RUSH: I thought today would be a good time to talk to the Republican leader in the House. The day of reckoning has come where the Democrats get to fulfill their three-year-old dream. Literally the day started out and yesterday the day started out — and pardon my French here — but the media was in pre-orgasmic mode. They were just ready to explode, they were so happy. Then the day came and they’re miserable today.
You can just see that they’re not even cutting away to commentary much because the feeling of gravity and seriousness and heart-stopping just isn’t there. It seems more routine political bickering than actual impeachment. And commentators on the left throughout cable news networks today have been very open about how unremarkable all of this seems.
Now, it is remarkable. There’s gonna be a blemish of impeachment on Donald Trump’s record, but it is not due to anything substantive. We have the Republican leader of the House, Kevin McCarthy, with us. So how would you assess the Republicans in the House performance throughout this period where you were denied opportunity to call witnesses, be present down in the basement and so forth, you really had some obstacles in your way. How would you describe the way you guys have held your ground during all this?
MCCARTHY: We’ve had every obstacle. They didn’t do anything of the standards we did for Bill Clinton or Nixon. They tried to ram everything, and I’ve never seen the Republicans more united. What you just said about the media, I was just on the floor a little earlier. The Democrats are down. Pelosi promised them that their numbers would be higher. They’re lower.
The president’s approval rating is at an all-time high. And you know what’s gonna happen at the end of this week? The Democratic conference is gonna be smaller, and the Republican conference is gonna be bigger. Instead of 19 seats to win the majority we’re only gonna need 18, all because of what they’ve done with impeachment.
RUSH: Why do you think — is this a Pelosi miscalculation? Because you’re right —
MCCARTHY: By far. By far.
RUSH: She really misread the public? She really misread these circumstances this badly?
MCCARTHY: Well, remember what she said in May — or in March of this year. She said it’s so divisive, impeachment, it has to be overwhelming, compelling, and bipartisan to move forward. Had she waited those 48 hours, she never planned that the president would release the transcripts. That was her fatal flaw. But she admitted last week she’s been working at this for two and a half years.
And when you think about this, Jerry Nadler, you run to become committee chairman, and judiciary is all about impeachment. You have to campaign within your own party. He put out campaign pieces that he’d be the best for impeachment. Those freshmen that gave him the majority uphold — put their hand on the Constitution and say they’ll uphold it. A few hours later that new freshman Tlaib, she says, “I’m gonna impeach the mother.”
And then you have Raskin, the congressman they put before Rules Committee yesterday, two days before the president was sworn in he’s on a speech saying he’s gonna impeach him. They have planned this all along. They had a timeline for it. The only thing they never had were the facts.
RUSH: Well, I want to stick with Pelosi because the political calculus here is what fascinates me, and you’re closer to anybody than I’ll ever be able to ask about it so bear with me on this.
MCCARTHY: All right.
RUSH: Seriously. Because you know the image. The image we get from the media of Democrats is that they’re experts and they’re the creme de la creme and they never make any mistakes. And Pelosi would not do this, we were told, throughout this period, she wouldn’t pull the trigger unless she knew. And how in the world could she have — their objective all along, Congressman, has been to separate Trump voters from Trump.
They’ve just depended on that. They have failed in every attempt that they’ve made. Did she really think that at some point in the last three weeks that what she was doing and Schiff was doing and Nadler was doing was magically going to cause some Trump supporters to say, “We’ve had enough. This guy’s gotta go”? Did they really think that?
MCCARTHY: I believe she thought it. And she doesn’t trust in Nadler, she thinks Nadler’s inept, but she trusts in Adam Schiff. And this is what I believe happened. Adam Schiff, remember where he lied and met with the whistleblower?
MCCARTHY: So the whistleblower meets with Adam, hasn’t gone to the IG, doesn’t have an attorney, Adam goes to her and says, “I got it. I got it.” She trusted him. They went and got some freshmen who’d been in the military and others to write — these are the moderate Democrats – “We’ve had enough.” So she decides, “Let’s go. We’ve got a whistleblower about this phone call they weren’t even on. I trust Adam. He was a prosecutor. He’s only lied every time before.” And he’s from California, and she trusted in him that it would go, and so she starts.
The president releases the transcript. She can’t stop now so we’re gonna have to change the system. I put a letter out that said if you’re gonna set these rules, will you do it exactly the standard we’ve done before, where we have due process, will you get the same standard of what Clinton had? She knew then she was in trouble once the transcript went, so she said “no” to that. And then she moves it from judiciary into intel and makes it impeachment committee and then gives Adam all control where they don’t even let him yield to another member.
