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RUSH: So everybody’s asking, “Where was this?” Everybody’s asking, “Where’s this been? Why didn’t we see any of this before last night?” I have the answers for you. And you’ll remember, the answers made sense. It would have been fun, yeah. But there are answers to that question and a lot more coming up here. … So we have some overview observations to start with. I have to tell you — in no particular order, just what’s on the top of my mind now, as things pop into my mind — Rubio has changed the tone of this thing.

Now he’s mocking Trump. He’s literally… He’s mocking. He’s calling Trump a con artist out there, and now what he’s doing, is he’s going out at his appearance in Dallas today. He’s actually reading and making fun of Trump tweets. Here. I’ll give you a sample. This is Rubio just this morning in Dallas during a campaign event, and this is how this is now happening.

RUBIO: Let me tell you something. Last night in the debate during one of the breaks, two of the breaks he went backstage. He was having a meltdown. First, he had this little makeup thing applying, like, makeup around his mustache ’cause he had one of those sweat mustaches. Then… Then he asked for a full-length mirror. I don’t know why ’cause the podium comes up to here, but he wanted a full-length mirror. Maybe to make sure his pants weren’t wet. I don’t know. Then… Then I see him pacing back and forth and then he’s huddled in the corner talking to somebody. He’s, like, waving his arms up and down, and the person is trying to calm him down.

RUSH: He also read from his tweets, and he was making fun of Trump misspellings. Apparently Trump’s misspelled the word “choker,” c-h-o-c-k-e-r, and a couple other things. He was, actually, holding up his phone and reading Trump tweets and making fun of them. Now, this hasn’t happened. Nobody has done this, at least not in this way, and certainly the candidates have not gone there where Trump is concerned, and everybody’s asking: “Why?

“Where was all this before last night? How come Cruz didn’t go after Trump, and how come Rubio didn’t?” And there are reasons. Now, you may not agree with them, but we gotta go back in time to understand this, because it requires memory. In the first place, Jeb Bush was in there and there were a whole lot more people on stage in previous debates than were there last night. But the main reason nobody went after Trump until last night… Well, let’s put it this way. The main reason nobody went after Trump before last night…

There were two reasons. One reason is that everybody — and this is especially true of Cruz. In this case, Cruz purposely didn’t. Cruz could have taken out Trump any time he wanted. I think Rubio could have, too. The reason people are asking this question is ’cause it’s so frustrating. This all happened last night. “Yeah, all good and well, but it’s probably too late,” people are saying. “It’s too late for it to matter, because Cruz and Rubio have too much ground to cover and not enough time to cover it.”

But they could have taken Trump out long ago, so why didn’t they? Well, one of the reasons is everybody expected Trump to implode, and they didn’t want to tick off his voters. It’s really no more complicated than that, particularly in the case of Cruz. I mean, you could see early on that Cruz — and he was not alone in thinking that Trump was gonna blow up and bomb out. Everybody has thought that. The Republican establishment thought Trump was gonna implode. They’ve been hoping he was gonna implode.

Everything thought it was gonna happen at some point or another, and they wanted to be able to scoop up Trump’s supporters when that happened, and so everybody said, “Let’s not make them mad. Let’s ride with this. Let’s keep the gloves on when it comes to Trump so that we don’t irritate his voters, so that when it comes time that they’re up for grabs, that we have a shot at ’em.” I think that’s the overriding reason why all this time in the past people didn’t hit Trump. I don’t think it’s people were afraid of him.

If people were afraid of Trump, they would still be afraid of him, and they wouldn’t have done what they did last night. I don’t think this has been about fear. It may have been about fear or concern over angering Trump’s voters. But I don’t think these guys are worried about Trump per se coming back at ’em. You know, this is something that’s been bandied about for the entirety of this campaign. “Yeah, these people, they see what happens. You go after Trump and Trump comes right back at you!

“You know, he’s back at you and you end up being destroyed and that’s the reason these guys are afraid of what Trump’s gonna say.” I don’t think that was it at all. I think they were strategically planning to pick up Trump voters, pick up the pieces when and if Trump imploded. And turned out to be a miscalculation, ’cause Trump has not imploded. And he didn’t implode. Rubio, I think, held back hoping that Cruz or the media would take Trump out. I think Jeb hung back thinking that Trump would implode and that others would take him out.

But none of that happened, and it was really rooted in a desire that when such time as Trump’s campaign went south, that people would be able to pick up his voters, and it was all about not making them mad — which, at the time, made perfect sense. Well, it makes perfect sense if you present the premise that Trump’s gonna implode. If you think that Trump’s voters are gonna be up for grabs at some point, it makes perfect sense not to do something to tick them off by personally going after Trump. But now all bets are off; none of that matters.

Because these guys don’t have any time.

Cruz has got to win Texas on Tuesday. Rubio has to win Florida on March 15th. However, I should point out to you, ladies and gentlemen, Rubio and the Republican establishment have been huddling. And they are plotting ways. I told you this was going on. I told… Well, I didn’t. I didn’t know it. But common sense tells you it is, that Rubio and some donors and some establishment types are plotting ways to blow up the convention so that…

Not broker it because that’s not really possible, but just blow it up and to deny it to Trump. Now, here’s the problem with that. If Trump ends up with the number of delegates that he needs in the primary process, there’s nothing they can do. If he has the delegates, the only way that they can blow the convention up is if nobody shows up with the minimum number of delegates to win, which is 1,237, or 1,327. I forget the number, but it’s in that range.

