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RUSH: Big Republican presidential debate coming up. I guess it’s Thursday, August the 6th. We have 16 candidates, but only room for 10 people, and polling data is being used to determine the 10 people. However — and this would be somewhat predictable — since polling data is being used, and since you and I all know that polling data can be used to shape public opinion rather than reflect it, and it’s a rolling average… It’s an average after a number of polls; it’s not just one poll. The Fox News poll counts.

But there are some other polls that get rolled into this, and they all get averaged out. And, as has happened, NBC’s got a poll… By the way, Marist… I should point this out first that Marist said, “We’re not gonna play in this. We’re not gonna participate in this.
We don’t want to have anything to do with who ends up on that stage and he doesn’t.” Now, Marist occasionally polls with NBC, sometimes with others. But they’re saying, “We’re not… We’re not engaged in this.

“We’re not gonna submit our polls to the conglomeration of polls with the rolling average because we don’t want to make public opinion; we want to reflect it.” Hardy-har-har! Chuckle-chuckle. It’s actually a pretty good PR move on their part to say so. But, for example, what do you do, as has happened… Let’s say NBC wants certain people not on that stage, and let’s say that NBC is participating in the conglomeration of polls from which a rolling average will determine the top 10.

Okay, let’s say that NBC goes out and does (which they’ve done, I think) a poll of 300 people with a margin of error +/- six and let’s say (just to pick a name), they don’t want Rick Perry on the stage. Do you think they could present a poll that shows Perry barely registering in the sample of 300 people? Or take anybody else. The top tier, they couldn’t do much about. They’re not gonna be able to keep Trump or Jeb, Walker, these people out. But they can keep Carly Fiorina out if they try.

They could keep Rick Perry out. They could probably keep Huckabee out if they wanted to. This is the problem with this. And people have been asking about it. I played golf yesterday, and boy did I have fun. I just hit some incredible shots yesterday. I’m really feeling jazzed about it because it was just a month ago I thought I had lost my game. I even told you people I’d lost it. And I had. I couldn’t hit anything. Strange game.

But I was on the golf course yesterday and some people were asking me about Trump. Trump is really coming up in popularity among the crowd I play golf with. These are establishment Republicans, actually. These are the people that run around and complain to me about abortion and social issues. You know, “Why don’t the Republicans just stop talking about the social issues?” I get that all the time. These people are all excited about Trump.

The big fear was, “Do you think Donald would actually go independent?” meaning third party. I said, “I don’t know. We’ll just have to sit back here and watch this. I have no idea what is gonna happen, where this is all headed.” “How do you think Donald is gonna do in the debate?” I said, “Now, there I have an opinion. Trump has set this up pretty well in terms of his performance on the debate.” What’s he out there saying? He said (paraphrased), “I don’t debate. You know, I’m a guy that gets things done.

“I tell everybody what to do and they go do it. I make decisions and we make things happen. I don’t sit around and debate all day. That’s all these guys do. That’s all these guys do is debate. I’m not good at it. I don’t debate. There isn’t anybody else’s opinion that matters than mine.” So he’s set up expectations that maybe he’s not gonna do well in this kind of format because this kind of format requires deference to the others. This kind of format…

Actually a better word is “formula.” This kind of formula requires deference, it requires politeness, it requires manners, it requires adhering to the rules about how much time everybody gets. I wouldn’t be surprised — and of course, I have no firsthand knowledge because I don’t talk to these people about this stuff. I’m not and never have been somebody wants to be wired in. I’m an observer. Some people have criticized me for this.

“You realize how close you could get some of these people? Do you realize they’d take your phone calls?” Yeah. I have no interest. I just never have been interested in cultivating insider-type relationships with these people. I know why. I’ve just always viewed myself as an outside observer. And there are many fewer problems that way, by the way. And then the closer you get to these people, the more you end up liking them or disliking them, whichever is the case.

And when you end up liking them, it becomes even harder to criticize them. When they get elected to high office, it’s not as easy to keep your distance. When the president calls, you go, for example. When the vice president calls, you go. But a candidate calls and you can take the option not even taking the call, which I do frequently. I know that I’m weird this way compared to others, so-called, in the media.

But I just like to have my distance, and stay as close to objective observation as I can get. So I don’t know anything here. I’ve talked to nobody at Fox. I don’t know the first thing about this debate other than when it is. Beyond that, I don’t know how long it’s scheduled to go. I don’t know anything about the format. I’m just gonna wait for it and watch it. But I do have some theories. And if you look at Trump and the way he’s doing what he’s doing and why he’s doing what he’s doing, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Donald Trump’s objective is to blow up this whole format.