I mean, every advantage was to them and they saw a little tick-up at the very beginning in the polls, right, ’cause people didn’t know what was happening. But once they put their star witnesses out there and they couldn’t say anything was impeachable and they only had hearsay or they had a friend tell ’em and they were upset about something, that’s when it started to tumble, and that’s why she moved it a little faster. And the biggest example of this, she announces impeachment and an hour later announces USMCA. She wants to get this over ’cause she knows she’s made a mistake now.
MCCARTHY: She sees the independents dropping. She lost a member of her own conference that is gonna join the Republican Party. You gotta put this in perspective. People have switched parties before, but I cannot remember a time where someone switched from the majority to go into the minority. They usually go from the minority into the majority.
RUSH: Right, especially during impeachment.
RUSH: We’re talking with Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives. You mentioned Pelosi in the — I think you’re right on the money about the president releasing the transcript totally blowing up their plan. They were thinking that they would be able to characterize that phone call however they wanted to. In fact, the whistleblower’s original complaint, he was terrified, he was shocked, he was frightened over what he had heard.
It turns out he hadn’t heard anything, the transcripts released, and they’ve got nothing. So now they have to go to Plan B. So you bring in Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and all these State Department people, who also couldn’t identify an impeachable offense when asked to. But you say that she trusted Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff, Congressman, I say this not in an accusatory way. The man’s been lying about —
RUSH: — fundamental things for the entire time Trump’s been in the White House. He’s been lying about Trump-Russia collusion, claiming he had evidence. There never was any evidence for it. The way he, in his committee chair, lied in his characterization of the phone call, got called out. “It was just a parody.” How in the world could she put her trust — it’s gotta be a devotion to Schiff the partisan rather than Schiff the qualified.
MCCARTHY: And you gotta understand, on the intel committee, this is only one of three economies that the only way you get appointed to it, the Democrats or the Republicans, is one person, the Democratic leader and the Republican leader appoints you. And she let him be chair after she knew he lied. Now, just yesterday you had a judge going after the FBI about FISA.
MCCARTHY: What did Adam Schiff do earlier? He put an entire report by being a chairman of a committee. And your listeners gotta understand, that committee, people hear and get to know knowledge that every other member in Congress never gets to know. So you put a lot of trust in those individuals. And he put out like the FISA court was perfect, nothing was wrong. The person who’s vindicated in all this is Devin Nunes.
MCCARTHY: From the very beginning he came forward, and what they do, they went after him so strong to get him — tried to remove him from that committee. Devin was right on his report from the very beginning. And is this Adam — remember, he started this impeachment, too, so afraid that the administration was gonna block this whistleblower from coming forward.
Then we found out he met with the whistleblower. Now he won’t let the whistleblower come forward. If you’re a federal prosecutor and you base an entire thing on an informant, the informant has to go forward, has to present. But now we’ve never seen the whistleblower all because Adam Schiff does not want us to ask him the questions.
RUSH: Okay. You say that the Democrats that you’ve seen today —
MCCARTHY: They’re down and out.
RUSH: Now, the answer might appear obvious, but why do you think that’s the case? I mean, they’re gonna get him impeached today. They’re gonna get the votes. They should be deliriously happy.
MCCARTHY: Okay. There are gonna be members in that Democratic Party, but it’s not the old Democrat Party. These new freshmen don’t call themselves Democrats. They call them socialist Democrats. They’re gonna be excited. They’re gonna think they kept a promise they pledged to. But those who make up the majority, I see ’em, I see ’em in the mornings, they’re down.
I had one tell me, “Look, I’m probably gonna lose my race, but now I have no choice. I have to go down swinging.” They have let her walk — Speaker Pelosi walk them out on a ledge. And they’ve got no place to go now. Their heads down. What accomplishment do they have for reelection? That they issued more subpoenas and created laws?
RUSH: Well, they’re going to. I mean, that’s what they’re promising, never stop impeaching. But are they down because the public doesn’t support them? Are they down because the public doesn’t seem excited? Are they down because they don’t really think they have impeachable offenses? What is it that explains it?
MCCARTHY: They’re down for this. Once they came out with the articles, they were embarrassed about it. They started with the whole quid pro quo. They were home making that the case. Then they moved to extortion. Then they went and focus grouped and told ’em all to go to bribery, and then they don’t even mention one thing in the articles.
It’s a combination. They don’t have the facts, but also if you’ve spent a couple years running for Congress and you ask people for a lot of money, if you’ve gone back and done it and you promised it was gonna be a high, if you ran for office and said I’d never support Nancy Pelosi for speaker, but then you voted for her.
