RUSH: There is a story on the Trump side, somebody suggesting — it’s a media person, I forget exactly who, I didn’t print it out. But it’s simply one of these analysis pieces showing how Trump could get all the delegates in New York with only winning 40% of the popular vote.
It was just an analysis, all coming under the theme of either everything’s rigged or how in the world do states, party organizations, set up their processes here and how different they are from state to state. And so it’s my bad. It’s all about Pennsylvania. It relates to nothing. We’ll save it for when the Pennsylvania primary comes around.
Now, the latest on the polling data — I mentioned that the momentum shift, some in the New York media, ’cause there are some in the New York media who really want Trump to be the nominee because they think Trump’s gonna get shellacked in a landslide. Remember, no matter where you go in the media, they want Hillary Clinton to win, and it’s just like with the media and McCain back in 2008, softening him up and sucking up to him and had McCain thinking that the media was his base. And of course they turned on him the minute there was a nominee on the Democrat side.
So even now the media, New York-centric media, is, on balance, pro-Trump, but that’s because they want Hillary to be elected. And there is a bit of conventional wisdom throughout the media that Trump or Cruz, either one, will lose in a landslide to Hillary Clinton. That’s what they think. I, of course, have stated often and will say again, I don’t think it’s true.
You know, Hillary Clinton had another coughing fit. There’s something wrong with Hillary Clinton. There’s something wrong in the Hillary Clinton campaign. She’s gonna win New York. Bernie’s not gonna even get close. If you want to talk about landslides, it looks like Hillary will have one in New York, maybe 10, 15 points, which is not gonna sit well with the Bernie people. My point is that for all this talk of disjointed disunity on the Republican side, don’t overlook what is happening on the Democrat side, ’cause it’s a mess there.
Now, the latest polling data from TheHill.com, Donald Trump now 40% nationally. NBC News/Wall Street Journal. Ted Cruz at 35%, John Kasich is at 24%, according to the poll. Trump support’s up 10 points from a March poll. And in that poll, Cruz was at 27; Kasich was at 22. So Trump is up after what has supposedly been a rotten two weeks for Trump on the delegate side. Mitt Romney is saying that Trump’s gonna win this if Cruz and Kasich stay in. The explanation coming up with the audio sound bites in a moment, to hear why he thinks that.
But let’s go to the audio sound bites. Martha MacCallum on Fox News this morning did something I think is kind of brave. She played an audio sound bite of me from this program that you’ll hear coming up in a moment and stood by it, in a sense, and she had a couple of guests. She had Rich Lowry from National Review and some Democrat that I have no idea who it was. His name was Matthew Littman, a former speechwriter for Biden. That’s why I don’t know who he is. Anyway, here’s the bite. Here is how the segment opened, and you’ll see what I’m talking about here as it unfolds.
MACCALLUM: Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh argues that if either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz is the eventual Republican nominee, the party may be prepared to let Hillary Clinton win, and he explains why he thinks that is.
RUSH ARCHIVE: The Republican establishment is prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton if it means holding on to their fiefdoms. The party’s primary objective is self-preservation, not winning the White House, in this cycle. The dead giveaway for that is when you hear some of them openly, publicly say that they will vote for Hillary rather than Trump. And some of them have even said that they’ll vote for Hillary instead of Cruz. It means they do not think the country’s in crisis, they don’t think anything of the sort.
MACCALLUM: There’s a lot of talk about exactly what Rush is saying in that sound bite.
RUSH: Now, it’s one thing for me to say it on the radio, and I have no problem. It’s true. The only reason I said it is I have seen, and it’s an increasing number of elected Republicans, some anonymously, some with names attributed, saying if it’s Cruz, some saying if it’s Trump, that they’d vote for Hillary. And there’s only one reason why, and that is they don’t think the country’s in crisis. They don’t consider the Democrats and Hillary to be a real threat to their way of life, to the nation at large. They don’t consider the Democrats to be a threat to the Constitution. And what’s more important is holding on to what they have, keeping their establishment intact and their role in it intact. And look, it’s undeniable that they have said it.
You’ve seen stories of these named Republicans, elected Republicans, a lot of senators — I think five — have said they’re not even gonna go to the convention, even before we know who the nominee is ’cause everybody knows the nominee is gonna be either Trump or Cruz. And they’re not gonna go. They’re saying, “You know, I can do more for myself staying home with my voters. Yes, I can stay and do a better job for myself back in my own constituency and dealing with people in my state.” It’s not unprecedented, but it’s weird.
