RUSH: Last night at the annual Jack Kemp dinner, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan both made speeches. I want to play the sound bites for you. I’m going to withhold characterization ’til we go through them. I have three from Rubio, and I have three from Paul Ryan. I’ll be honest, I have read transcripts. I’ve not heard this. So I’ll be listening to it with you for the first time. As I say, I will withhold comment ’til after I’ve heard it all. I’m afraid that I’m not gonna want to comment, only because of what I have been told, that what we had last night was sort of big government conservatism on parade. I hope that’s not the case. But let’s just go. Here’s the first of three from Marco Rubio.
RUBIO: The existence of a large and vibrant American middle class, that goes to the very essence of America’s exceptional identity. See, every country in the world has rich people. But only a few places have achieved a vibrant and stable middle class. And in the history of the world, none has been more vibrant and more stable than the great American middle class. One of the fundamental challenges before us is to find an appropriate and sustainable role for government and closing that gap between the dreams of millions of Americans and the opportunities for them to realize them.
RUSH: Okay. That’s the first of three. Let me underline something here. I’m not gonna say anything. I promised you I’d reserve commentary. Here’s the second one.
RUBIO: Widespread societal breakdown is not something the government can solve. And yet it’s something the government cannot ignore. Because you cannot separate the economic well-being of your people from their social well-being. Let’s protect our safety net programs, not as a way of life, but as a way to help those who have failed to stand up and try again. And of course, as always, as a way to help those who cannot help themselves. But these programs must be reformed, reformed to enhance family stability and financial opportunity, education, and the culture of work.
RUSH: And the next?
RUBIO: There are millions of Mario Rubio’s all across America today. They are not looking for a handout. All they want is a job that provides for their families, but there just aren’t enough jobs out there like that, and many of them do not have the skills they need for the jobs that are available. All they want is a chance to earn a better life for themselves and a better future for their children. And whether they get that chance or not will determine whether America remains exceptional or whether America declines.
RUSH: Okay, so those are the three Rubios from last night at the Jack Kemp dinner. Now, one thing I will tell you is that what animated both these guys was Romney’s 47% comment. The Republican Party is running away from that and people who have grand political aspirations, presidential campaign, maybe a run for the Senate, what have you, they are running away from that 47% comment that Romney made.
Now, what was the Romney 47% comment? If you had to sum it up, Snerdley, what was the 47% comment that Romney made? Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Okay. Snerdley says that Romney meant 47% of the country that’s dyed-in-the-wool gonna vote for the Democrat candidate no matter who he is because they believe one of two things: Either the Democrat Party is gonna take care of them or the Republican Party is gonna punish ’em. And Romney said (paraphrasing), “I’m not gonna get any of those voters. I’ve gotta go out and get the others.”
Everybody had a cow over that. They just flipped. It was a comment made in private to donors. It was not something he said at a campaign appearance, and it’s not something he said publicly, and I’m not trying to say that changes it, but when you’re in a room of people that have given you a lot of money, believe me, they don’t just give money for the hell of it. They want something in return. They’re expecting something for it. And Romney was trying to tell these people how he’s using their money. I believe one of the things he was telling them was, “Look, I’m not gonna spend any money trying to persuade that 47%. I’m not gonna waste your money.” That’s what he was saying. “No matter what I do, they’re not voting for me.”
Well, for some reason that set the rest of the party off, and that comment is now the reason, in the consultant class and throughout the party, why Romney lost, primarily. Now, a simple question here. What is the difference in Romney saying that and the average political consultant who says and operates on the belief that 40% vote Democrat, 40% vote Republican, and 20% is where you win the election? In other words, one party has its base, and the other party has its base, that accounts for 80% of the votes, and there in the middle is this 20%. The independents, the undecideds, and the consultants all pitch themselves to candidates as the guy who can get those votes. “I know how to get the independents for you. I know how to get the moderates. I know how to get the people that are not the partisans. Hire me.”
Okay. So the consultants say 40%, Romney said 47, but in truth, what’s the difference? Well, one difference is that the consultants never say it in public and Romney ended up having his comments blasted all over the public. But, anyway, I find it curious that they interpreted Romney’s comments as being exclusionary rather than realistic. Romney thought he was being realistic, and that’s caused them to react almost in panic. Now, here are three Paul Ryans from the Jack Kemp Foundation leadership award dinner.
RYAN: The election, it didn’t go our way. And the Republican Party can’t make excuses. We can’t spend the next four years on the sidelines. Instead, we must find new ways to apply our timeless principles to the challenges of the day. As it stands, our party excels at representing that part of the American idea that speaks to aspirations of America’s risk-takers. We celebrate that part of the American idea that involves finding your passion and making a living from it. But there’s another part of the American creed. When our neighbors are struggling, we look out for one another. We do that best through our families, through our communities, and our party must stand for making them stronger.
RUSH: Okay. Now, hang on, I’m gonna reserve comment ’til afterwards. Here’s the next Ryan comment.
RYAN: We have a compassionate vision based on ideas that work, but sometimes we don’t do a good job of laying out that vision. We need to do a better job on that. Both parties tend to divide Americans into “our voters” and “their voters.” Let’s be really clear. Republicans must steer far clear of that trap. We must speak to the aspirations and the anxieties of every American. I believe we can turn on the engines of upward mobility so that no one is left out from the promise of America.
RUSH: And here is the third and final excerpt from Paul Ryan’s speech.
RYAN: We’re still trying to measure compassion by how much we spend, not by how many people we actually help. Today 46 million people are living in poverty. We need a vision for bringing opportunity into every life, one that promotes strong families, secure livelihoods, and an equal chance for every American to fulfill their highest aspirations for themselves and for their children. It calls for a stronger safety net, one that protects the most vulnerable and promotes self-reliance. It calls for an end to the chronic inequalities in our education system. And finally, it promotes economic growth through free enterprise, because nothing has done more to lift people everywhere out of poverty.
RUSH: And a brief time-out.
RUSH: Now, The Politico is very snarky about these two speeches, excerpts of which you just heard. The Politico says that Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are simply engaging in “makeovers.” They’re trying to remake themselves. I don’t hear that. I don’t hear these guys saying anything all that different from what they’ve said during the campaign, although Rubio did mention “middle class” 35 times in his speech.
I understand what he’s doing.
I understand what they’re both trying to say.
In both speeches, it’s undeniable that both guys clearly said that government has to be involved in whatever solution there is. I, frankly, think the solution is getting the government uninvolved, but that’s just me, and I’m just a radio guy. So don’t interpret it. I think all the problems stem from government, and the more government’s involved in anything, the more people are gonna look to government as the solution.
At some point, if the people of this country — if a majority — are not taught, educated, inspired, motivated to solve their own problems, at least in part, nothing is gonna change. The Democrat Party is always gonna win. Because we are never gonna commandeer the notion that we are the party of government.
Even if that were the objective, we couldn’t pull it off. We cannot outdo what the Democrats are gonna do in that regard. There’s nothing we can do. They can always propose more. They will always promise bigger Santa Clauses and more Santa Clauses. They can always go to a point that we will not go.