Because it’s predictable. It’s stale. I mean, 10 people on a stage and everybody gets — I don’t know what it is — three minutes, and then 30 seconds to reply, and then if somebody attacks you, you get 15.5 seconds to defend yourself or whatever it is. I think at some point, Trump’s gonna say how stupid he thinks this is and how unproductive he thinks this is and how basically what a waste of time. He won’t say that because he’s there.

But he’ll talk about how it’s not productive toward choosing a candidate, that it just muddies the waters, and it doesn’t give anybody enough time to do anything, and there’s no way that all 10 people can personally interact with each other. Then you’ve got the moderators trying to intersect and interject and keep control of the thing and trying to make names for themselves, too, even though they deny that.

Whoever the moderators are, they’re gonna be trying to get good publicity when it’s over by credit for asking the right questions or policing the thing well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump — I don’t know at the outset, but at some point. Maybe after he thinks he’s scored a big point, I don’t think he would do this if he thinks he’s not doing well. I think would only do something like this from a position of perceived strength.

He would basically start lambasting the whole format and say, “You know what? This is what is wrong with choosing a president. What does this got to do with anything? We’re all up here, and everybody knows that nine out of 10 of these people, eight out of these, are not going anywhere. What are we doing here? This is crazy. All we’re gonna do for two or three hours here is tell everybody how rotten each other is? It’s crazy. It’s not gonna matter a hill of beans at the end of the campaign. What are we wasting our time for? Making TV ratings for…?”

Something like this. I mean, that would be in character. And how many people do you think would stand up and go, “Right on!” I know this debate coming up Thursday is probably gonna be a record setter, ratings-wise, for a whole host of reasons All of them predictable, understandable. But at the same time, what people in the Republican Party know is, when these debates are all said and done, what happens? A Northeastern liberal moderate establishment candidate gets the nomination.

And if not a Northeastern liberal, then an Arizona moderate or liberal. But an establishment candidate gets it, and the conservative candidates all seem to winnow themselves out. And I just… I don’t see Trump — as front and center as he is, as dominating as he is — willingly permitting himself to be seen as an equal among 10 by shutting up when he’s supposed to shut up, by not speaking when he’s not supposed to speak. I just don’t. Wild guess. And I’m not saying any of it’s gonna be disrespectful.

I’m saying it’s gonna be like everything else he’s doing in the campaign. It’s gonna be fresh; it’s gonna be new. It’s gonna be, to use the cliche, “a breath of fresh air,” and people are gonna be applauding it. Except the Drive-Bys and the establishment media, who, when it’s over, are gonna wring their hands and worry about what does this mean for our politics. Because some are gonna accuse it of incivility, of breaking down or what have you. If my prediction’s right here. Because the formula’s everything to the Drive-Bys is everything.

The formula’s everything to the establishment, because they control it. And that’s one thing Trump is not: Controllable. Particularly when it comes to the establishment. So there could be fireworks. Trump, by the way, is out there saying, “Hey, you know what? I don’t debate. I make decisions. I’m a guy that gets things done. I don’t sit around and talk all day. That’s what these guys do.” Okay, so on the one hand he set himself up lowering expectations to not do well. But I don’t… I don’t think that’s really in the cards, not doing well.

Of course, we could see. You know, Trump may be one of these people — we’ll just have to find out — ho when he’s the only one on stage, he owns it, and is totally confident, and all the things that go with that. If he’s on stage with 10 people and has to share it, who knows? Is he still as dominant? Is he? Does he own the stage like he does when he is singular focus stage? All of this remains to be seen. But I just don’t see this thing on Thursday night being standard, ordinary, predictable candidate debate that we have all become accustomed to.

Which is basically a moderated, long-form Sunday show, and the guests — instead of newsmakers during the week — are candidates, and they get questions. I mean, let’s face it: The moderators run the debate. The moderators determine what’s discussed, unless a candidate or two decides to reach out and take control of the whole thing him- or herself, which say, “Hello,” to Trump. That’s what he does. So we will just have to see. So that’s what I told people that asked me yesterday what I expect in the debate.

