RUSH: MSNBC today floating a rumor. I don’t know if MSNBC created the rumor or if they heard the rumor and are repeating it, but here’s the rumor that PMSNBC was tossing around this morning. It is that Donald Trump is mad at Mike Pence for his debate performance because he didn’t defend Trump nearly well enough, but he did good enough that it puts pressure on Trump to do better on Sunday night, and Trump doesn’t like being outshined this way. The vice presidential candidate’s not supposed to look better than the top of the ticket. Trump is supposedly ticked off about this.
Do you believe that? (interruption) Is that right, Politico? So I guess it’s not a rumor, then. Politico has that story out there, with that theme in the story, that Trump is mad at Pence for his debate performance since it puts pressure on Trump to do better in the next debate Sunday night.
In fact, The Politico insiders, they have this group of establishment elitists that they convene now and then at Politico to assess and analyze these events, these comings and goings in our daily political lives. And The Politico insiders say that Mike Pence didn’t just defeat Tim Kaine, he outshined Donald Trump. “A majority of the battleground-state insiders who comprise The POLITICO Caucus gave Pence the edge over Kaine,” in the debate.
“But the Pence-vs.-Trump comparison was unanimous: Each and every one of the four dozen GOP insiders who responded to a post-debate survey Tuesday night said Pence delivered a better debate performance than the New York businessman at the top of the Republican ticket, after what was widely seen as a flop last week. … ‘Not even close,’ said an Ohio Republican, ‘Is there anyone outside of the Trump family who isn’t wishing we could flip the ticket?'”
Again, this is one of the Politico insiders, one of 48 Republican insiders responding to the debate wishing that Pence was at the top of the ticket. Another Republican in this group from Nevada said, “Pence was the anti-Trump. He was prepared, smart, composed and he showed respectful competence and leadership.” A Virginia Republican said Trump “was a disaster.”
“A New Hampshire Republican suggested Pence ‘pinch hit’ for Trump in the final two debates with Hillary Clinton. A Colorado Republican said, ‘If the Republican ticket were flipped, it would be game over.'”
So you see, Trump cannot win, it cannot be purported, it cannot be reported, it cannot be said that Trump won, because even when his vice president does well, Trump loses. And this is how the mainstream media constructs these things. So the Trump campaign had, by every estimate last night, a resounding victory. And what it means is that Trump lost in the Drive-By Media. This is the kind of crap that is beneath us. It’s all together driven by fear. These people on the left simply cannot run the risk of the ideas we believe in gaining prominence or even being heard.
Now, I had bunch of people in the email — I check it during the break — ask me if I thought the debate would mean anything to the presidential election. I said yesterday to a caller that vice presidential debates usually don’t matter a hill of beans. Can I give you an example? Let’s go back to 1988. George H. W. Bush running for the presidency, his first term, he had chosen Dan Quayle to be his veep. He was up against Michael Dukakis, and “Lord” Bentsen of Texas was the vice presidential nominee. And during the vice presidential debate, Quayle versus “Lord” Bentsen, the subject of Quayle’s lack of experience came up. He’d only been in the Senate not long.
So Quayle drew an analogy. “Well, John F. Kennedy wasn’t in the Senate very long when he was elected president.” “Lord” Bentsen paused and said, “Senator, I knew John Kennedy. John Kennedy was a friend of mine. And, Senator, you are no John Kennedy.” And the roof blew off the place, and it was thought to be one of the best killer lines ever delivered in a political debate in the history of the universe. And it didn’t matter a whit. George H. W. Bush beat Dukakis by eight points. The vice presidential debate didn’t matter.
Now, that was just one aspect. Quayle didn’t do poorly in the debate at all, but that one instance you can imagine the post-debate commentary was embarrassing. They started talking about how George Bush had chosen the wrong guy. Quayle was all energetic and flapping his arms out there on the campaign stump, and they were all beating up on George W. Bush for choosing — they accused Bush of choosing a young guy to get women. Remember that? Quayle was chosen because he was supposedly gonna be a chick magnet. Well, anyway, the point is the vice presidential debate, Quayle reputedly got nailed by the line from “Lord” Bentsen, and George H. W. Bush still won.
So the vice presidential debate traditionally doesn’t matter. But this is a different year with different dynamics and all different ingredients. I still maintain that you can’t judge things happening in this political campaign the way you would judge them if both candidates were from the inside or from the establishment. There clearly is an outsider here, and, boy, are they threatened by that.
All these Democrats who wanted Trump to be donating to ’em. All these Democrats that have been sucking up to Trump for golf club memberships over the years. All of these people that desperately wanted to be invited to Trump parties when he throws them at Mar-a-Lago and everywhere. Now all of a sudden these Democrats are talking about Donald Trump as though he is the reprobate of all humanity.
