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RUSH: The Drive-Bys also think there’s an internecine battle between me and the nameless establishment. Now, the Republican establishment does not want to be known to exist. The Republican establishment is going out of its way… This is Inside Baseball stuff. This is one of the few times that this subject has even made it into mainstream news coverage.

But the Republican establishment, the inside-the-Beltway media types, big money people in New York — RINOs, think of them that way, or faux conservatives. They don’t like the term “Republican establishment,” and they are trying to replace the word “Republican” with “conservative.” They are trying to make it out as though they are the new conservatives, that they define conservatism. These would be some of the magazine publishers and some of the magazine writers, several of the so-called conservative intelligencia and so forth. So I came in this morning as I do every day, sat down here at my official broadcast desk, and the television is on. I have two in here.

One is on Fox and one, I guess defaults on MSNBC — and on the MSNBC monitor, there was F. Chuck Todd. In the upper left-hand corner of the screen was a small picture of Chris Christie; and right next to it, a small picture next to it a small picture of me. Most people say, “Oh, what’s that?” and would have tuned in, turned up the volume and listened. I didn’t. (interruption) Snerdley, I’m on TV every day. I cannot stop what I do just to see what they’re saying. It’s not any big deal. Plus, I know that Cookie is up there rolling on this, so I’m going to find out if it’s worthwhile anyway, because it’s going to end up on the sound bite roster, which it has. All right. Here it is. The name of F. Chuck’s show is The Daily Rundown, and here’s what F. Chuck said today about the 2012 campaign and me.

TODD: (corny dramatic music) Welcome to what a presidential primary is like in this conservative vetting test in 2012 — and this campaign is like nothing we’ve ever seen in 2008, 2000, 1996. It’s different. It’s always been out there, it’s always been a powerful force, but as Rush noted: The Republican establishment has always won out. Will they do that this time? And is Christie, as Rush Limbaugh has already put him in, part of the Republican establishment? Is that already a mark against Christie?

RUSH: What’s apparently happened here is members of the Drive-Bys heard my comments expressing reservations yesterday about portions of Christie’s speech at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley in which I bluntly said I cringed when I heard him talking about the need for “compromise” and “bipartisanship” and all that; and I said, “We’ve already run John McCain and that didn’t work out,” and at this stage, with the nation hanging in the balance, I started asking: “With whom on the left do we compromise? And on what?” So apparently now this has been interpreted by the Drive-Bys that I have placed Christie in the Republican establishment, which is a no-no. I do not like the Republican establishment; I’m wary of them, that they’re not really conservatives — which is true.

They’re faux. They’re quasi. They’re conservative on certain things, but they live in the DC culture and it matters to them what is said in the mainstream media about them. So they will tailor what they say and what they write and who they hang around with to be approved of by people who are not really our friends at the end of the day. So F. Chuck here is connecting his dots and is concluding that I have written Christie off by tagging him a member of the Republican establishment. He’s also pointing out that even though I do this, the Republican establishment generally prevails, i.e., McCain. Romney is a Republican establishment choice but they’re not really happy about that. Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard had a piece last night. I read this… (chuckles) Kristol was chiding Christie, saying, “Look, it’s not about you. You have a duty to run here. Just because you don’t want to, that doesn’t matter.” This is Kristol speaking to Christie in a column that he wrote. “It’s not up to you, pal. Your country needs you! You don’t have the right to be selfish about this. The country needs you.” I said, “It’s almost more of a Kristol trying to be the king-maker or something.”


RUSH: I didn’t print the Kristol piece out, so I’m paraphrasing it. And I’ll acknowledge I might be exaggerating a bit, but it really was themed, the piece to Christie, really upset that Christie had said what he had said to the woman in a Q&A about he has to feel it inside. It has to be inside him, this decision to run. It’s great that all these other people want him to, but it’s got to be inside him. However, there’s a new wrench that’s been thrown into this now. The New York Post is reporting that Christie is giving this real serious consideration now because Republicans that he idolizes have urged him to do it. One of the Republicans he idolizes, Nancy Reagan, and, I don’t know if you noticed, but Nancy Reagan was giving him the old “I love Ronnie” facial expression and approval during that speech.