If I’m wrong, and if this comes off as your normal, everyday, standard, run of the medical candidate debate — perfectly formatted, perfectly formulaic, with hardly any fireworks to it — it’s gonna be considered a yawner and a ho-hummer. And when it’s all over, the establishment media is gonna claim that their establishment candidates did the best. That’s another thing Trump has to consider, too, as a lone wolf candidate, as a guy who’s busting out of formulas and is not being contained by them.

It’s almost incumbent upon him to step out and somehow control not what happens. Not only what happens during the debate, but the message afterwards, ’cause the Drive-By Media analysis of what happened will be, I don’t know, as or pretty close to what happened during, ’cause be not everybody’s gonna see it, the everybody’s gonna watch it, and so the way it’s reported afterwards.

And the last thing Trump wants is for the post-debate analysis to be is, “Donald Trump was also on stage and was heard from. He said X, Y, and Z.” The last thing Trump wants is he was just one of the gang, just one of the 10. So it’s bound to be fireworks of some kind. It has to be. The real question for me is: Are the other nine ready for what may be headed their way? We’ll find out. It’s only a few short days away.


RUSH: I have some phone calls here that I actually don’t understand. I got two people who think, A, I’m missing the point on Trump, and another thinks I’m wrong on something. I’m totally befuddled here. So I’m gonna find out. Marshall, North Carolina, Linda. It says here that you disagree with me about that Trump’s gonna do great Thursday. What did…? What do you think I said?

CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?

RUSH: I’m fine. I’m fine. I was fine until I read what you were gonna say.

CALLER: (laughing) I think that Donald, the Donald, has made a tremendous impact. And I’m so happy he’s in this, just to open people’s eyes and have them listen. I think he’s gonna do great in the debates. I really do. I think he’s gonna do really great! I think he’s gonna answer questions. I think he’s gonna be ready for them.

RUSH: Now, wait.

CALLER: I think he’s going to be off the cuff. Go ahead.

RUSH: Wait a minute. You think that I said that I don’t think he’s gonna do well?

CALLER: No, no, no. I think you said… Didn’t you say something like, “If he thinks he needs a point, he’s gonna blow the place up”? Did you say something like that?

RUSH: Well, all I was talking about is I think Trump’s gonna be Trump. And if he is, we’re not gonna recognize this debate. That’s not a criticism!


RUSH: I was not criticizing Trump. Boy, this is I’ll tell you what, folks, this is shaping up like Perot 2.

CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: You say one thing about this guy and here come his defenders left and right! You know, I admire you, Linda. I really do.

CALLER: You know what? Because you want a man. As a woman, I want a man who’s going to speak his mind, not a politician who’s worried about what he says right or wrong. I don’t care if he says something wrong. Just say it, say what you mean.

RUSH: Look —

CALLER: I don’t care if he’s a Democrat or Republican.

RUSH: That’s cool. I gotcha. You and Mark Cuban. You know what Mark Cuban said? Mark Cuban said (summarized), “I don’t care what he thinks, I don’t care what he believes, I just admire a guy willing to tell us what he thinks.”

CALLER: It’s true.

RUSH: You don’t care what he thinks?

CALLER: And I think that it’s gotten more people to listen, to open their eyes a little bit and hear what’s really going on. People that don’t even know what’s going on, they’ve heard him say something and it’s, “Wow. Is this the truth?”

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: Said, “Yeah.”

RUSH: Okay. Next question.


RUSH: I’m serious. There’s no wrong answer here. Do not interpreter, misinterpret any tone in my voice. I’m genuinely cure.


RUSH: What did I say in my expert analysis and prediction that made you mad or that made you think you don’t got or that made you think I’m wrong?

CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: What did I say, seriously? What did I say that made you pick up the phone and call?

CALLER: Well, I’ve been trying to call you for weeks. But, anyway, you said something like, Trump is gonna be, you know, quiet, he’s gonna go along with everything, and then if he feels like he’s on point with something, he’s gonna just blow the place up and say, “What are we doing this for? What are we having these debates for? This is not how you pick a president,” and granted, it’s not, and it really isn’t, just see a politician speak —

RUSH: Wait a minute. Saying that made you mad?

CALLER: No, it didn’t make me mad. It just gave me another reason to call you. I’ve been dying to talk to you.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: On so many points.

