The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12-20-07 ("Huckabee Forces Attack El Rushbo"):
Huckabee forces are attacking me, ladies and gentlemen. Yes siree, Bob, the Hucksters are on the warpath! From the Atlantic magazine, this is from their blog. The author is Marc Ambinder. "What's the Huckabee universe's take on why Rush Limbaugh does not like the man from Arkansas? I asked a prominent DC-based Huckabee ally," and here's what the "prominent" Washington-based "Huckabee ally" said: "'Honestly, because Rush doesn't think for himself. That's not necessarily a slap because he's not paid to be a thinker -- he's an entertainer. I can't remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC/Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be, too. Also, I have to think that he's dying to have Hillary in the White House. Bill Clinton made Rush a megastar. Having another Clinton back in power would make him the Leading Voice of the Opposition once again.'" Now, this is so off the mark, I can't believe that Huckabee would have somebody this ignorant on his staff -- somebody on the campaign staff or supporter or what have you, that's so ignorant about this program and what happens on this program. Part of the DC-Manhattan chattering class? When was the last time I was for illegal immigration, for example?
This is absurd, but look, I think it's funny. Huck forces are attacking El Rushbo.
If you really are a Huckabee supporter, whoever said this, your campaign is in trouble, because if that's what people on Huckabee's team thinks, your ignorance is going to get your candidate in big, big trouble.
I realize that there are a lot of you out there: You got a candidate, and you think that if I got behind your candidate it would put 'em over the top, and you might be right. But, at this point, it's just an age-old belief that I have, and I remain true to my beliefs and principles. Now, some people have written me, "I hear you say this, but you're full of it. What about 2000 with Bush and McCain in South Carolina?" Special circumstance. You had a two-man race, and what was happening in South Carolina, McCain was going so far off the conservative reservation, so far off of it, that it was necessary to step in. Huckabee is getting close, I'm going to have to tell you. Huckabee's getting close to the same stuff. Huckabee is using his devout Christianity to mask some other things that are distinctively not conservative. He is against free trade. He's really doesn't believe in free market. Well, let me read what George Will wrote today. This is when I go along with "the DC-New York axis." But I just want to read from George Will's column, a paragraph today. "Huckabee's campaign actually is what Rudy Giuliani's candidacy is misdescribed as being -- a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs. Giuliani departs from recent Republican stances regarding two issues -- abortion and the recognition by the law of same-sex couples. Huckabee's radical candidacy broadly repudiates core Republican policies such as free trade, low taxes, the essential legitimacy of America's corporate entities and the market system allocating wealth and opportunity. [C]onsider New Hampshire's chapter of the National Education Association, the teachers union that is a crucial component of the Democratic Party's base. In 2004, New Hampshire's chapter endorsed Howard Dean in the Democratic primary and no one in the Republican primary. Last week it endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary -- and Huckabee in the Republican primary." It likes Huckabee on education.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, have you thought back to the 2008 election? Have you asked yourself who was responsible for that loss? Have you asked yourself who really should shoulder the blame and the burden for the defeat of Senator McCain? A lot of people have been speculating this, a lot of postmortems on the election. Let's go to the BBC. BBC World Service, host Stephen Sackur spoke with former McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and asked Rick Davis on whose shoulders rests the burden of the McCain defeat.
DAVIS: We didn't successfully reach out to them. I mean, but you look at the leadership John McCain gave which is counter to the direction that the party was headed, when you have the Rush Limbaughs of the world who, you know, literally almost feed the nativist attitude toward immigration reform, what do you think the Hispanic voter, the Latino voter is gonna remember? They're gonna remember the attacks, not the efforts by people like John McCain to try and reform.
RUSH: So there you have it, Rick Davis, the campaign manager for McCain, has dumped on my shoulders the reason McCain lost and others like me alienated Hispanic voters. This is so wrong on so many levels, but it explains why this campaign was so inept. A brief time-out. Just wanted you to hear that so you could stew over it.
