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RUSH: To Mike, who’s driving around in a truck. He’s from Sikeston, Missouri. It’s 30 miles south of where I grew up in Cape Girardeau, and you wanted to talk about Cruz. Obviously you’re a big Cruz supporter. You’ve got a very positive attitude about Cruz and his intellect and his ability to take the heat. Where were you going with that?

CALLER: Well, my question is, obviously as Cruz is rising in the polls, Donald is taking him on more and seeing him as an enemy, wanted to combat him rightly so as any candidate would do. My question is how do you think Cruz is handling the heat? How is he handling the new side of Trump that he’s seeing, the abrasiveness of Trump coming from Trump and not just another member of his party, the senate, or the media?

RUSH: I think he’s handling it well. I think he’s known that it was coming, and I think he’s amped up well for it and prepared well for it. And I think he will probably take full advantage — if Trump actually doesn’t show up tomorrow night, I think he is going to take full advantage of it, and the other candidates will try to as well. But I don’t think you can make Ted Cruz wilt. I don’t think there’s any kind of heat that’s going to cause him to shrink. He rises to the occasion.

The thing about Ted Cruz is that you never have to doubt his conservatism. In fact, you can be totally confident that that’s who he is. He’s not gonna have to remember what to say when. It’s in his heart. It is part of his fabric. It’s the essence of who he is. And so he is able to articulate it, explain it, implement it in ways that are infectious and positive, and he never wavers from it. He is a committed, true believer.

And I say this in comparison to somebody like Romney, who is not conservative but wanted people to think that he was. Those kinds of people have to study conservatism. They do it with people who have a misunderstanding of it. And so they come up with phrases that they think will be persuasive, that will convince conservatives that they’re one of them. But they always blow it. God bless him, Mitt Romney describing himself as a severe conservative. Well, cat was out of the bag. There’s no such thing. But he was trying to tell people, he was trying to assure conservatives he’s committed. He meant to say that he was committed, rock solid conservative, but there’s no such thing as a severe conservative. But somebody who’s not conservative and has a negative impression of it will think of somebody who’s committed to it as a severe. It’s not a positive or uplifting, laudatory term.

My point is with Ted Cruz, there’s no phoniness here. There’s no pretense, and he’s not gaming you. He’s not something else pretending better than anybody else to be a conservative. And I don’t think, Mike, you have in worries at all that he’s going to wilt from a challenge. I mean, it’s not very many people that would go to the floor of the Senate and openly proclaim that the leader of his party in the Senate flat-out lied to him, on the floor of the Senate. There are not too many people that would do that precisely because of the fear of the blowback on something like that.

So Cruz is everything you want. He’s a true believer. He is confident and has the ability to inspire. So much so that I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen. I look down the road here, looking through the proverbial crystal ball, if either one of these guys wins, either Trump or Cruz — and I don’t think we could say this about any of the others in the race — if either one of those men is elected president, the entirety of the Washington establishment is going to be out to sabotage them. Whatever their agenda is, they’re gonna be stabbed in the back by members of both parties as payback.

Remember, Washington is not conservative. The Republican Party per se is not conservative. The last thing the Washington — as Cruz calls it, the cartel — the last thing the Washington cartel wants is anybody whittling it away. There’s nobody in Washington that wants it to get any smaller. There’s nobody in Washington who wants it to get any poorer. There’s nobody in Washington that wants any less attention, less focus, less power emanating from the place. And Trump and Cruz present a challenge to that in different ways.

Cruz’s challenge is that he is a full-fledged conservative and his objective is going to be to reduce the size of government, to limit the government’s role in everyday life, to cut taxes, to therefore reduce the amount of revenue flowing into Washington. He’s going to do everything he can to pare down the welfare state and bring some sort of fiscal responsibility coupled with an associated increase in individual liberty and freedom. Cruz believes that it’s the people who make the country work, that it’s not Washington or policy. He thinks that stuff gets in the way and wants to broom it, get as much of it out of the way as he can.

Well, everybody in Washington lives off government, leviathan. The bigger it is, the better. The bigger and more money it’s got, the more money there is to get. The last thing they want is Washington being deemphasized. So they’ll be out to sabotage Cruz.

When it comes to Trump, Trump is going to be implementing his own agenda, and he doesn’t care, he’ll be trying to do it without people in Washington, if he has to. But precisely because he doesn’t play the game, precisely because he breaks the rules, these guys are gonna do everything they can to try to sabotage anything he wants. In fact, folks, it’s so bad that I have no doubt that the degree of sabotage would be such that even if it’s harmful to the country, in a temporary basis, it will still happen because we’re talking about people who want to preserve the things that create their standard of living.

Make no mistake, Washington is the greatest source of revenue. Look at all the people that feed off that trough there. I mean, it’s not just elected officials. It’s not just the lobbyists. There are more people doing nothing in Washington and getting paid for it than you could shake a stick at, under the guise of policy creation or analysis or writing, whatever it is, I mean, it’s just people all over that town, people that are trying to game the regulatory system for themselves. But the point is it’s where the money is. That’s what attracts people to it. Not ideology, not ideas.

It took me a long time to learn this. You know, I’m so naive. I always had these civics 101 thoughts running around my head, that everybody there was actually interested in doing the best thing for the country and the people. And they’re not. They’re trying to do the best thing for themselves. And it makes total sense. The US Treasury, which collects about $3 trillion a year, happens to be in Washington, why wouldn’t a whole bunch of people who want some of that money go there? And that’s what it is. And they’re trying to get their hands on whatever amount they can, in whatever way that can be seen as legitimate as they can dream up.

And both these guys, Trump and Cruz, in their own different ways, present a threat to that, quote, unquote, order. So both will be deeply sabotaged. The attempts to deny them policy success, agenda success, to thwart every move they make, to make them look ineffective or what have you, your question really is, how will Cruz bear up under all that, with everybody in that town ganging up against him. He’ll do just fine. He’ll do the same thing Trump would do. Go right over their heads and go right to you, right to the country, get on media however which way they can and tell you what’s going on.

Because the election of either one of those two men contains a message, and that is Washington has to change. It’s got to be reduced. It’s got to be whittled down. It’s got to become less dominant and less of a factor in everybody’s day-to-day life. And the people that live and work there — and, by the way, when I say derive their standard of living, that’s exactly what I mean. Their job, their job is government one way or another. That’s how they earn their living. The unemployment rate where they live is only 3%. And the per capita income is sky-high.

You want to talk about the wealth gap. The real wealth gap you need to talk about is the wealth gap between the people that live in Washington and the people that don’t. So either one of these two people, Cruz or Trump, present an existential threat to the established order. It would be like — let me see if I can come up with a golf analogy. It would be like if the Des Moines Jaycees decided to take over Augusta National. The people at Augusta … (laughing) … there’s just no way. That may not be the perfect analogy, but hopefully it makes the point. Nothing against the Des Moines Jaycees. Don’t take it that way at all.

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