RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, normally we don’t do guests on the program. When the vice presidential candidate calls and wants on, Governor Pence, we accommodate, of course. I reached out to the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus today, and I think we have him now. Mr. Priebus, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. It’s great to have you here.
PRIEBUS: It’s a complete honor to be on your show Rush. Thank you for having me.
RUSH: You bet. I wanted to talk to you for a number of reasons. But first and foremost on Election Night I was one of the many who stayed up ’til beyond three o’clock to listen to Mr. Trump’s speech, and he was effusive in his praise for you and your essential role in creating the ground game operation for him, the get-out-the-vote effort. And it was such a shock to a lot of people, and it turns out… We go back and we look at the magnitude of this win, Mr. Priebus, it’s stunning. The Republican Party, it turns out, has more power in Washington and throughout the country in terms of just elective offices at all levels than at any time since the 1920s.
Hillary Clinton had six million fewer voters than Barack Obama had in 2012. We have… Since Obama campaigned for her on the basis that her election meant the continuation of his legacy and agenda, we’d say that it was repudiated. The American people showed up in droves and repudiated the Democrat Party agenda, and it was a shock to people. I mean, Trump winning was a shock to many. Not me, but it was a shock to many, and the depth of the Democrat loss was really a shock to everybody.
PRIEBUS: Well, you predicted — and, by the way, you put your neck out back in May. (chuckles) You predicted this, you felt it, and you said it a long time ago. And, you know, it really just comes back to a couple things. One, you’re right: The ground operation at the RNC was the biggest operation I think either national parties have ever put together. We had way more people on the ground than anyone understood or gave credit to us for. We put over 120 million in data understanding everything about voters.
What beer they drink, what car they drive, what motivates people, how many kids they have. And all of that information made a difference. But let’s just put that aside. The reality is that we had the right candidate. Donald Trump was the candidate that authentically captured the vehicle where everyone wanted to go as far as being the change candidate, but being the candidate that people actually believed would go to Washington and do what he said when he said, “Drain the swamp.” When he said, “Drain the swamp…” You know, if anyone else said that, at least a lot of these folks that were running, it may not be believable.
Because, you know, politicians say a lot of things. But when he said, “We’re gonna drain the swamp,” people believed it. He represented something bigger than the day-to-day stories in Politico and other magazines that just have to fill space. And that was authentic, because it was a change election. We had a change candidate that was authentically making the case, and we’re running against someone who has spent their entire life and made millions upon millions of dollars in politics. It was just a classic case of momentum and running with the flow of the river and having the infrastructure in place to capture the moment.
RUSH: Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something. I was struck, honestly, by the complete 180-degree turnaround by Speaker Ryan yesterday in his effusive praise for Trump. I mean, I’m not making things up here. There were many, many Republicans — not you; don’t misunderstand.
RUSH: I’m talking elected Republicans who really thought Trump was going to finish this party by losing in the biggest landslide since Barry Goldwater, and they made no bones about it, and they made public their lack of effort or desire to help him — and they lost some of those. A couple of those people lost.
RUSH: When Trump comes around and wins, why, all of the “he’s the greatest candidate we’ve ever had”… But they didn’t think that until he won. And this is —
RUSH: This is obvious to people. Now, I know everybody wants to get on the winning train and everybody wants to shine —
RUSH: — in the light of a winner. But is this belief in Trump…? Now, is it…? Do you think it’s…? I know it’s putting you on the spot. Is it legit with some of these people that disavowed Trump? Not just elected. We’ve got some so-called conservative media people that just —
RUSH: — none of this was supposed to happen, and they didn’t want it to happen.
PRIEBUS: That’s right.
RUSH: There were some, Mr. Priebus, hoping for a Republican landslide loss.
PRIEBUS: Yeah. No question. I mean, there are some. There’s a few out there that really had no excuse doing what they did. And I’ve talked about that, and I agree with you on that. But I can tell you, I think it’s important for Republicans to come together now regardless, and it is good to show a positive public face and that we do get this party together — and we are together. We’re bigger. Like you said, we’re bigger than ever. But it’s important that leaders and elected officials get on board. But, in regard to the other comment, I will tell you that in regard to Speaker Ryan: Totally, totally on board and wanting to work with President-Elect Trump. They just had a positive meeting just right next-door.