McCain lost people because he couldn't generate enthusiasm for his candidacy. You know, people have long memories, something that you... Rick Davis, you know what you ought to stop and think about, too? When your guy went into the tank with the mainstream media and did everything he could to make the mainstream media love him, calling the mainstream his "base."
You Republican consultants, you're going to have to learn something very fast: Republican voters that you need to win elections think the mainstream media is as much the enemy as any Democrat candidate is going to be. And sidling up and trying to get the approval of a bunch of incompetent boobs who have sided with Democrats for the last 50 years is not the way to engender support, ongoing support and get a mandate. This campaign never had a prayer and everybody knew it from the get-go. It never had a prayer. (sigh) I mean, for crying out loud, McCain became Sominex. There wasn't any caffeine until Palin came around and it just wasn't enough. I'm glad that at least he didn't blame Palin. I think he's a little off message. The Republican Party's message is to blame her!
[A caller asks Limbaugh why Limbaugh did not support Huckabee for the nomination in '08]
RUSH: Let me help you with something here. You are asserting here that I had the power to coalesce people around Huckabee, and since I chose not to do it, we got McCain, and therefore you are somewhat blaming me --
CALLER: Yes, I am.
RUSH: -- that we lost because McCain is the nominee. All right, you tell me what I am supposed to do when I am sent an e-mail quoting a Huckabee campaign advisor speaking anonymously saying, "We don't care about Limbaugh, he's just part of the Republican National Committee talking points, he just says what he's being fed to say by the Republican establishment." I mean the e-mail I got was entitled, "Huckabee Forces Attack Limbaugh." Now, what am I supposed to do there, Ivan?
CALLER: Well, Rush, what I want to say is --
RUSH: I don't endorse people during primaries anyway. Candidates are supposed to win elections, not me.
CALLER: You're absolutely right, Rush, and I'm gonna say I agree with what you said, but at the same time I believe that for the sake of the country, I believe that you are bigger than that, to jump past it, and you have to look at what's best for the country, and I think, you know, while I don't know a lot about Huckabee, I just know that Huckabee would have been a better candidate than McCain.
RUSH: Well, I should be a bigger man than that. It's not that it insulted me, it's not that I was being petulant and saying, "Oh, yeah, you're sending your guys out to anonymously insult me, then screw you," that wasn't my attitude. My attitude was why did these guys need to start taking shots at everybody else in the Republican Party? It showed a temperament and a campaign organization that kind of did not inspire confidence. So it had nothing to do that I was offended and decided I wasn't going to support.
But what it boils down to, and the reason the Republican primary -- and I will agree with you, by the way, Ivan, I will agree with you that I have the power you have assigned to me. I don't doubt it at all, and it's just a question to me of the responsible use of the power. And I must tell you as I -- well, I'm long here. I gotta take a time-out. Nobody inspired me, is the point.
[BLITZER:] But let me - let me play this little clip, because he's - he's - Rush Limbaugh is suggesting that by supporting government insurance, paid insurance for contraceptives, birth control pills or whatever, Rush Limbaugh suggesting she's a slut or a prostitute. And then he even goes further.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: So Ms. Fluke and the rest of you femi-Nazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and, thus, pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, go ahead.
I - I want you to respond to Rush Limbaugh.
SANTORUM: Well, he's taking - you know, he's being absurd. But that's, you know, an entertainer can be absurd. And - and he's taking the absurd, you know, the absurd - absurd, you know, sort of, you know, point of view here as to how - how far do you go?
And, look, I'm - he's - he's in a very different business than I am.
CLEVELAND – Mitt Romney responded for the first time this evening to comments made by Rush Limbaugh in which he referred to a college student as a “slut,” saying that it’s “not the language” he would have used.
“I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used. I’m focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today, and that’s why I’m here talking about jobs and Ohio,” Romney said to reporters on a rope line after a rally at Cleveland State University.