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RUSH: “In Reversal, Trump Expresses Openness to Raising the Minimum Wage.” And you have people go, “See? See? I told you. I told you he was lying to you. I told you he’s a lib. I told you he’s a Democrat. And this is just the beginning. You wait and see what else he changes his mind on.” The Hill: “In a reversal, Donald Trump expressed openness to raising the federal minimum wage during an interview” yesterday. “‘I’m looking at that[.] I’m very different from most Republicans,’ [Trump] told CNN… I’m very different from most Republicans. … You have to have something you can live on,” (impression) and you can’t live on $15 an hour. You can’t live on $12 an hour.

“‘You have to have something you can live on. But what I ‘m really looking to do is get people great jobs so they make much more money than that,” meaning the minimum, “much more money than the $15.’ The federal minimum wage is $7.25, but labor groups have been pushing for it to be raised to $15. During a November [primary] debate, Trump voiced opposition to raising the minimum wage. ‘I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is,’ he said…” Why would he “hate to say it”? Well, ’cause he’s in a Republican debate. He knows what he’d better say as a Republican.

But now? But then on the other hand is this. On the other side, there’s a story in the New York Times today — which kind of surprising in itself — of what Trump’s plans are for his first day, second day, first hundred days. And, as you go through it, I think there’s a lot in it people are gonna like, if they believe it. It’s always gonna come down to that. But you getting any second thoughts here, Mr. Snerdley, on this minimum wage being raised as? (interruption) You shook your head. (interruption) You shook your… (interruption) And let me guess why. (interruption)

You shook your head, meaning, “Why would he say it? He’s gonna raise…? Why would he come out and say it? Just shut up.” He’s… Trump does not shut up. You better get used to it. He doesn’t. If he changes his mind publicly, he’s gonna change his mind publicly. You know what I ran across? I ran across a Donald Trump Playboy interview from 1990. Because, you know, I have I have digital copies of the Playboy interviews for the articles. Anyway, it’s fascinating.

If you read this Playboy interview from 1990 that Trump did, it’s really consistent with what he says today about issues. It’s really, really consistent. The things he talked about then — trade deals, Japan and China kicking our butts, “We can’t go on this way — there’s nothing in that Playboy interview changed. I mean, everything that he’s talked about is in there. The only thing they ask him is, “You sound like you’re a guy who may be running for president.” He says, “No, no. I would never run for president. But if I did, I’d run as a Democrat. I’d probably have to run as a Democrat if I run for president.”

That’s what he said to Playboy in 1990.


RUSH: Okay, so Trump, “in a reversal,” has expressed his openness to raising the minimum wage. Now, I checked the email during the break, and some people say, “I can’t believe you’re not mad at that! I can’t believe,” two, three emails, “you just seem so cavalier about it.” Folks, let me tell you: The best way for me to describe for you my mindset here, is we’re in uncharted territory. I don’t have any expectations. The one thing I’m not gonna do is start attaching what I think are demands, expectations… Well, I’m gonna have expectations, but demands? I mean, I just… I am not under any illusion here that Trump is something that I don’t think he is.

I’m holding out the possibility that he’s gonna be more so than a lot of people think. But I don’t know, folks. This is what I mean when I say, “I’m the mayor of Realville,” and my favorite phrase is a cliche: “It is what it is.” And my objective is to make the most out of everything. I try, whatever’s going on, to be optimistic about it. And people say, “Well, how can you stay so optimistic?” You know, people ask me that. We’re in the midst of Obama doing what he’s doing and then the possibility of Hillary nailing the final nails into the coffin.

I remain optimistic that what we’re doing down the road is finally going to arrest and stop all this. I’m not… Because I don’t blow up here and get mad does not mean that I am tolerating it, accepting it, or acquiescing to it. And I should also tell you, I’m not surprised that Trump would say that. Look, let’s remember some things that we’ve already heard from Trump during the campaign. We heard him praise Planned Parenthood. We heard him rip George W. Bush on the war with Iraq. I mean, it’s not hard to figure out where Trump falls on a lot of these things.

