RUSH: I want to play for you a sound bite from Tom Brokaw, formerly of the NBC Nightly News. He was on the NBC Nightly News last night in a special segment, as a special correspondent, and I want you to listen to what he says. I guess it was a commentary. Remember, Romney went out today and warned everybody. Barry Goldwater. Remember: The Republican establishment, when they think “conservative,” they think landslide humiliating defeat 1964, Barry Goldwater.
They do not think what that wrought. They do not think Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing, the beginning of the Reaganism movement which led to Reagan winning two landslides in 1980, and the Republicans being viable in California and having massive success with policy implementation — economic and foreign policy. The Soviet Union imploded, the Berlin Wall came down, just magical stuff. And they do not go there. They go back to Goldwater. And so they’re trying to square Trump supporters into abandoning him ’cause we’re just headed to a landslide defeat in 1964, and so is Tom Brokaw. Listen…
BROKAW: We’ve been here before. In 1964, the Republican establishment tried to keep Barry Goldwater from the Republican presidential nomination. They failed, and then he lost massively to LBJ in the ’64 election. Four years later, Richard Nixon made his famous comeback. So you never know with politics.
RUSH: Right. Hey, just don’t throw that off there, “Four years later Richard Nixon made his massive comeback.” The reason is that 1964 started something. They look at that as a landslide defeat, but 1964 started something, and that something is still alive and thriving and well. And I’m a proud member of it, as are you. Yes, 1964 was when conservatism officially planted itself in the Republican Party, and it grew and grew and grew.
And it is defeated when the Democrats and Republicans together unite against conservative candidates. Now, this is not to say that Trump is a Goldwater conservative or a Reagan conservative, but he represents the same thing Goldwater did: fringe outsider, not one of us, can’t let this guy win. They were happy Goldwater lost in a landslide. That’s the dichotomy here. They think back to it and they shudder. “Oh my God! We don’t want to go through that again.” But they loved it.
They loved conservatism getting creamed back in ’64. But all it was was the first step in a massive growth of a movement rooted in the founding of the United States of America, planting a flag and taking a foothold in the Republican Party. You go out and you can find Democrats — they’re out there talking today — who were campaigning for Jimmy Carter in 1980. You can find Democrat consultants, and they are very honest today. They will tell you that the happiest day of their life was when the Republicans nominated Reagan.
They thought, “Nobody’s gonna elect this guy, a doddering old fool actor — a B actor at that. He acted with chimpanzees! This is who the Republicans have nominated?” And they didn’t take him seriously. They thought it was the easiest campaign of their lives. Jimmy Carter was running for reelection, and before the polls had even closed in California on election night 1980, Reagan had won and was declared a landslide winner.
And those Democrats — who will openly admit what they thought of Reagan back then — are talking today, because they’re putting it in context of the now, and they are drawing parallels. They’re saying, “You know, I remember what I thought about Reagan. I remember I thought Reagan was a doddering old idiot, slobbering old fool, a gummer, a B actor with chimpanzees. No chance. And I’m thinking of Trump the same way.” They’ll tell you this. I saw one of them was quoted on Fox this morning, and he said, “I’m thinking of Trump the same way.”
But they’re having second thoughts now.
They’re not confident, in other words, of their view that Trump is some aberration, oddball weirdo that’s gonna get skunked in the general. They’re worried it’s going to be just the exact opposite. You get them to be honest with you when there aren’t any other Democrats around to spank them and they’ll tell you they’re worried sick that Hillary can’t beat this back. It’s what they really think. And Tom Brokaw says, “Well, we’ve been here before: In 1964, the Republican establishment tried to stop Goldwater.” Their frame of reference is amazing.