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RUSH: I meant to make a point yesterday, folks, and I forgot to do it. We have an audio sound bite of Romney. This is exactly what’s wrong with the Republican Party.

We had a sound bite of Romney yesterday about the possibility he might run for president again, and Romney was addressing poverty and “income inequality,” and he started out by praising Lyndon Johnson and his intentions and his big-heartedness. Lyndon Johnson had a big heart, great intentions to help people. But, sadly, Lyndon Johnson was just wrong.

This from the guy who the Democrats ran around and said he personally let some guy’s wife die rather than pay their health care! Mitt Romney, who was accused of hating the family dog by putting it on the roof of the station wagon during the family vacation. Mitt Romney, who they said lied about not paying his taxes. (Thank you, Harry Reid.) Look at all the lies, look at all the character assassination these people visited on Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign.

And here’s Mitt Romney yesterday weighing in on the income inequality, then praising the good-heartedness, the big-heartedness, and the great intentions of LBJ. Why in the world, after you have been lied about and destroyed and impugned the way Democrats did, do that? What is it? Is it turn the other cheek? Is it treat them with kindness/kill them with kindness? Whatever it is, it exemplifies what’s wrong with the current crop of Republicans.

They don’t have fight.

There’s no fight in them.

What purpose is served by praising LBJ? There’s a movie out now called Selma, and even it is unfriendly to LBJ. See, the Republicans think somehow… This is how convoluted this is. I guarantee you what the thinking is. It’s either Romney’s or some consultant or some advisor saying, “I know the voters don’t want conflict. They don’t want confrontation. They don’t like arguing. They want us to get along! So praise Johnson or praise Democrats.

“Give him credit for good intentions or whatever and it’s gonna be really hard for people to say you’re a mean guy.” No, it’s not hard for ’em to say he’s a mean guy. They’ve said worse! They said he’s essentially a murderer. They said he let some guy’s wife die. They produced a TV commercial, and all of these TV commercials added up! Mitt Romney didn’t care when some employee’s wife died with cancer.

They got the guy and they put him on a TV commercial blaming Romney personally for his wife’s death, and then all this stuff with the family dog and all these other acts of inhumanity engaged in by Mitt Romney. And the first thing he thinks to do is to praise the architect of the War on Poverty and so forth? Look… (interruption) Yeah, okay, here’s the Romney bite from yesterday. We dug it out of the Grooveyard of Recently Forgotten Sound Bites. Here it is.

ROMNEY: Fifty years ago, Lyndon Baines Johnson declared the War on Poverty. His heart was in the right place, but his policies didn’t work. We have not won that war.

RUSH: That’s it. That’s it. “His heart was in the right place.” No, it wasn’t. His heart was right there where FDR’s was: Making the Democrat Party a permanent majority. That’s where Lyndon Johnson’s heart was. The War on Poverty was socialism. “His heart was in the right place.” See, we think we’re gonna win favor with Democrats and moderates by not being confrontational and so forth and so on. They can run around and veritably accuse Romney of murder or of manslaughter.

Some former employee’s wife gets cancer and dies because Romney doesn’t care enough to do anything about it. You know, this stuff has to be fought back against when you’re at that level. Praising LBJ? “His heart was in the right place”? Look, I meant to say this yesterday. It’s not tied to anything I’m talking about today. It’s just something I meant to say yesterday. It just came to me last night, and I wanted to make sure I remembered it just as an isolated observation.


RUSH: Here’s Joanna in Lafayette, Louisiana. Hi, Joanna, glad you called, you’re next on the big program. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush.


CALLER: I’ve been listening to you since 1997 and I love you, so I can’t believe I’m calling to disagree with something you said about Romney.

RUSH: Well, it happens.

CALLER: But what I feel is that, yeah, when you said that he was praising our former president, I really don’t think he was praising him. He did say that what the Democrats did is wrong, it doesn’t work. He said what we need is to improve the economy so people get jobs, and I was surprised that you didn’t repeat that he said that.

RUSH: Well, okay, Mike grab that Romney sound bite from the grooveyard of almost forgotten sound bites from yesterday. Let’s listen to the whole thing again. My point here, Joanna, is that I think — I’m not discounting the substance of what Romney said about how to deal with this. But my whole point, these guys are gonna have to learn how to play hardball, and praising LBJ is big-hearted, it just isn’t gonna cut it. It’s not gonna get him any points. It’s not gonna win him anything and it’s a mind-set that tells me that we don’t really have a bunch of people willing to fight here.

I mean, the game’s being taken to us. These people called him a murderer. These people accused him of standing idly by while some guy’s wife died of cancer. And they accused him of not caring about the family dog, killing it practically, boiling in the sun riding on top of the station wagon. Okay, you got the big byte? Okay, here it is. We’re gonna listen to the whole thing, Joanna. This will be like the third time now so nobody can say we’re shortchanging Mitt.

ROMNEY: Fifty years ago Lyndon Baines Johnson declared the War on Poverty. His heart was in the right place, but his policies didn’t work. We haven’t won that war. As a matter of fact, under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse, and there are more people in poverty in America than ever before. His policies have not worked. The only policies that will reach into the hearts of American people and pull people out of poverty and break the cycle of poverty are Republican principals, conservative principals. They include family formation, education and good jobs, and we’re gonna bring them to the American people and finally end the scourge of poverty in this great land.

RUSH: There you go. Okay, so you’ve heard the whole bite, and I’m sure you liked the bit about family formation.

