Hardball | November 20, 2012
>>> okay. so you people are all white 65 and over and you live in the sticks, and you are screwing up the republican party because you are believing what i say. this is their explanation for having lost.
>> welcome back to "hardball." that was rush limbaugh . he's a performer. yesterday telling his audience that so-called reasonable republicans have it wrong. they're calling him one of the problems on the right. but the problem for republicans is that they'll never expand their base if rush is the target audience . with me are two radio talk show hosts. michael smerconish of philadelphia and ron reagan in seattle. let's take a look at what has got rush so rhode islailed up.
>> it's very fashionable now to beat up romney and he made it unfortunate comment after the election but the biggest problem he had was the republican primary . that's what is driving the republican brand to a disaster. we have to get a party view of america that's not right out of rush limbaugh 's dream journal .
>> here is steve schmidt breaking down the election problems in a bite that sent rush limbaugh into a tear.
>> we would have been much better off running against the real president obama as opposed to the sinister pretend president obama , and the total lack of credibility with some of this stuff i think is just absolutely repellent to the middle of the electorate. and then when you look at the demographics, who is rush limbaugh talking to? he is talking to a demographic that's white, 65-plus, and rural. that's not what the country looks like anymore. so you have these talk radio hosts making millions and millions and millions of dollars a year driving a message of complete and total ludicrous nonsense into the electorate. a lot of it poisonous.
>> here is rush responding to that little gem right there from steve schmidt .
>> you got to get a view of the republican party that is not right out of my dream journal . what folks did i or any of you have to do with the republican primary ? did not murphy get the candidate he wanted? all these consultants -- do you realize they get rich no matter who wins or loses? little known secret, they get rich no matter who wins or loses. but the republican primary , what was wrong with the republican primary -- as far as he's concerned there were too many conservatives in it saying too many stupid things. we need to get rid of conservatism is what he's saying. we know schmidt knows how to lose, and we know that murphy knows how to lose, and so it's quite natural to blame somebody else. obama got away with it. obama blamed bush and he got away with it. people bought it. so now that's guys want to blame me.
>> michael smerconish , i don't even know who you voted for so you're fascinating to me as always. here is the guy -- did you hear what he said, limbaugh? i have always had a theory in politics, if you listen to people when they make their harshist criticism of the other side, it's usually about themselves. he said these guys get rich no matter who wins or loses. rush wins no matter what because there's always somebody in the car willing to listen to him because they're lonely basically.
>> the irony is the same demographic problem faced by the gop is faced by talk radio and steve schmidt was mageing reference to that. both are overly dependent on older white guys but they have different objectives because the republican party exists for one purpose and that is to win elections, to get to 51%. that doesn't need to be the objective of the talk radio industry. the talk radio industry is predicated on a very small but very loyal audience and like those con tull tants to whom rush refers, he stays in a position of power regardless of who wins the election. as a matter of fact , there's a good school of thought out there it bodes well for himre-elected.
>> and then he becomes the government in exile , right.
>> correct. antagonizing the incumbent.
>> do you agree with that, ron , that rush benefits from being perceived or a self-perceived minority, an aggrieved minority, a small group of guys who aren't appreciated and everybody else ask a femi nazi or whatever other term he puts out there.
>> rush prospers no matter what and he's probably thrilled barack obama has been re-elected so he can hammer him for the next four years. the republican party 's problem is much bigger than rush limbaugh or fox news, much bigger than demographics, ethnicity, and age, it's ignorance and it was typified by marco rubio the other day. you mentioned that in the last segment. marco rubio who is a fairly bright young guy who probably does know how old the planet earth is felt compelled to pretend differently so he's either stupid or he's pandering to ignorance. that's what the republican party has gotten stuck with, pandering to ignorance all the time. sizable chunk of their party simply doesn't know what kind of planet they live on. they have all sorts of fantasy --
>> what do you think, ron -- that's very tough. do you think they believe some liberal from new york snuck around the planet and buried all those ole bones at some point to create this case there was a 2 million-year-old human history ? what do they think -- how did lucy get there? how do they find --
>> what is their explanation for the fact that there were dinosaurs on this planet? how do they deny it?
>> listen to congressman paul bruin of georgia who is on the house of representatives science committee talking to his constituents about how it's all the devil's work trying to fool people and that he's worked out that the planet is actually only 9,000 years old. i mean, this is what these people believe. and, yeah, somebody is out there burying ancient fossils on their way to creating a hokax called global warming . it's all of a piece.
>> i think the bible is for moral truth. i think that's a safe assessment. i don't think it's for scientific information and i don't think anybody really thinks it does. but michael, let me get back to this question. the republican party is right now in a period, and we're watching it and enjoying it to some extent, looking for what went wrong. some believe it's the loudness from the right. some believe they didn't run a real right wing candidate. my argument would be if they ran the real thing, like they always say, they will find themselves in even a narrower -- or smaller circle to defend.
>> well, those two thoughts are actually related and here is how. the group that you're talking about, this cabal between talk radio and fox news and conservative outposts has a stranglehold on primary voters. there's been an exodus of independents from the gop. they do take their marching orders from the individuals that you're talking about, and so, too, do republican elected officials because they've got to play to that primary base. where this campaign went off the rails, i say, is that governor romney had to sell crazy in primary season. he was one of those hands that went in the air and said, i would reject a 10 for 1 deal. in a nutshell, that wra they went off track. they would reject $10 for spending cuts for every $1 of tax increases. why? because they didn't want to face condemnation from the media hosts you're now addressing the following day.
>> and it's just like -- i'll say this again. i won't use the bad word but the old days in the south, you couldn't win unless you were the further out of the most segregationist line. if anybody went soft on the race issue, you were finished. the only way you won was go hard right and become the ultimate segregationist and that held the south back for decades. thank you michael and ron . have a nice holiday.
>>> up next, the best and worst campaign commercials of the 2012 campaign coming up. it's kind of interesting. forgot a lot of these. this is "hardball," the place for politic.