And then you said you didn’t run to be impeached, now you’re impeaching. You’re looking at your family, but, more importantly, you’re going home on Christmas and you’re gonna look at your constituents, and you know what you are hearing from ’em, you’re gonna realize, you’re gonna be a short-lived member of Congress.
RUSH: How many of 31 do you think are in jeopardy?
MCCARTHY: I would say more than 31 are in jeopardy.
RUSH: Oh. Wow, wow. Can you hang on just a couple of minutes?
RUSH: Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House, and we’ll take brief, obscene profit break here. Be right back with him. Stay with us.
RUSH: We welcome back Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House. Congressman, I couldn’t do what you do. I want to tell you something I saw yesterday watching the Rules Committee. You mentioned Jamie Raskin. Raskin took the place of Nadler ’cause Nadler had a family emergency yesterday, and these people are lying through their teeth.
I saw two bold-faced lies that, if I were Doug Collins sitting there yesterday, I could not have been collegial and silent. The two lies were, they continue to misreport what Trump was talking about when he cited Article II. It was a conversation about being able to fire Bob Mueller. They’re taking it out of context and saying, “Trump wants to be dictator! Trump wants to be king! He says Article II means he can do anything!” They know they’re lying through their teeth about it.
He says it. I couldn’t sit there and not say anything. The next thing he did, Trump tells that joke about asking the Russians to look at Hillary’s emails long after she’s taken a hammer to her server and used BleachBit, whatever, on stuff. And they know that Trump’s telling a joke and yet they are telling this lie that five hours later the Russians went in and hacked Hillary’s server after Trump gave ’em permission. If they’re willing to lie about things like that, how can you trust any of this that they are saying in any of this process?
MCCARTHY: That’s the perfect example of why they wouldn’t give us a fair process. And it really comes down to this. They dislike us. They dislike your listeners. They dislike me. They dislike you. Remember, in 2016, they called us deplorables. Now they want to disqualify our vote, and they openly say it.
MCCARTHY: They say, “We can’t beat ’em. That’s why we have to impeach him, and we’ll impeach him again.”
RUSH: How hard has it been for you? You expressed great satisfaction in the unity, that you’ve not seen this kind of unity among Republicans before. And it certainly wasn’t there in previous Houses, previous speakers. How hard has it been to maintain this unity?
MCCARTHY: It hasn’t been hard, but the one thing I did when I became leader is, we had to unite if we could ever win the majority. You’re not given the majority. You have to earn it. And if there is one thing I’ve watched, it’s you’ve got to work together to get the synergy. I wanted the very best people. I didn’t care if we had differences of opinion. You know, Jim Jordan ran against me for leader and I’m the one who called him to become ranking member of Oversight.
He wasn’t even running for the position. He’s sitting in the gym. I said, “You gotta get over here.” I go into the Steering Committee; they get upset with me. I said, “He is the very best person for this job,” and he has done an amazing job. I put him on the Intel Committee, and this is what’s happening. We’re bonding together, and what’s even more powerful, in 2010 I was the recruiting chairman. So I was going out… That’s the year we beat 63 Democrats, right?
MCCARTHY: At this moment in time, we have 200 more candidates running than we did in 2010. We have more women running as Republicans for Congress in the history we’ve ever had.
RUSH: And, by the way, they’re doing a bang-up job. The woman, Raskin, from Arizona, is that her name? Not Raskin. She’s been on TV a couple times. She’s awesome. You’ve got some really, really fine people making the case.
MCCARTHY: We’ve got amazing… Wesley Hunt down in Houston, a graduate of West Point. He flew Apaches for eight years defending our nation and freedom.
MCCARTHY: Now he’s gotta defend it at home. He’s never been elected before. He’s ahead by three points.
RUSH: So what happened in 2018? What went wrong? I know there were a lot of retirements, 55 retirements. What happened in 2018?
MCCARTHY: I think it’s a combination of things happened in 2018. We weren’t united. History tells you the party in power — whoever wins the White House — loses on average more than 30 seats. Obama lost 63. Too many retirements, way too many retirements. They recruited pretty well. But one thing Democrats did that nobody talks about? They changed the election law. Do you know in Maine, that only has two congressional seats, when you run for office — only federal office — you don’t vote for one person, you rank them?
So the Republican got the most votes, but he’s not the sitting congressman today because the lower person, they drop out, and that second vote, it’s a first vote now. In Pennsylvania they sued and got redistricting and they picked up three seats. And the biggest contribution they had was Michael Bloomberg gave the ’em more than $110 million.
Because the difference between me being in the minority and being speaker is less than 106,000 votes. There’s one other factor, if you want to know why President Trump will win. There are 8.5 million people who voted for this president in 2016 who did not show up in 2018. Had they showed up — we know who they are, where they live — we’d have 28 more seats today. We’d be in the majority by 10.