CALLER: Yeah. Look, Rush, can I just say this. I believe that there was never a man better prepared by God and I believe that he was prepared by God to fix the economy of this country than Mitt Romney. I believe we had a great loss when he wasn’t elected, and it was partly because people who didn’t like Romney didn’t go vote. We’ve got if quit fighting among ourselves and stick by our candidates. You may have mentioned, I’m from Louisiana. I once had to choose between voting for David Duke and Edwin Edwards, a Nazi and a crook.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: And, you know what? A lot of people didn’t go vote.

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: I voted. I voted for the crook rather than vote for a Nazi.

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: And I think we have to, you know, hold our noses sometimes and pull the lever for something a little better than what we’ve got. I mean, we’ve got a president —

RUSH: Look, Joanna, you know, if you’ve been listening since 1997, and even during the campaign in 2012, if you only had time to listen once a week, you had to have heard me praise to the highest Mitt Romney and his morality and his character and his status as just a fine, fine man and a great gentleman.


RUSH: And I’m not among those who encouraged anybody to stay home and not vote. All I’m saying here is, he could have said everything he said without beginning with crediting LBJ with good intentions. These people are out to destroy him. Why do you think some of these four million people sat home. Some of the people that voted against Romney actually believed, Joanna, that this guy idly sat by while another man’s wife died of cancer. They were able to convince people that Romney didn’t pay his taxes. They were able to convince people he was a tax cheat. And I don’t think the response to this is to start praising the people who are trying to destroy it. To me, it just says we’re not prepared to play hardball yet.

CALLER: Yes, it was horrible what they were saying about Romney, it was absolutely horrible. I got the impression, and it’s just my impression, it’s obviously not yours, that Romney was trying to pull in maybe some Democrats to get them on his side, you think?

RUSH: Yeah, well, we’ve been doing that the last bunch of presidential nominees. We’ve been shooting for the center. We’ve been shooting for moderates. How’s it working out for us? We’re not —


RUSH: — winning.

CALLER: I know what you mean.

RUSH: Well, the problem with that is that you do irritate your base. And, by the way, the Republican establishment’s making no bones about the fact that it’s embarrassed of its own base voters and would like to be able to win without them. It’s most unfortunate. But, anyway, I’m glad you called, and there you go, the full sound bite again, and I have no doubt that Romney’s prescriptions here are correct. But you have to go fight for ’em.


RUSH: And we have yet another caller on the phone who thinks that I’ve been a little bit too hard or maybe a little bit off base on Mitt Romney. This John in Chicago. Thank you for waiting, sir. Great to have you.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: You know, if that was the main point of Romney’s comments, I wouldn’t have a problem with you pointing it out, but it was one phrase before he said the policies were wrong, which I know you agree with.

RUSH: Yes, I do.

CALLER: And, you know, given that Mitt has nothing that he’s in control of right now while on the other hand we have a number of, you know, people in Congress that are already saying dumb things like DOA rather than being optimistic —

RUSH: Okay, let me ask this.

CALLER: — and setting out the Republican agenda.

RUSH: Let me ask this. I just want to get your take or your thought on this. Purely information gathering on my part. So we got Romney, and he wants to announce his version of how to fix income inequality, and build up middle class wealth and so forth. Why even mention the good-heartedness of LBJ? Why even mention LBJ, period? Why even do that? What’s the mind-set?

CALLER: Okay, a day or two ago you were talking about that gap on the “thinks like me” question from the election, right?

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: Or represents my interests.

RUSH: Yeah. Thinks of people like that.

CALLER: The income inequality thing, I think, is something that he perceives as being something that he didn’t address enough in the campaign, so that would make perfect sense as to why he would want to address that now.

RUSH: No, no. No, my question, why mention LBJ at all?

CALLER: I don’t think it was a consultant. I think he simply — that was the way he chose off the cuff to go into that comment that his policies were wrong. I think he wanted to point out that —

RUSH: I’ll tell you what it reminded me of. I once had a Republican presidential contender thinking about getting into the race, this was 2012, by the way. So it would have been 2010 or 2011, but there was some powwow here in town where I live and a bunch of these potential Republican nominees were in town at it. And one of them called, “I want to come by and talk to you about the presidential race.”

I said, “You want to kiss the ring, right?”

He said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

I said, “Come on by.” Had some bagels and cream cheese. The guy came in my library at home. He said, “Rush, Rush, we cannot go after Obama personally. We have to go after his policies. The only way we can succeed is by going after Obama’s policies. But we go after Obama personally, it ain’t gonna get us anywhere.” That’s what I heard here. In this case it was LBJ. It bothers me in the sense that these are the people that tried to convince voters Mitt Romney didn’t care that some guy’s wife died because of Mitt Romney.

Look, I know manners, I know good manners, I know good breeding, I know how people are raised to be respectful and all that of other people. I know the Republican Party’s obsessed with this. My fear is that there’s a belief in the Republican Party that showing these people respect who don’t show you any is somehow gonna siphon voters away from ’em, and it just isn’t. If we’re gonna get into this, Mitt, whoever, they’re gonna have to be prepared to play hardball. We’re going to need fighters to overcome. The aggressor in a conflict always sets the rules anyway. Anyway, look, John, I understand what you’re saying, and the focal point of his message was policy proscriptions, and I don’t disagree with what he said on that score at all. Anyway, I appreciate it nevertheless.

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