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RUSH: Oh, man and what a day this is gonna be! I can just sense it. I mean, we’re literally loaded with exciting things here to talk about. I can’t wait to get into all of it. I don’t know what to start with first. But whatever it is that interests you, hang on, because we will get to it today before this program expires in three hours. Telephone number, 800-282-2882 if you want to be on the program, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

Open Line Friday means rank amateur callers can talk about whatever they want to talk about. That’s the career risk. Lovable rank amateur callers. Okay, the two endorsements. National Review has officially endorsed Ted Cruz this morning, and their piece, their editorial endorsement, is posted at National Review Online or soon will be; I think it’s out now. And I think I got word that Phyllis Schlafly and Ed Martin (who is the president of the Eagle Forum) will endorse Donald Trump today at a noontime rally in St. Louis.

I don’t know if Trump’s gonna be there or not. (interruption) What debate? (interruption) There was a debate last night? I didn’t know there was a debate. I saw the Trump press conference this morning where Ben Carson and — there was a debate last night? Really? Well, whatever happened in the debate last night, it’s old news because Carson endorsed Trump today and he was all over TV for an hour. Again, Trump hijacks cable news for yet another hour after the debate last night with the Carson endorsement today.

Now, there are a lot of people, folks… You can’t win for losing if you’re these guys. The debate last night was civil, and the media was disappointed. They were unhappy. They expected Cruz and Rubio to go for broke and maybe even Kasich, although I don’t know what kind of expectations there were. But this was it for Rubio. “You gotta go for broke! You gotta go in there and practically do everything but fisticuffs,” and nothing happened. It was perhaps one of the most substantive debates yet, and it did not surprise me at all.

If you’re Cruz, and if you’re Rubio, and you have any ability to look at recent history, you have to understand one thing: Going after Trump or going after his supporters — trying to tell his supporters they’re making a mistake — is not the way to do this. Hello, Mitt Romney. How did that work out for ’em? Romney gives a nationwide speech saying that Trump is this or that — reprobate over here, reprobate over there, lying skunk. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he has no experience, he’s a rascal, he’s coarse, he’s not presidential.

What happened with that?

And Ted Cruz unfortunately said something that he’s walking back about Trump voters being low-information. I know what he was trying to say. But he’s walking it back. We’ve had Rubio try his turn going after Trump and Trump voters in the debate. How did that work out for ’em? It didn’t. National Review with a full issue devoted to warning people about Trump and how you people supporting Trump make a huge mistake and you better change your mind. You better change your mind now. Trump’s stupid.

He doesn’t know anything, and he’s worse than somebody doesn’t know anything ’cause he thinks he knows everything. It’s a risk the country can’t afford, they’ve thrown everything, and it hasn’t done anything but maybe solidify Trump’s support. I just… I think they realized last night or during the day yesterday before last night that you don’t take Trump’s votes away by criticizing him. The media desperately wanted this. The media wanted the fight after all of this.

You know, and you can’t win with ’em. When they get the fight — when you get the small hands, you get all that stuff — they whine and moan about how unpresidential it is and what a disappointment is. Then we get a solid, substantive debate… Well, I have to tell you. I think even Kasich made a couple of good points last night. I think Kasich made his case for postmaster general unlike I have ever heard anybody do it. Rubio was on fire. You know, I watched Rubio last night.

I’m thinking, “Man, if you just would not have gotten sucked into that Gang of Eight, ’cause you’re never gonna live that down.” But that performance of Rubio’s last night was one of his best. Ted Cruz was on fire and once again demonstrated that there isn’t anybody with a more commanding presence and knowledge of the issues, and particularly the things that need to be fixed, the directions that need to be changed, the reasons this country’s in trouble. Cruz was just on fire. And, of course, Trump got his accolades.

Because he apparently (according to Luntz focus group afterward) appeared presidential, didn’t insult anybody, didn’t attack anybody. So when you look at all four performances, it was solid. I thought last night was a tremendous example of the potential of the Republican Party. And even Trump with his opening remarks about, you know, to the Republican establishment or whoever, you know, be open to what’s happening here.


RUSH: Again, a reminder: A couple of endorsements today: National Review with a big endorsement of Ted Cruz, and Phyllis Schlafly and Ed Martin of the Eagle Forum have endorsed Trump. They will do so in St. Louis. In about, I guess, an hour or an hour and a half. Trump is due there for a rally. So he must have finished up with Carson. The Carson endorsement happened last night, made official this morning. They did a one hour press conference, hijacked cable news again, making the debate old news. That’s not accidental that these people have that sensitivity.