RUSH: Fine. Let me just reiterate. None of what I said was intended to be criticism of Trump. It was intended to be predictive. I was simply… I’m telling you what I think is gonna happen. I do not see Trump sitting there, standing there passively waiting his turn, following a formula that is boring and dull and stilted, by virtue of the fact that Trump, when he’s on the stage, it’s his. He owns it. This is not a criticism. It’s an analysis. And I just…

I think he thinks there’s a lot wrong with the country, and I think he thinks part of what’s wrong is the way we elect candidates, the way we elect presidents. He’s already said he’s not excited about this, and I know there’s psychology here at play. He’s out there saying, “You know what? I’m a doer. I don’t debate. I don’t sit around and talk about things. I tell people what to do and they go do it, and if they don’t do it, I fire ’em! I don’t sit around and debate.

“These other guys, that’s all they do! They sit around and talk all the time. I’m not a talker; I’m a doer.” Well, to me (chuckles), that tells me he’s not gonna sit around and just stand around talk all night like all these other guys do. He’s got to continue to stand out the way he has up to now. And he’s not gonna be able to do that by following the format. Nothing wrong with that! Not being critical of that. I’m just trying to give you a heads-up, my take on what’s coming, and it could be all wrong. He could be a model citizen up there: Polite, deferential, and speak no more than any of the other candidates. But if that happens, you’re gonna be scratching your head and saying, “What happened?” That’s my guess.

Here’s Jim in Clermont, Florida. Hi, Jim. You’re next. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hello. My point is, first off, I agree with what you said. But I think that you missed one of the points, and that is Trump has a huge advantage going into this if he takes it, which is that he can fall back on the fact that: You folks created the mess. You folks were the ones that were elected to fix things, and I’ve never had that position. You know, Mr. Bush, are you gonna tell me that Florida is fixed while you were governor? Mr. Perry, are you gonna tell me that Texas is fixed while you were governor? That’s why people upset. That’s why people don’t want you people anymore.

RUSH: Okay. You’re saying in different words the same thing I’m saying. He’s going to go up there, he’s not going to play ball. He’s not one of these guys, and he’s not gonna act like it. He’s gonna do something or a series of things to stand out. The standard, ordinary, everyday format of these things — which is dull and boring and predictable and dominated by moderators — I think is gonna be blown to smithereens. And since he is running against the establishment and everybody in politics…

I mean, he’s already called a series of these guys losers or dumb or dumb or silly. He’s already said, “Yeah, these guys all came to my office begging for my money! They all came to my office begging for my support.” So, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I just… I don’t see Donald Trump becoming one of these guys. This is gonna be a debate unlike we’ve seen before. It’s not a criticism. Now, you know what the standard, ordinary procedure for something like this? Given your theory — and you’re right — that he has a huge advantage in that he shows up with a huge lead.

You know how the establishment would deal with that. You know, the theory in current politics is? (And it happens to be, by the way, practiced a lot in the National Football League.) It’s called, “Don’t take any risks.” If you’re sitting on a big lead, the theory is, “All you can do is blow it. So don’t blow it.” It’s called the prevent defense. The standard, ordinary, standard operating procedure if you show up one of these things big lead is, “Don’t blow it. Don’t say anything that could cause you to lose your lead, be damaged or whatever.”

That’s what we’re not gonna see. We’re not gonna see Trump sitting on his lead and playing defense and hoping not to make somebody mad or hoping not to step in it or not to whatever. But that’s the way normal people play it. If you’re showing a big lead, just sit on it; make sure you leave with the big lead. Seldom is the attitude when you show up with a big lead, “Let’s make it even bigger,” and that’s who Trump is. I have no doubt that he’s gonna take this occasion to do what he can to eliminate as many of these guys in one debate as he can. But he’s not gonna be able to do that following the format.

I’m not being critical when I say that.


RUSH: Let me grab one more of these, get ’em in the can here. This is Daniel in Coronado, California, beautiful place. Welcome, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. Thanks on for having me.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: Longtime listener. Quick question. My comment on Trump is I want to believe that he supports these conservative ideas and kind of putting out there, but I am not totally sold yet. I’m hoping he’ll blow things up in a way that somebody like a Scott Walker, a Ted Cruz, Rubio… Kind of encourage them to break out of this boring political mode and really go on the attack. Go after Obama, Clinton, Biden. Because I think he’s gonna jump in and throw a wrench at Clinton and really kind of pull a true conservative out and use it in a way, instead of burying conservatives, for the conservatives to bury the Republicans — the establishment — hopefully. So I’m kind of… I’m really excited to watch. I usually don’t put a lot of stock in debates ’cause they’re so blah.

RUSH: Yep.

