RUSH: Jeff in Warner Robins, Georgia. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. How are you today?
RUSH: Just fine. Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Great to talk to you. Hey, I’m a Cruz supporter, and I’m just wondering — I think that Romney’s speech is actually helpful to Trump because it’s just more evidence that the establishment doesn’t like him. And I wonder if you have any ideas about how Senator Cruz might be able to combat that. I have one that I’ll run by you maybe and see what you think.
RUSH: Well, first thing, you’re right. Every call we’ve had today has been of the opinion, every caller has been of the opinion that Romney did not do anything but help Trump here by either making people madder at Romney and madder at the administration. Or more defensive or supportive of Trump, or insult them or what have you. But we haven’t taken one call from one person who thought, “It’s about time somebody said what Romney said, it’s about time!” None of that.
I’ve been checking my e-mail. I can’t check near all of it ’cause it is too voluminous, but everywhere I’m looking for reaction, Drive-By Media and various TV networks and websites, everybody thinks what you think, that this is gonna get Trump an additional four points in the polls. Snerdley, have you seen anybody out there that thinks Romney hit a home run today? I haven’t, either. I haven’t found one person. Now, you tell me how you think this might help Cruz.
CALLER: Oh, I don’t think it’ll help Cruz. I just wonder what can Cruz say, how can he react to it in order to spin it as opposed to, for lack of a better term, limit the damage.
RUSH: The one thing that people need to know about Cruz that they don’t know — look, I could be all wet here. I think Ted Cruz was an outsider before Trump. I think Ted Cruz came along and took on the establishment before Trump did. But the problem that Cruz has, he’s an elected senator. That right there says the opposite of being an outsider. It doesn’t matter that he’s taken ’em on face-to-face, floor of the Senate, Cruz versus McConnell and so forth. That happened in the daytime. I don’t know how many people actually saw that later on that day or later on that week on the news.
But when you get right down to it, perceptions are what they are, and Cruz is the in the Senate. He is an elected Republican in the Senate, and Trump’s not. Trump’s got nothing to do with politics. He is genuinely physically an outsider. Cruz is an outsider and he’s been fighting these people longer than Trump has, but he’s been doing it from inside, from within. So I think what he needs to do tonight is just hype the fact that he is an outsider as well because that’s the magic here, and he’s got to let it be known that even though he’s in the Senate and even though he’s elected and ran for office, that he has chosen to take them on face-to-face.
But I think, speaking about this, he’s got to branch out and use language that is not specifically tailored to movement conservatives. See, I know what Cruz’s election strategy is, or was, before Trump got in. And it’s all rooted around the four to five million people, Republicans, who did not vote in 2012. ‘Cause I’ve talked to Senator Cruz about it, and he is of the belief that if those four to five million could be inspired to turn out and vote, and everything else stays the same, the Republicans could win.
So he set out to get those four to five million. And he’s of the opinion that they are very conservative, movement conservative, even some of them evangelicals. That’s why he speaks the way he does, he’s speaking that language. When he talks about Obamacare, when he talks about the Supreme Court, when he talks about any of these issues, he uses language that you would see any movement conservative on a conservative website use or a conservative magazine. He needs to branch out and use language that says the same thing but doesn’t sound like it is movement conservative ideological.
And that’s what I think the challenge is. His message isn’t wrong. It’s just he’s limiting his appeal because he actually is trying to appeal to a small group of people. He’s assuming that the people that voted for Romney in ’12 are gonna show up and vote Republican again, so they’re there. The four to five million that didn’t vote, that’s his target. Plus I think I heard him say once that whatever the total number of evangelicals in the country, 24, 25 million, so he’s trying to talk in language that’ll get to them, too. But he’s got to branch out because that language is limiting, and it is language that inside conservative movement people use. So I think he’s gotta harp on that. He can’t let Trump own this outsider status.
CALLER: Yeah. Do you think he could come back and paint Trump as an…? My view on Trump is just ’cause he hasn’t been elected to office doesn’t make him an outsider. He’s been rubbing elbows with the powerful people in Washington politics for 20 or 30 years.
RUSH: Eh, that’s not… No. He ought to not even try to take Trump voters away. It’s a losing proposition. Romney proved that today. He’s gotta go out and get people that were gonna vote for Jeb. He’s gotta get people that were gonna vote for Rubio. He’s gotta get people were gonna vote for Kasich, Carson. He’s gotta focus on all those Republican voters that did not vote for Trump. He isn’t gonna take one vote from Trump because that isn’t gonna happen. I don’t think going after Trump… Especially after this today, going after Trump today is gonna be seen with piling on with Romney. And that’s not gonna do him any good. Nobody wants Romney to be joined in this.
CALLER: Okay, let me ask you this one. Does this tactic…? What you think if this may or may not work? Could you say that comparing Trump and Romney, other than the vast personality differences, they’re both Northeastern liberals who, for most of their life were pro-choice and pro-gun control, and the —
RUSH: No. I’m gonna tell you again. I’m gonna tell you: You’re going to lose if Trump is your target. Leave Trump alone! And not because you don’t want Trump hitting you. There are many people voting in these primaries that are not voting for Trump, that are not voting for Cruz. He’s got to go get them. And I don’t think trying to link Romney and Trump is going to work after Trump gets through dissecting Romney today, number one. But, number two, you’re not gonna talk Trump voters out of voting for Trump. It isn’t gonna happen.
Now, it sounds to me like you’re more interested in Trump being discredited than you are in Cruz winning, and (sigh) you might want to join the crowd that’s tried that, but there hasn’t been anybody succeed at it yet. I just think there are a lot of primary votes yet to be had from people who oppose Trump. He’s not winning a majority of Republican votes. He’s getting a majority of the media coverage, he’s getting a majority of the fascination. But when you look at raw vote totals, Cruz is only 79 delegates behind him right now.
So… And I’m not… (interruption) No, I’m not trying to protect Trump! I’m telling you the truth. There’s no way that anybody is gonna talk Trump voters out of supporting him, and there’s no… You’re not gonna convince a Trump voter that there’s no difference in Trump and Romney. You’re not gonna convince a Trump voter that there’s even similarity! It’s a losing proposition. Even if it’s true, you’re not gonna succeed. Trump’s supporters are glued, because it’s about more than Trump. So the focus has to be elsewhere. That’s as clearly and plainly as I can say it.