I mean, the focus of particularly this convention — you know, if the Republican Party knows what it’s doing — you know, you’ve heard Trump talk about the need for this convention to have showbiz, that it’s boring otherwise, you gotta find some showbiz aspects to the convention. They don’t need to do anything other than let things –. If you go to a contested convention and you have floor votes where the outcome is unknown, you’re gonna have tune-in factor like they’ve never had for a convention, not since 1976. The showbiz is built in if somebody doesn’t get to 1,237. The showbiz is simply drama, and the drama comes from an outcome not being known.
So if the convention starts and there’s not a nominee, I guarantee you the only place you’re gonna want to be as an elected Republican is in Cleveland where this convention’s gonna be because that’s the only thing that’s gonna be covered. You’re not gonna be covered back in your home state of Rhode Island or Maine or whatever while the action is hot and heavy in Cleveland. Even if there is a nominee, even if it’s Trump at 1,237 before the convention, there’s still gonna be fireworks. The rules are still gonna have to be written. Trump, as the nominee, is gonna be fighting for control of the convention, fighting for control of the logistics and of the agenda.
So I don’t know what kind of planning actually needs to happen here for there to be showbiz because it’s built into this. I mean, this whole campaign has been showbiz, from that standpoint, meaning the great unknown equaling drama. Why do you think NFL games are the highest rated television programs in this country? I’m talking about regular season, some 4:30 starts, some of the prime time starts, not playoffs, regular season, why do you think it is? Because NFL games — it’s true of NBA and Major League Baseball, too, but the NFL right now happens to be the national pastime sports-wise. It’s the drama.
It’s the only thing on TV where you don’t know the outcome. You know how The Oprah show’s gonna end. Somebody’s gonna hug and somebody’s gonna cry and their life’s gonna get fixed. You know how every crime drama on TV is gonna end. The bad guy’s either gonna get caught or he’s not gonna get caught. The bad guy’s gonna get away with it and get caught the next episode or he’s gonna get caught and everybody’s gonna be sad.
But there’s no drama in terms of unknown. Depending on how good the program is if the writing is really good and the stories are good, they could overcome the fact that the outcome is known. But the NFL, I mean everything that happens in the game is unknown, everything playing out is drama. And so that equals big tune-in. Republican convention has the potential to have the same draw, without writing any showbiz into it. Now, that’s, again, if the convention is contested.
Now, anyway, back to the sound bite here. So Fox plays the sound bite here of me theorizing. You don’t see this discussed on TV. We discussed it on radio. It’s just one of these things where that gap, the bridge to TV oftentimes this doesn’t come up, something as open as, “Are Republicans actually going to vote for Hillary Clinton rather than vote for Donald Trump or Ted Cruz?” Now, I’ll let you hear Rich Lowry and this Democrat’s reaction to it ’cause there’s a couple more bites to it when we get back.
RUSH: Okay. So after playing the sound bite where I say that it looks like I’ve heard of Republican establishment types saying that if Trump’s the nominee or Cruz is the nominee, they will vote for Hillary or they will not vote. They just can’t hold their nose and vote. The explanation for that is that it’s only about one thing: Self-preservation. If you can vote for Hillary Clinton… If you’re Republican, establishment or otherwise, and you can vote for Hillary Clinton in this election cycle, then you can’t possibly be in touch with where things are in this country.
You cannot possibly understand how the vast majority of the people in this country feel and think about what has been done to their country in the past year, seven-and-a-half years. You are solely into yourself, and that means all you care about is maintaining the Republican Party as it is no matter how insignificant it is related to the Democrat Party. At least it’s there and you have your spot in it. You’re in the establishment, you’ve got your connections, and whatever it means to you, you’re still in the club. The club still exists; and that’s what’s paramount, and that is our problem, one of many.
Here’s Rich Lowry reacting when Martha MacCallum said, “Do you agree with Rush, Rich?”