RUSH: Now (chuckling), I don’t doubt that’s true, but I have a tough time understanding why. If you vote for Trump in 2016, you’re voting for him for specific reasons. He’s going in there to rework it, to throw out some things, and you know that he’s gonna need some help to do it. And you don’t show up two years later to give him some people to help? That —
MCCARTHY: They follow him. They don’t follow the party.
MCCARTHY: What they will do, they will show up for him now. And the one thing that the Democrats are making a fatal flaw here, they have intensified the base. If you looked at the base in the last election, the intensity level was on the Democrats’ side by 8.5%. CNN’s poll just within the last month had Republicans +7. That would put us in the majority. If you just look at the North Carolina 9 race, this is one that we barely won in 2018 and they didn’t seat the individual. We went from winning it with about 500 votes to 4,000. If you just do that small improvement, that’s 13 seats out of 19 that we need.
RUSH: It was Debbie Lesko.
MCCARTHY: Debbie Lesko. Fantastic. Arizona.
RUSH: She’s been phenomenal today. They all have. Sensenbrenner. They’ve all been great. You should be very proud. Time is dwindling. I need to ask you about process. When do you think the final vote on these two articles will actually be on the clock tonight? What time will it be?
MCCARTHY: It’ll be somewhere between 7 and 7:30 tonight.
RUSH: Any chance you could delay it until midnight or 2 a.m.?
MCCARTHY: No, because when you have 218, you control the rules of this place.
MCCARTHY: And another example: How did we take the impeachment to the floor with Clinton? We took it on a privilege motion so everybody could have a say, so we could expand it longer if you want, so the minority has more power. They brought it under what is called a rule. Once you go to that rule, they control all. They control the time. We can’t stop it. We can go do some antic. It will just make the clock keep running.
MCCARTHY: Every part of this process has been against every standard we’ve ever lived by. I mean, they’ve taken the most basic thing — that you’re innocent ’til proven guilty — and they tell the president, “Well, he could come and try to prove himself innocent.” I mean, the idea of what they’ve done — and I go back to this — they don’t like us, Rush.
RUSH: I know.
MCCARTHY: They don’t like who we are, they don’t like what we believe in, and they will do anything and lie.
RUSH: They hate us more than Trump. They blame us for Trump. Congressman, I’m up to it. I’ve got 20 seconds, and I need that to be polite to thank you for being with us today, making time and spending this half hour with us. And I’m gonna guarantee you: Millions in this audience smiled when you reported that you have seen evidence the Democrats in the chamber today are down. That’s Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House. A quick time-out, and we’ll be right back. Thank you again, Congressman.
RUSH: Thanks again to Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House. It’s very interesting he’s not had to work hard to maintain unity in the Republican caucus in the House. That’s refreshing to hear.
Whenever these partisan battles come up, look, folks, I know that many of you fear and worry that within any collection of Republicans, whatever size, that there’s gonna be a percentage of RINOs or Never Trumpers in there that can’t wait to undermine. And, so far, if there are any, they have stood mute. They haven’t arisen. They haven’t joined the Democrats. There’s not one of them. There’s not a single Republican defection on this.
You know how odd that is? This may not… This wouldn’t have happened in the first year and a half of Trump’s term. Paul Ryan was speaker. You go back to the first year of Trump’s term, the very first year. For the first six months of it, a lot of Republicans believed this Russian collusion stuff and didn’t think Trump was gonna survive, and that’s why they didn’t get involved in helping him move the agenda, particularly in reforming Obamacare.
It was… I can’t tell you how frustrating that was for me. There was no way it could have been true, Trump meddling in the election with Russia. It was just absurd from the get-go — and then once you learn the facts it was Hillary that was actually doing it with Fusion GPS and all that? It just makes you wonder how in the world can these people not see what’s plainly in front of their face? But now there is total unity in opposition to this, and I think that’s also something Pelosi didn’t figure.
I think whether she miscalculated or just rolled the dice… Well, either way is a miscalculation. But I will guarantee you that she didn’t think the polls were gonna go down. She wasn’t gonna lose support. She actually thought that pulling the trigger on this was gonna cause some defections, that it was gonna create an attitude of defeatism that many Republicans were gonna finally throw up their hands and say:
“Okay. They’ve won. We can’t stop them” and join them. And that has not happened. So you can think whatever you want to think of ’em, but, in this case, there aren’t any Romneys in there, apparently — and there aren’t any wishy-washers looking for the first chance they can to undermine Trump. Not in the House, anyway.