And Ted Cruz said it. When Ted Cruz said “New York values,” this is what he was talking about. He was not talking… He was talking about liberalism and views that are consistent with the Democrat Party. But at the same time, I know that Trump is aware, too. He had the presence of mind in the debate last November. He said, “I wish I didn’t have to say it, but, yeah. It’s gotta stay where it is.” And it was a tantamount admission: “Hey, I’m trying to win this as a Republican, and I know what I better not say at this point.” Now, I think one thing to always keep in mind…

This is not a cop-out, although many of you aren’t gonna believe that. But I think — I really do believe — that Trump’s a New Yorker. He’s grown up a New Yorker. That means something. There aren’t a whole lot of people like you and me in New York. They’re there, some, but a vast majority of people are not conservative, and certainly not conservative ideologues. At the same time, I do know that Trump… One thing I do know is that Trump wants a lot of votes beyond Republican votes. Put yourself in Trump’s shoes for a minute here. He just won the Republican primary, and he did not have to act as though he was a big-time right-winger in order to do it.

He won the Republican primary going away by saying things like he supports Planned Parenthood. It did not bother his supporters. I had some people call here yesterday that said, “You know, if he really wants to win, he’s gonna have to have conservative people around him. He’s gonna have to get some people.” I agree that he’s gonna have to go through the process of doing that, but he’s going to, I think, reach out. Just like his strategy was to win every state in the primary, it’s gonna be the same thing with the presidential campaign. He’s gonna try to get as many votes as he can.

But I don’t… This is not pandering. I mean, “In Reversal, Trump Expresses Openness to Raising the Minimum Wage.” He said, “I’m looking at that. I’m very different from most Republicans.” That happens to be true, and that shouldn’t be news to anybody. It’s why so many Republicans are upset and angry and piqued. But I tell you, folks: He’s another thing to help you understand. I don’t want anybody thinking that I’m ambivalent about any of this. I just don’t see the value in blowing my stack here every day about this stuff. It isn’t gonna change anything.

Furthermore, my livelihood doesn’t depend the Republican Party. I have always said from day one of this program: My Success is Not Determined by Who Wins Elections. I have steadfastly made sure that that was the case. That’s why I don’t do endorsements in primaries. It’s why I don’t tie myself to people that I don’t know, who could change on a dime and leave me to explain to angry people who believed me when I endorse somebody and then they go do a 180 on something. I don’t want to be in that position. I have always said I’m gonna be here as long as I want to be.

I don’t want my fate tied to that of a political party. So I don’t look at this stuff personally. When Trump comes out and changes his mind on the minimum wage, I’m not somebody that’s aggrieved and ticked off about it because it might harm me professionally. Whereas a lot of Republican establishment types, that’s the only way they look at any of this, from the self-preservation standpoint. And with Trump, again, you never know in this case. Is he simply reaching out to Democrats already? He did that during the primaries. We know he wants Democrat votes. We know he wants independents votes.

By the way, here’s an unrelated thought, and something just made me remember it. Exit polls in Indiana. Did you see the number of independents Trump got? The vast majority. You might be saying, “Well, so what, Rush? So what? So what?” I’m not praising Trump. Back off. A simple observation. What have we always been told about independents? (interruption) Not only that. Yeah, you have to get the independents. What else have we been told? We’ve been told that you don’t dare criticize, you don’t raise your voice, you don’t say mean things about people, you don’t say mean things about Obama.

The press says, “You don’t criticize him, because the independents, they don’t like that, and they’ll go running right back to the Democrat Party if you do that.” Really? That hasn’t been proving out here. Romney won a majority independents, and here’s Trump cleaning up with independents, at least, within the Republican primary universe. I mean, there are a lot of tricks that the media and the Democrats have had to get Republicans to shut up, and they’ve worked! They have worked on mainstream Republicans.

They’re literally in fear of being critical of any Democrat, or Obama with the racial component, afraid the media’s gonna come down on ’em and so forth. So they don’t criticize Obama, and then the fear that doing so is the independents will leave. “We’re on the verge of winning them, Rush! We’re on the verge of winning independents; then somebody comes along and starts saying mean things and just gonna drive ’em right back.” I’ve never understood that, because the Democrats are the meanest, most extremist bunch of cold-hearted SOBs I’ve ever worked with — with acknowledgments there to John Boehner.

I’ve never seen it actually be the case, because if independents “don’t like all the fighting and they don’t like the confrontation and don’t like the (unintelligible),” then why the hell do they run to the Democrats for refuge? So that’s why I’m not gonna sit here and get exercised over each and every one of these things. Because they haven’t happened yet, number one. It’s just not time yet — and there are things out there to counter that, too, counterbalance it. I’ve got two things here. The first is from Reuters.

