RUSH: Last week on this program — and I referenced this earlier in today’s program — the North Carolina bathroom law was discussed, and Trump said something that I thought there might be a little blowback on. I don’t think anything with Trump is ever gonna be major blowback ’cause his crowd is loyally glued to him. But, nevertheless, I thought there might be some. Like if Trump comes out for massive tax increases, I’m thinking maybe there can be some Trump people that’ll pause, say, “Wait a minute, I don’t associate massive tax increases with Trump.”
And I thought this bathroom law and the way he came out basically in favor of the change, there might be some blowback. There wasn’t any blowback to it. Bloomberg talked about this. I guess this is right after Friday’s show, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin talked about Trump saying that he disagreed with the new North Carolina bathroom law. And to set it up, they played an audio sound bite of moi.
RUSH ARCHIVE: No problem with LGBT bathrooms. I mean, if you think you’re a woman at two o’clock this afternoon and want to use the ladies’ room, have at it. If you’re really a guy, doesn’t matter, feel like a woman, go in, no problem. We’ll see if there’s any blowback on that.
HALPERIN: So with these comments Trump has now taken a position that could hurt him in this nomination fight and potentially help him in a general election. John, is Trump taking this position, you think, out of principle, or a sense of the politics of it?
RUSH: Okay. So that’s Halperin, and he’s asking Heilemann, and here’s Heilemann’s answer.
HEILEMANN: Principled, and of course it suggests something not flattering about Trump, which is that, in my judgment, Trump is probably, I think in his gut, a social liberal. I think his position on abortion, for instance, the position he held for most of his life is the real position, what he really thinks about abortion. I think on this issue he’s like most Manhattanites or most New Yorkers. He’s basically a social liberal. I think he’s saying what’s in his heart. I also think he knows that it helps him politically in the general election.
These two other gentlemen, Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Cruz, you know, they’re obviously incredibly crude in how they talk about this issue and have no real respect for people who are transgender. But I think Trump is speaking his heart.
HALPERIN: I think he is speaking his heart, and that’s what’s leading it, but it clearly has potential political benefit. If Trump can take the sting out of social issues in a general election, issues of tolerance that a lot of young voters care about and make this in a general election, if he’s the nominee, about economics and about competence, his chances of winning are a lot greater. So I think it’s leading with his heart.
RUSH: You know, see, it’s fascinating to me to watch people make Trump into what they want him to be. So here you have these two guys Heilemann and Halperin, who are liberals, and they want to like Trump, I think. And so when it comes to abortion, they’re gonna, “Yeah, you know what, Trump’s real position is ours. Yeah, he’s pro-choice. And when it comes to transgender bathrooms, Trump is just acting like a conservative now and then when he thinks he has to, but who he really is, is who we are.” And then that enables them to like Trump.
And then, of course, the gratuitous slam at me and Mr. Cruz, incredibly crude in how we talk about the issue. I don’t think there’s anything crude in describing the issue the way it is. But nevertheless, Mr. Snerdley will back me up on this, because I asked Mr. Snerdley, do you think that Trump’s gonna walk this back? And Snerdley looked at me and no way he said Trump walks this back, he’s gonna stick with what he said. Except Trump did backtrack a bit.
Now, he didn’t walk it all the way back, he did — (interruption) don’t get mad. I’m not criticizing Trump here. I’m just telling you, he did walk it back because there are people on both sides of the aisle that want Trump to be what they want him to be and find ways to make him what they want him to be. So if you’re a leftist and you’re pro-choice and you want to support Trump, then of course you’re gonna say what he really is, he’s pro-choice, he’s just lying to these Republicans and saying what he has to. He’s really one of us. We’re cool and he’s cool and everything’s cool.
And the same thing with the transgendered bathrooms. And people on the right will say the same thing, they’ll say Trump, you know, he really, really is pro-life, but he’s a New Yorker and he wants to get these left-wing votes and so he’ll go out and say things. He really doesn’t think that anybody ought to be able to walk in and use any bathroom any time they want, but he’s gonna say that ’cause it’s gonna be attractive to the left.
So both sides do this with Trump. Both sides, left and right, Republican and Democrat, Mars and Venus, whatever, both assign to Trump various things that he believes in order to make themselves feel at home with him. But I just wanted to point out here that Thursday night on Hannity that Mr. Trump came back from his original position on this. Question: “I wanted to give you a chance –” this is Hannity “– I wanted to give you a chance to explain your position on that bathroom business in North Carolina as it relates to transgenders picking which bathroom they want to go to.
See, this was a do-over. It’s rare in conservative media you get a do-over. Remember John Kerry got a do-over a couple times in the 2004 presidential campaign. I don’t remember specifically what. But some CBS reporter asked him a question or two, and he just flubbed ’em. He flubbed the answers big time, and they gave him a do-over.
And so Trump appeared with Hannity on Thursday night on Fox and Sean gave him a chance to take another shot at this. And with the question, “I want to give you a chance to explain your position on that as it relates to transgenders picking which bathroom they want to go to. I can’t believe I’m asking the question, Mr. Trump, but I am,” and here’s what Trump said.
TRUMP: We have to take care of everybody, frankly, and North Carolina, which is a great place — which I won, by the way. I love North Carolina, and they have a law that’s a law that, you know, unfortunately is causing them some problems. And I fully understand if they want to go through, but they are losing business, and they are having a lot of people, uhh, come out against. With me, uh, I look at it differently. A community — whether it’s North Carolina or local communities — really, they should be involved. We have so many big issues to be thinking about. We have ISIS to worry about. We have bringing trade back. We have rebuilding our military. But I think this: I think that local communities in states should make the decision, and I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.
RUSH: So that’s a little bit of walk-back because he’s basically deferring to North Carolina to do what they did there. (interruption) Okay, it’s a lot of walk-back. I’m trying to be polite here, but that was a lot of walk-back. And I told you it would happen. I told you it would happen. Because Trump’s first allegiance in this primary is to people on the right and Republicans. That’s who his base is, and then the gravy is whatever leftists that he can attract. So I just wanted to get that in before the program ended today.