RUSH: I just saw them out there on the balcony there.
PRIEBUS: Yeah, and he’s genuine. It’s totally genuine. And, by the way, you know, especially the last few weeks he’s been on the campaign trail with Mike Pence. He would have been… I know firsthand because I know what the scheduling and the planning was. He was planning on being at the rally in Waukesha with President-Elect Trump, and then of course you saw Sunday night he put out the statement and continued throughout.
The point of all this is that I agree with your assessment. Some of the things that went on I thought were wrong, and I made it clear that they are wrong, and I think some people were very shocked. You know, I was on the side of understanding what my job was, and I did it, and I was loyal, and we built the biggest operation we could build, and it helped, and we got it done. I’m proud of the work that we did but I’m proud of our candidate.
RUSH: Well, I don’t want to speak out of school, but I know how people tend to sometimes hear people in politics. I just want to vouch for what Mr. Priebus just said. He came with Scott Spicer. They came to meet me here in the studio — Sean Spicer. Back in the spring. It was April or May —
RUSH: — and I tell everybody you have been on board the train of the nominee from the get-go. You’ve never been in anywhere near trying to undermine anybody’s candidacy. Whoever the nominee was, you were all-in. I just want people to know you’re not just saying this today.
PRIEBUS: Yeah. No, and, you know what? That’s the job of a competent national party. I mean, you look at what the DNC’s going through. It’s a total mess because number one, they’re not… They have had a lot problems lately, but they’ve been trying to tip the scales and doing all the things that I know a lot of grassroots people are always worried about. And I always try to explain to people that — and I understand some of the negative mystique that a national party brings with it.
But I just tell people there’s nothing controversial about a national party that has its act together on the ground and with data. It’s a lot of boring stuff that I’m in charge of. Most of it’s not exciting. But we all can at least understand that, if we’re competent on the mechanics and we’re competent on the work that we need to do — and we’re not playing favorites but we’re offering our work to our eventual nominee, to take advantage of that work product — we can be more successful. We could not win elections without a competent national party. As irritating as sometimes the party can be to people, it’s a necessary function that we serve.
RUSH: Well, yeah. The irrigation oftentimes has been rooted in promises on the campaign trail that don’t eventuate in governance.
RUSH: But a little time constraint here and I do want to talk about to you about one other thing here that we are hearing a lot of, and I just want to admit to you that I’ve got… My flags are pink right now. They haven’t turned red. I’m hearing… Of course, the Democrats common… Every time they lose, the first thing they do is sue for peace and start demanding unity and we all must come together. What they mean is, we need to pretend we didn’t win, and we need to make sure that we don’t tear apart whatever their agenda and their achievements have been and we work together going forward.
And I expect them to do that, but I get nervous when I hear Republicans start talking about the need for magnanimity and unity and coming together. The American people didn’t vote for that. The American people defeated Hillary Clinton. They voted for Trump to defeat Hillary and defeat the Democrats. They have less power than they’ve ever had in the 1920s. We’ve got greater opportunities today than at any time in my life, Mr. Priebus — since the 1980s at least — to really, really implement the agenda that the Republican Party and the conservative movement have always been known for. Low government —
PRIEBUS: Hundred percent agree. Hundred percent agree with you. I agree with you. It’s important to make peace. I’m all for that, and it’s important to stop the campaign, but, I’ll tell you what, it’s also the opportunity to do the will of the people. And the will of the people is exactly as you outlined. We have won everything, up and down the ticket. We got the House, the Senate, the White House. The people of this country voted for that. And we have to deliver the change that was promised, and it starts with tax reform, it starts with a conservative Supreme Court. Every single thing that was talked about on that campaign now needs to be delivered —
RUSH: That’s exactly —
PRIEBUS: — and there’s no excuses for not doing it because we’ve got a pathway to do it.
RUSH: That’s exactly right, and there were a myriad issues that Trump discussed: immigration, refugee status, any number of things he had.
RUSH: He had a whole host of issues that he made part of his campaign. When you say that we want — I think you used the word “peace.”
PRIEBUS: Well, we don’t want what’s going on out in the streets, what you’re seeing across the country, I mean, it’s just —
RUSH: Yeah. Okay, that’s a good point.
PRIEBUS: The elections are over.
