Notes on the Republican Debate
September 13, 2011
RUSH: I have to tell you, these debates are excellent. They are entertaining. They are eye opening. There are some things wrong with them, obviously. I mean some of these people are making mistakes, but that's to be expected in these circumstances. It is really entertaining to go from person to person to person. I thought Wolf Blitzed kept it moving last night. Last night reminded me of the first debate where it was constant conservatism on parade. I'm just talking about overall, just the overview of this last night. Sure, all of these candidates have flaws. They've all got some problems they've gotta overcome. This was a Tea Party debate last night, and the questions with that we got from the Tea Party made me feel like I was at home last night. It made me feel like my country was back. It made me feel like I live in the old United States again. It was an upper from any number of standpoints.
Now, I'm not looking for negatives, 'cause I know that they're gonna pop up anyway. I'm not looking for problems because I know that they're going to surface, which they did. But these debates get better and better and better. And each of these people have their own distinct personality that surfaces and shines, or doesn't. But I had a tough time going back to the football game. There's a feature on DirecTV where you can watch two programs the same time and pause them and not lose your place as you go back and forth. So I set that up and was doing that last night, and I found myself pausing both the football game and the debate so as not to miss anything of either one, and I found myself spending more time with the debate at some point during the football game. I started recording the debate at eight o'clock when it came on, but I didn't see any of it 'til about 8:20 or 8:25 so I missed the initial exchanges that Romney and Perry had on Social Security and stuff. We've got the audio sound bites of all of this.
But there were some great lines from people last night, like Perry: "People are tired of spending money we don't have on programs we don't want." Now, the thing about Perry, and I've noticed this, he seems to fade at the end of these things. He seems to really just get tired. Now, I don't know if he's actually getting physically tired or just bored. Some people's attention span is just not all that great. But after about an hour his answers to questions slow down. He seems to be searching word by word for the word to say.
And Newt last night, you know, you look at Newt Gingrich and you can't help but have the reaction, "Gosh, what could have been." Honestly, folks, what could have been. I mean Newt kept it focused last night. Newt was like the adult in the room with some of the things that he said. Perry, he's got some room to grow in these. This is his second debate. He had some unpopular answers last night. Bachmann, I'll tell you, Michele Bachmann, she might have blown it today. Well, not blown it, but she might have jumped the shark today. If she'd-a just left it alone on this vaccination thing from last night, but she's now out saying that Gardasil, the drug, now causes mental retardation. Somebody in the audience came up to her and told her that. That's jumping the shark on this. There's no evidence that the vaccine causes mental retardation. That's a shame. But she really took it to Rick Perry, and Perry stands his ground on this stuff.
I try to watch this from the standpoint not of kingmaker, which of course I am, I watch this from the standpoint of just the entertainment factor right now. And folks, I have to tell you that while I could nitpick and find problems with all of them, there are only two of them up there that I would have a problem with being elected president of the United States. Only two of them.
Have you seen the latest news on poverty today? Does anybody doubt, can anybody doubt that what is happening in this country is happening on purpose? Take a look at the Drudge Report front page: "Record 46.2 Million Americans Live in Poverty," "22% of American Children Live in Poverty," "Dramatic Drop in Median Income," "Poverty Soars the Highest it's Been Since 1993." Now, my point is that we know that anybody on that stage last night, well, I'm gonna throw Huntsman and Paul out 'cause they're not electable anyway, not on our side, so throw 'em out. Any of the remaining people on that stage last night would be a profound improvement and so much better a chief executive than what we have now. Santorum came on strong last night.
You know what Santorum's problem is? Santorum connected great last night. Santorum was fabulous, Bachmann was fabulous last night, Perry was fabulous in the first hour sticking to his guns, Romney had his moments. Santorum's problem is he lost as an incumbent 2006. He cannot shake the "unelectable" tag. He made Iran a big issue in 2006, people remember that the Iraq war was a very controversial thing, he was running against Bob Casey and he's trailing and he's running around talking about how he's praying for Bob Casey. We had him on the program to talk about the campaign. He was a pretty good Senator, he was great in the House of Representatives, the freshman class, 1994. He was a conservative who had won elections in blue states, Pennsylvania, a blue state in western Pennsylvania. And then he comes along and because of party protocol, endorsed Specter, stood behind Specter, a number of other things, took place in 2006 election as an incumbent, he lost, and that's unfortunately put this collar around his neck with the conventional wisdom crowd that he can't win.
