On Friday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh praised Pat Caddell, the frustrated Democrat who has often spoken out against the political establishment, for his thunderous speech at CPAC on Thursday condemning the Republican consultant class.
Caddell accused GOP consultants of caring more about money than winning elections or principles and engaging in acts that could border on racketeering.
Limbaugh said Caddell “launched both barrels at CPAC” and let the Republican consultant class “have it” while blowing “the lid off of CPAC” with what Limbaugh described was a message that “the Republican consultant class is taking the party down the tubes, that they’re making filthy amounts of money–$150 million a campaign–whether the candidate wins or loses.”
“In my party we play to win. We play for life and death,” Caddell said at a panel in a room that was only one-third full when it started and was standing room only once word spread throughout CPAC that Caddell was blistering the Republican elite. “You people play for a different kind of agenda…Your party has no problem playing the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters.”
Caddell said this mentality infected Romney, whose campaign consultants thold him to “back off” toward the end of the 2012 election and failed to realize that “you must also get your base” while courting independents.
He then blasted the “CLEC–the consultant, lobbyist, and establishment complex,” which he said was a “self serving interconnected network of individuals and organizations interested in preserving their own power far more than they’re interested in winning elections.”
“I blame the donors who allow themselves to be played for marks,” Caddell continued. “I blame the people in the grassroots for allowing themselves to be played for suckers….It’s time to stop being marks. It’s time to stop being suckers. It’s time for you people to get real.”
Limbaugh read these quotes on his radio show and wholeheartedly endorsed them, for Limbaugh told his listeners that for years he has warned of consultants who claim they have the secret formula for winning over so-called “independents” at the expense of conservatives, and the “candidates fall for it year after year after year” and lose.
“They’re all moderates. None of them are really conservative,” Limbaugh said of the GOP consultant class. “They say they are, and they think they’ve got the recipe to win.”
Limbaugh said the consultant class thinks “people in the middle, these great moderate independents, aren’t conservative. And furthermore, they think that conservatism scares these people” and they “make no effort to educate or inform or correct that impression.”
The conservative radio show host said he has always been confused by consultants who think Republicans will turn off independents by getting aggressive because “Democrats are the meanest, most extreme, insufferable” people and, “there’s nothing nice about them.”
“Somehow that doesn’t scare the independents,” Limbaugh said.
Case in point: Romney’s 2012 loss to Obama.
“He won the independents, just like these brainiacs said,” Limbaugh said. “But four million conservatives sat home and didn’t vote.”
Limbaugh noted that Caddell was right to know that consultants get advertising commissions whether the candidate wins and the GOP leaders threaten candidates they will not receive institutional support if the candidate does not hire their cronies from a list of “approved” consultants and strategists.
He said this was the “foundation for Caddell’s speech at CPAC” and consultants who led the charge of, “The era of Reagan is over,” are not big fans of him or conservatives. He emphasized that he has always been confused about why Republicans have the two Reagan campaigns as blueprints for how to win majorities by running on core beliefs and principles and fail to use them.
Limbaugh said Caddell’s speech about the CLEC was “really important” because it explains why Republicans continue to lose national elections because the consultant class just wants to be liked by the liberal Washington mainstream media and ecosytem.
“You’re happy to be walked all over. You’re just happy to be in the game. You’re happy to be acknowledged,” Limbaugh said of the permanent political class. “I really believe the pursuit to make everybody like you is the greatest prison you could put yourself in.”
Limbaugh said Republicans who want to get liked “cease being” who they are and then “you end up not even knowing who you are.”
Limbaugh blamed Romney’s consultants for telling Romney to “back off” on critical issues like Benghazi and not attack Obama in the final days of the campaign because they did not want to be disliked by their liberal peers in the mainstream media and Washington’s permanent political class.
“You try to be all things to all people, and that can’t be done,” Limbaugh said, noting that the mainstream media wants Republicans to be content with being “perennial losers” who know their place. “This effort to make themselves liked never gets anywhere. They never gain respect.”