“Trump Wants to Help US Businesses by Lifting a Slew of Regulations.” Reuters. You know why this story is interesting to me? I was reading… I can’t remember all the things that I read. But it was either last night or the night before I was reading who knows what website or publication or blog. But it was somebody (don’t remember who, either) saying (summarized), “Trump is so ignorant of the Constitution. He doesn’t care about the Constitution, and Trump, he doesn’t even know about it. He can’t tell you Article I, Article II, Bill of Rights. He doesn’t know what they are!

“He doesn’t care. He’s not sophisticated. He’s not educated. Trump doesn’t he doesn’t care about traditional economic theories. He’d never heard of Friedrich Hayek! He doesn’t know about Milton Friedman or any of this stuff. He was just a bull in the china shop kind of guy, potential dictator.” I’m listening to all these criticisms of Trump that make him out to be totally, not stupid, just not interested in what everybody in politics is interested in, like political theory, economic theory.

And whoever I was reading is going on and on about what a neophyte Trump is in this area, and you don’t have any expectations because Trump… In fact, it was specifically stated that Donald Trump, when looking… I wish I could find it. I would love to be able to quote it now, because it almost verbatim, almost specifically said, “When Donald Trump looks at businesses and sees ways to fix them, he does not even think about reducing the size of government.” That’s what it was. It was somebody railing on Trump ’cause the size of government, limited government, he’s never heard of it.

“He doesn’t care about it. It doesn’t mean anything to him. What government is to Trump is an instrument to be used to bully,” and what this guy was saying, whoever it was. “He doesn’t know that making government smaller is the way you help business. He doesn’t… He doesn’t look at things that way.” Right here is a Reuters story: “Trump Wants to Help US Businesses by Lifting a Slew of Regulations.” Donald Trump said “that if elected he would scrap a slew of federal regulations that he said are even more of a burden on American business owners than high taxes, and would try to refinance longer-term US debt.”

Now, I’ve always… When I read this thing last night or the night before (I forget which), I was puzzled. How does whoever it was say that Trump has no interest in reducing intrusive government? Trump doesn’t care? All he wants to do is use government as an instrument. This is a guy that’s had to go up against government with every building he ever built, and if there’s anybody who understands burdensome regulations — what they add to the cost of things — it would be Trump. Why do people assume the guy is a neophyte and doesn’t know anything about ’em?

And that’s what… I mean, they plug him in to a standard, political profile that he doesn’t fit — square peg, round hole — and then they immediately conclude they’re dealing with an idiot. And then this CNBC story comes along. Trump says he will get rid of a tremendous amount of regulations. You know, the first thing he said he’s gonna start with is repealing Obamacare. He said, “We’re lowering taxes very substantially and we’re going to be getting rid of a tremendous amount of regulations.” He’s gonna close the border, he says. He says he’s gonna appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, gonna repeal Obamacare.

He understands lifting regulations, getting them out of people’s way. And then the New York Times. Now, would you think that the New York Times wants Trump to look good or look bad? You would think that they want him to look terrible. If there’s anybody that is unalterably in the tank for Mrs. Clinton, it would be the New York Times. Well, right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers, a New York Times story: “‘President Trump?’ Here’s How He Says It Would Look — Donald J. Trump is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but he is also keenly aware that many in his own party — and many Americans, frankly — are scared and anxious about the idea of him in the Oval Office.

“Even he is not sure how a deeply divided nation would adjust to the first 100 days of a Trump presidency. What he does know, however, is what he wants to do in those early months. In a series of recent interviews…” By the way, this this doesn’t jibe at all with what we’ve been told was the Trump editorial board interview that hasn’t been released. Trump supposedly told the editors at the New York Times, “Nah, I’m not gonna build a wall. Nah, I’m not gonna be deporting anybody! I’m just telling ’em that.” That’s what reporters there tried… Well, they leaked. They didn’t try to leak. But nobody’s ever heard the tapes because nobody authorized their release.

This doesn’t sound like anything we’ve been told that that editorial interview sounded like. “In a series of recent interviews, he sketched out plans that include showdowns with business leaders over jobs and key roles for military generals, executives and possibly even family members in advising him about running the country. Shortly after the Nov. 8 election, President-elect Trump and his vice president — most likely a governor or member of Congress — would begin interviewing candidates for the open Supreme Court seat and quickly settle on a nominee in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia. …

“On Inauguration Day, he would go to a ‘beautiful’ gala ball or two, but focus mostly on rescinding Obama executive orders on immigration and calling up corporate executives to threaten punitive measures if they shift jobs out of the United States. And by the end of his first 100 days … the wall with Mexico would be designed, the immigration ban on Muslims would be in place, the audit of the Federal Reserve would be underway and plans to repeal [Obamacare] would be in motion. ‘I know people aren’t sure right now what a President Trump will be like,’ he said.

