TODD: Who was the first person in your memory to really describe what Mitt Romney is in terms of governance? Because I’m a big fan of the idea that there’s no such thing as Mitt Romney, that he doesn’t exist, that there is a father who’s a really good father, loves his kids very much named Mitt Romney. There is a businessman, Mitt Romney, who is shrewd and brilliant and strategic, and creates values or spots undervalued assets and sometimes breaks them up and sells them, which has a human cost to it, of course.
Then there’s a guy who wants to be everybody’s papa. And that’s another Mitt Romney. And, in politics, there is no solid Mitt Romney. I bet you if you went to Mitt and you talked to him about parenting I bet his principles never changed. I bet they’ve been solid from Day One. I bet if you went to him in business it would be about the fundamentals and value creation and are we building this entity to last or are we building it to flip, or are we looking at this entity as something we can improve or something we could break up and sell? And I bet those are numbers-based decisions.
I bet that’s the same with his philanthropy. Politics? There’s only one number. It’s the polls. Now, you could say, as he has, oh, when I went after Trump, that was my principles, Herman. You don’t get it. No, I do, because you didn’t go after Obama, who committed more harm to this country than all of Donald Trump’s tweets pact into a nuclear missile and fired at the heart of the country ever could do. Tweets don’t do things. Allowing the Taliban and Hamas to smuggle drugs across our border as a political detail, that does things like helps destroy people’s lives with opioids. We could go through the Obama destruction of the country that now continues with Joe Biden’s dementia, reading from Barack Obama’s teleprompter, and Mitt Romney has very little to say.
Oh, he said what he was getting booed in Utah, because he’s been censored by the Utah County Republican Party, Mitt Romney has. Thank you, Utah County Republican Party. He was booed at the Utah GOP convention. Thank you, Utah GOP convention and the people who booed him. And you could say, well, Herman, those are my principles. No. Because we’re watching right now our energy system in Texas being hacked. We’re watching missiles launch once again into Israel which didn’t happen — this is, what, how long has Biden’s dementia been in there? We’re watching a militarized installation in Washington, D.C., that’s what’s gonna continue forevermore.
We’re watching a wholesale destruction of the work ethic with the installation of a universal basic income under cover of covid, and Mitt, he’s troubled, he’s troubled by some of the policies of Biden, but not Biden himself, not Obama himself. Those aren’t principles. Those are opportunistic things to say to be the thoughtful senator from Utah. You know, Rush knew what Mitt Romney is all about. It’s not about conservatism or fighting against leftism.
RUSH: Mitt Romney represents the Never Trump mentality that’s in the Republican, a strain of it. He may not be as virulent as some of the pseudo, so-called intellectual magazine types who compromise the Never Trumpers, column writers and so forth. But he — exactly as I — as I stated — look, here’s Mitt Romney. He’s running for president, what, 2012.
And in the early stages of it, there’s a rap going around that he’s not really a conservative, that he’s a RINO, that he’s a moderate Republican and he has to pretend to be a conservative ’cause he really isn’t one, and he (kind of like most people in Washington) looks down his nose at conservatives. So in an attempt to persuade people that they were wrong, that he was in fact a conservative, you remember how he described himself?
He said, “I am a severe conservative,” and all of us conservatives looked around and said, “What the hell is ‘a severe conservative’? We’ve never heard that.” Romney exemplifies the Washington establishment. He is career politics. His family, his father. He’s career. There is a certain way that those people behave. There’s a certain station that they think they’ve achieved, and they maintain it by knowing their place — and the Republicans’ place is always second tier.
You must acknowledge you’re second tier. You must acknowledge the superiority or the primacy of the Washington establishment. You must always make it clear that you appreciate being in that establishment. You gotta know your place in it. And the one thing Republicans in the establishment do not do is anything like what Trump does or is. You don’t fight back. You don’t really try to win on a permanent basis.
Yeah, you can test for the presidency every four years, and you may win now and then. But then you acknowledge you’re gonna be destroyed the next four years. You acknowledge that you’re gonna be hit. That’s the price that you will pay for winning, and you have to smile and grin and bear it. It has grown to just so frustrate Republican voters and conservative voters who have thought all along that the Republicans are actually in this to win and to dominate and to push the other side aside, that we are there to exercise our will over the forces of opposition.
We are there to win.
That’s not the way Republican establishment people look at their role in the establishment. Look, you know this as well as I do. Trump comes along and he just totally upsets the established norms, and it’s on that basis he’s gotta go. And then they claim that he’s incompetent and a boob and doesn’t know what he’s doing, is filled with chaos, endangering the United States, losing our respect around the world. “We can’t have this!
“We’ve established this world order that the United States set up after World War II. Trump’s coming along threatening to blow it up. We can’t let this happen. We can’t allow this to happen.” So it’s easily understandable if you know who the players are and if you have come to drips with the way Republicans in this establishment acknowledge their place in it.
TODD: One of the challenges for conservatism is that it is difficult to productize freedom. Now, this takes a little bit of an explanation. The left can constantly push product — free health care — you and I both know, it’s not free. Or they’re protecting you. You wear a woke mask, you can’t get sick. Right? Nevermind that that’s — there’s no scientific rigor behind that and there can’t be because the physics don’t work. But don’t get me started on the covid ’cause I’m obsessed. It’s difficult to productize freedom. Particularly when you yourself don’t truly believe in the power of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
Here is the productizing of freedom. If you take federal monies and you’re Big College, you will provide online courses for free. The students therein will not get to have interactions with the professors or the teaching assistants. They will have to pay a rate to take a test. And they get a discount rate because they don’t get those things. That would put downward pressure on Big Education. Or we’re gonna open up all jobs, all jobs to apprenticeships. Oh, yes, even professions. We used to do that. You can productize competition and freedom, but it takes creativity and a belief that if you did that, provided these pathways for people, it would force Big College to change. The left just takes the shortcut.
Well, let’s make college free. This is one of the challenges of conservatism is we must get really good at productizing freedom so that young people who are one day gonna run the country will actually vote for it.