RUSH: The Drive-By Media and others are — look, we have to admit it, they’re excited and they’re breathing rapidly (panting) over the news that Donald Trump is going to meet with Mitt Romney to discuss the possibility of Romney becoming secretary of state, ranking cabinet position.
For example, here at NBC: “Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will meet with Donald Trump this weekend to discuss the secretary of state position, a source close to the president-elect with direct knowledge of his thinking told NBC News. In March, the former Massachusetts governor called Trump ‘a phony’ and ‘a fraud’ when discussing the then-candidate. Separately, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told NBC News on Thursday he will not be in Trump’s cabinet, instead choosing to focus on ‘strategic planning for the emerging Republican majority.'”
Now, I want to take you back — I know many of you are shocked, a lot of you, “Why would Trump do this, after what Romney said about him. I mean, Romney single-handedly tried to derail the Trump nomination, the Trump campaign, what in the world is Trump doing?” Take you back to this program, July 13th. We’re barely a month into Trump’s campaign. And Trump was talking about other Republicans, and back then it was Lyin’ Ted and all these other names that he had, you know, little Marco, all that stuff was going on.
This was in the stage of the campaign where nobody believed he was even serious and nobody believed he could win, and people were surprised he still hadn’t been forced out after what he had said, after coming down the escalator on June the 16th. I mean, this is a month into it, and the brilliant thinkers at the GOP Establishment are convinced that Trump’s on the way to imploding. You know, he has said that he didn’t admire McCain ’cause he doesn’t like military people that get captured. You could go down the list of things that Trump had said. And, once again, it was left to me to explain Donald Trump to you in this audience and to anybody else who cared to listen.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I’m just making observances right now and quasi-predictions. Of course — you’re probably talking about, well, among others, Jeb Bush, when you talk about things Trump is saying that he would have a tough time walking back. Don’t forget, Trump is Trump. I think Trump, if he wants to, will be able to explain anything later on that he says about Jeb (imitating Trump), “Jeb called me, Jeb told me I was right, Jeb and I finally agreed, Jeb’s a great guy.” That’s vintage Trump to do it that way. Trump, I don’t think, would have a problem walking back anything he said.
RUSH: I told you back in July that all this criticism that Trump was making of the Republicans he’d be able to walk it back and unify the party if he was the nominee because I know Trump, I know the personality type. And I tried to tell everybody. And look, I know some of you heard and some of you listened, but other people were just so distraught that they thought this giant betrayal of conservatism was going on, and they weren’t hearing anything else.
But, given that, and given that I have pretty much been able to explain everything Trump said and did, why he did it, what it was gonna ultimately mean, what to believe, what not to believe, what to get upset about, what not to get upset about, let’s now fast forward to Trump choosing Romney. Is this not exactly what I was talking about? Why in the world would he choose Romney? (interruption) Why would Romney agree to show up?
So Trump invites Romney. Why would Romney show up? Because of what Romney said? (interruption) I know it was. I know it was. The Romney speech where he criticized Trump as a reprobate and all the rest was — how to explain this. Yeah, and Trump said that Romney would drop to his knees or did drop to his knees trying to get his endorsement in 2012. But you gotta go back to 2012 to find the root of this. In 2012 they were on the same page. Romney had reached out for Trump’s endorsement, Trump endorsed him and they were fast friends.
Look, this is politics. How much of what people say in politics is for the moment, meant for the moment, meant only to satisfy an emotional demand or requirement of the moment, but it is not really sincere? My view of people in politics is that most of what they say is not sincere during campaigns about other Republicans.
The way you’re thinking, whoever wins any Republican nomination should remain the enemy of every Republican who lost. They can never unify; they can never come together. These campaigns are vicious, but that’s exactly what they are; they’re campaigns.
Now there’s something bigger out there. The fight is over. The decision is made. The party has its nominee. If you’re a Republican who likes power and if you are a Republican who’s got all the money in the world that you need and you like power and you couldn’t get the brass ring for yourself and there’s an opportunity to get in on one of the hottest political movements of the moment, you will do it.
