RUSH: The Cruz-Kasich pact is now showing signs of strain; and, in fact, it was showing signs of strain and fraying yesterday. The Politico has a story. You know, fascinating things are happening in the Trump campaign as we speak. You recall last week that there were all of these people saying that it was getting close to the moment in time where Trump was going to pivot and start becoming more presidential?
He was going to stop using nicknames and, in fact, in one of his acceptance speeches the other night, actually referred to Senator Cruz instead of Lyin’ Ted. And it didn’t last very long. The Politico has a long, in-depth story here: “Trump Rejects New AdviserÂ’s Push to Make Him ‘Presidential’ — Frustrated with Manafort, the GOP front-runner shifts some power back to campaign manager Lewandowski.”
The Drive-Bys are not gonna be happy. The Drive-Bys hate Lewandowski. The fact that Lewandowski is reclaiming some power is gonna tick some people off. But Politico says — and it’s Politico, so you keep this in mind — they say that “Trump is bristling at efforts to implement a more conventional presidential campaign strategy, and has expressed misgivings about the political guru behind them, Paul Manafort, for overstepping his bounds, multiple sources close to the campaign tell Politico. Trump became upset late last week when he learned from media reports that Manafort privately told Republican leaders that,” Trump was only “projecting an image” for voters with all this braggadocio and name-calling. That was just an image. That’s not the real Trump. He’s gonna start dialing this back.
Manafort was telling GOP leaders, don’t sweat it, Trump’s gonna dial it back. He’s just projecting an image. He’s gonna start toning down his rhetoric. “They said that Trump also expressed concern about Manafort bringing several former lobbying colleagues into the campaign,” which did happen. There were stories last week, all of a sudden all these lobbyists in the Trump campaign. This story is to set the record straight that Trump was not happy about that. And Manafort has not been fired, but his role has been reduced, and Lewandowski has regained some power. Lewandowski, Manafort would not talk to Politico and share details of their thoughts on this for the story.
But apparently what happened is that Trump has reasserted control. You know, I noticed yesterday and I made mention that the old Trump seems to be back. He’s out on the campaign trail with that same energy, with the same modus operandi, the same personality, the kind of stuff that was drawing record crowds, attracting all this attention. I think there were attempts to tone him down. I think there were attempts to get him to be, quote, unquote, presidential. And those were never gonna work.
You can’t make somebody into something that they’re not. You can’t turn somebody, especially an adult, you can’t transform them, you can’t turn them into 24/7 actors. The minute you start running around trying to suppress somebody’s personality because you’re either embarrassed of it, you’re afraid of what negative fallout’s gonna result from it, you’re dooming that person.
I think this is a good move for Trump. Trump finally realized what was happening and reasserted himself and had the confidence to say: Look, I’m not embarrassed who I am. I’m proud of who I am. I like who I am. I like the way I am, and I’m gonna be who I am and screw all you people that think I need to be presidential.
The point of this is that Trump doesn’t come off as presidential, doesn’t come off as insider, staid, buttoned down, what have you. It’s one of the major points of attraction.
RUSH: Alex in Lexington, Kentucky, you’re next. It’s great to have you, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thank you. You are el presidente and chief constable of Realville.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Appreciate that.
CALLER: My quick question is this. Since you’ve already answered it, if Donald Trump cannot try to remake his image or appear more presidential without running the risk of losing some of his base in the general election, then how will he move — it’s tricky — how will he move the polls 10 points to beat Hillary? That’s my question.
RUSH: You know, I am glad you asked that question, because that’s a great springboard. I will answer that when we come back from the break. I’ve got a break coming up here in five seconds. But I think that there’s a pretty solid potential answer to your question there that’s staring us all in the face, and nobody wants to admit it either.