LOWRY: Yeah, there’s a lot of talk like that, but that has nothing to do with voting for Hillary Clinton. And I think if Trump’s the nominee, you would see the party establishment — at least as it’s exemplified in the RNC and most elected officials — getting on board with Trump, even if tentatively and with a lot of hesitation. It’s only as clear if Trump is gonna crash and burn in a general election; then you would see everyone scurrying for cover. And the irony of what Rush is saying, actually, Trump is gonna be desperate for establishment support, and especially establishment money, if he’s the nominee. Because he’s not liquid enough, certainly, to fund his own campaign.
RUSH: That happens to be true. And Rich’s point here that, yeah, he’s heard talk of people voting for Hillary but it has nothing to do with voting for Hillary? That’s precisely right. That makes it even worse. It’s not that they’re voting for Hillary. It is that they are voting for themselves, and voting for Hillary is what preserves themselves. You know, I’m hit with this allegation all the time. I have been hit with it for 27 years. It comes at me, “You really want the Democrats to win, don’t you?
“You’d much rather have the Democrats in the White House so you have something to talk about every day. You’d much rather have the Democrats so you can stand up and oppose it. Otherwise if your buds are in the White House, you have agree with ’em every day all the time.” You could not be farther wrong if anybody is of that opinion. People like Obama win the White House twice, when Clinton wins it twice, I am maybe more devastated than the average voter is, because part of me takes it personally.
And then I get myself back into focus and realize that it’s not that, but it bothers me to no end. It still does. I can’t… What’s happening to the country bugs the heck out of me, scares me, worries me, depresses me, angers me. And that’s why, folks, to me the objective here is beating Hillary Clinton or whoever they nominate. I don’t care who. It’s beating the Democrat Party. When I tell you that I think the most destructive force in the country today is American liberalism, worldwide liberalism, it is. The evidence is abundant. It’s all around us.
And they have to be defeated politically. And that’s why I make a big deal of this when I hear Republicans say, “Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, if Trump’s the nominee, if Cruz is the nominee, I’m voting for Hillary.” That just frosts me, I can’t tell you how much. Now, the next bite she talks to Matt Littman, the former speechwriter for Biden. Martha MacCallum says, “Okay. Let’s get to the heart of what Rush is saying. He’s saying, Matt, not that they don’t like these candidates.
“What he’s saying is they’re so desperate to hang onto the establishment, the cartel, as Ted Cruz calls it, that they’re willing to throw their lot in with Hillary because they don’t like these guys. They think Cruz and Trump are gonna shake up the system, and they don’t want the system be shaken up.” I think that’s a pretty courageous stand for her to take in explaining to these guys what I mean. Here’s this guy’s reaction to it.
LITTMAN: Rush Limbaugh is not the first person to say that anybody who disagrees with him must have nefarious motives. We hear that a lot on both sides right now. But Rush Limbaugh’s wrong. There are a lot of people who think that Donald Trump would be terrible for America. A lot of those people are in office, that’s true. Some of those people are on the Democratic side; a lot of those people are on the Republican side. They do not want Donald Trump to be president because of the things that Donald Trump says. That seems very reasonable. The other thing I would say is, “Why are people still listening to Rush Limbaugh?”
MACCALLUM: Plenty of people are listening to Rush Limbaugh, I can assure you.
RUSH: Let me tell you, the point he says here about, “Rush Limbaugh isn’t the first person to say anybody that disagrees with him has nefarious motives.” It’s not because they disagree with me. And listen to this. Here’s a guy saying, “Yeah, I can understand voting against Trump for what he says.” What he says? How about voting against Hillary because of what she’s already done and what we know she will do more of? These guys run around… Have you seen? There’s a video that’s gone viral. A guy went to a college campus. I’ll get the details somewhere.
He wanted to find out from students what he could do or say to make them judge him to be wrong, and he couldn’t find anybody. He’s about five-foot-ten, 180, and he says, “I am a six-foot-five Chinese woman. I’m telling you right now, I’m a six-foot-five Chinese woman. What’s your reaction?” “Well, I can’t condemn that, if that’s what you think you are. If you want to be — if that’s who you are — it’s not for me to tell you that you’re not a six-foot five-inch Chinese woman.” And he gave example after example, and not a’one of these students would condemn him, judge him, say he was wrong.
It has led to a great discussion.
RUSH: Politico headline: “Trump’s Staffers Face Threat of Blacklist — Some political operatives are shying away from working for Trump for fear of being shunned by the establishment.” Can anybody say See, I Told You So on this establishment stuff? I mean, they’re circling the wagons here, folks. It’s all… What we’re learning is, that’s not new. That’s what’s been going on the last seven years and maybe longer.