CALLER: But I’m really hoping this will have some fireworks and some conservatives, a Walker or Cruz or somebody can really come out swinging.

RUSH: You think Ted Cruz needs to come out of his shell a little?

CALLER: I don’t. I just don’t think that he gets the press that Trump does, and I’m hoping together… I mean, when Cruz… I’ve never donated to any political campaign. When Cruz came out and called McConnell a liar, the first thing I did was I walked to his website and I donated… I could only give him a little bit, but that’s what I want. He’s one of my favorites. But I’m just energized.

RUSH: Let me just tell you: You bring up Cruz, the evil Koch brothers. I say that humorously. They’re not evil. They’re nice people. They have one of their annual get-togethers I think out in California over the weekend and some of the prospective Republican candidates were there, and I’m told that Ted Cruz owned it, that he had the most charismatic appearance on stage, most dominant, comfortable in his own skin. He just owned it, was confident and apparently just blew up this whole idea man-made global warming.

You know, folks, this is terrible. Obama is fulfilling a promise that we highlighted on audiotape before he got elected, his intention of putting the coal business out of business, the coal industry out of business. He is doing it. He’s literally doing it, all under the guise that we’ve gotta do something about climate change. And Cruz exposed it. He exposed it from top to bottom. He told everybody in attendance exactly what the game is. It starts out in the seventies with coming ice age, and that wasn’t gonna work out.

Then they turned it into global warming, and then it stopped getting warmer. So now they’ve turned it to “climate change.” And that’s brilliant, because whenever anything’s odd, they can chalk it up to “climate change.” Get a lot of rain? Climate change! Gets cold? You call it climate change! When it gets really hot, you call it climate change! A tornado? Call it climate change! Anything above and beyond a normal sunny day is now climate change, when it’s common.

There isn’t anything that happens in weather that is unique anymore. Everything has already happened countless times. But these people get a chance to expose it as “climate change,” and young people are eating it up. I mean, they’re buying it, swallowing it hook, line, and sinker. And Obama is now head-first into putting the coal business out of business, exactly as he promised to do it. So this is really serious stuff. I don’t know if you heard this or not. And I found out about this, of all places, while reading my tech blogs.

Apparently they lit up the Empire State Building in New York City recently with pictures of animals that are dying out, species that are ending. You ought to see these young people and these blogs eating every syllable of it up. Because a dentist went and hunted a lion, we are now facing the end of all lions. And because a hunter went and hunted a giraffe, we’re now facing the end of all giraffes. It is amazing the way young people are being lured in and sucked into all this stuff, something that I’ve been chronicling here for I don’t know how long, particularly as it is on global warming.

But, look, stay on point here. Ted Cruz nails this stuff every time he speaks about it. As I say, owned the stage out there at the Koch brothers event. So you get this presidential campaign, and I think you have a good point here, Jim. I think that if Trump does do what Trump does, you’re gonna see two or possibly three of these people break out of their shell. And by “shell” I mean the straitjacket boundaries their consultants have them behaving in. Yeah, it could be unique in a whole bunch of different ways on Thursday night.


RUSH: Well, I don’t want to deflate your bubble out there, but I just briefly saw a quote from Trump saying, “Yeah, I really don’t think I’m gonna be throwing any punches on Thursday night.” “I mean, don’t look for anything unusual from me,” Trump said. Right. Okay. Back in a minute.


RUSH: I got these Trump calls out of the way. I was shocked. I was literally shocked. Here I gave 20 minutes of brilliant, great, compassionate, on-the-money analysis of Trump and the debate Thursday, and here come a bunch of people (crying), “You criticized Trump !You criticized Trump! Trump’s gonna do well! What did you say?” I’m left thinking, “What did I say?” You all were hearing me in there. Did I criticize Trump in any of that? I mean, maybe it wasn’t a compliment, but I kind of meant it that way.

I’m all for these formats being blown to smithereens. I think all of this becomes too controlled, and I think it all becomes… The way these debates happen… There have been enough of them now. We’ve seen them our whole lives. We know what happens. These are establishment-run affairs, and they are designed to end up with an establishment candidate, and anything that blows that up is fine and dandy with me.

So we’ll just have to see. As I said right before the end of the previous hour, Trump is out there… I don’t know who asked him, but he’s being quoted as saying, “I don’t think I’m gonna throw any punches on Thursday,” whatever that means. But time will tell. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that this debate is not gonna be like others that we have seen.

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