RUSH: A quick question, ladies and gentlemen, right to you from the EIB Network. Should a Democrat, any Democrat, now praise President Trump’s good judgment for bashing the House Freedom Caucus? Should that happen? Because that’s what President Trump has done. President Trump and Paul Ryan have gone public with their fight against the Freedom Caucus.I was telling Mr. Snerdley mere moments ago, “I know I predicted this. I know I did.”
It was last week. It had to be a week ago today or maybe a week ago tomorrow, but I warned everybody when this bill went down tubes. In fact, it was… The bill didn’t go down the tubes while we were on the air. It went down the tubes on a Friday about a half hour after the program, a week ago tomorrow it went down the tubes, but I remember it was last Thursday or Friday. It probably was last Friday. I warned everybody where this was gonna lead was Trump seeking out the Democrats, if Trump couldn’t get what he wanted with the Republicans.
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
I know I did, because I was talking about this. In the Democrats, we have two factions. We have the whole caucus and the Congressional Black Caucasians, and that’s it. On the Republican side, we have the whole House caucus, but then we’ve got the Tuesday Group, the Wednesday morning group, the Thursday night group, the Freedom Caucus. We got all those disparate groups there, and very rarely are they unified. The Democrats are unified because the Congressional Black Caucasians go along with whatever the majority of the House wants.
I mean, it is very rare that the Congressional Black Caucasians oppose the Democrat leadership. And I pointed out that if Trump wants to get things done, and it’s Republicans, whoever it is — the Freedom Caucus, the Wednesday group, the Thursday group — if they are perceived to be the reasons that his agenda is stalled, he’s gonna turn to the Democrats. I know I warned people about this. And now that’s what he’s saying he’s gonna do, and the New York Times is all happy. The New York Times says he should do it. He should go work with the Democrats.
And Paul Ryan says (whispering), “I don’t think he should work with the Democrats.” But the New York Times says (shouting), “I think he should work with the Democrats!” Paul Ryan (muttering), “I — I — I don’t think so.” Well, right there it is. “Trump: ‘We Must Fight’ Hard-Line Conservative Freedom Caucus in 2018 Midterm Elections.” You know what this means? It means Trump is going to put his muscle behind defeating conservatives in the House of Representatives because he believes they betrayed him on the health care bill, and I know that’s what the media is writing.
And that’s what the establishment Republicans believe. But everybody hates the conservatives. But I’m telling you: It was not the conservatives that sandbagged that bill. And I’ll tell you something else. Folks, forgive me here, but I’m reaching the top limit of my frustration with all of this. Year after year it’s tempting, and everybody gets caught up in the analysis and gets caught up in the game, and everybody, and I’ve done it myself. You take something, anything.
This is a generic example. Something happens in the news, and everyone starts analyzing it: What does it mean? Analyst A says, “It means this,” Analyst B says, “Well, it could mean that but it might mean this and this,” and Analyst C says, “No, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” and everybody gets caught up in what it could mean, what it might mean, what might happen down the road and in the end result… Let’s get back to specific health care. We got all this chatter. We had all these people talking about it, all these intentions expressed, all these carrots dangled.
Now they’re dangling the carrot, “Hey, you know what? We’re gonna revive it. Hey, we’re gonna bring it back.” Yesterday it was, “We might bring it back soon. We might bring it back next week.” Today Paul Ryan says, “There’s no timeline for bringing it back.” It’s obvious they want the PR from saying they’re gonna bring it back, but what is the truth day in and day out? There isn’t any reform, there isn’t any repeal of Obamacare. All this chatter and all this analysis — which is designed to make people in the media look brilliant and smart and insightful — doesn’t change anything.
At the end of yesterday, Obamacare was still the law of the land. At the end of today, it’s still gonna be the law of the land. At the end of tomorrow, it’s still gonna be the law of the land. When Trump gets together with the ChiCom president in Mar-a-Lago next week, it’s still gonna be the law of the land. But yet everybody’s gonna be getting entitled, chatting about it, analyzing it, forecasting it, predicting it, and so forth. And it’s easy to get caught up in the game. I mean, it’s how people make their bones. It’s where people make their reputations. “I’m a superior political analyst.