That leads to another thing. We're being told that we have a two-man race. Who is telling us we have a two-man race? Why do we have to settle for the fact this is a two-man race? If you look at it as a two man race then of course that's all you're going to see. But who is it that sets these narratives and who is it that sets these templates? The pollsters create these mind-sets. I'm just saying right now, that compared to what is happening in the country right now, I want to applaud Bachmann for focusing on Obamacare. For crying out loud, that is the issue, that and the economy. And the people on that stage last night that kept it focused on health care, Obamacare, and the economy, deserve plaudits, and that's Bachmann and Newt.
You know, I warned 'em, don't get distracted on this sideshow of Social Security. Don't do it. Don't go there. You're just pandering to the media. You're doing what the media wants. You're distracting everybody's attention. You're not talking about Obama's vulnerabilities when you talk about Social Security. It's not that big a problem right now in terms of the bigger issues that we face, and I've got the sound bite here. This is me earlier this month, September 2nd warning everybody in the Republican Party 'cause there was a newspaper story, I forget what it was about, but everybody was saying, "Yay, look at this!" I said, "Don't get sidetracked by this story." Here's what I said.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Anything that distracts our effort from the economy, jobs, higher taxes, federal regulations, is not a good thing. ... We've just got 14 months here, folks. Fourteen months to save this nation, 14 months to stop the assault on the private sector. ... Over the next six, seven months or longer, you're gonna see ramped-up stores about gay marriage, social issues, illegal immigration, what have you, as a means of distracting the Republican presidential field from jobs, stimulus spending, higher taxes.
RUSH: Lord knows what do we have. We've got another Porkulus proposal that raises taxes on small businesses now defined as anybody at $200,000 or more which is practically every small business in this country. I'm gonna break this down number-wise as the program unfolds. The tax increases that Obama has been dreaming about, he's proposed them again. Now, speaking of illegal immigration in Texas: This is an albatross around Perry's neck. He's sticking to it, but it's an albatross around his neck -- and I'm talking about the ability of people, children of illegals, to get in-state tuition prices to go to college. Perry is saying we don't care in Texas what your last name is. Education is the way out and it's better to do that than put people on the dole and this kind of thing.
But, you know, there was a great tweet out there: What is the point of educating people who cannot legally be hired, because they are illegal in the first place? Well, if one of our efforts to enforce illegal immigration is to focus on the employers and see to it that they are punished if they hire illegals, what's the point of educating the children of illegals who are not citizens and they graduate and then they can't be hired? If they are not. It's an interesting question. (interruption) Well, people are gonna have to make a choice with Perry; they're gonna have to make a choice with everybody. There isn't a candidate alive that doesn't have baggage. Romney has Romneycare and he's sticking to it no matter what. He is not going to climb down off that ladder.
He's gonna continue to allow Obama to say, "Hey, you know what? Romney was my model." He's gonna stick to it and try to draw differences because it is assumed that the worst thing you can do is capitulate, show weakness. So you hang tough, you stick with your principles and whatever you did at the time you did 'em for the right reasons and you stand by them. Now, Perry took on more fire. Everybody was ganging up on Perry last night because he is the front-runner in all of the polling data. Bachmann, she's clearly little frustrated, upset that she lost the mantle. She comes out of Ames winning the straw poll and now is invisible. Perry comes in and steals her thunder. She's gotta get it back so she went for the throat on two separate occasions last night on the vaccines.
Also, part of the vaccine attack was the "crony capitalism" charge. And Perry said he couldn't be bought for $5,000 but he didn't name the price. You could interpret his answer to that that there is a price. I hate to say this. He said the charge that he could be bought for $5,000, he's offended; when his campaign raised $30 million, and I'm thinking, "Well, what is the price?" The way he phrased it, he didn't mean it that way, I know. Don't anybody quote me here on this. (ahem) This just between you and me, but I guarantee you there's some people on the left in the media could interpret it that way. But he said, "You're telling me I raised $30 million and I could be bought for five grand?" And Bachmann said, "Well, what offends me is these young girls that had no choice in your plan." Palin, by the way, has now joined in. She was on Greta last night, and she's joined the beat-down on Perry for this.
"You know, I knew Rick, and when that was going on, that didn't sound like the Rick Perry I knew. Rick Perry was not a big-government guy when Rick Perry was mandating that vaccine. I didn't know what was going. It's not the Rick Perry I knew." So she's joining Bachmann in helping out here on the crony capitalism charge. Ron Paul finally got booed last night when he blamed us for 9/11 and he got booed in a Tea Party setting, and it was about time for that. So all in all, folks, just from a pure enjoyment standpoint, that thing was good television last night. Gingrich and Herman Cain, they just... I love 'em! I just love 'em. With Newt, as I say (sigh), "What could have been! What could have been." Anyway, I'm sorry for this sort of hodgepodge, stream-of-consciousness review, but we'll start putting it all together with the news of the day, which is not good on the economy and poverty and Obama's plans and his tax increases and so forth.