“‘But things will be fine. I’m not running for president to make things unstable for the country.'” Think of that what you will, but that’s how… (interruption) You think so? (interruption) You think so? (interruption) You think if that was his agenda the first hundred days and he actually began to try to implement that, that he would lock up his reelection the first 100 days? Well, now, you know damn well to pick all this stuff the 100 days… You’re gonna have the entire Democrat caucus in the House and the Senate — and a lot of Republicans — who are gonna be saying, “Oh, yeah, Mr. Trump? Oh, yeah, President Trump? Screw that! Screw that! Screw that! We’re not giving you any of that.”

You know, that’s gonna happen.

For those of you worried about him becoming a dictator.


RUSH: Folks, I went back, I looked at this story on CNN about Trump and the minimum wage, and I think it’s being misreported. I’m not so sure that that Trump came out in support of raising the minimum age. I don’t think that was his point. I think we have an example here of CNN trying to make it look like Trump flip-flopped, but he may not have. I will share with you what I think I might have picked up when we resume. And, no, I’m not being a Trump apologist. You know, I just want to get things right here, which has always been the objective and always will be.


RUSH: No, I’ll tell you what happened. Somebody sent me a note that said, “You’d better look at that because that’s not what happened,” this businesses about Trump reversing himself on the minimum wage. I’ve got the headline here. The headline’s at TheHill.com. It’s off of a CNN interview, and the headline is: “In Reversal, Trump Expresses Openness to Raising Minimum Wage.” Now, the reason I bought it is it wouldn’t surprise me — number one — and it doesn’t bother me, number two. It’s not worth being bothered about right now. It would bother me when he did it, if he did it. But we were trying not to let it get to that point, folks.

Now, it’s the mainstream media way of doing things. “In Reversal, Trump Expresses Openness to Raising Minimum Wage.” Here’s what the story actually says: “In a reversal, Donald Trump expressed openness to raising the federal minimum wage during an interview on Wednesday. ‘I’m looking at that, I’m very different from most Republicans,’ the presumptive GOP presidential nominee told CNN Wednesday about the prospect of [raising the minimum wage]. ‘You have to have something you can live on. But what I’m really looking to do is get people great jobs so they make much more money than that, much more money than the $15.’ …

“During a November debate, Trump voiced opposition to raising the minimum wage. ‘I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is,’ he said…” So, you know, I’ve told people forever how easy it is to get suckered in by Drive-By headlines. Even the most vigilant — and I am among them. Even the most attuned and highly aware of how they do things can get caught, and I think I might have been caught on this one. Because the question’s one thing, but what Trump actually said is, “I’m looking at that. I’m very different from most Republicans,” and then CNN interpreted that as, “A-ha! A-ha! We got Trump to admit that he wants to raise the minimum wage!”

Because, of course, it’s a litmus test for them. Raising the minimum wage is a litmus test. And if you get somebody out there in favor of it, then they’ve got to be a Democrat. They’ve got to be a left-winger. And the media — some of them — are gonna be hell-bent on proving that. But he said, “You can’t live on it,” but that’s not even the point. The point is, “I’m looking at that. I’m very different from most Republicans.” That’s all CNN needed to go hear or TheHill.com needed to hear. But if you know how to translate Trump — and I, of course, do.

As somebody who wants to take the time to actually study the way people talk — and I do that — it’s fundamental to understanding what people mean. Trump says a lot of things like that. He’ll say, “Yeah, I’m gonna look at something. I’m just look at that. I’m gonna look at it or I’m gonna do something on it. Yeah, yeah, we’re gonna be the greatest! We’re gonna make America great. Damn right I’m gonna look at that! Damn right we’re gonna help those people. Exactly right!” But if you look at what he goes on to really say here, what is the meat of this?

“What I’m really looking to do is to get people great jobs so they make much more money than that.” My interpretation — and that’s all it is, and you can do with it what you want — is that in Trump’s world, a minimum wage would be irrelevant ’cause nobody would make it. A minimum wage may be entry-level, but minimum wage to Trump is not anything that’s a way to measure anybody’s standard of living and say, “We gotta come up with a number that we can all agree on will support a family.” I don’t think he looks at it that way. I think his objective is to “make America great again,” and I do believe he means that. I’ll tell you something else about Trump that I know.