RUSH: Let me finish up the audio sound bites from the segment on Fox this morning, ’cause it’s fascinating as the discussion actually took place on television about the possibility of Republican establishment types crossing over and voting Hillary rather than Cruz or Trump. And there can only be one reason for it. Now, the reason why I’m making a big deal of this is because, frankly, folks — being honest — in most cases, this sound bite of mine would be ridiculed, laughed at, mocked, and they would bring guests on to describe how over the top I am; how out of control, how crazy this is, how wacko this is.
They’d bring a couple of guests in to say, “Oh, yeah! I think Limbaugh’s losing it. This is such an absurd thing to believe.” That didn’t happen here. They played the sound bite. It is supported, not mocked, and the guests are asked to actually address it substantively, which is why I’ve categorized it as a brave thing to do. I mean, normally sound bites of me (even some of them on Fox) are used to fire up opposition and to mock the things that I believe. In this case, it was the exact opposite, which is why I’m spending so much time on it.
So the next bite — and it’s the last one, just to close the loop on this — Martha MacCallum says, “That’s what Rush Limbaugh is saying. He’s saying, it has nothing to do with who these candidates are; it has to do with what they stand for. They want the Washington establishment to be broken up,” meaning the camp that’s Cruz and Trump. “They want the career politicians who count on going back there time and time again and living a nice life, to be wrestled with, and that’s why they would vote for Hillary and not for these other two individuals.” Here’s what Lowry said closing it out.
LOWRY: I actually think it’s Cruz rather than Trump that represents the biggest threat to the Washington establishment, ’cause Trump actually isn’t talking about cutting government or reforming government; he’s talking about running it better and cutting better deals. And deal-making is what the Washington establishment is all about. It’s Ted Cruz who all along has been a missile directed at what he calls “the Washington cartel.” I’m biased; I’m Cruz supporter. But Ted Cruz is potentially the most unifying figure in the Republican Party at the moment because regular Republicans could get on board with Ted Cruz, and Cruz is the best suited of anyone to reach out to Trump voters and try to keep them in the tent.
RUSH: Now, that leads to… Have you heard the scuttlebutt going around that Cruz and Trump could unite? And that if they did, that it would be unbeatable, if Cruz and Trump united? Of course, this talk comes with the assumption that Trump be the top of the ticket; that if it happened, it would be unstoppable, that the establishment couldn’t stop them, that the Republican voting population would unite to back it and so forth. I don’t know about that. Stranger things have happened.
And, by the way, politics, at conventions, the rule of thumb is that there is unity when the thing is all said and done. Right now when everybody’s still fighting to win it, of course there isn’t any unity. But once the winner has been established unequivocally, then traditionally both parties tend to unify and focus on opposition under the pretext that they want to beat opposition. That’s what’s different here with either Cruz or Trump. You have Republican establishment types making it clear that either one of these guys threatens their existence.
Now, Lowry’s point is that Trump threatens them less because he’s a deal maker. He doesn’t talk about reducing Washington in size, government in size or anything, but that Cruz really is “a guided missile” aimed right at what they have, what they stand for, what they believe. I think they think the same of Trump, precisely because he speaks of them with such disdain, calls them stupid. But Trump does want to come in and run everything, and he wants to be in charge of who’s in the club and who’s not and what connections there are and who benefits from them.
I think either one of these guys threaten the establishment as is. Lowry may have a point that it might be mostly Cruz who does that, but it still doesn’t negate the point. I mean, look, folks, has there been any opposition to Obama in the last seven years, seven and a half? There hasn’t been, not from the Republican side. Most of the Republican establishment has tended to want to appear to be agreeing with Obama, in fact. At least on the big issue, Obamacare. I mean, they give lip service to opposing it, but it just keeps rolling on — while it’s disintegrating, in fact, in front of our eyes. It’s falling apart.
UnitedHealth is the latest example. Details on that coming up. And then there’s immigration, where you can’t tell the difference in the two parties. And I guarantee you, the establishment types, they look at Trump and what he’s talking about, and they have to assume he means it, and there isn’t any common ground there. Not just the wall and not just southern border immigration, but, you know, putting limits on the Muslims that come into the country and this sort of thing.