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RUSH: The long knives are out for Newt. I mean, everybody knows this. Everybody’s looking at this. We saw it to one degree or another yesterday, last night in the debate. We’ve seen it in various publications. Most people, most average citizens — people who pay attention to politics around election time and shortly after the election to see what’s gonna happen. Most people’s reaction of Newt Gingrich is not that he had anything to do with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae. They don’t know that. I mean, they’re hearing about it now. They don’t know what he did.

They remember the TV commercial with Pelosi; they scratched their head over that. But what most people associate Newt Gingrich with is the takeover of Congress for the first time in 40 years by the Republicans. Most people associate Newt Gingrich with winning Congress for the first time in 40 years over the Democrats. Some might remember him for the Contract with America. A lot of people remember Newt Gingrich as somebody who was the Speaker of the House when there were balanced budgets. So to a lot of people, their scant memory of Newt is good things, good stuff, good conservative stuff. So they’re looking, “What’s going on here? What does everybody hate Gingrich? Why is everybody out trying to take Newt out?”

There are, no doubt, reasons. I think, to be quite honest with, one of the reasons is because back… Remember, what’s everybody mad at Newt about? They’re mad at him from the nineties. If you really get down and dirty and listen to these people, a lot of the people talking about Newt in negative ways are talking about how poor a Speaker he was, or disappointing he was as a leader, or how egotistical he was. But whatever, it’s all temporarily criticism from when he was Speaker, from back in the nineties. After he won, is the point. After he won is when all this happened. When Newt was losing, but putting up a brilliant fight, they loved him.

When he was doing those special orders in the eighties, he and his buddies, the Conservative Opportunity Society, the only ones giving speeches late at night on the floor of the House. Everybody else had gone home and these things were all over C-SPAN. He’s defending Reagan against every onslaught. He’s standing up for supply side. This is the Newt that people remember, and everybody loved Newt when he was leading the charge as a member of the minority. It’s when Newt won that all of these criticisms of Newt began to fly — and I’m not saying that the critics who know him well are wrong, but I do think that when it comes to the elites (the political class, the establishment or whatever), I think in large part that the hit on Newt is largely because at that time he was a conservative.

I cannot emphasize loudly enough or often enough just how frightened and opposed the Republican establishment is of conservatism and of conservatives. I’ve explained to you why and the reasons run the gamut. But one is they think that conservatives will lose them elections, despite evidence. I know the evidence is to the contrary. But they still, the formative experience is the Goldwater landslide — and then of course conservatives are also made up of people that embarrass the elites. They have southern accents, and they’re pro-life, and they go to church (and they talk loudly about that). It’s embarrassing. They look at them as a bunch of Tim Tebows that can’t play the game, in a sense.

The elites look at conservatives as a bunch of Tim Tebows that really, when you get down to it, can’t play the game. All they can talk about’s God. So it’s a threat. ‘Cause what does Tebow do? Tebow shows you your shortcomings. Tebow illustrates your shortcomings. But if you’re matched up against a failure, you look great. People forget: Taking back the House of Representatives after 40 years? Ladies and gentlemen, that is a massive undertaking. That is not insignificant — and holding it all the way through 2006! I submit to you, I dare say, this is one of the reasons why Newt is hated. Not the commercial with Pelosi. That’s why we on the conservative side don’t like him. Stuff that he does like that’s what makes us mad.

The commercial with Pelosi and the runaround, talking about the “right-wing social engineering” that was Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. But what ticks off the establishment is that Newt was conservative back then, and the more conservative he sounds — and he did last (I’m gonna get to these debate sound bites in the second hour) — the longer the knives get, and the angrier his opponents get. I’m telling you: It is conservatism which sends the establishment of either or both parties into orbit. So the notion that Newt is unelectable? Remember the remember I’m telling you this is a three or four person race now. The establishment is telling us it’s a one-person race. They are convinced that Romney’s the only guy that can win. They’re worried you can’t get the nomination. But they will rejoice in telling you that Newt can’t win. They tell you Newt is unelectable. But Romney, in their view, is easily electable. He can’t be nominated, but he’s easy to electable. (laughing)

Figure that out, figure that out. You know, they’re scratching their heads. John Podhoretz of the New York Post said this, this week. Romney is unnominatable. But yet you figure this out for me. Romney, unnominatable; but is the only guy that can beat Obama. That’s outcome-based education. That is 2 + 2 = 5. But that’s what we are getting — and this is not a criticism of Romney. It’s simply a different way of looking at Newt. I don’t think taking over the House of Representatives from the Democrats after 40 years of Democrat control is something that Mitt Romney could do or would even try to do. But you heard Cheney. Cheney said he and Newt got elected to Congress at the same year, and Cheney got there and they’re getting their feet wet, and Cheney laughs about it. He says, “Newt arrived with the goal of taking the place over,” in what was it, ’76 or ’78.

Anyway, brief time-out here, ladies and gentlemen, as the fastest three hours in media are just zipping by. Face it, you’re already starting to get sad that this show is almost over; it’s only got two hours to go, but it’s sort of like you love a massage but the minute it starts you start regretting it’s gonna end. Isn’t that where you are right now?

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