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RUSH: Here’s Patrick in Golden, Colorado. Glad you called, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. I would love to hear other Trump supporters weigh in on the simple question, “When did you know?” and that’s in regards to when did people realize that Donald Trump was gonna be the single greatest political opportunity of our lifetime?

During the 2016 primaries (sigh), I didn’t take Donald Trump very seriously. I thought it was a political stunt. I didn’t know who he was. Then when he became the nominee, I was honestly a little disappointed, but I slowly warmed up to him. I was a big Ted Cruz guy. Then the second (crosstalk) —

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait just a minute. You’re being provocative. What disappointed you about Trump at first?

CALLER: Well, I just… I guess it was probably more that I just didn’t really know who he was, didn’t believe he was serious —

RUSH: Ah, yes.

CALLER: — and I was just a (unintelligible) supporter.

RUSH: You didn’t believe he was serious. That’s… Yep. Yes. I hear that.

CALLER: And then a couple days before the second debate, Access Hollywood hit. I thought, “We are screwed. We messed up big time.” I tuned in to that debate and I did not expect it to go well. I thought it was over — and, oh, my gosh, what did Trump do? He sat Bill’s accusers in the front row. He immediately dismissed the Access Hollywood video as “locker room talk,” which is the freaking truth, and then he proceeded to demolish Hillary.

I could not believe what I saw and heard. I have never seen the kind of strength, spirit, fearlessness, and leadership before, and that’s when I knew he was gonna be the greatest president of my lifetime. And I’m so sorry for what the media and Democrats have done to him and put him through hell. And I just want to say, “Thank you, Donald Trump, for what you’ve done for us.”

RUSH: Well, that is very kind of you. So it was the third debate. It was after the Access Hollywood video, and you saw Trump show up with all these women who had accused Bill Clinton, and sitting them there in front of Hillary. And by virtue of that, rattling her, taking control of the situation and not letting it have its usual effect on a candidate. That was brilliant. I have to tell you.

CALLER: I’ve just never seen someone fight like that, and that would have taken out anybody else, and I just couldn’t believe that he was able to beat that back in that fashion, and that’s when I knew. And I feel like a lot of hard-core Trump supporters warmed up to him, and there came a certain point when they just knew and it hit ’em, and that was just amazing.

RUSH: You know, it really is a great question. His question is, “When did you various Trump supporters out there…? When did you know? When did you know that Trump could win and thus you were gonna get behind him and vote for him? When did you know that?” I’ll tell you when I knew it. I have announced this on previous broadcast occasions.

I watched like everybody else did the June the 15th trip down the escalator at Trump Tower with the ensuing announcement. I watched it in open-mouthed, gaping-mouthed and belief. I said, “What is this? There is nobody serious about winning the presidency that is gonna do it this way!” But I kept watching, and that whole announcement built and built and built.

It did not start off big and taper off. It built and built and built. And then I saw, within a few days, massive supportive reaction to Trump’s announcement/introductory speech. And then about a week later, here came the first series of polls. The first series of polls had Trump dominating. The people that saw that announcement literally ate it up. They loved it.

I said at that point, “He can win. This guy can pull this off.” The kinds of things that he said on June 15th are the kind of things millions of Americans think but wouldn’t dare say them to anybody, and here comes some guy running for the presidency on the basis of these outrageous things. The dangers that immigration is causing to our society, our culture, our country.

Illegal immigration.

The type of people, the criminals that make up illegal immigration. People ate it up. When I saw the first series of polls, I said, “Well, that’s it. I think he’s gonna win this if he’s serious about it and stays in.” I still wasn’t sure, you know, two weeks/three weeks in that he was serious about staying in. There was a lot of talk about it was a PR stunt, trying to set up a new TV show, The Apprentice Jr., whatever it was.

But no. It turned out to be he was dead serious. Now, when the Access Hollywood video hit, the only thing that scared me about the Access Hollywood video bit was that the campaign people around Trump would have him deal with it the wrong way, and that’s when I did something that I had not done. I had never reached out to their campaign.

Whatever I had to say or think about the campaign, I said it here. But I knew who the people were and knew how to reach ’em. So I fired off emails. I said, “Whatever you do, do not apologize for this! Whatever you do, do not express regret for this at all — and I’ll tell you why. This is an October Surprise. The American voter is sick and tired of things like this dropping on a campaign with two weeks left affecting the election outcome. This kind of election meddling, they hate.”

I said, “If you people in the Trump camp, if you hang tough, this is not gonna hurt you. You can win this thing. You can triumph over this thing.” I firmly believed it. I really believed the American people are fed up with these October Surprises. They’re fed up with this stuff. It may work on some people. But I knew that the devoted – look, I knew that the bond that Trump had developed with his voters, and there was no way that anybody was gonna break that bond, except Donald Trump. No way.

The media couldn’t do it. The Democrats couldn’t do it. We’ve been there, done that. I’ve said all this countless times. And I said, “This is not going to constitute breaking the bond, as long as he doesn’t go all wishy-washy and apologize.” And he didn’t. It was tough going in there. It was tough going for a while, for a couple of days, inside the campaign. ‘Cause there are instincts that naturally occurred. “Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Gotta apologize. Oh, my.” No, don’t. Whatever you do, don’t do it.

And I had three people in the campaign get back to me. “Thank you so much for your thoughts. Thank you so much, we appreciate it, thank you so much. We’re the biggest fans. When you talk about Rush Limbaugh fans, put me at the top of the list.” But that was as far as any of the response went. Just acknowledging that I had told them, “Do not apologize. Do not back off of this. Get past it. It happened.”

And that’s exactly what they did. And it didn’t hurt. And, folks, ever since Access Hollywood, the Democrats have been totally befuddled. They don’t have anything else left. They don’t have anything else. That would get rid of any Republican at any time in American history, the revelation of what was on that Access Hollywood videotape.

The fact that it bombed out to this day has left the Democrat Party nearly insane that it didn’t work. They don’t understand it, and so they keep trying to make it work with add-ons, amplifications. But it won’t work because they don’t understand the bond. They don’t understand this unbreakable bond Donald Trump has with his voters.

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