Steve Schmidt Tells Us How the Establishment Plans to Stop Trump
Apr 21, 2016
RUSH: Moving on to the RNC convention. It’s down in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Florida. There’s some confusion about what’s going on down there, ’cause it’s the establishment. And a lot of people think that what’s going on is behind closed doors. It’s not. There are TV cameras in there. All the candidates went in there to make their case for RNC support. Kasich went in there, and Ted Cruz went in there, and Trump went in there. Or representatives went in there to make their case.
When this is all over, at the end of the week, what we’re gonna find out, after this is all over, is whether or not the RNC signs up with Trump or not. Whether or not the establishment goes all-in for Trump or not. But it’s not gonna be because of support or lack of support for any rule changes, ’cause there can’t be any at this convention. This is a popular misunderstanding that people have.
Only at the convention can the rules be changed, and any rules changes are proposed and voted on by the actual delegates to the convention. And of course the convention doesn’t happen until July, so changing what’s going on in Colorado, for example, Colorado could do it because it’s a state issue. That wouldn’t come up, but delegate apportion, first ballot, second ballot, this kind of stuff, if they want to change any of the voting procedures and so forth, that has to happen at the convention.
There is a rules committee here at the RNC, and they may make some suggestions today, but my point is whatever they come up with is not binding on the convention. And that’s really all you need to know. They probably will vote on rules changes or what have you, but they’re just suggestions. Nothing can happen ’til the convention actually adopts them and votes for them, debates them and all that. Normally that kind of stuff all happens before the convention, ’cause we have a nominee before the convention, and the nominee runs the convention most years.
But we’re not gonna have nominee. Well, we might have a nominee by the end of June or the middle of June, but we don’t have a nominee now, so it may be that we won’t have a nominee until the convention, at which time somebody has to run that convention, and it can’t be the nominee ’cause we don’t know who it is. Normally the nominee chosen in March, April as a result of the primary process, then grabs control of the convention and puts it together in his image, what he wants it to be. That’s not happening this year, so that’s why what the RNC meeting down in Ft. Lauderdale right now is being paid a lot of attention.
But what comes out of there rules-wise will not be binding, but it will give us an indication of how accepting of the inevitability of a Trump nomination will the official RNC show signs of accepting. Let’s go to the audio sound bites in this regard. And again, this is gonna add up into my See, I Told You So column. Last night on Bloomberg Television’s With All Due Respect, Steve Schmidt, Republican establishment extraordinaire.
He’s a consultant. He ran the McCain campaign, for example, 2008. He is Republican establishment. I mean, a card-carrying member. And during a discussion on With All Due Respect last night about the primary race, John Heilemann said, “Is Mitt Romney right that, the fact this is a three-person race, that there’s been a split in the never-Trump world, the anti-Trump vote? Is that part of why Donald Trump’s going to get to 1,237?”
SCHMIDT: No one is saying in public what people say privately about Donald Trump and the Republican establishment and leadership. And I think that speaks to why that movement is so weak.
HEILEMANN: What are they saying privately?
SCHMIDT: What they’re saying privately is he’s unfit to be president of the United States and they’ll never vote for him. He’s unfit psychologically, he’s unfit temperamentally, he’s unfit ideologically. But no one is making that argument publicly.
RUSH: Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da. There you have Steve Schmidt, Republican establishment extraordinaire, he’s talking about establishment members and what they’re saying privately. You know what the bottom line is? They are having a cow in Ft. Lauderdale. They never thought last week, two weeks ago, three weeks, they were holding out hope that something would happen, that Trump would implode. They’ve been hoping that since last July, and now it looks like there’s no stopping Trump.
Even though he needs 63% of the delegates, there’s nobody that’s gonna be even close to Trump when we get to the convention even if he doesn’t have 1,237. So they’re just now facing the reality that there isn’t gonna be any implosion. There isn’t gonna be any white knight that comes along and saves the day. And they are in an inject panic. I’m just telling you, they are having a cow.
Schmidt here is talking about the establishment when he says what they’re saying privately is they’ll never vote for him. I told everybody this. They want to take issue with me the last couple days. But Schmidt’s admitting it now. Mark Halperin said, “If somebody gave you, Steve Schmidt, somebody gave you a hundred million dollars to stop Trump, what would you spend it on?”