It’s that he’s very proud of the image or reputation as being a winner. He doesn’t like losing or being called a loser, and he doesn’t want to. You can disagree with him on ideas, and you can tell him he’s all wet. The way to get under his skin, if any of you want to (I’ll give a little insight) is just call him a loser. Just say that Trump’s lost everything. “He’s not that big a winner as he says!” Do that and you’ll get his attention, I guarantee you. But you’re not gonna get his attention by saying, “You know, I disagree with you. You’re full of it! You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He’d be glad to engage you left and right. That’s just his personality. But I think largely he was saying here that the minimum wage, if he succeeds, nobody’s gonna care what it is because most everybody is gonna be making way beyond that. Well, it’ll be great if that happens. I, frankly, fully agree with that sentiment. It’s something about conservatism I’ve always tried to tell people, ’cause one of the things that really rubs me wrong about it is the way it’s been characterized as caring only about the rich and not caring about the poor and the disadvantaged. The truth is that conservatism, by its very existence and definition, is compassion.

Conservatives love everybody, and they want the best for everybody. We believe that there are ways of making such things happen. We just believe that government’s not part of the recipe. We think that success and individual happiness and self-esteem, all that stuff, is driven from within. Achievement, that kind of thing is driven… We believe in every human being reaching their potential. We want everybody to be the best they can be. We don’t take great comfort in the fact there are haves and have-nots, and we certainly don’t try to exploit the have-nots.

And there’s not a conservative I know that wants more and more have-nots imported into the country so that we can exploit them for our own personal or political gain. That’s the Democrats. That’s leftists. But I believe Trump when he says he wants to make America great again, and I believe Trump when he says he wants as many people as possible to do well — “get rich,” as he says it. So I think we could safely say that that Trump was not actually… His focal point here was not saying, “Yeah, yeah. Now I can be honest. Yeah, I want to raise the minimum wage.” I don’t think that’s what he meant.

I think that’s what they want people to think that they got him to say.

But I don’t think that that is what he means.

Let’s see, this is the Hillary Stack having . I’ve mingled the two, doesn’t matter because I’ve got some sound bites I want to get into while you sort that out.


RUSH: Grab audio sound bite 14. This is the actual Trump minimum wage bite from CNN. It’s Wolf Blitzer. The actual question is, “Bernie Sanders says that he wants a $15-an-hour minimum wage. He has really gone after you lately saying that you’re happy with $7.25, the current federal minimum wage. Mr. Trump, you can’t live on $7.25 an hour.”

TRUMP: No. And I’m actually looking at that because I’m very different from most Republicans. I mean, you have to have something that you can live on. But what I’m really looking to do is get people great jobs so they make much more money than that.

BLITZER: You’re open to raising the minimum wage?

TRUMP: I’m open to doing something with it, because I don’t like that.

RUSH: So his instinct… His first answer was (impression), “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m looking at that. It’s not enough. Of course it’s not enough. It’s not enough for anybody. But what I really, really want is I want to get people earning more money so $15 an hour doesn’t even matter, Wolf. I don’t want to talk about $15.” Wolf doubles back: “But — but — but — but — but you’re open to raising the minimum wage?” “Yeah, I’m open to doing something with it because I don’t like it.” Trump raising the minimum wage is not the policy. It is not his recipe for improving people’s lives economically.

That’s the takeaway, and they want you to think that he is already betraying… (interruption) Yeah, ask the… (interruption) What’s the question? (interruption) Well, that’s what the caller. (interruption) Snerdley is asking me, the Official Program Observer, “Do you think you think Trump tells people what they want to hear?” Um, you might be able to put it that way. I mean, if you look at Wolf Blitzer here boring in as only Wolf Blitzer can, “You can’t live on $7.25 an hour!” Well, who in the world thinks you can? But that’s not the point. The minimum wage is not a livable wage; it was never supposed to be.

The minimum wage is such a… It’s always an entry-level wage. It’s not for skilled labor. It’s not designed to support families or anything the sort. It was never the intention. It was intended to be a political football from the first days it was proposed. Everybody thinks there’s all kinds of compassion behind a minimum wage. There isn’t. It was just an opportunity to make it look that way. But you may have a point. I mean, he may — just as a means of getting to where he wants to go on the question — say, “Yeah, yeah. I know what you mean, but…” Just tell ’em what they want to hear as a means of avoiding an argument to get to the real point that he wants to make.

But I don’t think it’s any more than that.

I think he said what he really intended to say it there.

I don’t think he was trying to buffalo Wolf Blitzer about anything.

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