“I have been quoted countless times on Fox News. I’m just this close to getting a book deal and then my career will be made!” “Well, how did you do all that?” “Well, I give people the possibilities.” “I’m an excellent analyst of what’s happening in the political scene.” What is there to analyze? Other than to assign blame. For seven-years… You know, Philip Klein in the Washington Examiner? You know who Philip Klein is? (interruption) Well, he’s Philip Klein, and he has a piece in the Washington Examiner. You know what he wrote about this health care blow up?
He said this is the biggest without question broken promise in the history of United States politics and maybe even world politics. The biggest promise ever broken. Seven years of assurances. Seven years of campaigning. Seven years of commitments. Seven years of people voting. Well, not that many years, but election after election where Republicans were elected because of what they said they were gonna do. And then it was time for the rubber to hit the road, nobody even had a plan!
And the people out selling the man couldn’t even tell you what was in it! Because they didn’t know, in many cases. Washington Post: “Trump: ‘We Must Fight’ Hard-Line Conservative Freedom Caucus in 2018 Midterm Elections.” It’s by Philip Rucker. “President Trump effectively declared war Thursday on the House Freedom Caucus, the powerful group of hard-line conservative Republicans who blocked the health-care bill, vowing to ‘fight them’ in the 2018 midterm elections.” Let me tell you something else about this. Don’t doubt me.
Your hard-core average Trump voter isn’t going to care about this. I had it said to me this morning, “Trump’s making a grave tactically error if he does this. Whoever’s advising him to do this, this is a huge mistake!” No, it’s not. Trump voters are wedded to Trump, a big percentage of them. If this is what their man has to do to get things done, then this is what their man has to do to get things done. Let me ask Mr. Snerdley, who’s an insightful political analyst, loves to play the game.
Do you think Trump will hurt himself with this? (interruption) I’m not so sure. But we can’t know that until the next election. “In a morning tweet, Trump warned that the Freedom Caucus would ‘hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast.’ He grouped its members, all of them Republican, with Democrats in calling for their political defeat — an extraordinary incitement of intraparty combat from a sitting president.”
There are 32 members of the Freedom Caucus. “Most of them were elected or reelected comfortably in solidly Republican districts. With his tweet, Trump seemed to be encouraging primary challenges to each of them in next year’s elections.”
Now, the media can’t get its tongue off the sidewalk here. This may be one of the quickest 180 degree turns from hate to love that we will witness. Now that Trump is reaching out to the Democrats — well, now that Trump is savaging the conservative Freedom Caucus, the media is, well, they’ve gotta praise it.
I told you what’s gonna happen. Trump’s gonna be praised. He’s going to be celebrated as having grown in office. And I’ll tell you who’s gonna get the credit. Jared Kushner and Ivanka and Dina Powell, Goldman Sachs. Dina Powell worked with Gary Cohn at Goldman Sachs. Dina Powell, there’s a puff piece at TheHill.com. TheHill.com which hates Trump, TheHill.com which despises Republicans. There are a couple writers there that don’t, but general editorial position (unintelligible).
There’s a puff piece on Dina Powell. You ever heard of Dina Powell? You might have, depending on how deeply — she ran a foundation at Goldman Sachs. She wasn’t a trader. She wasn’t a money babe. Gary Cohn, C-o-h-n was a trader at Goldman Sachs. He is hard left Democrat. People have been wondering how did he end up there in the Trump administration, his adviser? Dina Powell is his loyal lieutenant. She’s got puff piece today on how she is a moderating influence and how everyone likes her and how everyone admires her.
Are you surprised? I mean, you would never see a puff piece like this about Bannon. You would never see a puff piece like this about Priebus. You wouldn’t see a puff piece like this about Mick Mulvaney, who is the budget director. But Dina Powell, big, big, big puff piece. And there are continuing pieces on Ivanka and Jared Kushner, her husband, as they’re becoming the power couple of Washington.
Axios, the new website started by the founder of The Politico. “Friends who talk frequently to Trump tell us the President will make one big change in response to the health-care fiasco: In the constant check-in phone calls for which he’s famous, he’s going to talk with a wider array of people — and include more Democrats,” in his phone calls. And then the next story. Where do you think this is leading, ladies and gentlemen?
New York Times lead editorial: “Why Democrats Should Work With Trump.” All of a sudden now it’s okay. The next thing we’re gonna see, if this keeps up, it isn’t gonna be long before there’s a New York Times headline urging the House and the Senate investigating committees to drop the investigation into collusion between Trump and the Russians. The New York Times is going to say it’s gone on long enough. It is too distracting. After all of this time and after all of this money spent investigating this, if they still haven’t found any provable evidence that there was collusion, it’s time to drop it.
