Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I want to move on to Rick Santorum. You talk about being perfectly positioned? Rick Santorum is a practicing Catholic, a pro-lifer. You talk about a candidate who is perfectly positioned to draw the most distinct contrast to Obama and the Democrats and what’s going on right now. Santorum speak at CPAC this morning, the Conservative Political Action Conference. We have five excerpts from Santorum’s speech which fired up CPAC. Here’s the first of them…

SANTORUM: “We have to learn our lesson that we need to compromise, do what’s politically reasonable, and go out and push someone forward who can win.” Well, I think we have learned our lesson, and the lesson we’ve learned is that we will no longer abandon and apologize for the policies and principles that made this country great for a hollow victory in November. The other thing we should recognize [is] as conservatives and Tea Party folks, that we are not just wings of the Republican Party, we are the Republican Party.

RUSH: Here is another bite. Santorum discussing the origin of human rights…

SANTORUM: We see what happens when government gives you rights. When government gives you rights, government can take away those rights. When government gives you rights, government can coerce you into doing things and exercising the right that they gave you. I’ve been traveling around this country talking about how Obamacare will crush economic freedom, will make people dependent upon government for the most important things: Their very lives. And as a result, government will own you, because you will have to pay tribute to Washington in order to get the care you need for your children. One of the reasons I’m in this race — in fact the major reason I’m in this race — is because I think Obamacare is a game-changer for America.

RUSH: Right on, right on — and here is a bite. This is Santorum discussing the Health and Human Services mandate. He says it’s about much more than contraception.

SANTORUM: He’s now telling the Catholic Church that they are forced to pay for things that are against their basic tenets and teachings, against their First Amendment right. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the kind of coercion that we can expect. It’s not about contraception. It’s about economic liberty. It’s about freedom of speech. It’s about freedom of religion. It’s about government control of your lives, and it’s gotta stop.

RUSH: And next up, Santorum goes after Romney…

SANTORUM: Who has a record of supporting health savings accounts and tort reform and bottom-up, consumer-driven health care for 20 years? And who has supported, in fact, the stepchild of Obamacare? The person in Massachusetts who built the largest government-run health care system in the United States, someone who would simply give that issue away in the fall. Give the issue away, of government control of your health. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re not gonna win with money. We’re gonna win with contrasts. We’re gonna win with ideas. We’re gonna win by making Barack Obama and his failed policies the issue in this race!

RUSH: You’re probably gonna hear a little bit more of this, Santorum targeting Romney, going after Romney. Then he nukes the notion, Santorum does, that you can only win independents with a moderate candidate.

SANTORUM: We won in 2010 because conservatives rallied. They were excited about the contrasts. They were excited about the candidates who were put forth in that election, and that’s why we won. We always talk about, “Well, how [are] we gonna get the moderates?” Why would an undecided voter vote for a candidate of a party who the party’s not excited about? … We need conservatives now to rally for a conservative, to go into November, to excite the conservative base, to pull — with that excitement — moderate voters and to defeat Barack Obama in the fall.

RUSH: I like the premise here, and it’s a good question: “Why would an undecided voter vote for a candidate of a party who the party is not excited about?” This is something the Republican establishment often overlooks. Okay, the Republican base has a problem with any candidate. Candidate A. If that candidate happens to be the establishment’s choice, the establishment says, “Yeah, but we need that candidate to go get moderates.” Yeah, well, fine and dandy. You go get the moderates. So what if you’re not gonna get your base out of this? This is one of the big problems that the Republican establishment has now.

And Santorum is exactly right here, folks: The 2010 midterms saw independents flooding to the Republican Party. By the way, that election was not about anybody but Barack Obama. There wasn’t a Republican name that was attracting these independents. It was total opposition to what Obama was doing. It was anger and opposition at Obamaism. The Republican Party should have understood. I’m even hearing Republicans and some consultants say, “Ah, the 2010 midterms have nothing to do with the November 2012 election, Mr. Limbaugh. You just… You’re not a professional like we are, and you don’t understand elections. You may be good at radio, but you don’t understand elections. And the 2010 midterms had nothing to do with the president.”

Really? Nothing to do with the presidential race?

“No, totally separate issues, individual congressional races, no national mandate.”

The hell you say! No national mandate? The independents that you covet abandoned the Democrat Party in droves, and there wasn’t a moderate Republican for them to go to? It was the pure abandonment of Obama. Why? They didn’t want what Obama is doing or stands for. Wouldn’t it stand to reason if you keep pounding that message, that those independents will stay with you? But there’s such a defensive posture, there’s such fear that the Republicans think to hold onto those independents in a presidential race, we gotta moderate. Nominate a moderate, somebody that’s not offensive, somebody who’s not conservative.

The consultants told me, “But, Rush, you’re missing the boat. Those independents that voted Republican, they weren’t voting for conservatism.”

Really? They weren’t voting for the purpose conservatism?

“No, they’re not ideological. They just don’t like what Obama was doing.”

Okay, fine. They don’t like what Obama was doing. What was Obama doing? Socialism, liberalism! What do we stand for? The exact oppose. Give it a voice, give it a candidate. It’s not hard! I don’t understand what is so hard about this. I understand it’s different businesses. I understand getting votes is a far different thing from getting listeners to a radio show, an audience, but I don’t quite understand… Well, I do. I understand this total devotion to moderates and independents, because it comes from pure fear and their belief that a conservative will end up being landslide defeated like Goldwater was, which is the formative memory they have.

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