I think it’s easier to understand Romney taking the call and accepting the invitation than it is Trump extending the invitation. Why does that not give you any curiosity? Why are you more surprised over Romney accepting the invitation than Trump extending it? I mean it was Trump about whom Romney said all those things. Now, I may not be verbalizing this well, but this doesn’t surprise me.
None of this surprises me and it doesn’t say one thing or another about any of these two guys to me. They are who they are before this happened. I know who they both are. I know whether I like ’em or not. What I don’t know is what’s really going on. I don’t know if this is simply a public outreach on the part of Trump to show he’s willing to let bygones be bygones. I don’t know if he’s doing this knowing Romney’s not going to accept it but being able to benefit from the outreach.
The summit is the mere formality, the ceremonial demonstration of what was agreed to long ago, weeks, months before the summit. So the analogy would be, if this were a summit between two nations, the real meaning would be is that Romney is gonna be secretary of state and this is all a reenactment of what has already happened for public consumption. Because the theory goes, if you’re going to offer a position of great power and importance to somebody, you’re not gonna do that publicly unless you know they’re gonna accept it, because to refuse it is a rebuke.
So you do it behind the scenes, away from the cameras and lights and microphones so that if Romney says, “No way, I still think you’re the reprobate that I thought you were back in March, I’m not,” then you never go public with the fact that you’re going to offer him a job unless you have another agenda. Unless this isn’t about Romney accepting it, unless it’s about Trump trying to accomplish something else by going public with the meeting and the invitation. That’s what I don’t know.
The only thing I don’t know is if this is already a done deal and all this is for ceremony or if it isn’t a done deal and is being done for reasons other than what it appears to be, i.e., getting Romney to accept secretary of state. And we won’t know that ’til time unfolds.
But let’s listen to some other learned opinion on this. Because when I say something about anything, there’s really not much left to be said. Which is why I don’t tell you everything I think about everything. Otherwise there’s nothing else to say. So I leave it open sometimes for you to tell me what you think on the phones or hear. We’ll go to the audio sound bites and find what others think and we’ll start here with Dr. Krauthammer. It was last night, Special Report, Bret Baier, Fox News Channel. And the report had been of the upcoming meeting with Romney and that Dr. Kissinger had met with Trump. And Krauthammer’s weighing in.
RUSH: Okay. The interesting point of this, “I think bringing in Romney whether he gives him a job or not is quite a signal. For Trump to bring him in helps blunt the sort of prejudice that people have that he will only stick with loyalists, a small group of outsiders.” Now, who thinks that? If you’ve heard that said, who’s saying it? Who is saying, “This Trump guy? Pfft! He’s only gonna bring in a bunch of yes-men, a bunch of loyalists, a bunch of fellow outsiders like him. He’s not gonna bring in any of us! He’s not gonna bring in any of the smart people. He’s not gonna bring any of the academics. He’s gonna bring in these outsiders.”
Who is saying that? The Drive-By Media and the establishment are saying that! Do we have the slightest idea that Trump is thinking it? So what we have here is the application… This is not a criticism of Dr. Krauthammer. What we have here is — actually, it’s not the application — the assignation of establishment thinking automatically being attached to Trump by the establishment. We have no evidence that Trump has ever said or is thinking that all he’s gonna do is bring in a bunch of outsiders and renegades and have nothing to do with the current members of the establishment.
That is one of their fears. I may be wrong. Trump may have said something along those lines. I haven’t heard him say it. He may have surrogates who have implied it. I haven’t heard that, either. So Dr. Krauthammer, “Oh, yes! It blunts the prejudice that people have, that he’s only gonna stick with…” Where does that prejudice exist? So, in other words, short version: “Ah. Trump is behaving in ways that we think he should behave. Trump is doing what we would do if we were Trump.