If Trump continues his outreach to Democrats, I’m predicting to you that it won’t be long before the Drive-By Media urges itself and the Senate and the House to suspend the investigation. Now, you may think, “Rush, that’ll never happen. They’re never gonna give up on that.” Folks, they may have to because I think this investigation’s actually gonna ensnare them before it’s all said and done.
RUSH: Back to the New York Times. “President Trump has discovered that trying to work with the Republicans is complicated. … So with all his big campaign pledges in limbo following last week’s Obamacare fiasco, he reportedly is contemplating overtures to a party that actually wants to govern: the Democrats.”
Can you believe this? Listen to this, the exact words. “He’s reportedly is contemplating overtures to a party that actually wants to govern: the Democrats.” I wouldn’t be surprised to see that in a news story as well, but it is in an editorial.
“Perhaps,” writes the New York Times, “Perhaps it’s beginning to dawn on the president that today’s Republican Party is designed for maximal obstruction and minimal constructive policy making. The rigidly doctrinaire Freedom Caucus essentially has veto power over White House initiatives, while moderates will jump ship if Mr. Trump concedes too much to right-wing purists. What’s more, Republicans are all over the map on the next big items on Mr. Trump’s agenda — tax reform and infrastructure.”
I told you that that’s where the Democrats were gonna be. I know I told you this, because that was specific. They couldn’t wait to work with Trump on that. Yeah, even Mr. Snerdley remembers. Tax reform, can’t do that unless we do health care, and health care is down the tubes, so up next is infrastructure. Trump reaching out to the Democrats.
They say if Trump could “peel off several dozen moderate Democrats in the House and a handful in the Senate, he could neutralize the far right’s naysaying and give moderate Republicans a chance to vote for measures with broad, bipartisan support.”
Sad to say this was in the cards. I think the Freedom Caucus is getting a very bad rap as being the reason — that bill, folks, there were two ways to look at it. The bill by itself maintained Obamacare aspects. So why vote for it? It maintained Obamacare aspects. In some cases premiums were going to increase. Why do this? Why put your name to that? Why would any Republican do it? Unless the objective was just get a win, just say within 60 days we tackled the biggest legislative issue to come down the pike, and we got it done. See? We repealed and reformed, except there wasn’t gonna be any of that. They needed phase 2 and phase 3.
Freedom Caucus said there’s nothing here. Freedom Caucus said, “You know what? The people urging us to vote for this are not even telling us what’s in it. They’re not selling it to us. They’re telling us to vote for it, to stick with party unity, to make sure that it looks like the party’s united, but nobody’s telling us the decent things. So we went in, we got some concessions, we got some things that we wanted in it, but not enough.”
I think a real analysis of this would show that the greater number of defections was actually going to be among the so-called moderates in the House. But the conservatives are always gonna get the blame because the Washington establishment, both parties, despises them. Not news there, either. I told you that for years. You’re probably tired of hearing that by now. But it’s true.
RUSH: Weekly press briefing, Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill, saying Trump should not work with the Democrats on health care.
RYAN: Well, because about 90% of our conference is there and about 10% are not. So that’s why I say we’re close ’cause we are. Here’s the point I’m making here. The Democrats aren’t for repealing Obamacare. We are. (chuckle) We work with Democrats all the time. So we have long histories of working with Democrats, but I don’t think it’s a stretch of the mind to suggest that the Democrats disagree with us on repealing Obamacare. They’re not going to help us repeal Obamacare. That’s my point. And so if we’re going to do what we said we would do which is repeal and replace Obamacare and save the American health care system, something tells me the Democrats aren’t gonna help us repeal Obamacare. They’re the ones who created it in the first place.
RUSH: Right. That’s absolutely true. And remember, Trump is not ideological. He’s not seeing… The Freedom Caucus, what he sees, is a bunch of guys that voted against him.
RUSH: There’s another thing about this threat to the Freedom Caucus in terms of Trump’s tweet today, and you have to look at it as a threat. He’s not yet abandoned them. But clearly, if you go look at this, Trump said the Freedom Caucus would, quote, “hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team and fast.” Now, two things about this. For all of you who think that Paul Ryan is the problem in the House, Trump here is siding with him. Number one. That’s what this tweet means.