I’m old enough now that I can see this stuff repeating. If you’re new to this, I’m sure it’s all exciting, I’m sure it’s got you amped up, I’m sure you’re jazzed, “Wow, this is cool, man, I love getting all chalked up like this.” When you start seeing this stuff repeat and you start seeing it disintegrate and get worse and deviancy seeming to rise and become a major factor in these events, it has an effect, at least it has an effect on me. It just makes me sick of it. I’m tired of it. I’m worn out by these tactics. It’s not just that it’s unfair or anything like that, that would be childish to say that. It’s just beneath us. We deserve better than this.
You could pick a hundred people out of the phone book and you’d get a better debate than we had last night. Just pick a hundred names and choose two of them. No, I’m not slighting Pence. Okay, do this. Pick a hundred names and choose two. Choose a moderator from the phone book and choose the Democrat candidate from the phone book and I guarantee you we’ll have a better debate than what we had last night. A debate that would better serve us and actually have some meaning, play some role in determining the outcome. The way this is gonna determine, if it determines anything, is that the Democrat was such a jerk that maybe, just maybe, people will start putting two and two together and realizing that’s who they all are.
RUSH: To the audio sound bites we go. Here we have a montage of Drive-By Media types, saying that Pence failed to defend Trump and that there was a reason that Pence didn’t defend Trump. See if you can pick it out of here.
CHUCK TODD: Tim Kaine was running for Vice President in 2016; Mike Pence was running for president in 2020.
ANDREA MITCHELL: (background noise) Mike Pence defended his turf for 2020.
JOHN BERMAN: Mike Pence just won the first presidential debate for 2020.
PAUL BEGALA: Mike Pence, he’s running in 2020! He threw Trump under the bus!
MARK PRESTON: But Mike Pence certainly did himself well if he (chuckles) decides to run in 2020.
EZRA KLEIN: Mike Pence came in and made Mike Pence look good for 2020.
JACKIE KUCINICH: I think Mike Pence may have been looking a little bit at 2020.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Made himself probably the front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2020.
RUSH: Lockstep. Every damned one of them, lockstep, with the same damn take. And I’m just gonna tell you, throughout that whole debate last night, that didn’t occur to me once, not one time, because I know that’s not what Pence was doing. Pence wants to win now. Pence wants to correct the lies and character assassinations that are taking place now. 2020? These people can’t stop thinking about this in their formulaic way, that even in the middle of this campaign what some people are really positioning for is 2020, and there probably are people doing that.
The same usual insiders that play all of this as a game when all of us treat this is as real as it gets. To them, it’s a game. Pence setting himself up for the 2020 election. It is humanly impossible, it defies any notion of common sense and intelligence that after a debate last night you could have a front-runner for 2020! It’s beyond absurd. But look, somebody sent the memo out, or maybe they didn’t need a memo. Maybe they think in lockstep without being told. Just mind-boggling. Frank Luntz had a focus group over on CBS, special coverage, vice presidential debate. Luntz said to his focus group, “Give me a word or a phrase to describe Mike Pence this evening.”
RUSH: And then Luntz were, “You were all critical of Senator Kaine. So give me your reactions to Senator Kaine.”
WOMAN: Kaine cherry-picked things that made Trump sound like a crazy person, and Kaine came off looking like a crazy person.
MAN: (chuckles) Kaine came off as a jerk. I actually liked that guy, and I was really disappointed in him this time. He just kept going back to trying to needle little points. A total jerk. Condescending. I think he reinforced the worst of Hillary.
MAN: I think he really did her a disservice.
RUSH: Okay. So that’s encouraging. These are average American voters, and they saw it the way we did, correct? (interrupting) You saw it that way, pretty much. I mean, it was Jerk City last night. (interrupting) Look, that’s my point. It was beyond irritating. It was beneath us. It was insulting to us, particularly if that was a strategy. I don’t know if Kaine… See, I don’t know the guy. All I know is what people inside the establishment say about him is what they say about everybody. “He’s a great guy! He’s got a great family!”
They all talk about each other that way. I don’t know the guy. I’ve always been suspicious of the guy. The guy’s always looked like… I was not surprised with this last night. I just think it’s beneath us. If that was a strategy to go out there and be as jerky and abrasive as you can and lose the debate on purpose to make sure you get all that negative stuff in on Trump? Well, then they pulled that off, too. Now, here’s Luntz. After talking to his focus group participants, Luntz had to wrap it up for anybody.
LUNTZ: Are any of you now more likely to vote for Donald Trump because of what you heard from Mike Pence? Raise your hands. Two, four, six, eight, 10. So half of you. Will it actually change any of your votes? Nobody. Well, that’s pretty significant. These are undecided or uncommitted voters in Ohio. They’re the ones that really matter, and tonight was a very good night for the Trump-Pence ticket.