“Trump is demonstrating he’s not as stupid as we think he is,” is what this means. All politics is local. Here now Mark Halperin from Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect. This is on that show last night, and he is speaking with Bob Shrum, a well-known Democrat campaign manager and strategist who has yet to steer any candidate to a victory. That’s a resume enhancement in the Democrat Party, and they are talking about Romney as secretary of state.
SHRUM: The selection of Romney, if it comes to that, the reviews for the constituencies that Trump wants to please — that Trump wants to get momentum from — would all be positive. Romney alone would send such an important signal to Washington, to the country, to people around the world about what Donald Trump’s trying to do. It doesn’t wash away everything else that people might be concerned about, but it would be a big message and a big pick and the kind of pick as compared to, say, Giuliani where people would say, “He’s not rewarding loyalty, to say the least.”
RUSH: All right, here we go again. Who is saying…? Who is saying and thinking and expressing all these concerns we have about Trump? Trump supporters aren’t. Trump supporters are not saying, “Boy, I hope he appoints Romney so that people will realize he’s not an idiot. Gee, I hope he appoints Romney to something so people will realize that he knows a lot more people than just the people he’s hanging around with.” Trump supporters are not saying this. Who’s saying this? Who’s saying these kind of things? This is how… It’s not even conspiratorial. It’s just how establishment types with access to the media do it.
This is how they essentially implant the way they think into Trump by claiming that Trump is thinking just like they are, which, in their minds, makes Trump a little bit more acceptable. Which nobody knows what Trump is thinking. But they all think they do. And it’s all Trump — in their view, Trump has to show he’s not a mental midget. Trump has to show he knows that there is a secretary of state job. Trump has to show he knows that secretaries of state negotiate with other countries. Trump has to demonstrate that he knows that he needs a Department of Transportation secretary. Trump knows that he needs to show us he’s a smart guy, because we know that Trump is a blithering idiot.
That’s what all of this means.
Now, why is Trump reaching out to Romney? I’ll tell you later.
RUSH: Okay. Let’s listen to Democrat campaign manager and strategist Bob Shrum explain last night what he thinks of Trump maybe selecting Romney, certainly extending the invitation to meet William. What does it mean.
SHRUM: I’d feel a lot better for the country.
SHRUM: I think it would indicate that maybe if he’s not pivoting, he’s doing a half pivot. You know, everybody’s been waiting for him to pivot all along; he never has. But he could do a half pivot. I think people would feel better —
SHRUM: — about the future of foreign policy, about how we are gonna deal with Russia —
RUSH: What people?
SHRUM: — how we’re gonna deal with some of the other problems. Look, I was against Romney in 2012, but I didn’t fear for the future of the country if he got elected.
RUSH: Ah, here we go!
SHRUM: He’s a straightforward, honorable guy with whom I happen to disagree.
RUSH: Aw, come on.
SHRUM: I think he would bring some real clout and some real heft to this administration.
RUSH: The hell with this. These people destroyed Mitt Romney! Bob Shrum was right in there with the people describing Romney as a bully at the prep school, as not caring that wives of employees were dying without health care and that he didn’t like animals ’cause he put his dog on the station wagon roof on vacation. And here comes the old Obama (impression), “Well, you know, I thought Romney was okay! I never felt the country was gonna be in the wrong hands and a dangerous position with Mitt Romney.” They think what they said about Romney about every Republican. This is no different. “I feel a lot better with Romney.” Yeah, well…
RUSH: This Bob Shrum comment, the arrogance here and the condescension, I can’t tell you… The combination of those two things, those two characteristics, those personality traits just… The two of them together? I can’t bear it! I can’t be in the same room. And Shrum exhibited both. “Look, I was against Romney in 2012, but I didn’t fear for the future of the country,” and that’s what Obama’s out there saying. So they’ve got their talking points. (Obama impression) “Well, you know, I disagree with George W. Bush, and I — I disagreed, uh, with Mitt Romney and John McCain. But they’re both honorable guys, and I didn’t fear for the future of America. But I can’t say the same thing with, uh, Donald Trump.”
