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RUSH: Yesterday on This Week with Christiane Amanpour, George Will — this was during the roundtable discussion, George Will discussing Mitt Romney.

WILL: It has a lot to do with Romney. He is rising as more and more Republicans come to the conclusion that the Republican Party has found its Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor running on competence, not ideology.

RUSH: Did you hear that? George Will characterizing Mitt Romney as the Republican Party’s Michael Dukakis. Michael Dukakis, a Democrat loser running for office in 1988, one of the most famous things that Dukakis did was he had to prove that he wasn’t a wimp when it came to military, foreign policy, defense issues, so he shows up in a tank and puts a helmet on. Looked exactly like Beetle Bailey. I mean it looked hilarious. If he had wanted to caricature himself he couldn’t-a done it any better. He became a standing joke. And so George Will now says, “Well, Romney’s rising as more and more Republicans come to the conclusion that the Republican Party’s found its Michael Dukakis, a technocrat Massachusetts governor running on competence, not ideology.”

Now, I have just a small disagreement with George F. Will. Michael Dukakis was ideological as any left-wing Democrat is. He was the governor of Massachusetts. Yeah, he was technocratic. He was a statist. I’ll never forget Dukakis, they were talking to him about why he wanted to be president. And he said — you know how you say you love chocolate chip cookies, you love whatever — he was talking in those terms of how he loves policy. (imitating Dukakis) “I love public policy. I love it. I love rolling up my sleeves. I love process. I love public policy,” and he did. He was a technocratic statist. To say that he was not ideological is a little curious. But regardless, comparing Romney to Dukakis — the Democrat Party loved Dukakis, by the way, and do you remember who ran Dukakis’ campaign, Snerdley? Do you remember who it was that ran Dukakis’ campaign? Susan Estrich ran Dukakis’s campaign.

They thought they had this in the bag. They were up at 22 points at one point. They were way up I think as close to the election as August of 1988 when this show debuted. When we debuted this program on August 1st nationally, he was up 22 points, and we did, we made him the laughingstock of the nation. We got some Pat Metheny music out there and said that this was the music that was being played at Dukakis rallies, because he had to go back to Massachusetts and he was losing ground, 22 up, I think it was that high and he started falling off rapidly. The tank business, the Willie Horton ads all came back to haunt him. But I’ll tell you what, this a profound insult to equate Romney with Dukakis. And to say that the Republican Party is happy with Romney just as Democrats were with Dukakis, whoa. That may be true.

Well, we know that the Republican establishment, and we know that some of the so-called conservatives in the inside-the-Beltway conservative media do believe in a big government and an active executive, as they refer to the president, an active executive. They also believe that we Republicans and conservatives must support big government because the people, the voters are signaling that’s what they want. We just must do it smarter. And so they’re looking at Romney as the steward. This is Will’s point. This guy’s a technocrat, this guy’s a policy wonk, this guy can do it. And when George F. Will says that Romney’s not ideological just like Dukakis wasn’t, what he’s essentially saying here is that Romney’s not a conservative. He’s a technocrat, a policy guy. Which he is. But Dukakis, as I say, was an active statist. When you think about a technocrat, it is a statist because his selling point is that he can make the big government apparatus run more efficiently, which is what the David Brookses and his buddies on our side in the conservative media claim to support.

That’s the new definition of a Republican moderate. Somebody qualified, a technocrat, a statist, a policy wonk can make big government apparatus run more efficient. Well, we don’t want a technocrat. We want somebody that’s gonna take an axe to this monster. We want somebody that’s gonna go grab a chainsaw and start whittling this government down to size. We don’t want somebody who’s adept at managing it. But George F. Will is convinced the Republican Party does. There you have it. I wonder how Romney’s gonna react here to being compared by George Will to Dukakis. Hey, Mike, did you happen here to use some initiative and find the music that we played while I’ve been chatting about it? I knew he had. Some of you were not here back in August of 1988. We’ll demo for you how we did it back then.


RUSH: Okay, you got two elements there of the Dukakis music, correct? Okay, here’s what happened. Dukakis was plummeting in the polls, he had a 28-point lead in 1988 against George H. W. Bush. This program debuted on August 1st, and it was not long after that that poll of 22 points, the lead showed up. And then for some reason Dukakis’ lead began to dwindle. Some say it happened to be at the same time this program debuted. Regardless, it precipitously dropped. It dropped rapidly, creating a panic. Dukakis returned to Boston from the campaign trail to rally the troops, to have a big fundraising event, and our cameras and microphones were there. And we caught the band. Every candidate has a rally and has a band at the rally. And we caught the rally band tuning up and getting ready for the big appearance. This sort of typified where the campaign was. They were tuning up here.

(playing of song)

RUSH: The crowd’s milling in here, the stage curtains are down, the band is tuning up, getting ready for Dukakis to show up.

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: Okay, then Estrich and some others came out, preliminary remarks, welcoming everybody to the big event, and then it built up and built up to the eventual reason everybody was there, the giant announcement of Dukakis. And this is the music that was playing when Dukakis was announced, here he is, the next president of the United States, the governor of Massachusetts, the big technocrat statist, the guy who loves policy, Michael Dukakis.

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: The crowd didn’t know what to do here, alternate cheering, great anticipation.
(continued playing of song)

RUSH: Dukakis is on stage now. He’s at the front of the stage and he’s shaking hands with people before getting ready to make his remarks, the lull, the music.

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: He’s on his way back to the podium.

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: That was it, Michael Dukakis, the big rally. Didn’t work as we all know, but anyway, that’s a long roundabout way of saying that’s who Mitt Romney reminds George Will of. (laughing) When you set socialism to music that’s what you get, and we had a lot of fun with that, and all during that campaign.

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