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RUSH: To the audio sound bites. Here’s F. Chuck Todd. F. Chuck may get it. This was on Meet the Press yesterday, and he was setting up a report here about Trump and Ben Carson’s positions as leaders in the Republican nomination race.

TODD: The disgust with the Republican establishment that has been a staple of conservative talk radio has now gone mainstream. The result? An election in which, in one poll, just two outsiders — Donald Trump and Ben Carson — together have higher poll numbers than all of the so-called establishment candidates combined, about eight of ’em.

RUSH: And of course, you see, in Chuck Todd’s view, this is the fault of talk radio. Yeah, “[t]he disgust with the Republican establishment that has been a staple of conservative talk radio has now gone mainstream.” I would submit to you that conservative talk radio is mainstream. It doesn’t have to go anywhere to get there, because it is. Now, not to these people. Inside the Beltway, conservative talk radio is fringe, whatever. It certainly isn’t mainstream.

But you see, it is. Our audience here dwarfs the audience on Meet the Press, and Meet the Press is a television show. We dwarf them! We have a bigger audience here than those three Sunday shows combined. Four, if you count CNN’s. Yeah, let’s go out and play number three. This is interesting in its own right. This was C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Saturday. John McArdle was speaking with National Journal political editor Josh Kraushaar about Trump’s presidential campaign.

MCARDLE: Rush Limbaugh’s Show, the transcript from his show, uh, the headline on that, “My Advice to Trump: Back to the Issues.”

KRAUSHAAR: This was the first time — and he’s responding to Trump attacking Ben Carson. On his show, it was the first time Rush Limbaugh sort of criticized Donald Trump, and he’s been something of a neutral supporter of his. He certainly has defended him passively on his show. This is the first time Rush Limbaugh (chuckles), as the most influential conservative talk radio host, sort of threw a fastball to Donald Trump. And I think that’s very important. A, because the talk radio element of the Republican Party are what’s fueling a lot of Trump’s support. This is the first time you could see the possibility that Trump’s support may have peaked.

RUSH: All right, it’s not the first time, it’s the second time, and both times I’ve simply said, “A little free advice: It’s time to get back to the issues.” I’ve said it twice. But there’s one other thing here. Talk radio is not fueling Trump’s support. Trump is! I great respect for Mr. Kraushaar. He’s good at what he does, so this is not a rip at him. But, you know, people in the media… Because of their own self-perceptions, the people in the media think that they drive public opinion because they want to.

They’re not doing the news. They’re driving public opinion. That’s why they get frustrated when Democrats lose, ’cause they think that they’re out there influencing it with their polls and everything else. So they think everybody in the media does that. But I’m just passively watching Trump go by here, and I’m commenting honestly on what I see. And if it sounds like support for Trump, it sounds like support for Trump.

But I’ve also spoken positively of the other candidates, not positively of those that I don’t feel that way about. But nothing happening here is responsible for Trump’s support. Trump is! Oh, it would be easy to live in a fantasy world, folks, where I tell myself every day, “I’m the reason people think what they think.” But I have never fallen for that trap. Quite the opposite.

This is what I mean when I say I have always had respect for the intelligence of those of you in the audience. I’ve known from day one that one of the main reasons you glommed on to this show was that it validated what you already thought; you just didn’t hear it anywhere in media ’til this show came along, way back in 1988 and 1989. But I’ve got nothing to do with Trump’s support. He does. He’s the one responsible for it.

He’s the one that is engendering it, and certainly he’s the one fueling it. Here’s Ron Fournier on Meet the Press yesterday. Chuck Todd asked him a question. He said, “You know, Ron, just watching all this, I get the idea that, oh, the right feels as if Obama will do whatever it takes to win and they won’t do whatever it takes to win,” on the Republican side. “But that feels like we’re devolving” for some reason, Ron.

FOURNIER: The public right now is very angry, anxious, and asking, “What side of the barricade are you on?” Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Carson appear to be on the other side of that barricade. “Donald Trump is crazy. But he’s punishing the establishment, isn’t he? That Donald Trump is crazy. But he’s taking on the media, isn’t he? That Donald Trump is crazy, but he’s saying what I can’t say, isn’t he?” The country is really angry, and until somebody brings positive change or very negative change, it’s gonna be keep growing.

RUSH: More interesting than that answer to me is Chuck Todd’s question. Look at this again: “You know, Ron, just watching all this, I get the idea that, oh, the right feels as if Obama will do whatever it takes to win and they won’t do whatever it takes to win. But that feels like we’re devolving.” So F. Chuck Todd, I guarantee you this is the attitude of everybody inside-the-Beltway. For the Republican Party, conservatives to fight for what they believe in constitutes the system being torn down, constitutes “devolution.”

We’re going backwards, in other words. The left is perfectly permitted, fine and dandy. They can do whatever they need to do to win; that’s as it should be. When we do it? “Oh, my God, it’s getting nasty! Oh, my God, it’s getting dirty! Oh, my God, it’s getting unseemly!” So F. Chuck Todd says (summarized), “We’re devolving! We’re devolving! The Republicans are starting to defend themselves. That’s not cool, Ron.” And then Ron says, “Yeah, yeah, Trump’s crazy, but… He’s crazy, but… He’s crazy, but…”

Now, I guarantee you that if F. Chuck Todd thinks he’s one of the leaders of the inside-the-Beltway establishment, ruling class — if he thinks it’s devolution for the Republicans to fight back — might that not explain why so many on our side don’t? They don’t want to be ripped by Chuck Todd. They want Chuck Todd ripping talk radio! They don’t want Chuck Todd ripping some conservative blog or some conservative magazine. Oh, no, no! Chuck, no, no! They don’t want.

Chuck can rip talk radio all day long and that’s fine, but not them.

So they’re not gonna do anything to get Chuck Todd’s ripping, including not fight. That’s “devolution.” And one more, our buddy David Brooks (who defined Obama’s presidential potential by the crease in his slacks way back in 2008) was also on Meet the Press. Chuck Todd said, “David Brooks, this fight inside your party. For some viewers, they might say it’s deja vu all over again. But this time it does seem like the frustration in the Republican Party might just boil over.”

BROOKS: It’s like a mutiny, not a campaign. And the problem is that there’s an illusion in this country and in the Republican Party base that you can govern by screaming. But there’s a democracy! You need a coalition. We have a very tough legislative system and you gotta actually have craftsmen, and there’s insufficient respect for that right now among Carson and Trump supporters.

RUSH: Insufficient respect for the craftsmen, he said! Can you believe it? Mitch McConnell and Boehner are the craftsmen, and there’s not enough respect for what they do on our side. So it’s a mutiny. That explains everything. “Don’t fight! Oh, God, no! Don’t fight back! That’s devolution. Oh, that makes everything look bad. No, no, no! That’s unsophisticated. Oh, no, no, no. We’ve gotta respect our craftsmen!” What the hell is a craftsman?


RUSH: Yes, the establishment types so desperately want to blame Trump on somebody. They don’t want to blame Trump on Trump. They don’t want to blame themselves. So if they can blame me and talk radio, then they will. But Trump is responsible for what Trump’s doing. Nobody else.

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