RUSH: I have a full boat of callers here who think Romney did great last night, a full boat, folks. We’ll start in Los Angeles with Rick. I’m glad you called, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thanks for having me on. I’m a longtime listener, a first-time caller, and it’s a privilege to be able to be on your show.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much. I understand.
CALLER: I do think that last night was actually his best of the three debates. I think Governor Romney took what I call the high road last night. It would have been very easy to attack the president. And it would have come across exactly the way Romney said the president was coming across, when he said, “attacking me is not an agenda.” And I think what we saw last night —
RUSH: I like that line, by the way, “attacking me is not an agenda.” It’s reminiscent of Bill Clinton to Bob Dole saying, “No attack ever fed a hungry child.”
CALLER: Absolutely. And I think several things came into play last night without even needing to be said, in that what the governor demonstrated last night was a personality on a global stage that would be peaceable yet strong. And undecided voters are the ones right now who are gonna make the difference.
RUSH: Rick, you want to hear an interesting statistic?
RUSH: The word “peace,” this is from Jim Geraghty, our old buddy at The Campaign Spot blog at National Review, the word “peace” was uttered 12 times last night. Every time by Mitt Romney.
CALLER: That’s not surprising. And he demonstrated, especially to undecideds, because what undecideds are looking for and that was obvious by these groups afterwards, the Luntz group, that undecided voters, it’s obvious that the economy’s in the state that it’s in.
CALLER: Libya is gonna be what it is. No one needs to point it out. It’s gonna come out in the news as what it already is: something that was either incredibly bad and being covered up or incredibly bad and communication wasn’t being made, and he didn’t need to point those things out. What he needed to do I think he did. He showed the American people and the global population that as our commander-in-chief, he would represent relationships with other nations in a peaceable yet strong format and pointed out his bipartisan capacity that wouldn’t just work here at home, but it would work across the table. Both of those men at the UN, if they acted the way they did last night, which of the two would be a better representation of us in advancing peace in the world?
RUSH: Interesting observations. I appreciate, Rick, very much. I think Rick’s right about something here, ladies and gentlemen, that is the audience last night. Now, let’s admit something. We’re two weeks out. I am decided. I have made up my mind and nothing is changing it, right? And the same thing I bet for all of you. And on the left, they made up their mind. Nothing could have happened last night to change the committed voters for either candidate. Who’s left? Who’s left out there? Whoever they are, that was the objective of last night’s strategy. And once I figured it out — and I will admit it took me a half hour to figure out what was going on.
I had alarm bells going off. I had red flags raising. But then it all made perfect sense. Once I understood what was going on, it all made perfect sense. Romney’s riff about China, the specifics of the riff on China didn’t matter. What mattered was when you watched, “My God, this guy knows his stuff. This guy knows his stuff.” Well, let me take that back. One thing. To the extent that the substance mattered, Romney spoke up for people in this country who’ve lost their jobs to cheap Chinese currency, labor, and so forth in a positive way. I think Romney on the whole China thing ended up winning.
You don’t? Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Well, yeah, but we’re already in a trade war with the ChiComs. We’re in the midst of an unfair trade balance. There’s a major imbalance and he did correct Obama on that. But again, I think for me, anyway, once I understood the strategy, who he was trying to appeal to and how he was trying to appeal to them, he wasn’t stumped on anything. He didn’t not know anything. Whatever came up, he knew it; he knew the details; he knew what he would do about it. Whatever it was. With foreign policy, America’s standing in the world — at this stage of the campaign, those are the kind of things that mattered to the audience he was attempting to reach.
George in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hi. Great to have you. You’re next.
CALLER: How you doing, Rush? It’s a pleasure to be on.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Rush, it wasn’t ’til this morning that I realized what a genius Mitt Romney was. After watching the debate last night, again, like everybody else, I wish he would have hit hard on Benghazi, but when I turned on the news this morning, everybody in the media, whether it be the right or the left, all they were talking about was Benghazi, and why? Because Mitt Romney didn’t. And I think that was calculated, and I think it was genius.
RUSH: Well, about that. It is an old story now. And it has been hit, and you’ve got four dead Americans, and you had Obama talking about how his policy in Libya has turned everything around and now Libyans are all for Americans and we’re all shouting at our TV, “Yeah, we got four dead Americans!” I think the conclusion or the strategy was, there are just certain things people are gonna be able to conclude themselves here that don’t need to be hammered. Yeah, they were, for a certain segment of audience, great opportunities that were lost. It would have been really satisfying, for example, to have Obama hammered on this stuff. But he already has been on this show and everywhere else. Fox News ran over the weekend a one-hour special on this on the entire Benghazi attack. It’s just devastating. I hope you saw it. It’s just devastating to Obama. It’s just devastating to his foreign policy. I appreciate the call.
Jennifer somewhere in Europe. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Welcome.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, it’s great to talk to you. Listen, I set my alarm clock, was up at three in the morning and watched the debate. For the first half hour I was just like you, maybe for 45 minutes, was like, “What is going on?” And then all of a sudden it struck me and I had a big smile on my face for the rest of the time. I believe that this man, Romney, is a leader. I bet his strategy was just what he executed last night. I bet that was his strategy three months ago because, he knew as a leader, you don’t look to short term. He knew that two weeks out people would have decided and he’s gonna speak as though he is the president and he can’t afford to be a petulant child. He’s gonna be up there as the next leader of the free world and, “I’m gonna talk to those people that I’m gonna be across the aisle from when I am president just like I did in Massachusetts.” He said that twice last night. I believe that this was his strategic decision three months ago and he executed it beautifully last night.
RUSH: Well, you say you’re somewhere in Europe. Are you in Eastern or Western Europe?
CALLER: Western Europe.
RUSH: Western Europe. Okay.
CALLER: Yes. I’m an American and I work overseas.
RUSH: Yeah, but since you said “somewhere,” you obviously don’t want to specify. I’m trying to figure out where you are.
RUSH: You got up at three a.m. to see the debate, right?
RUSH: Three a.m., you’re in Western Europe, three a.m. All right, I got a pretty good idea where you might be.
CALLER: Yes. And I couldn’t have been more happy. I went to sleep at five o’clock, slept like a baby calmly knowing that we’re gonna have a Republican in the White House. I believe it.
RUSH: Jennifer, thanks very much. I’m glad that you were able to get through all the way from Europe, have your perspective. What is your line of work, can you say?
CALLER: Yeah. I’m in the mental health profession.
RUSH: Mental health profession.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Cool. So you really like talking to intelligent people like me?
CALLER: Rush, I’ll tell you what, you have made my year, just being next to your brilliance. That’s it.
RUSH: (laughing) I was just kidding. Look, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much, and, as I say, I’m glad you got through.
CALLER: Okay. Thanks, Rush.
RUSH: You bet. Have a good day.
RUSH: F. Chuck Todd, NBC News: “Too Late for Obama to ‘Disqualify Mitt Romney,’ Has to ‘Requalify Himself.'” Too late. What Obama has to do now is “requalify himself.” That’s Chuck Todd, NBC News.