They cut to Nancy and she was nodding with the same look on her face as she had listening to her own husband. And Henry Kissinger has urged Christie to run. This is another Republican that Christie idolizes. And there’s a third, George W. Bush. So George W. Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Henry Kissinger have urged Christie to run and the New York Post said he’s really, really considering it now. So the Kristol piece comes out last night. This is before I had seen the New York Post piece in which Christie had been urged to run by Nancy Reagan, Dr. Kissinger, and George W. Bush. In this piece — I acknowledge I might be exaggerating — (paraphrasing) “It’s not about you. It’s not about you. The country comes first.” And it was almost as though Kristol was taking Christie’s decision personally.

It was written in such a way that I thought Bill was personally offended that Christie said: “No, I’m not going to run.” And I said, “Well, if I’m right about that, what does this mean? Why would a media figure take it personally that someone decides not to do what that media person wants them to do?” And I said, “Well, maybe you want to be known as the kingmaker. You want to be the one that gets the credit for pushing Christie in the right decision to decide.” I don’t know. I’m just guessing here. “Why don’t you call Kristol?” Because I’d rather guess, frankly. It’s more fun. Because we’ll find out at some point or not.

Now, if I’m right and if Bill Kristol wants everybody to think that Christie changed his mind because of what Kristol wrote, now he’s in competition because the New York Post says that if Christie goes, it’s going to be because of Kissinger, Nancy Reagan, and George W. Bush. (interruption) What do you mean am I going to put a stop to this? (laughing) A stop to what? Christie running? Oh, my gosh. Snerdley, you so exaggerate my power here. You’ve got me up against a Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party. It is what it is. It is what it is. Nothing I can do to stop this. No way.

Here’s the way the Kristol piece ends. “You donÂ’t have to ‘feel deeply in [your] heart’ that youÂ’re called to run for president. You have to think youÂ’re the right man for the job. And, if thatÂ’s the case, you have a duty to your country to step forward. ItÂ’s not about you. ItÂ’s about your country.” And that’s the headline to Bill Kristol’s piece. “It’s Not About You.” Kristol was one of the first people, by the way, to push for Sarah Palin to be a GOP vice presidential candidate. Why isn’t he saying to Palin, “Hey, Sarah, it’s not up to you. You gotta get in.” Why only Christie?

Now, there’s some other people pointing out the governor of Virginia, “Hey, wait a minute, what about old Bob here?” You know, Bob’s been sitting there in relative obscurity and Bob McDonnell has got a state cooking and kicking butt. He’s got job creation. He’s got a budget surplus. The state of Virginia is rocking. As a governor, he’s outperforming all of them, and nobody’s saying a word about Bob McDonnell because he himself has not thrown his hat in the ring or expressed any interest. But Christie has done just the opposite. Christie said, “Oh, no way. How many times do I have to tell you people –” almost a quote “– how many times do I have to tell you I’m not running?” All this year he’s been saying that. And every time he says it, somebody in the establishment says, “No, you gotta go. You gotta run.”

Now they’ve got Kissinger, Nancy Reagan, George W. Bush, and Kristol’s saying, “It’s not about you. It’s about your country.” Why aren’t they saying that to Sarah? “Hey, Sarah, come on, it’s not about you. It’s about your country. You don’t get to make this decision on your own personal wants, desires, or lack of.” And I’ll tell you why — this is another thing that I said yesterday that has ignited this whole meme that it’s I, El Rushbo, versus the Republican establishment. I said the reason the establishment is trying to push all these people is because they’re scared to death that a conservative is going to get the nomination. Just like they were scared to death Reagan was going to get the nomination.

