Trump Republican voters, unification behind — he wants it to be Ted Cruz.

Now, Kasich’s not gonna get out, and Jeb’s not gonna get out, and Carson is probably not gonna get out, at least — well, no time soon. Who am I forgetting? Kasich. Kasich’s not gonna get out. Carson’s not gonna get out. Jeb’s not gonna and Rubio is not gonna get out. So what Sowell wants, a unification. His theory is that there are many more Republican votes against Trump than there are for Trump. And the only hope, the only prayer of stopping Trump is if they unify behind one candidate opposed to Trump. He’s suggesting and saying it should be Ted Cruz, that’s who he’s endorsed. And I wanted to point that out in case you had missed it. Sowell is a highly respected figure on the right.

Back to the additional Trump theory, ’cause he’s surrounded by political pros. He’s surrounded by a cadre of conservatives, which tell him the boundaries. ‘Cause he’s not, as I have said — I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, I’ll say it again — Donald Trump is not a natural-born conservative. He’s not a natural-born liberal. He’s not an ideological person in the sense that you and I are. He doesn’t look at Chuck Schumer and see a raving, raging liberal hypocrite who poses a threat to the country as founded. He doesn’t see Schumer that way. He sees him as a fellow New Yorker and a Democrat, and that’s it. Some days he might like what he’s doing, and other days he might not.

That’s not to say that Trump is not actively conservative or not actively liberal. It’s just some people are not ideological. This bothers me. I wish more people were, as you know. I wish more people were able to spot liberalism and identify and attach liberalism to the failures and the messes that exist in this country, ’cause the Democrat Party is the most destructive force, and it is dominated by left-wing radicals. It’s the most destructive force in this country. So Trump was making a move for some of those voters, either because Cruz was gaining ground in the internal polling or because Trump and his people figured, “You know what? If we slam dunk it here we could effectively end this. We can dispirit everybody. We can depressing everybody, and we can just pretty much wrap this up, if we win big in South Carolina.”

So it was either that or trying to stave off and hold off Cruz, ’cause Cruz is gaining ground. Trump makes a move on the left wing, the independents, the Democrats, the far left-wing radicals with all that stuff that he said about Bush. But there’s one other possibility, and let’s acknowledge here that there might be people playing this game thinking months and months ahead of time while everybody else is focused on today, this week, and the next primary. It could well be that there are a lot of people in the Trump camp who are already planning their national campaign under the belief that they have already won this. And if so — I just want to throw something out there to you — if so, what is the number one issue that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is going to attack the Republican nominee on?

What are they gonna do, in the presidential, general election, what is, if not the top thing, it’s certainly gonna be in the top three, are they not gonna go after the Iraq war? Because they have not stopped going after the Iraq war. Are they gonna go after the recession? They have not stopped going after the recession. Are they gonna go after Bush as responsible for all of it? Yes. They have not stopped going after Bush. To this day they blame Bush for everything still going wrong in the country today. They blame Bush for the economy, not Obama. They blame Bush for ISIS, not Obama. Obama gets blamed for none of what has happened the last seven years.


All of that — in the minds of these left-wing radicals — is the fault of George W. Bush and the Republicans. And that, without question, is going to be a major part of their campaign against whoever the Republican nominee is. It has to be. They have to protect Obama’s legacy. And in the process of trying to keep the White House, they can’t acknowledge… I mean, Hillary and Bernie are running around ripping the economy. They’re running around ripping everything, ripping health care.

And we’re all sitting here kind of stymied, saying, “Wait a minute. Isn’t this kind of crazy? Who’s been running the show the last seven years?” But the reason that Hillary and Bernie get away with it is that their own Looney Toon voters do not blame Obama for this. So when Hillary and Obama run around and criticize health care in America as “not enough,” it’s not Obama’s fault. “Obama’s doing the best he could. Obama’s doing the best he can! It’s a good first step, but we still have all of these legacies and all of these pockmarks from Bush that continue to gum up the works.”

The hatred for George W. Bush in the far-left radical sectors of this country is unknowable to you. It is so intense and so deeply held, it’s going to last lifetimes. They succeeded in creating this with the help of the media and a relentless attack on Bush that went unanswered for five years. So point being — and I’m throwing this out there as a possibility — what if the reason Trump was doing all of that on Saturday night was, as I have stated, he’s trying to attract left-wing votes to build up his majority victory that he thinks he’s going to have in South Carolina?

But he also, by going there, took that entire series of issues out of the ammo arsenal of Hillary Clinton in a general election. Possibly. Just speculating here, folks. I know nothing for sure because I’m just… Well, call it educated guessing. But everybody is still trying to figure out what happened to Trump. Why did he do it? I’ve maintained all along that he’s not an idiot and he’s not insane, unhinged, out of control, all that. There has to be a reason he did that. There has to be a reason.

