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RUSH: Reince Priebus, the RNC committee chairman, last week sent a letter to CNN and to NBC, and he said (paraphrasing), “We’re not gonna be in any of your debates. I mean, you guys, NBC and CNN, if you’re gonna do documentaries or movies on Hillary, we’re not gonna do any of your debates that you moderate, your networks, we’re not showing up.” Which is good, but he ought to tell them he’s not showing up regardless, doesn’t matter whether they do a Hillary movie or not. The media’s what it is now. The gloves are off, the masks are off, the camouflage is gone, the media’s the Democrat Party. It literally makes no sense, particularly in the primaries, for the Republicans to do 20 debates. Where the Democrat Party media can destroy all of them.

Now, the Republicans’ thinking in the past has been, “Well, you know, it is what it is out there, and we’ve gotta show we can overcome it. We have to show we’re not afraid of anything. We gotta show that we’re willing to travel the route necessary in order to get to the White House.” Well, you do not have to. You do not have to let the Democrat Party destroy every nominee, before one’s chosen, every potential nominee. You don’t have to do that. If you want to have a Republican candidate debate, there are plenty of ways to do it without doing it in front of Democrat media people. “Yeah, but Rush if we get out there and if we do really well our candidates might show those media guys the light.”

It’s never gonna happen. Learned that early on. Journalists are not there to have their minds changed. Journalists are not there to learn. Journalists are not there to even understand what conservatives or Republicans are all about. They are there to defeat them, pure and simple. They are there to impugn them. And for the Republicans to subject themselves to it anymore is stupid. There are plenty of other places they can go. If they want to stage their own debates, they can do it on the Web, they can find any number of outlets to do it that will actually expose the Republican candidates as they are rather than constantly being on the defensive, not answering questions, but addressing charges.

A Republican primary debate is nothing more than Democrat media people accusing the Republicans of one thing or another. It’s no real serious questioning. There’s no real effort to understand who they are. The effort is to tell the country who they are and to expose them as what they are: suspects, frauds, elitist’s, rich people, whatever it is. It’s silly. So on that score, Reince Priebus is halfway right when he uses these Hillary movies as an excuse. But I want to remind you of something. One day last week, it was suggested that the Republican candidates could go on Fox and do a debate. And listen to what I said last week about the idea of Republican primary debates occurring on the Fox News Channel.

RUSH ARCHIVE: I’m gonna get in trouble here. There’s too much affection for and loyalty to Hillary in that boardroom. And I don’t mean the Fox boardroom, but the corporate umbrella boardroom. We’re talking Twentieth Century Fox movies here; we’re talking News Corp here; we’re not just talking Fox News.

RUSH: The point that I was making is that in a lot of the Fox News empire, there’s all kinds of support for Hillary. Fox News is just a division of News Corp. News Corp also owns Twentieth Century Fox, movie studio. The News Corp board of directors is not really reflective of what you see on the Fox News Channel. I made the point here that you’re gonna have a lot of sympathy and a lot of support for Hillary at Twentieth Century Fox, at the Fox Hollywood TV studios. And, lo and behold, Candy Crowley of CNN made this point on her show yesterday as she was interviewing Reince Priebus. She’s talking to him, says, “The New York Times is reporting that the NBC Clinton series might be produced by Fox television.” I wonder how she even knew this. So she says, “The NBC Clinton series is likely to be produced by Fox Television Studios, sister company to Fox News. So if we follow your logic, Mr. Chairman, do you think that there then is a connection to Fox News, would they be subject to the same kind of scrutiny?”

PRIEBUS: The big question for me, Candy, is number one, which company is putting it on the air? Who’s doing the work? I’m not interested if they’re using the same caterer or whether they all drink Diet Coke. I’m not interested in whether they use the same sound studio or whether they use the same set. I don’t know the truth of anything you’re talking about, but I do know what’s very clear, is that the company that puts these things on the air to promote Hillary Clinton, including CNN, is the company that is not going to be involved in our debates.

RUSH: Yeah, but, see, what she’s asking, “Okay, let’s say you take your debate to Fox News, but Fox corporate might produce the Hillary movie, and Priebus is saying, “Well, it doesn’t matter. That doesn’t matter, because Fox News isn’t airing it.” That is his point. You guys are gonna air it so we’re not showing up here. And NBC’s gonna air one, and we’re not gonna show up here. By the way, Candy Crowley is very discombobulated by all this, ’cause she’s very worried about her objectivity now, because the CNN Hillary story will be produced by an outside studio. CNN is not going to produce it or cast it or any of that. Fox is. And she’s very, very worried about this. It’s just laughable. Anyway, all of this can be avoided if these Republican debates are held nowhere near traditional, conventional, mainstream media anywhere.

RUSH: Chris in Moultrie, Georgia, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush. How are you today?

RUSH: Fine. Thank you, sir.

CALLER: Yeah. My comment was with reference to the story earlier about Ron Priebus announcing that the Republican candidates were going to not participate in the debates, I guess CBS and NBC. I think he’s right on. Maybe if you — (unintelligible) John McCain and 2008, if you recall, John McCain was the darling of the media, and as soon as we elected him as our nominee, they turned on him.