If they follow the rules. If they follow the rules.

Who was this Telemundo babe last night? What…? Do you realize it was bizarre? This Telemundo moderator, her name was Maria Celeste Arraras. She did not ask a single question. She made speeches. Some of her questions were longer than the 30-second time limit answers the candidates were given, and they were all about her thoughts on Hispanics and immigration, and at the end of every speech she said to the candidate to whom she was asking, “Do you get it?”

And if she didn’t get want answer she wanted, she went to somebody else and asked after making her speech, “Do you think he gets it? Do you think they get it?” and it was all about Hispanics and illegal immigration and, “Don’t you people understand that if you continue to oppose illegal immigration Hispanics are gonna hate you?” And it was this continuation of this notion that Hispanics are monolithic, they all think the same, and they all think the US should pay no attention to its laws no matter what they are if Hispanics benefit from it.

It’s absolutely a crock. But she was there, and it’s more and more the same of the Drive-By Media doing what they can to pick our candidate. I also noticed that, you know, Trump was in trouble in much of the debate last night in ways that we’ve not seen Trump in trouble. And I thought… This is just me, as a viewer: I thought that Wolf Blitzer had a plan for bailing Trump out when he got into what appeared to be a jam, and that was to go to Kasich, and Kasich is his own interesting case. A couple of observations about Kasich.

In the Apple iPhone business, the FBI, Kasich mocks what’s going on now and says what a real president would do is get everybody and bring ’em in the Oval Office and shut the doors and settle this and not do it on the front page of the New York Times. And everybody says, “Yay, yay!” No, that’s not what what’s supposed to happen in matters like this. The president is the FBI. The president is the executive branch. The president is the Department of Justice. In a situation like that, that’s not what you want.

You know, Kasich’s answers were those of somebody who thinks the government ought to be involved in everything, and that’s the red flag for me. I’ll give you another example of that. When they were discussing health care and Kasich was bragging about how they’ve done it in Ohio, and one of the things he said was plans that he has, ideas, are to lower prices by convincing doctors you’ve got the upper range, you got the lower range of prices, and some were in the middle as the sweet spot.

And his idea is to convince and persuade doctors to charge nearer the bottom of the range in exchange for financial rewards. I said, “Well, who’s gonna come up with the financial rewards. Where are the financial rewards coming from? Government? So government’s gonna sit there and try to ‘persuade’ doctors to charge less in order to bring down costs and in exchange for doing that they get rewards? That’s the incentive, and somehow this is gonna save money?

I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make any sense. Who’s paying for the rewards? And we didn’t hear how much the rewards are. We didn’t hear what the bonuses are. We didn’t hear any figures, numbers, percentages, or anything of the sort. So theoretically, “Wow, sounds like really good stuff!” But once again, it’s nothing but the government involved fixing everything, solving everything. Whatever mess is out there, government’s got the solution, and it always involves the government coming up with and defining what fairness is and then endorsing it on everything.

I don’t know. Red flags went up, folks — I’m just telling you — when I heard all this stuff. Ben Carson probably had the line of the night when he asked people to attack him so that he’d get to speak and say something. He did have a memorable line. He said, “You learn much more from somebody by looking at the fruit salad of their life rather than an interview.” And, “You know, I like that,” people said. “That sounds cool. That sounds really, really good.” (interruption) Yeah, I know. Rubio mocking Trump for sweating, that’s a little bit strange.

But that’s not the point.

The point is, they went out and made fun of Trump last night. That hasn’t happened, particularly Rubio. You know, one of the things that stood out for me was Rubio… What is it? He said, “‘Get rid of lines’? What does he mean?” He was talking about the lines, talking about health insurance. And we all know what was going on. I think this is illustration of something, actually. The point is in health insurance, insurance companies right now can only offer policies in certain states. They can’t sell policies in neighboring states or other states.

And the way this ends up being described in the news media and when people talk about this is generally said, “We need to allow the insurance companies to cross state lines in order to be able to sell in more places, and that would create competition. That would lower prices.” So Trump is talking about the lines, and, “We’ve gotta get rid of the lines.” And Rubio said, “What’s this ‘lines’ business? What do you mean? State lines? He doesn’t even know what he’s talking about,” Rubio said.

And then Trump went on to demonstrate that he does understand what they’re talking about. But still, just know that he was the products of advisors telling him about this, and they also used the state-lines analogy, and so that’s what stuck with Trump, in his explaining it. And that enabled Rubio and Cruz both to make the point that Trump really doesn’t know what he’s talking about here. He really is shallow. He’s starting… Rubio makes fun of him for repeating himself over and over, five times in five seconds.

And the crowd seemed to love it. I heard Chris Wallace on Fox today say, “I didn’t like this at all. I thought, ‘Yeah, it was a great show,’ but I didn’t see anybody act presidential. I didn’t see anything in that debate last night,” Chris Wallace said, “that made me confident that anybody on that the stage has the depth to actually lead this country. I just saw a bunch of people attacking each other and trying to score points, debate points here and there.” So the reactions to this are all over the place.

And we’ll get yours, too, as the program unfolds. We got audio sound bite highlights as well. So hang on. Got it revved up here, set the table.

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