HALPERIN: You try to stop him on temperament issues. The most powerful political ad in American history was the Daisy ad in 1964 against LBJ running against Barry Goldwater. I think using images of the North Korean leader, mushroom clouds, the instability of the world, late-night tweeting. You make a temperament in character attack, and you’d remind people that the president of the United States is the most powerful person in the world, is commander-in-chief of the most potent military in the world that possesses the weapons to extinguish life on the planet as we know it.
RUSH: What do you take from that answer? What do you take from that? (interruption) No, no, no, no, no. Of course not. No, no, no. No. The question is, if you had a hundred million dollars to spend to stop Trump, how would you spend it? This guy had an answer without having to stop to think about it. He didn’t say, “Oh, gee, well,” he had the answer, which tells us they’ve got the answer, which tells us how they’re gonna go about this, even if he is the nominee. He’s unfit. He’s psychologically unfit.
We’re gonna see ads comparing him to Kim Jong-un. We’re gonna see pictures of an insane Trump tweeting at three a.m. getting even. He just spelled out what we might see even the Democrats use. That was so telling. I mean, that question — now, maybe — look, these guys are all friends. Maybe Mark Halperin told Schmidt he was gonna ask him the question yesterday, gave him a day to prepare the answer. I don’t know.
But from all appearances he asked, “Okay, I’m gonna give you a hundred million dollars to spend to stop Trump, how you gonna spend it?” Not one moment’s hesitation, not one stutter, which tells me they’ve been thinking about that for a long time, which we know, but the specificity of this — (interruption) Who cares! You’re missing the point whether or not it would work. You know some days I just don’t want to even — I’m wasting my time.
RUSH: Okay, back to the audio sound bites, before we get back to the phones. I’m gonna play Chris Stirewalt. This is gonna back up something I said earlier about what’s going on here at the Republican Florida convention. He was on with Megyn Kelly last night, and she said, “Chris, what is the mood there at the Republican convention going on in Florida?”
STIREWALT: What’s happening is the Republican Party is freaking out. A collective freak-out is taking place because they’re afraid of their convention. They’re afraid of getting slaughtered in the fall, and they are running for life rafts. They’re looking for a way out of it. The campaigns are here trying to reassure them and tell them it’s possible.
RUSH: Right, but they’re worried. They think Trump’s gonna be it and they think they’re gonna lose in a massive landslide, and the convention is gonna be a debacle and that they’re gonna be a laughingstock. And they don’t want to be any part of it. I know, this is some of them. Not all, but some of them do have this fear. Pat Buchanan was on with Lou Dobbs on Fox last night, and Dobbs said, “You talked in your most recent column about the GOP risking suicide here. Do you believe the elites are going to at least, at some point, come to their senses and acknowledge that Trump is the front-runner and begin a healing process and move towards unity with Trump?”
BUCHANAN: I think the elites are almost out of the game. I would really admonish Paul Ryan to take a look at one example. Back in 1964 when Goldwater won the nomination, Rockefeller and Romney and Scranton, they all cut him — good-bye and good luck — and two people went out for Goldwater all over the country that year: Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and the future belonged to them for standing by someone they knew was going down to defeat. If I were Paul Ryan — and he’s obviously got a future in the party — I would say, “Look, I’m gonna support the nominee of this party and go out and work for him because I’m the leader of the forces on Capitol Hill.”
RUSH: So Buchanan’s point is… He’s using ’64 — and the reason he’s using ’64, A, is substantive. But the establishment 1964 is… (chuckles) That’s… What’s term the term? Waterloo! That’s what 1964 is. Any nominee that is conservative is gonna equal Goldwater. Any nominee that is not one of the establishment equals Goldwater, and what is Goldwater? Embarrassing, shellacking, landslide defeat. So they live in perpetual fear that that’s gonna repeat. Buchanan’s saying, “Well, look, Goldwater happened, and there are two guys that stood by Goldwater.”
“Everybody knew Goldwater was gonna lose because nobody was gonna beat the Democrat after the Kennedy assassination. It didn’t matter. They knew he was gonna lose, but they knew it was the beginning of a new movement the Republican Party and it was Nixon and Reagan that probably…” Nixon went to more states for Goldwater than Goldwater went to, did you know that? In 1964 Nixon campaigned in more states and he ended up being elected president later on in his life after coming back from what they thought was lifetime defeat.
And Reagan ended up being elected president in 1980 for sticking with the nominee. Buchanan’s theory is, “You Republicans, you may see a debacle. But if you want to have a future in the Republican Party, you better stick with it this time around.” That’s the point. I don’t think they’re gonna listen to Pat Buchanan. I’m just saying that that’s his advice.