RUSH: Okay. If I understood the last caller’s question, was he asking, “If Trump is not going to become quote/unquote ‘more presidential,’ then how is he gonna make up the ground against Hillary?” All right. Are we not in new territory here, folks? Trump is where he is running away with the Republican nomination precisely by being what everybody would say is unpresidential. Can we agree on that? Being unpresidential — not appearing to have much in common whatsoever with establishment politics — is what has launched Trump.
So tell me: Why does that have to change? Why? Just because we’re talking about expanding a voter base and maybe beating Hillary Clinton and getting some of Hillary Clinton’s voters? Where is it written that Trump has to stop being what he is, which has gotten him where he is, and become something else if he wants to win? It seems to me it’s just the opposite. There’s a lot of conventional wisdom out there that I’m questioning. I question conventional wisdom constantly anyway. But one bit of conventional wisdom out there is that Trump cannot possibly win.
“Negatives are too high!”
But if you look over there, Hillary Clinton’s negatives are just as high, and if you look over there also you find that they don’t have any vote turnout going on on the Democrat side at all. The Democrat side is 4.5 million votes down from what they were in previous primaries. There is literally no enthusiasm, and whatever enthusiasm there is for Crazy Bernie is not making up for the loss of enthusiasm, the lack of it, party-wide. So where is this assumption? Why do we have this assumption? Every four years we get into this same game where they can’t be beat.
“The Democrats can’t be beat! They outsmart us every chance they get. Every time, we end up shooting ourselves in the foot,” or what have you. And I just… I always have trouble with that. But clearly, folks, our culture is changing rapidly. The old signs that we would recognize as decorum, propriety, sophistication? All that’s out the window anyway, and it’s been out the window for I don’t know how long. I’ve been doing this radio program for 27 years. Maybe it’s in its 28th now. And for most of it, I keep waiting for that day, that week, that moment where we bottom out culturally to the point where most Americans say:
“Yuk,” and say, “We’re not going any lower,” and we get a rebound and we start becoming a little bit more refined, sophisticated, less profane, less coarse. But that’s not happening. It’s just getting lower and lower and lower. Now, apparently, some people think, “Yeah, but when you’re talking about the presidential election, Rush! When we start talking about presidential politics, the American people still are very, very serious about it, and they are very, very, very concerned about policy.” I don’t see that. It used to be, yep.
But I think we’re in all kinds of uncharted territory, at least in last two or three generations. We’re in uncharted territory here. I don’t believe the conventional wisdom that, A, says Hillary Clinton can’t be beat. I don’t accept the conventional wisdom that says Donald Trump can’t win the presidency being who is. I reject all of this, because we don’t know, and those kinds of predictions fly in the face of what is actually happening now. Trump is winning. “Yeah, Rush, but he’s only winning with 30, 40%.”
It’s steadily climbing, folks. NBC News is out, Trump is now over 50% in a lot of national polls. Trump is continuing to grow. He’s continuing to expand the number of people who respond favorably to him when polled. And Trump isn’t changing significantly. Trump is no more expert on the issues today as he was in June. That’s not even… You know, to say that Trump’s gotta bone up on the issues? “He’s gotta learn ’em. He’s a gotta get…” Why? He hasn’t needed that yesterday.
People want to think that politics can’t have descended to that level where those things don’t matter anymore. I think if you believe that, you still don’t understand just how many Americans are fed up with what professional, buttoned-down politicians — establishment types — are seen as having done to this country. I don’t think… Even people who claim to understand this anti-establishment movement out there, I still don’t think they understand the disconnect. I still don’t think they understand how deep it is. I’m not talking about just Trump voters.
