On Tuesday, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh clarified that he was not trying to “come to Trump’s defense” over the GOP presidential candidate’s remarks about Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on Monday.
After reading from a New York Times story entitled, “Rush Limbaugh Rallies Listeners to Donald Trump’s Defense,” Rush said, “My point yesterday was not to come to Trump’s defense. My point yesterday was to illustrate a teachable moment yesterday — the American people with a chance to see something they don’t often see, haven’t seen in a long time. … Here’s the setup: The conventional wisdom in circumstances like this goes this way: You have a Republican public figure who says something that constitutes stepping in it. In this case, it’s Trump’s supposed comments about McCain, but even those were distorted. And whatever the perp, always a Republican, never a Democrat, the perp always says something so bad, so beyond the pale, that the entire media establishment and the Washington establishment immediately demand that the perp apologize. And usually the perp does.”
He later added that, “the element of all of this conventional wisdom is an assumption that the outrage expressed by the media and the Washington establishment echoes national outrage.”
Rush later added, “Trump didn’t do any of that. He doubled down. He doubled down on his criticism of McCain. He tried to switch the focus of the issue from him and McCain to Veterans Affairs. In doing so, the American people have seen something they haven’t seen in a long time, and that is a target stand up and refuse to go away, a target stand up and refuse to apologize. … So Trump’s not playing by the rules and he’s hanging around, and he doubled down, and the point I tried to make yesterday was we’re now going to see. The American people are gonna be polled over the next few days and weeks, and we will see if what Trump said about McCain actually hurts him or not.”
He continued, “The reason that’s important is because when the outrage originally happens, when the media hears what Trump says about McCain and blows their gasket, then the Washington establishment blows their gasket, that is presumed to be the end of Trump. This is how it works. This is how they get rid of Republicans. Should I throw a name out there? Sharron Angle. Todd Akin. Any number of them. I mean, the list is long. They tried to Sarah Palin over and over. This is how they get rid of Republicans. And it’s always an arbitrary decision or judgment that some Republican has said something so intolerable, so politically correct, so reprehensible, that civil discourse demands this person just go away. Maybe even die! But certainly get out of our sight and stop talking. And that’s always what happens, because the perps fall for the belief that the majority of the American people share that sentiment. But we never really know. We never know because the perps leave too soon. So there can’t be any polling data a week or two afterwards, based on the perp’s staying in and fighting. Trump is staying in and fighting, and we’re gonna have some polling data on this, and we’re gonna find out.”
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