Even when Reagan ran for governor of California the first time against Pat Brown. Pat Brown, the Democrat, father of Jerry Brown, wanted to run against Reagan. They thought Reagan would be the easiest to beat because he was this madcap Goldwater extremist. The Democrats did everything they could to sandbag all of Reagan’s opponents so Reagan would get the gubernatorial nomination. They couldn’t wait to run against him and Reagan ended up winning that race by a million votes in California, which was huge. He did it with a lot of union people and independents, just flabbergasted everybody.

Even back then the Republicans didn’t want Reagan. His kitchen cabinet was urging him to go. He didn’t want any part of it. They urged him to do it. Even back then the so-called Republican establishment, the anti-Goldwater wing of the Republican Party wanted no part of Reagan when he ran for governor of California. They wanted no part of Reagan in 1976 when he ran for the Republican presidential nomination. They wanted no part of him in 1980. And after he won they sucked up to him because they had to. He was the President of the United States. They wanted to be within his orb. But when they talked to themselves at their homes in the Hamptons, they’d talk about what a stupid idiot he was and they hoped they survived the eight years because this guy makes jokes about blowing up the Soviet Union; my God, it’s embarrassing, spends all his time with the pro-lifers, oh, my God. They were embarrassed about him and worried he was going to blow the Soviet Union off the map, push the button.

It was the Republican establishment as well as the Democrats that had all those caricature fears of Reagan, and they exist to this day. The Republican establishment has no desire for mainstream conservatism running the party or getting the nomination. And that’s why they’re hot to trot for Christie. “But Rush, but Rush, are you saying that Christie is not a mainstream –” I’m not saying he’s not conservative by any stretch.

But he’s acceptable to the Republican establishment. You draw your own conclusions. You guys think for yourselves out there. You know that. All I’ve done is come along here in the last 23 years and validate what you think anyway. You’re not mind-numbed robots. I’m not some pied piper. I’m not trying anything. (interruption) Let me tell you something, Snerdley, what am I doing here? I got the Drive-Bys already constructing a war between me and the Republican establishment. Okay. It is happening. I’m not doing anything to stop it, but you’re telling me I’m not doing enough to advance the cause here.

I’m telling you I’ve got my head on the chopping block. Snerdley is just yelling at me that this time I have to pick somebody so we don’t get stuck with McCain again. Anyway, if Christie gets in, what he’s going to end up doing is splitting the moderate vote. His greatest damage will be done to Mitt Romney, not Rick Perry. My take is if Christie does get in, he’s going to split the Romney vote. That’s where he’s going to take votes from. And in so doing, if he doesn’t get the nomination himself, it would be pretty hard to do, if he splits the moderate vote, then the top conservative candidate by default would win the primaries, win the nomination, if he gets in. I don’t know that the establishment looks at it that way, though. I think the establishment’s looking that if Christie gets in he effectively wipes out any other conservative in the race because everybody thinks he’s such a full-fledged, 100 percent, 125 percent conservative based on his take-no-prisoners attitude with the unions and traditional Republican opponents, the way he speaks to them and crushes them as governor.

Guys, quick… Wait, let me do one more sound bite. I kind of cut this off in the middle of it. We had Chuck Todd. Here, play Chuck here again. We’ll play these things back to back. Again, Chuck Todd, Daily Rundown here, talking about the “battle” between me and the Republican establishment.

TODD: (corny dramatic music) Welcome to what a presidential primary is like in this conservative vetting test in 2012 — and this campaign is like nothing we’ve ever seen in 2008, 2000, 1996. It’s different. It’s always been out there, it’s always been a powerful force, but as Rush noted: The Republican establishment has always won out. Will they do that this time? And is Christie, as Rush Limbaugh has already put him in, part of the Republican establishment? Is that already a mark against Christie?

RUSH: Okay. So that is F. Chuck Todd establishing a theme for his show this morning. One of the themes. Later on the show, he’s got a guest: Comcast Network Political Director Robert Traynham. Comcast now owns NBC. So F. Chuck Todd was talking with Comcast Network Political Director Robert Traynham about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie running for president, and they had this exchange. You’ll hear F. Chuck interrupting his own guest to talk about me again.

