Trump Must Change Strategy in the Next Debate


RUSH: Greenville, South Carolina. Cindy, I'm glad you waited. You're up. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. I must preface my point with telling you that you are my husband and my hero, and we are some of the millions who are on our knees praying for you.

RUSH: Well, I thank you. I thank you very, very much.

CALLER: My point is that I gave a donation, a good donation to Donald Trump last time. I was "anyone but Hillary," and thought he was the one. But I haven't this time and will not because I thought, once he got elected, he would become presidential. Like, you get groomed to be in the monarchy.

So I thought, "This childish name-calling, fighting with people is going to end because he will be the president." Well, unfortunately it hasn't. Now, I'm voting for him, and gladly voting for him. He has done a lot for the country. But if he behaves in this debate this week... In my opinion, he will lose, if he behaves like he did in the first debate.

RUSH: Yeah, I agree with you.

CALLER: He will lose.

RUSH: I agree with you.

CALLER: Okay. It will be a landslide, because people don't like this unhinged behavior of his that really is 5-year-old. They want to see a leader, and he is a strong leader. But he doesn't come across as one when he acts like that. So I do have a couple... We go way back to the early nineties, and I have a couple of points that I would like to tell you if we have time about how we found you.

RUSH: Go ahead.

CALLER: My husband had some medical students under him early in the nineties, and he noticed the males were disappearing from 12 to three. So he finally asked, "Where are they going?" He asked them, and they said, "We're listening to someone called Rush Limbaugh." So my husband listened, and then he told me. So we go back to... I wanted to ask you why you can't say "seminar caller" anymore. Our son was in the eighth grade. He wanted me to tape your parodies because he just loved them. So back in the cassette days, I would tape your parodies for him to get a good laugh after school.

RUSH: Well, I appreciate that.

CALLER: You're a personal friend.

RUSH: The reason we don't call 'em seminar callers anymore is we don't get very many. But when we get one, I sure do. I level the allegation the minute I recognize it. But the seminar callers have drifted further and further away. So, yeah, your husband's students were vanishing to listen to the program.

I want to go back to the substance part of your call, the Trump debate and the personality that he exuded in the first one. I can tell you why that happened, if anybody cares. I don't think it's going to happen in this next debate. (sigh) I don't know who was giving advice. I don't know if he ignored it or if he listened to it. I think there was a clear effort to rattle Biden, and that didn't work, and it should not have been part of a strategy.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Bruce, Bruce in Richmond, Virginia. Thank you for waiting, sir. Great to have you here.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. We're paying for you and your family. I want to agree with that woman that talked about his personality. I think he needs to be gracious and smile. You know, at White House events, he really is presidential, and I don't think we see enough of that, and I think for this debate he has to have a very calm demeanor and let Biden choke his own self.

RUSH: So what do you think explains this? I mean, you're a smart guy, obviously. You're an engaged guy out there. You have noted there's a massive difference say at the Amy Coney Barrett Rose Garden event or any other, and this debate and this debate with Bite Me. And it was a Trump very few of us have seen. "Joe, the one thing about you that nobody's ever gonna confuse is the word smart. You're not smart, Joe, you're not smart." I'm saying, "What is this?" I'm asking myself, "What is this?" What do you think it was?

CALLER: Attacks don't work. I don't think the personal stuff -- even now with Biden, I'd let it slip -- go with all of the things he's done that are great for the country.

RUSH: Wait. You don't think the personal --

CALLER: He tends to be a street fighter in personal attack and respond --

RUSH: Who, Biden or Trump here?

CALLER: Trump. I think he needs to let Biden -- Biden, if he talks by himself alone, he'll destroy his own campaign.

RUSH: Well, he's gonna be protected by a moderator. I cannot tell you how valuable that is. Look, there were a lot of people... (interruption) What? There were a lot of people who were advising the president before that debate. I was not one of them, but I know what the advice was and I didn't understand it. It was designed to get Biden to lose composure and to resort to the "where am I, who am I, why am I here" personality that people think he has. It was designed to hasten that along. And I don't know enough about those things. You know, I don't know about how you psychologically attempt to get somebody to melt down.

Now, here's the thing about Trump, folks. If you go back to 2016, his personal attacks worked then. I mean, making fun of Low Energy Jeb. But he did this at the debates. He was making fun of Little Marco, take your pick. And they worked. In Trump's world, they worked in 2016. Jeb Bush had, what, a hundred million dollars that he raised, and ended up with three delegates or something? And Trump was making fun of him as being low energy. He made some comment about Ted Cruz's dad being in a picture next to Lee Harvey Oswald the day JFK was shot.

And if you go back and you look at all of that stuff that happened in 2016, it worked, even the stuff in the debates. So in Trump's world, the personal attacks worked. Now, in the case of somebody whose mind is, shall we say, evaporating, well, that's not something you attack somebody for. That's not behavior. If you're gonna attack Jeb Bush for having no energy, that's something Jeb Bush can change.

But Joe Biden can't change whatever is going on with his mental acuity, and I think a lot of people who knew about it are just a little bit mean. I don't know. But more than that, it was a side of Trump that a lot of people haven't seen in that particular debate scenario. And it was very curious. There were a lot of people scratching their heads over it. Anyway, Bruce, I appreciate the call.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is, I guess, Quelea? State College, Pennsylvania. You're next. Great to have you. Hi.

CALLER: Hi. It's an honor to speak with you, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: Blessings to you and our prayers are with you. I would like to point out something about the debate, my observation. My husband and I both noticed that Trump was not in his game, and when I found out that he had COVID -- I guess it came out on Thursday night or something -- it made sense. COVID makes you foggy in the brain, and that was all, you know, happening to him. So --

RUSH: You know, you bring this up, and I had the same thought. He announced on 12:54 a.m. Friday, just after midnight Thursday, that he and --

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: -- the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19, that they were gonna begin their joint quarantine, gonna get through it together.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: I agree. I think he probably had the beginnings of it long before they announced it.

CALLER: Yes, and so he wasn't as effective. His command of facts wasn't there, his usual command, and he didn't handle the moderator the way he usually does. I think he can handle the frustration of having to deal with those liberal moderators --

RUSH: That's an interesting point. You know, I'm glad you made it through because that is an interesting point, and I have to go because of the constraints of time.