BRETT: I want you to think about the two most recent presidents that we have experienced. You have current president Joe Biden, and you have former President Donald Trump. I want you to think for a moment about the connection you feel to our leaders in the country. I know we don’t often do feelings, right, touchy-feely stuff? But just your sense, right?
When you looked at President Trump, did you feel like you had a connectivity to him, a connection to him that maybe he understood you? And as you look at President Biden, do you feel that he has that connection? He talks so much about the blue-collar people and the missing chair at the table and helping working people and telling everybody that he’s a working-class guy.
He’s from Scranton and Delaware and he’s always been a working-class guy. There’s a gift to connecting with the people. Rush certainly had it “bigly” (to borrow a phrase from former president Trump), and Rush did a better job than anyone in describing how and why President Trump created the bond he had with those who voted for him, rooting for him.
He wasn’t the first U.S. president that Rush talked about and explained it so clearly. He wasn’t the first. If you were lucky enough to hear Rush on a day, folks, that he taught a history class on the radio, well, you’d hear those pearls of wisdom. One such occasion going back to June of 2014 when he used an opportunity to speak of a president that went around the media and created a direct relationship with the voters. I wonder if then private citizen Trump was listening that day.
RUSH: “Well, Rush, you keep talking about Reagan and all of that, but you know, the era of Reagan’s over. It was so long ago,” or whatever. You know, the question is: How did Reagan overcome the media? The media hated Reagan as much as they hate Bush. The media hated Reagan as much as they’ve hated Nixon.
The media hated Reagan as much as anybody has ever hated the Republicans. Don’t doubt me. For those of you that weren’t alive, don’t doubt me. Reagan was hated and despised. The players were different. Their names were Sam Donaldson and Dan Blather and so forth. He was just as despised as any media hated Bush or Nixon. Yet you’ve heard that, “Yeah, well, but Reagan, he had this charisma.
“He was able to speak directly to the American people. He was able to go over the heads of the media and speak to the people unfiltered.” True. But that’s not why Reagan succeeded. It all comes down to the same thing: Substance and reality versus spin, PR, buzz, and myth. The end result? Look at what happened when Reagan was president. The economy grew like gangbusters.
I don’t care what the media was saying. The reality was that the economy was great. We were vanquishing communist foes with our foreign policy. The point here is, the way you overcome the media is with success on the ground. But you don’t vie for buzz success or a PR success and you don’t try to have success that’s defined by persuading as many people as possible you’re successful.
You define success by being successful, implementing policies that work and that really benefited people because they help themselves. The reason Reagan was able to overcome the media is because his policies revived a country which was in as bad a shape in the latter seventies as it is now, which is precisely what we need again. We don’t need PR tactics to try to convince the media we’re not mean or bad.
“We don’t need tactics to get the media fooled. We just need somebody who is unabashedly and unafraid-ly conservative who will implement policies that will work and will bring actual positive results to people’s lives, and then it doesn’t matter what the media says. They’ll look like buffoons, like they did in the eighties. It’s just substance over symbolism, reality over buzz. That’s all it is.
BRETT: I would be shocked if former president Trump didn’t hear that message in 2014. I would be stunned, because Rush perfectly encapsulated what was the secret of Reagan, the secret of success, and the secret of turning this country into the success we want it to be.
See, when we root for the country’s success, we root for the success of everybody, just not for the people who are trying to destroy the country, right? And isn’t it curious…? I was here on Monday as your guide, and I’m here today on Wednesday as your guide, and his description of why Ronald Reagan was successful — President Reagan was successful — was the very same thing Rush talked about.
We played the clip in the first or the second hour, and it was Rush talking about the secret to his success, that he was not a media creation. The media did not create Rush Limbaugh and so the media could not destroy Rush Limbaugh. That is the exact recipe for success with Reagan — and was the exact recipe for success, I think, with Trump. If the media doesn’t make you, they can’t take you out.
Think about some of the politicians you’ve seen, some of the personalities you’ve seen, some of the presidential candidates or presidents you’ve seen in your life that you know full well were media creation, buzz creation. I think we could probably name two or three just sitting here. I think we could just name two or three that were products, byproducts of the media push.
It’s not hard to do. They used to have a term for people like that: A flash in the pan, right? Except now with social media, that flash in the pan can then be retweeted out to the four corners of the world. But now suddenly you have these politicians that are coming to save you, despite your best inclinations. Beto comes to mind.
These people who are elevated, celebrated, nearly worshiped but never measured in terms of the results that they’re offering up for that prescription for the American republic. See, Rush understood the secret of Reagan was results, results that resonated with the American people. Because if you deliver results, then you know full well — you know this in the marrow of your bones.
If you see somebody delivering results, there’s nothing the media can say to talk you out of that. If you were to go back to 2020 and covid never happened, and you had the economy we had in January and what we need was coming the rest of that year, do you really think for a moment Jim Acosta, Anderson Cooper, and the Cuomo brothers could have done anything to stop that economic juggernaut?
The fundamentals were sound. The prescriptions today are without foundation and potentially very, very dangerous — I would say potentially lethal — for economic growth. That’s what we have to pay attention to. The media only has the power we grant it. Substance over buzz. It’s the secret of success every single time.