“Yeah, Romney would give us great comfort.” Do we want somebody that’s gonna comfort the Democrats anyway? They lost! The Democrats are the architects of the mess we’re in that we are trying to get out of, that we’re trying extricate ourselves from. Why do we want to accommodate them? Here’s one more sound bite. Steve Kornacki — who is a correspondent, he’s a Drive-By Media-ist on NBC — was on Today show today with Savannah Guthrie, who said, “Let’s talk about Mitt Romney,” because we’re so smart. “The name is out there. There’s obviously a question of whether this is a head fake, but if it’s real, what would be the pros and cons,” Mr. Expert Kornacki?
KORNACKI: The pro is — I mean, again, this is probably not understating it either — a public relations home run. I mean, this is a pick no one would see coming. This would be the ultimate gesture to establishment Republicans, to skeptical Democrats, to people who think Trump has too many enemies. So that would be the pro. But the con is it’s an odd couple.
RUSH: What if he wants Romney to fix the VA? You know, Romney’s a turnaround specialist. Romney’s a turnaround artist. What if he’s looking at Romney to do something like fix the VA or be secretary of Olympic Games acquisitions or whatever? I don’t know. But just the idea that, “Oh, this would go a long way toward comforting the establishment.” I don’t want ’em comforted! I like it when they’re nervous. I get a kick out of it. “This would be the ultimate gesture to establishment Republicans, to skeptical Democrats…” Skeptical Democrats lost. They don’t have to be coddled.
There’s one more. Matthew Dowd. Now, Matthew Dowd used to be a… I don’t know. He was an adviser of some kind in the Bush campaign, the Bush 43 campaign and the White House. And then when Bush lost he joined what turned out to be a bunch of RINOs in that crowd and left and has become a No Labels moderate or even liberal, and now he’s doing anti-Republican commentary — for the most part. It’s not always anti. He’s an employee at ABC News.
He was on Good Morning America today with George Stephanopoulos who said, “It’s interesting that Mitt Romney will be coming in this week for a meeting with Donald Trump to talk about the possibility of secretary of state. Whether that turns out to be true or not, even talking about it is a political boon for President-Elect…” You see how these people all think? This is Establishment Thinking 101. “What can we do to make somebody think we are what we’re not? What can we do to create buzz? What can we do to hide at what we’re really thinking and doing?”
It turned out that Romney ended up being right by virtue of how world events panned out. The one real conflict here that I think people should be talking about, is Romney made it clear when he ran in 2012 that Russia and Vladimir Putin represent the biggest threat right now to the U.S. Trump may not think that. Trump might not have that view. Trump might think that of China and not Russia. So how does that work? I mean, if Romney thinks that Russia is a far greater enemy than Trump does, then what does that say about…?
I think they ought to be looking at it like that rather than, “Yeah, could be a head fake. Wow! Yeah, it could be a home run. Look what we can make people think. Wow, this would be Trump really showing that he’s got a bigger brain than the pea size we thought he had. Oh, wow,” on this on and on stuff. But I… And what if it’s this. What if Trump has invited Romney in, and they sat down and Trump says, “Did you really think I was gonna have you here to offer you something, after the kind of stuff you said about me? I want you leaving here with everybody knowing you haven’t been offered diddly-squat.”
I’m just speculating.
I think are there probably some Trump fans that would love that.
Who’s to say that Trump may actually think Romney’s smart. Trump may actually think Romney would be good for the job. Do you notice how nobody looks at it from that standpoint? Now, you may have your problems with Romney if you’re a Trump supporter. If you’re a conservative, you do. You’ve got legitimate problems with Romney. But what if Trump thinks that Romney would be good for what he wants to do? You notice that nobody, none of these experts has even considered that. They’re all looking at these other nefarious buzz and PR and head fake explanations for this.