I mean, they know very well the media is gonna stop everything to cover ’em. So this endorsement with Carson has probably been planned for a while. If nothing else, it’s an insurance policy against a bad debate performance. If you do a bad debate performance, go out, say, “Big news!” Carson, who you’ve insulted, is gonna do a 180 and endorse you. That will start a brand-new news cycle. Leave the debate out of it. That becomes brand-new news and the debate becomes old news. This is not accidental. There are…

You know, Trump himself or somebody up there, I mean, they’re playing the media like Stradivarius. They just are. You know, folks, can I tell you something else? For all of you people trying to understand that, do not discount that. These people that are fed up with NAFTA and trade and trade deals and unfairness, the Trump supporters? They’re sick and tired of losing to the media, too. They are fed up with getting skunked — with their guys, their party, getting skunked. Be they conservatives or Republicans.

They’re embarrassed, and they’re tired of the media just — without very much effort — being able to destroy things they believe in, destroy people they believe in. Here comes Trump playing the media like a Stradivarius. Don’t discount that as a factor. (interruption) No, no, no, no. I’m just explaining. Can I not explain something without being accused of something? All I’m doing is explaining.


RUSH: I want to get to the audio sound bites from the debate last night… No, I take it back. The debate didn’t happen. Well, it did, but it doesn’t matter. Debate’s old news because Ben Carson and Trump appeared today at Mar-a-Lago where Carson made it official that he was endorsing the Trumpster.

CARSON: Some people said, “But, well, you know, he said terrible things about you; how can you support him?” Well, first of all, we buried the hatchet. That was political stuff. And, you know, that happens in American politics. The politics of personal destruction and all that is not something that I particularly believe in or anything that I get involved in. But I do recognize that it is a part of the process. We move on because it’s not about me; it’s not about Mr. Trump. It’s about America. And this is what we have to be thinking about. I have found, in talking with him, that, you know, there’s a lot more alignment philosophically and spiritually than I ever thought that there was.

RUSH: Okay, well, that’s… I’m sitting here thinking, “If that’s just politics, why are you so upset at Ted Cruz for believing what CNN tweeted about leaving the campaign and heading back to Florida?” Well, no, I’m just asking. Well, yeah. “How can you support Trump? He said some terrible things about you.” “Well, we buried the hatchet. It’s political stuff, you know? That kind of stuff happens in politics.” Well, he must not have forgiven Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz didn’t do anything! Ted Cruz never said anything like what Trump said about Ben Carson. But we’re not through here. Carson continued…

CARSON: Some people said, “Well, why would you get behind a man like Donald Trump?” I’ll tell you why. First of all, I’ve come to know Donald Trump over the last few years. He’s actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America. There are two different Donald Trumps. There’s the one you see on the stage and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. You can have a very good conversation with him. And that’s the Donald Trump that you’re gonna start seeing more and more of right now.

RUSH: Man, oh, man. Let me tell you something. The Drive-Bys are all over that sound bite. And what they’re trying to say with that sound bites is that Trump is a phony, that Trump is a performer, that Trump is faking it. That the personal Trump, the public Trump and what you see is not who Trump really is, and Carson has let the cat out of the bag. That’s what the Drive-Bys have been trying to do all day with that. That’s not what Carson’s saying, but that’s what they’re trying to infer and want others to believe.

“He’s actually a very intelligent man, cares deeply about America, two different Trumps. There’s the one you see on stage,” and that’s supposed to mean, “That’s just the stage performance. Man, that’s not who the guy really is!” “Well, now, wait a minute. That’s the guy everybody sees,” the Drive-Bys are saying.” The Drive-Bys are saying, “What do you mean? That’s what everybody’s sees! What do you mean that’s not who he is?” “Well, you’re gonna be seeing who he really is,” Dr. Carson said.

“More and more right now, you’re gonna be seeing who he really is.” So we’ll see if that has any impact. I don’t expect that it will, but the Drive-Bys are gonna try. They’re gonna take that sound bite — they’ve already started — and the implication will be that Trump is a… Well, he’s putting you on. He’s not being who he really is on stage. He’s just being who he thinks you want him to be, and he’s doing it really well.

And if I didn’t know better, I would say maybe that some of the Republican candidates might pick up on that sound bite the same way. But we will see. Ben Carson then went on to say that he’s forgiven Ted Cruz, too, but that Trump is gonna win, and he thinks Republicans ought to unite behind Trump ’cause Trump’s gonna win. He’s forgiven Cruz, but it would fracture the party if we don’t unite behind the Trumpster.

CARSON: One of the real factors for me is what will happen if we allow the political operatives to succeed in their endeavor to stop Donald Trump. I think it would fracture the party irreparably and it would hand the election to the Democrats.

REPORTER: Why not Senator Cruz, ultimately?

CARSON: Because I feel that Mr. Trump is willing to do what needs to be done to break the stranglehold of special interest groups and the political class.