I’ve had stories in the Stack of Stuff here for the past couple of days, and actually the stories predate the past couple of days. The suicide rate in middle class white America? It’s an actual story. It’s actually happening, and sociologists and other social scientists are looking in it and trying to figure out, “Why is it happening?” because it’s a phenomenon. And there are many reasons to explain it. There are a whole bunch of possibilities. And right smack-dab in the middle of all of them is one word: Economics! There has not been…
In the middle class in this country, there has not been any real standard of living increase in a long time. But there has been in other sectors of the population in this country. And people see it. And it’s not hard to figure out. With mass immigration and layoffs of domestic Americans and being replaced with immigrants who work for less money, it doesn’t take long for people to figure this out. You don’t need a Ph.D. — you don’t need to have gone to Harvard — to see what’s happening TO YOU. You don’t need any kind of an education at all. All you have to do is be conscious. And I think it goes deeper than economics.
I think there is a growing number of people who believe that the so-called special people — the best educated among us, the best trained among us, call ’em our betters, whatever terminology you want to use — have screwed everything up! And people are now beginning to wonder, “Is it just that they’re incompetent, or have they done this on purpose and rigged the game for themselves?” My favorite example of this… My favorite example to use as an illustration of what I’m talking about is the college education. Since the Great Depression, the college education — a college degree — has been the ticket.
That has been the deal in this country, if you will.
The Great Depression was the formative event for people who lived through it. The only way — the only possible way — to avoid the economic disaster that was the Great Depression, the only way that you could get a job, which is how you avoided the economic disaster — and even if you had a job it wasn’t a guarantee because nobody was paid much. But you didn’t even get a job if you didn’t have an education. And that’s why for parents who lived through the Depression who then became grandparents and great-grandparents, the education of their children and their great-grandchildren become the most important thing.
Because it was the ticket.
It was how this country — that was the American dream. It was a rising standard of living, not just a house, but a rising standard of living and an education was the key to it. Everybody believed it. Everybody bought into it. Parents bought into it; kids bought into it; students bought into it; educators bought into it. And so everybody wanted to go to college. Everybody thought they should go to college. There were exceptions, of course, but I mean in terms of cultural norms.
Well, now what’s become of this? The college education no longer fulfills that promise. And not that it was a guarantee. Don’t misunderstand. Nobody thought it was a guarantee, but it was something that if you were serious about improving yourself, you had to do it, ’cause everybody else was. It was a competitive thing. It was a requirement to stay even with people of your generation. And now look at it. A college education has become a millstone around a graduate’s neck. And who’s in charge of it?
Who runs colleges? Who runs student loan programs? Who’s in charge of who gets into these universities and so forth? If you don’t have the connections, how do you get in? All of this people see this as rigged as well. People see this as stacked. People see this as connections, and what do you do if you don’t have them? Well, a college education was one of the great levelers. It was one of the great ways to compensate for the fact that maybe your family didn’t have connections, that your family didn’t know somebody in a position of power to grease the skids for you.
But now when you graduate from college with $200,000 and $60,000 in debt, how in the world are you ahead? All you do is owe the government, because that’s who runs the student loan program now. By the way, the people running colleges, are you kidding me, look at some of the things people are getting degrees in. They’re absolutely worthless to producing an income. They’re worthless to a rising standard of living.
I think it’s one of the greatest examples of one of the many things — not deals, but one of the agreed-upon premises that has been corrupted, and there are many other examples like it. The point of all this is that there are many more people than just Trump voters and Trump supporters who are fed up and feel betrayed up against a corrupt system. And they believe that the people who are running the system have gamed it for themselves, their friends, their families, their colleagues, what have you. And so when we talk about ruling class and country class, it actually has become that in a lot of people’s minds.
Therefore, all of this talk about presidential decorum and other behavioral things like this pale in comparison. And I’ll tell you, I think you look at the polling data that surrounds Hillary Clinton, that Democrat Party is an electoral disaster right now just in terms of energy and vote turnout. Now, they still run all kinds of things and game systems, and they have numbers in these electoral states, I understand how the Electoral College works and so forth. Talking to you in real terms of enthusiasm, it’s not like it was eight years ago, hope and change and Obama’s the answer.
