RUSH: Boston Globe headline: “RIP, GOP — Donald Trump has done more than win the Republican nomination. He has shattered the modern Republican Party,” and this is what a lot of Drive-Bys think. This is what a lot of leftists and Democrats think. Maybe even some Republican establishment people think this. And, ’cause they do, there are a lot of headlines like this out there today. They’re glib and they’re hip and they’re running around and they’re applauding and they’re chuckling and they’re laughing and they’re thinking that the Republican Party is finished and it’s over.
And the fact of the matter is, they’re two years behind. The Republican Party that everybody has known and expected to be around hasn’t existed in two years, maybe four. And that’s why Trump can be Trump. That’s why Trump… There’s nobody in this party that Republican voters can coalesce around, and they had a chance. Seventeen people. I can go through the names if you want. Big names. Scott Walker. Bobby Jindal. You had Jeb Bush. You had Marco Rubio. You had all kinds of classic Republicans of all stripes.
You had the Republican establishment running the show. They clearly wanted their guy in there, but you can’t… A party cannot expect… This is the great irony here. They said the Republican Party’s dead. The Republican Party in 2010 and 2014 shellacked the Democrat Party in those midterm elections, and those are not insignificant. They’re very important. Because those midterm elections, the Republicans owned 31 statehouses, 31 governorships. The Republicans control the legislatures in over 30 states in this country.
The Republicans swept over 1,000 seats from the Democrats in 2010 and 2014 if you go down to state level and even local level — major city mayorships and so forth, mayoralties. And what do we have to show for it in Washington? A big, fat zero. Absolutely nothing. Ted Cruz is looking at this, and he’s seeing a sizable conservative voter bloc. That’s what he saw. He’s seeing the Tea Party. He’s seeing these massive midterm elections. Granted, it’s a different turnout than during a presidential year. But it is what it is. You still deal with it. It’s the reality of the day.
Cruz is seeing a vibrant conservative media. He’s seeing what he believes to be a vibrant conservative movement out there. And he figures that there’s an opportunity here to go for the White House. He starts making plans to do so. And, as part of those plans, you know, he stands up to Mitch McConnell and starts broadcasting — publicly saying — what goes on behind closed doors in the Senate. He lifts the veil and angers those people, angers some people in the House. That 2013 government shutdown?
In the establishment both parties, they are just livid. They hate Cruz for that alone. But he did everything he could to ignite what he thought was that massive bloc of voters that swept Republicans into power in 2010 and 2014. Where did it go? Where did those voters go. Why did they not coalesce around a Republican? The reason is the Republican Party did not act on that sweeping victory, those two sweeping landslides in Washington. There was literally no ground gained as a result. There was nothing to show for it.
So Cruz decides that he’s going to run trying to get that bloc of voters, ’cause it’s obviously huge. But then here came, I’m sure for Cruz, the surprise of all surprises. Half the conservative media may as well been Republican establishment. They came out against him, hated his guts. And then you’ve got the establishment itself doing their best to undermine him and so forth, and he realized, “Wait a minute! These guys would rather I get creamed than win the White House.”
And it all begin to come together, with people realizing that things that they thought were not true, actually started making it obviously were true and the uphill climb. Then you have Trump entering the race, of course, last June, which changes the dynamic of all this. But point is, Trump didn’t kill the Republican Party. Now, the GOP would like to run around thinking that somebody else did it, that they didn’t do it to themselves. But they did.
You cannot have two such massive landslide wins in 2010, 2014, and have nothing to show for it, and expect it’s gonna continue, an dexpect the voters are gonna keep coming out. When you lie to ’em during campaigns and promise that you’re gonna be serious about repealing Obamacare, you’ll be serious about reducing spending, and then every year there’s a new budget and Obama gets more than he wants! So people have had their fill, and Cruz couldn’t break out of the noise that he was hearing, in part because he’s elected.
He was, in fact, part of the establishment. I have no doubt that there’s a lot of surprise in the Cruz campaign. There’s a lot of surprise probably within the conservative movement here because it was thought that it was unified. It was thought that there were a lot of people with a lot of things in common, particularly ideological things in common: Smaller government, lower taxes. You know, the entire list of ideological definitions of conservatism, including the social issues and morality.
And it got fractured, and it got split apart, so that not one Republican out of 17 could get nominated by other Republicans in a presidential primary. And how many people did you hear when Trump got in the race and it’s all becoming obvious that this was being turned upside down? All these people said, “Oh, my God, this is horrible! We’ve got the best field of candidates we’ve ever had. We’ve got the best bench we’ve ever had,” and that. Well, maybe it wasn’t, for whatever reasons.