REPORTER: Are there any remaining hard feelings toward Senator Cruz over what happened in Iowa?

CARSON: I’ve completely forgiven him. That’s a duty one has as a Christian.

RUSH: So there you have it. He’s totally forgiven Ted Cruz. He’s united behind Trump, thinks everybody should ’cause Trump’s gonna win. If we don’t unite behind Trump, it’s gonna be end of the Republican Party. So Trump came out next. This was in the press conference portion after the… Yeah, the press conference portion after the announcement. They had a reporter who said, “Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! Why are there two Donald Trumps? Did you, at some point, make a conscious decision to behave differently in public?”

TRUMP: I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps. I think there’s one Donald Trump. But certainly you have… You know, look all of this, and you have somebody else that sits and reads and thinks. And I’m a thinker, and I have been a thinker. And perhaps people don’t think of me that way because you don’t see me in that forum, but I am a thinker. I thought it was very nice what Ben said, actually, because it is another side of me. I’m a very deep thinker. I know what’s happening, okay?

RUSH: “I’m a deep thinker. I think a lot. I think big; I think small. I think big and I have a lot deep, deep thoughts. I think a lot. Everybody knows, I’m one of the best thinkers there is. In fact, it’s amazing how deep I can think. I think deep. I go deeper than most people even know what you can do when you deep think. But I do it! I go there. I get deeper than anybody ever has. I’m glad Ben pointed it out. People out there see that, you know? I always say…

“I mean, who wants to watch somebody sit around and think? That’s why nobody puts think tanks on TV, ’cause nobody wants to watch them. But I am great at it!” (interruption) What? I’m not making fun of The Donald. I’m not… (interruption) I’m not making fun of him. Is that what you think I’m doing? (interruption) No way. Any and all. How can you possibly think that? I’m just expanding on what he said there. Let’s see. This is another unidentified reporter. “Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! Do you think that the Republican Party leadership in Washington right now are disconnected from the base, the electorate? Is that who you’re seeing as maybe potentially uniting the electorate against the party leadership? What are they not understanding?”

TRUMP: The Republican Party lost its way. The Republican now, something has happened. Call it a miracle, call it whatever you want to do. But they’re talking about it all over the world. It’s the biggest story in all of politics, one of the big stories of the world, the millions and millions of people that are pouring into the Republican Party. Not to the Democrats, to the Republican Party.

RUSH: And I want to take you back to the first hour of this program, folks. In Pennsylvania, 46,000 Democrats have registered Republican, and there’s a name for it. And in Ohio, the same thing is happening, and in Illinois it’s happening — and also in Illinois, Democrats are defecting from Hillary, according to her own campaign manager, Robby Mook. But the numbers of Democrats that are switching — a la happened in Operation Chaos that we sponsored back in 2008 — is huge.

There are three separate news stories today, 46,000 Democrats switching to Republicans so far since last September in Pennsylvania. A huge number in Ohio, too. So he’s right about that. The question is: “Is it a Democrat trick like Operation Chaos, or is it genuine?” Mr. Snerdley, for one, believes it’s too big to be successfully organized and nobody ever heard about it; so it’s gotta be real. And I think it is. I think Trump is appealing to Democrats to join him with certain things. That’s true. And his opening in the debate last night was…

I thought it was good, frankly. He said, “The Republican Party is expanding. There are people coming to this party that normally would not normally be in the party,” and he encouraged the leadership to accept it and to build on it. And, as, you know, I’ve been noting that the Trump coalition just happens to be exactly what the Republican Party leadership has been claiming for years that it needs if it’s gonna win. The next question was another unidentified reporter. “Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! What are you going to say to Democrat voters in the general election if you’re the nominee?”

TRUMP: We’re gonna have Democrats for Trump, but it’s gonna be much bigger. We’re gonna get tremendous numbers of Democrats. I have people in Hollywood, friends of mine, saying, “You know, everybody out there is voting for you, but they’re not gonna admit it.” I say, “Why? Aren’t you proud?” “No.” Because I have a tough stance on crime; I have a tough stance on borders. They all know I’m right, but they’re liberal people; they don’t want to admit it. But, you know what? They’re gonna vote for Trump.

RUSH: Quick time-out. Be back with more after this.


RUSH: Holy cow, man. Dr. Carson’s taking some real incoming out there over this. TheHill.com: “Carson’s Supporters Are Livid That he ‘Sold Out’ and Endorsed Trump.” National Review: “Dr. Carson’s Disgrace.” Quin Hillyer: “Dr. Ben Carson has just made a hypocrite of himself and done great damage to the country by endorsing the moral monster, Donald Trump.” Apparently comments on Carson’s Facebook page are running 80-20 anti the endorsement of Trump.

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