So the health care bill going down the tubes, Trump is not blaming Ryan for it. He’s clearly blaming the Freedom Caucus. But he’s not abandoning them yet, if we the interpret the tweet correctly. He said, “if they don’t get on the team and fast.” Well, I’m assuming that that means in the next piece of legislation. If. Whatever it is. If it’s the revival of Obamacare — the repeal and replace effort — if it is tax reform, if it is infrastructure, if the Freedom Caucus doesn’t get on board, then Trump is gonna try to take ’em out in 2018.
I look at it as Trump (chuckles) giving you them one more chance here. But in the final analysis, it means that Trump is siding with Ryan here, not with Ryan in any way other than the health care bill being defeated. Trump is not holding Ryan in any way, shape, manner, or form responsible. I know many of you do, but this means that Trump isn’t. You also have to keep in mind that Trump is not ideological. I have made this point over and over.
He knows what conservative policies are, he knows what liberalism is, but he doesn’t see people that way. It’s a big difference. You look at Chuck Schumer’s opposition to Gorsuch. Trump doesn’t chalk it up to the fact that Schumer is a liberal. He chalks it up to the fact that Schumer is, you know, a de facto ill body part or he’s a weird guy, just a mean guy or wrong or whatever. But Trump is typical of many Americans. They don’t think ideologically, they don’t analyze ideologically, they don’t even know ideology.
These people, you start talking about liberalism or conservatism, you lose them. About as far as they go is Republican versus Democrat, but conservative/liberal? Ach! Sadly, that is the case. I wish it were otherwise. So the Freedom Caucus… I think Trump’s a media creature. The Freedom Caucus has been blamed; I don’t know how you escape that. Trump sees these guys as people who opposed him. He’s a Republican president. He’s largely responsible, in his mind, for their having acquired power, and they’re opposing him.
N-n-n-n-nooo. He doesn’t see ’em as a bunch of conservatives who have to be swayed. Now, he’s got people in his regime that no doubt do. Don’t misunderstand. I’m talking about Trump himself. And it’s also possible that Trump is becoming more sensitive or attuned to ideology than he was and always has been as a private citizen. I’m just telling you, everybody has their own makeup — their own personality and political makeup — and Trump has not been someone who decides on policy based on the ideological aspect or component of it.
I’ll give you an example of the branding on this. One of the places that I play golf, when we all gather there — and this group I know is made up of people who always vote Republican. Many of them do not like conservatives because their wives have nagged ’em on abortion. Look, it is what it is. They have a misunderstanding of it, even though they are. Even though they live their lives this way, even though when you listen to them talk, you would swear they are conservative. You call ’em that and they say, “No, no, no, no.”
All right. You take 10 of us sitting around the table having breakfast before we go out to the range, and a dyed-in-the-wool movement conservative will sit down at the table and start talking about whatever the latest news is in dyed-in-the-wool conservative terms. Half the group of 10 will get up and leave. They don’t want to hear it. They think the guy’s a kook — think the guy’s a literal kook — and all he’s doing is talking conservatism, traditional American values. They think he’s a kook. These are the people that I’m talking about. They don’t see things ideologically.
In fact, these people, when you do get to ideology, they kind of get nervous and back off.
They don’t want anybody to think that they’re conservative.
They’re happy to be considered Republicans. You know, I sent a little tweet, a note. We’re gonna play golf or… Eh, let me make something up. We’re gonna play golf a couple weeks from now — and the incident that I just described, by the way, did happen. So I’ll send a note out to the guys, “Okay, I’ll set us up for X such-and-such a club. I’ll make sure that we don’t have any more conservatives interrupt us,” and I got responses, “Please do! Please make sure! Don’t let that happen again,” as though it’s my fault.
But the dyed-in-the-wool conservative sat down at the breakfast and talked to me about it. And the others looked at him like, you know, who opened the gates at the zoo? Well, that’s Trump. But it’s the same thing with liberals too. Don’t misunderstand. He doesn’t like Schumer. But the reason he doesn’t like Schumer and the reason he sees Schumer as a threat is because Schumer is against him, and that’s what he sees in the Freedom Caucus.
Now, as I say, he may be growing, learning more and becoming more understanding of things ideological. Don’t know. But it’s important to know that he isn’t. So his opposition to the Freedom Caucus is not strictly because they’re conservative. It’s mostly because he thinks that they voted against him. And if you’re not on his team, you know, he’s not gonna woo you. You either join him or you’re out in the cold.