I think it was a studied, researched and thoroughly vetted strategical maneuver. And I think it has to do with more than just getting Democrat votes Saturday in South Carolina. I think it’s all about changing the electoral map, making traditional blue states possible, because when you start echoing what the radical left thinks and when you put that together with the negatives that Hillary Clinton has — and they are profound. I mean, the Democrats… Did you hear…? There was a rapper. I never got the rapper’s name. I just saw this right before the program.


The rapper was doing some rap or some speech somewhere, talking about Hillary Clinton, and he said, “A uterus does not entitle you to the presidency.” A black, African-American rapper was ramming it home on Hillary. A uterus doesn’t mean you automatically get our votes. Folks, look at her negatives. They are high. The only demographic group that doesn’t have a problem with Hillary is 65-and-older women. You go to any other group, and her negatives are sky-high, which means that if there is in any way a credible alternative to her out there…

That’s why Bernie’s doing so well. He’s a credible alternative. In fact, not even an alternative. He’s a credible preferred candidate in many sectors. So there could be a really big, big, big, long game being played here. And I could be all wet. This could be all wrong, too. They may not be this smart in the Trump campaign. They may not have people thinking this far forward. Who knows? But I’m just joining the chorus of people trying to figure it out, make it understandable, come up with plausible theories for it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: No, no. I already told you. I said what happened in the debate. We got three polls out since the Saturday night debate. Trump has not lost ground in any of them. And the average is Trump 35%, Cruz 19%. After the Saturday night debate: 35-19 Trump. Now, one thing on these polls: You know, we’re prisoners to these polls and we have to accept them. You remember the controversy over the final poll in Iowa on Friday prior to the Monday Iowa caucuses, Des Moines Register poll? And did they have Trump winning? (interruption) Yeah, Trump winning by four.

Is that right? (interruption) Yeah, it did. Didn’t have Cruz winning. Cruz surprise… (interruption) Okay, Trump winning by four. But the thing about that poll that nobody believed, and because they didn’t believe this aspect, they pretty much attacked the whole poll; that poll predicted a record Republican turnout. And you had all kinds of polling watchers and analysts poring through the data were saying, “Wait a minute! This isn’t gonna be a record turnout. For these numbers to happen, there’s gonna have to be a record Republican turnout.”

Well, it turns out that there was a record Republican turnout, and the poll had it wrong in terms of the winner. They believed Trump by four. It was Cruz by four. Well, interestingly, many of the polls that are now out in South Carolina are also projecting record turnout. And, just like happened with that Des Moines Register poll, a lot of analysts are saying, “There’s not gonna be record turnout. It’s not gonna be that high. The turnout these polls are predicting in order to get these results, it isn’t gonna be that high.”


But yet it was in Iowa when everybody said the turnout wouldn’t be as high as it was. So we just have to wait. But there are three different polls out. Quinnipiac University. This is a poll that has established a fair amount of credibility. “Trump Surges to 2-1 Lead Among Republicans Nationwide. Clinton and Sanders Are Locked in a Tie Among Democrats.” And as they write here, the Quinnipiac poll, Quinnipiac University:

“The Donald Trump juggernaut rolls to a 2-1 lead among Republican voters nationwide, with 39%, his highest total so far, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with 19% and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with 18%, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has 6% with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Dr.Ben Carson at 4% each.” By the way, in this poll, Trump is up eight points in the last two weeks, which includes the Republican debate Saturday night in South Carolina.

Cruz has lost four points in the last two weeks in this poll. Again, it’s a national poll. “On the Democratic race nationwide, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has 44%, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 42%, and 11% undecided, unchanged from February 5. The top three Republicans are closely matched in terms of voter opinion as Trump gets a 62-31% favorability among Republicans, with 64-17% for Rubio and 62-23% for Cruz.” So, you would…

As the Quinnipiac people say here: “‘Reports of Donald Trump’s imminent demise as a candidate are clearly and greatly exaggerated. Like a freight train barreling through signals with his hornon full blast, Trump heads down the track towards a possible nomination,’ said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.” That’s Quinnipiac. Trump has a 2-1 lead. Again, that’s national. From The State. This is a newspaper in South Carolina.

“Donald Trump still is leading the SC Republican presidential race after the weekend’s explosive GOP debate in Greenville. But the race for second place in Saturday’s primary appears to be narrowing.” Trump 35%, Rubio and Cruz are tied at 18%, Kasich at 10%, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson are in last place at 7%. “Public Policy interviewed 897 likely GOP primary voters Sunday and Monday” after the debate. So, actually, it’s a Public Policy Polling poll, not TheState.com. The State newspaper site is where the results of the poll were published.

So, anyway, the point is there hadn’t been any change. No appreciable change.

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