RUSH: That’s not real. I don’t believe it because of what we learned —
PRIEBUS: Yeah, I think it’s just planned —
RUSH: — with Project Veritas videos, they’re buying that, they’re paying for those protests.
PRIEBUS: Yeah. Yep. Yep. Understood.
RUSH: Don’t let it affect you. That’s all made to look like that there’s genuine outrage that we won, but there isn’t. There’s happiness that we won.
PRIEBUS: Yeah, absolutely, I’m with you on that. I guess that’s what I was referring to. But, you know, look, we’re gonna move forward. We’ve got an agenda that needs to be fulfilled and we’ve got no excuses. We got the leadership in place, got the White House, you look at what’s happening in the states and the legislatures. I mean, there’s a lot of flips in state legislatures that we’ve also have succeeded in across the country, so now it’s time to do the will of the people.
RUSH: The White House spokesman Josh Earnest said after the meeting between President Obama and President-Elect Trump, which went 90 minutes today, not the usual 15, but Earnest said (paraphrasing), “Oh, yeah, we want to do everything we can to make sure President-Elect Trump hits the ground running and has a good shot at accomplishing what he’s to succeed.” Really?
PRIEBUS: Right. I think that — hopefully that will last, but my guess is that they’ll be coming pretty strong, pretty hard soon.
RUSH: Yeah. Okay. Well, then you know.
PRIEBUS: Oh, yeah.
RUSH: It’s such an opportunity. And the Democrats are in a position they’re not used to being in.
PRIEBUS: Yeah. We were the party that the media had already written that we were gonna be in crisis today, and, if you open up most of the Washington rags, it says the opposite. And we ought to — and we ought to take advantage of our position which was given to us by the people fairly and squarely and do our job.
RUSH: Well, I hope a lot of people on our side realize it isn’t mean to be happy when we win. It’s not mean to advance our agenda because that’s what we were elected to do. I hope they don’t think it’s mean or offensive if we don’t include the Democrats in our Obamacare plans unless they agree with us.
RUSH: Then we’re happy to welcome them aboard. But we got too many people that seem guilty if we win and they don’t want people mad at them, and so they try to water it down or dilute it a little bit, and I hope it doesn’t happen.
PRIEBUS: I agree with you. You need to pursue your agenda with happiness and enthusiasm and with a lot of energy to get it done, hundred percent on board with that. And I agree with you.
RUSH: Well, thank you so much for the call. I appreciate it.
PRIEBUS: You bet.
RUSH: Chairman Reince Priebus of the Republican National Committee. And he did, he came here with Sean Spicer, and it was — I don’t know. I think it was March or April somewhere, it was at a point in time where it looked like Trump was owning this, but they weren’t sure and a lot of people were at that time in official Republicandom, they were afraid what did this mean, and I can tell you that they were here for an hour, and at no time did I hear them say or have any doubt that if Trump was the nominee, they were all-in. In fact, they stood out that way as not being part of the crowd that couldn’t accept Trump.
In fact, both he and Spicer were intrigued about Trump and the possibilities of Trump’s being elected. It was refreshing, actually, and I just wanted to mention that to those of you. I didn’t at the time because it was an off-the-record meeting. We had not met. I’d never met chairman Priebus, and that’s really what the purpose of it was.
So then we began discussing the Trump campaign and what it all meant and how he was handling it, how I was handling it, and what we thought was gonna happen. It was a good conversation. But at no time was he ever, that I detected, in the club that could not stomach and would not tolerate Trump. It was just the exact opposite.
RUSH: Talent on loan from God-d. So you heard chairman Priebus, Republican National Committee, acknowledge no excuses now. About the only excuse they might have is the filibuster in the Senate, and maybe if McConnell, “Well, yeah, you gave us the Senate, yeah, you gave us the House, and, yeah, you gave us the White House, but we don’t have 60 votes.” Isn’t that funny? What good times that would be. But he said it, no excuses, and, boy, it’s true. The Democrats, they can huff and puff and the media make it look like they are still the majority in the country, but they’re not. That’s my whole point.
We have been governed by a minority against our will made to look like we’re dwarfed and outnumbered. And now those people are demanding unity. And we know what that means. It means we forget that we won and we pretend that things haven’t changed, and then we might not criticize you.