TRAYNHAM: I don’t think he’s going to get in. He’s got a lot of damning quotes out there about him and —

TODD: Rush Limbaugh already started it! Questioning whether he’s conservative enough, and almost —

TRAYNHAM: Absolutely.

TODD: — questioning the fact if the establishment thinks he’s conservative enough, then I don’t!

RUSH: Chuck? Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. The “establishment” is not questioning whether he’s conservative or not. No, it’s the fact he’s not “too conservative.” That’s what jazzes the establishment. Chuck, you gotta understand this. The establishment likes Governor Christie — and I like Governor Christie! I like him. I’ve had dinner with him. I haven’t played golf with him, but I like him. He’s a fine man. I don’t want to be misunderstood here. But the Republican establishment’s interest in Governor Christie is precisely due to the fact that he’s not a, quote/unquote, “Reagan-type conservative” or a “Limbaugh-type conservative.” That’s why they’re attracted to him. I’m not… Look, Chuck Todd and these guys use me, but I’m not alone. There are a lot of other people out there taking on the Republican establishment. I’m not a lone wolf in this by any stretch.


RUSH: Sticking with MSNBC today. On the Morning Joe show, Joe Scarborough’s show, they were talking about Romney and the rest of the Republican field and Willie Geist offered this comment…

GEIST: Isn’t there always this hand-wringing in the primary process? John McCain was getting hammered. Rush Limbaugh is saying, “Stay home. Don’t vote for John McCain.”

RUSH: I didn’t tell anybody to stay home. What the heck are these people remembering? I didn’t tell anybody to stay home! I didn’t even pick anybody. That’s what I’m getting grief for now. Now people say, “You’d better pick somebody this time or else we’re going to end up with McCain, Jr.!” Now we move over to Fox. Gretchen Carlson talking with Brian Kilmeade about how I am so wrong talking about independents and so forth. Kilmeade leads off…

KILMEADE: When you listen to Rush Limbaugh, he has many questions about how conservative the governor from New Jersey is. Let’s listen…

RUSH ARCHIVE: I heard a lot of John McCain in that speech. Well, maybe not “a lot,” but I heard enough to send up a red flag or two. Herman Cain is a conservative that worries them. Perry is a conservative that worries them. Bachmann is a conservative that worries them. Santorum is a conservative that worries them. Reagan was a conservative that worried the Republican establishment. Christie is not.

RUSH: Now, what they left out of that bite is my intonations about “partisanship” and “compromise” and all these red flags. I mean, that was the red flag that went up. So here’s Gretchen Carlson, Former Miss America from Minnesota…

CARLSON: But isn’t it all about who can be elected? See, that’s what it comes down to, and fortunately or unfortunately, the independents make all the decisions. Maybe that should change, but it really — it really — depends on who the independents are going to go with. And maybe they would go with a Chris Christie, because as a Republican governor in a blue state, he had to compromise, and that’s what independents seem to like from time to time is people looking at things from both sides of the equation —


CARLSON: — and sometimes coming to a decision.

RUSH: Well, the conventional wisdom was on display in the Fox & Friends show this morning on the Fox News Channel. I would say in response to that: The independents have abandoned Obama. The independents in the 2010 midterms abandoned Obama and they abandoned the Democrats — and they went where? They went to the Republicans. And if you look at polling data, the independents still plan on voting Republican by a vast majority, and the Republicans are not doing what? The House Republicans are not compromising. The House Republicans are holding firm. They’re not compromising at all, and the independents are not fleeing back to the Democrats. They’re sticking (at least in the polling questions) to the Republicans. So, again, there’s this false premise that the voters want compromise and the voters want bipartisanship. All this conventional wisdom is being stood on its head. The stakes are different than they’ve ever been — and, Gretchen, look, we’re just like you here at the EIB Network. All we want is world peace.

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