RUSH: Yeah. Everybody saw that coming for years except McCain. He was the last guy to see it. It’s actually CNN and NBC that are doing the Hillary show that Reince Priebus was talking about avoiding. You don’t even have to go back to McCain. You just have to go to January of 2012 and that’s when the whole War on Women started with the question to Mitt Romney by George Stephanopoulos.


RUSH: Indianapolis. This is John. Welcome, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Dittos from Indianapolis, Rush.

RUSH: Hey.

CALLER: I wanted to just say that I hope that the Reince Priebus/Monica Crowley scrimmage is the first of many. It’s high time conservatives are combative against these media types on their shows. It’s time — and I voted for Newt Gingrich a year ago in the Indiana primary, the race was over but I voted for him in part because he was willing to stand up to those people and you’ve gotta be willing to say: “That’s a stupid question, next question.” You need to say, “I reject the premise of your question.” They need to be more combative. The press is part of the enemy. I know you know that. What I’m arguing for is a strategy of direct, on-camera combativeness.

RUSH: ‘Cause let me ask you a question.


RUSH: Newt also — I think it was in South Carolina where he pulled that off, Newt got standing O’s a couple of times in the South Carolina debate because he did exactly what you just said.


RUSH: He did two things. He rejected the premise of the question, and then with substance, spelled out what our policies really are when it comes to the poor and owning businesses and becoming prosperous. The audience could not help themselves. They stood up and applauded. Two things happened. He rejected the premise of a question, but he also articulated, correctly, what conservative policy is on some things. Let me ask you, what would you rather see in a debate? Would you rather see Republican, conservative policy honestly expressed in a noncombative way, where people can see it on display, or do you just want the combat? Do you just want these guys pounding on the media and giving them what-for?

CALLER: Well, when you’re dealing with a left-wing media nut job like CNN, then the combat, but if it’s a reasonable forum, then no, you don’t have to be combative. But only be combative when you need to. The problem is on Beat the Press or on these regular news shows like that little sissy on NBC, you have to be combative, you have to reject the premise, you have to say no —

RUSH: They’re not gonna do that. What Priebus is essentially saying is, they’re not gonna do that. They’re gonna go someplace where they don’t have to be combative.

CALLER: Oh, well, but the problem with that, Rush, is you can’t reach the left-wing nut jobs that are only watching those shows and you have to reach them to some extent, don’t you think?

RUSH: I’ll tell you right now, the Republican problem is their base.

CALLER: Okay, yeah.

RUSH: The Republican Party doesn’t like its base right now. The reason that everything has you upset is happening is because the Republicans are trying to rid themselves of the conservative, the pro-life —

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: — anti-amnesty immigration crowd, they’re trying to rid the party of that base. It’s not the sole reason they’re doing what they’re doing, but it’s one of the primary reasons.

CALLER: But if they lose us they become the Whigs and they disappear.

RUSH: Of course. And they’re willing to do that for a couple of cycles.

CALLER: I guess.

RUSH: Until they get a new base. It doesn’t make any sense, but that is one of the only explanations I can come up with. The reason why what you said is important, there was a Republican town meeting last week, and I think it was Maryland, I forget where. But a bunch of people showed up saying exactly what you said. Whoever this congressman was, his audience said, “When are you going to stand up and push back for us? When are you going to disagree? When are you gonna fight back? When are you going to stop accepting –” There’s an entire element here, people like you, who are not being represented, no matter what the forum is, and it’s gotten to the point now where we have so many voters on our side that would just be happy for a little push-back, whether it results in victory or not. They’re just tired of seeing this polite, inside the beltway political-speak that’s not persuasive of anything, to anybody.

So I understand where you’re coming from. I know exactly what you mean. I know you say you can’t reach the left unless you go in left-wing places and this is one of the reasons why they do it, but they’re not reaching the left the way it’s happening. And remember, the Democrats have told them, if you get mad and start criticizing Democrats, the independents aren’t gonna like it, so the Republicans try to be reasonable and polite and no way they’re gonna overcome the branding that’s happened that way.

So the option, what Priebus is thinking here, is just go someplace where you don’t have to be combative, you can just articulate policy, represent people as they are, and let them be seen espousing their beliefs and their ideology and policy and this kind of thing. And he’s got a point. There is literally no reason why, particularly in Republican primaries, that you have 20 debates moderated by Democrats disguised as journalists. It just doesn’t make any sense. Because they’re not candidates. They’re suspects. And they don’t get questions. They’re accused. They get charged with things. “Do you hate women? Do you hate blacks? Do you hate homosexuals?” That’s all it is. And so every one of these people ends up on defensive, “No, I love everyone.” It’s a losing — and being combative in that circumstance, Newt did it once, and he still didn’t get the nomination.

And after he did that then the rules went out. The audience cannot applaud. The audience must stay seated and remain polite, so for so. (interruption) I’ll have to answer that tomorrow ’cause I’ve got dwindling time here. Snerdley says, “Why do debates at all?” Priebus, let’s not debate, let’s sit around get all these candidates just discussing, friendly people moderating a discussion. I’m sure it’s what he means.

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