RUSH: Why? Nobody’s gonna change their vote. Didn’t I hear him say that? “Will it actually change any of your votes? Nobody. Well, that’s pretty significant.” Ohio doesn’t count anyway. The New York Times just told us it’s no longer a bellwether. Hillary’s pulled out of there. The New York Times said it’s not a factor. Luntz should close up shop there. Ohio doesn’t matter anymore, the people of Ohio. You know why? Because Ohio is “too white.” That’s right, my friends. Too many white middle-class people live in Ohio.
There aren’t enough Black Lives Matter people there.
There aren’t enough illegal immigrants.
There aren’t enough ex-cons that need the permission to vote.
There’s not a good left-wing cross section of America.
There are too many decent, hardworking, middle-class people in Ohio to appeal to the Democrat Party, and so the New York Times told us it’s no longer a bellwether. Back in July, the New York Times did a story on how Ohio was crucial when Hillary was winning there. But now she’s not, and so it’s not important. Here’s John King. And this, by the way, loops back to the rumor that PMSNBC was floating and that Snerdley says The Politico is reporting. This is last night — Debate Night in America on CNN — with John King, and he’s discussing the reaction, the aftermath of the debate last night.
KING: I wanna give you one insight from somebody inside Trump world who is in the inner circle in Trump world who said that he does not think this is going to go down terribly well with Donald Trump. Even though the Trump campaign is rushing out statements with all conservatives across the country praising Mike Pence, they say Donald Trump is watching the reviews and he’s hearing, “Mike Pence won. But he didn’t defend Donald Trump and that Hillary Clinton and Mike Pence are better debaters than Donald Trump.” Some people think that might not sit well with the boss.
RUSH: There you go. So that’s the second place that it’s been promulgated out there. So, see, the take-away is even when the Trump team wins, Trump loses. “Pence had a great debate. Pence outclassed the jerk! Pence outclassed the moderator. Pence was calm, he was cool, he was collected, he was fabulous, he did a great job. Trump loses! Trump lost the debate last night because Pence so easily outclassed him, and Trump is now mad that he was made to look bad and he’s mad that he’s got added pressure now to be as good as Pence.” That’s the story they’re putting out, which equals “Trump lost”. And then, at the end of the all of that, it didn’t matter, because none of the people in the Luntz focus group say their vote was changed anyway.
RUSH: Okay. On this by the way, Drive-Bys say that Pence was actually positioning himself for 2020. You know what? There’s good chance that that talking point went right from the Clinton campaign to the Drive-By Media. Somebody had to write it. I mean, the idea they’re gonna think of this independently, lockstep like this? Somebody is behind this. And if you ask me, folks, the Clinton campaign is behind this.
They want to create the impression that Pence knows Trump’s gonna lose. “Pence knows that Hillary’s gonna win in 2016; it’s all about 2020 for Pence. That’s what they’re trying to establish. It’s all about 2020 because Pence obviously can see, read the tea leaves. It’s over! Hillary’s the big winner this year. There’s no chance for him. So 2020.” That’s what’s going on with that. Mark my words.
RUSH: Here’s Ann in Williamsport, Maryland. Great that you got through today. Hi. How are you?
CALLER: Hi. I’m good. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, ma’am.
CALLER: I just appreciate all you do. I love listening to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: But the reason I called was I really loved the way last night Pence looked into the camera and spoke to the American people. Even if they tried getting him off course, he actually acknowledged the America out in TV land, I should say. But I just really appreciated that.
RUSH: That’s interesting.
CALLER: And I hope Trump does the same thing.
RUSH: Well, you know what? Your observation, I think, is shared by a lot of people. He kept his cool; he was — importantly, he was not flustered off of the points that he wanted to make. They were trying to just rat-tat-tat endless interruptions and assaults, trying to get him off his line of thinking, forget his train of thought and the points that he wanted to make, and they didn’t succeed.
Kaine ended up looking like el jerko. And, of course, now we’ve got the cover theory. “Well, Rush, I mean, they’re so far ahead. Kaine actually went in this to lose it.” That was the first theory I heard last night from Drive-By analysts. “Oh, yeah, he wanted to lose this. They’ve got a cushion. They can lose this. It was important to have the stuff about Trump said, and Kaine said it. And he said it and said it. He repeated himself five or six times on each one of those things, and he was willing to run the risk of losing the debate on style points or whatever just to make sure that those talking points –”
And then they concluded, “Well, you know, Pence really did well. Pence didn’t rise to the bait. He kept his cool and all that, and in the process Donald Trump lost, ’cause Pence did so good he made Trump look bad.” Then they told us that Trump was mad that Pence did so well because Pence doing well puts more pressure on Trump to do well as though Trump’s going into the debate not really giving it his all, but now he’s mad because Pence did so well that Trump really has to try now.
They actually try to make us believe this pap in the immediate debate aftermath last night where we were treated to all the analysis. Oh, and then the piece de resistance, that Pence knows that Hillary’s got this locked down. It’s over. Pence was simply positioning himself for his own 2020 presidential run. These people, I don’t think they realize how obvious and transparent they are now to people.