Wednesday on his radio show, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh reacted to Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R-SC) Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address a night earlier.
Limbaugh questioned the decision to have her deliver the address and said that Haley’s speech, which at times was aimed at Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), was evidence of an “anti-conservative” as well as a “pro-elite” strain within the GOP hierarchy.
“[S]he goes after the loud voices, the angry voices, and that could be anybody,” Limbaugh said. “She admits today that she was talking about Trump — and to a lesser extent, Cruz. She also means talk radio. She also means the conservative base, and don’t believe anything other than that. But here’s the thing, folks. This is, to me, one of the greatest bits of evidence that the Republican Party is not just anti-conservative, but it is very much pro-elite. It is a club that they don’t want a whole lot of people joining. And it’s this. Donald Trump has put together a coalition of supporters that, on paper, is exactly what the Republican Party claims that it wants to do when they say they can’t win with only Republican votes, that they’ve gotta branch out. Got to get the women votes. Got to get Hispanic votes.”
Limbaugh noted that much of what the GOP claims to want to achieve in terms of a big tent has been accomplished by Trump. Despite delivering that, Limbaugh points out that instead Trump is rejected by the rank-and-file Republican Party.
“There was a story from TheHill.com yesterday that 20 percent of Democrats would defect and vote for Trump,” Limbaugh continued. “Trump’s support comes from all over the spectrum, is the point, which is what I always thought the Republican Party said was their objective. And this is why they do various things in Washington because they very openly say, ‘We can’t win the presidency with just Republican votes alone. There aren’t enough of ’em. We got to go out and we gotta peel off some Democrats. We gotta peel off some independents. Well, there’s a guy that’s done it, and they don’t want it. They don’t want it! Nikki Haley made it clear last night they don’t want whatever Trump has done. They don’t want Trump, they don’t want the people supporting Trump, they don’t want the way Trump has done it. But nobody can make the argument that Trump is a conservative in the same way the Republican base is conservative. So the rejection of Trump is not specifically because he’s part of the base and the GOP resents or is embarrassed by or doesn’t want its base to be dominant.”
“Trump brings something entirely different to this, and they’re not interested. Which is, in a sense, them saying, ‘You’re not one of us. You’re not in our club. You are not the type of elitist we want, no matter what you bring to the party.’ I thought it was fascinating to watch all of this. I mean, they’re worried, I think — or they want us to think that they are worried that Trump has tainted the party’s image. How can that be? How can Trump have tainted the party’s image any more than it already is? See, this is the thing that I don’t think people — we call it ‘the establishment,’ ‘the elites,’ whatever. I don’t think they understand, and if they do, they don’t want to admit it. They’ve already tainted the image of the Republican Party with its base, and the base is what matters. The base is the strength of the party. It’s why it’s called “the base.” Well, the GOP has already tarnished itself. The GOP has already signaled that it is not interested in its base and what its base wants. Now, it knows what to say to the base when it comes time to campaign.”
Limbaugh went on to say that it is his belief that Haley is creating “firewall” to stop Trump in the upcoming South Carolina Republican presidential primary.
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