People are depressed, people are disappointed, they’re frustrated. Isn’t it sad how many Americans think the country’s best days are behind us? And the real sad thing is that people who think that don’t have the ability to affix the blame for it properly. They just think it’s a matter of evolution and time and they just happen to be born at that moment in the universe where America’s best days are behind us. They haven’t the slightest idea that it’s Democrat Party and left-wing policies and the implementation of those policies that has brought this about.
I’m a little long in this segment. I have to take a break. But my only point is, I throw out all this conventional wisdom that says you have to behave this way in order to get elected here or there. I think everything’s being stood upside down and on its head right now, and a lot of people still haven’t gotten their arms around it and still don’t know where it’s all headed. And it’s one of the reasons that makes it really exciting.
RUSH: This is Lee in College Station. Welcome, Lee. Great to have you on the program. It says here that what you want to talk about: Now that Trump’s in the driver’s seat, gonna get the nomination, what does he have to steer clear of in order to beat Hillary? What do you mean by that?
CALLER: My premise to my question is, I think he, first of all, has it in the bag. I voted for the master debater in the primary here in Texas, but I’ll vote for Satan if he wins the nomination, so — of course we’re talking about Trump, and I think he’s got it locked up. He wrote The Art of the Deal, so he should sail through the convention —
RUSH: Right, right, but what does he need to steer cleave of in order to — in other words, you think that he’s got some propensities that could hurt him, right?
CALLER: Well, I don’t know. You’re a smart guy, so I called you, I thought, you know, Rush will know. What does Trump, what does he have to not do in order to win the general in November? And I’m talking about, of course, going up it looks like against Hillary. What does he have to not do in order to win it, win it all?
RUSH: Well, this would require some considered thought.
CALLER: That’s why I called you.
RUSH: Right. But, I mean, off the top of my head might be risky, because I could right now just give you generics, and —
RUSH: — the first thing, whatever he does, whatever, he’s got to stay who he is. He cannot try to become somebody he’s not. And he’s gotta resist efforts on the part of whoever surrounds him to turn him into something he’s not based on what they think is necessary, because they’re not the one running. He’s the guy, his instincts are solid, obviously. He knows himself.
RUSH: So I think he’s just gotta trust himself.
CALLER: Okay. All right.
RUSH: But I know people are worried — for example, I know Trumpists who are worried, you know, they love it when he insults people but they’re worried that it’s gonna backfire, that it doesn’t come across as stately or presidential or what have you. So I thought I would give Trumpists an opportunity to express what their fears are, just ’cause like you, most of them think Trump’s got it in the bag, most of you Trumpists think that it’s over, and you’ve moved on, the primaries are a perfunctory thing now. They are a formality.
And so you’re hoping that whatever happens next does not blow it. And so you’ve got, obviously in your mind there are things, maybe you haven’t nailed them, maybe you haven’t identified them, that could blow it. And so your question to me, what do I think Trump should avoid in order to beat Hillary. Let me grab some sound bites here quickly. We got time to squeeze this in. Here’s Hillary last night in Philadelphia on PMSNBC.
HILLARY: Well, I am gonna have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50% of America is women. Right?
RUSH: All right, here’s how Trump reacted to it.
TRUMP: I call her Crooked Hillary because she’s crooked and, you know, the only thing she’s got is the woman card. That’s all she’s got. And it is pandering. And, you know, it’s a weak card in her hand. In another person’s hands it could be a very powerful card. I’d love to see a woman president, but she’s the wrong person. She’s a disaster. Remember the famous call at three o’clock in the morning. She was sleeping. She’s got nothing else to play. She’s guilty as hell on the emails. You got Whitewater. Her whole life has been crooked. And you look at the foundation, the whole life. And the only card she’s got is to play the woman card.
RUSH: Now, very few Republicans ever go after Hillary at all, period. They don’t go after Obama, hands off. Trump is not afraid to. But is that effective or not? I’m asking you. Is that gonna persuade people, is that gonna warn people off of Hillary and so forth? You ponder that.