Ever since former governor Mitt Romney made his “about 15 percent” comment Tuesday morning, media outlets have been reporting almost non-stop that a) the GOP candidate is wealthy and b) his effective federal tax rate seems very low.
Apparently, the media’s fascination with the former Massachusetts governor’s comments proved too much for radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. On his show Wednesday, Limbaugh had some “you shoulda’ said” advice for the GOP hopeful.
“When all this kerfuffle starts about Mitt Romney, this 15 percent tax rate, he can say, ‘Look, we live in America, not some failed Soviet satellite. I favor a flat, or fair tax. I want to get rid of the IRS, or most of it. I favor denying big spending Obamacare liberals our income. I favor putting Obama and his reckless spending radicals on a diet, a diet we call private property rights. We call it limited government. We call it taking our country back,’” Limbaugh said.
However, Limbaugh was just getting warmed up. It’s not enough to simply refute the attack, Limbaugh said, but conservatives should go on the offensive and preach the message of conservatism.
“This class warfare garbage, it might work in these cloistered campaign circles surrounding Obama, but this is not our country. This is not a country that has been living under class envy all of these years since its interception. This is not about have and have-nots. It’s about protecting all of us from a bloated federal government. It’s about protecting us from everybody who benefits from bloated federal government and never-ending federal spending,” Limbaugh said.
From there, Limbaugh launched into the type of heated tirade that made him famous in the early 90s (via Daily Rushbo):
Full transcript (via Rush Limbaugh):
Now, here’s what Romney doesn’t do, all this talk about Romney, 15 percent, his speech income, he doesn’t know how much, how little and so forth. Let me tell you what Romney doesn’t do. Romney has not played over 90 rounds of golf in three years while everybody is suffering. Romney has not flown all over the world on the federal government’s dime. Romney has not had lavish parties and concerts on the public’s dime. Romney has not lived like a king on other people’s money. He has sent his wife on government jets four hours ahead of him to the same destination. Romney is not responsible, nor is any other Republican, for the 16 percent unemployment, real unemployment in this country. Romney is not responsible for increased fuel and food costs. He’s not responsible for any of this.
That would be Obama, who pretends to care about the middle class but lives like a king at the public trough. Mitt Romney’s not the problem. Newt Gingrich isn’t the problem. Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, not the problem. We find ourselves in this mess because of Barack Obama. And here come some people who want to dramatically change course, reverse course. And all we get in the news media is what a bunch of reprobates they are, when every one of them is a fine human being. Every one of them is a decent person. Every one of them is an average American in their own ways. Obama is not, his wife is not.
Now, if the left wants to discuss this kind of thing and the media wants to talk about it, let’s talk about it. What financial sacrifices have the Obamas made? What money of theirs do they have that is theirs, that they have earned? How many no-show jobs has Michelle Obama had? How many people get to spend other people’s money like they do and then act like they’re entitled to do it, in the midst of so much economic suffering throughout the country? Mitt Romney’s not up there telling people don’t go to Las Vegas, don’t go to resorts. Mitt Romney’s not up there promising to focus laser-like on jobs and then not do it. Mitt Romney hasn’t grown the federal budget by $5 trillion.
Do you realize that Barack Obama has already spent the federal budget for the two years of the next administration, whoever’s in charge of it. He’s already spent it. The entire federal budget for fiscal 2013 and 2014 is already spent. That’s how much money Obama spent. Romney hasn’t spent a dime of it. Nor has Newt Gingrich. The entire federal budget for two years after Obama loses in 2012 is already spent, folks. How much money did Mitt Romney throw at Solyndra? How much of your money did Mitt Romney throw at Solyndra and all of these other green energy companies? How many automobile companies did Mitt Romney take over with your money and then demand they start making cars that nobody wants?
Did Mitt Romney turn down the Keystone pipeline? Is Mitt Romney responsible for rising energy costs and depleting energy supplies? All of this is Barack Obama. Every ounce of misery, economic misery in this country is directly traceable to the Oval Office and the offices of Pelosi and Reid, and every other Democrat on Capitol Hill, and every Democrat staff member. Mitt Romney’s tax rate is not responsible for one deleterious thing that’s happened to any person in this country. Mitt Romney has done more to empower and enrich individuals with Bain Capital and the other things he’s done at the Olympics than Barack Obama could ever hope to do because Barack Obama’s done nothing but ruin people’s lives. And we want to talk about Mitt Romney’s 15 percent tax rate and how much he makes on speeches, while we don’t talk about Bill Clinton’s $82 million in speeches, his average fee of $181,000 a speech.
Mitt Romney had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis. Mitt Romney had nothing to do with the bottoming out of the housing market. Mitt Romney had nothing to do with half this country losing the value of its number one asset, its home. And nor did Newt Gingrich, and neither did Rick Perry or Rick Santorum. What are we talking about here? Mitt Romney has not traveled to a foreign country and apologized for America any time, anywhere, anyplace. Nor has Newt Gingrich, nor has Rick Santorum or Rick Perry. Not one decision that has led to economic disaster in this country, the decline of this country, has been made by Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney or Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Jon Huntsman, any of the others that have sought the Republican nomination.
And in all of this economic downturn I ask you: What financial sacrifices have the Obamas made? See, one thing Romney could say: “If I’m elected president, I will actually be taking a pay cut, but for Barack Obama the presidency was a path to becoming a millionaire.” The presidency is going to cost Mitt Romney money. The presidency was a path to wealth for Barack Obama and for Bill Clinton. Now, you want to talk about morality and decency and who’s a good guy and who cares about the little guy and so forth? This is all a crock, folks. This is all the way this silly game is played. Of course, it’s frustrating for us that there’s (groans) apparently not a candidate that thinks like I am articulating things here.
I know it’s frustrating, but this is what happens when there’s not a genuine conservative. Newt comes close, in his moments where he shines. If somebody said something like this in a debate, the standing O [ovation] would never end. The moderators would lose total control of the debate. Plus, everything I said has an added benefit: It’s all true. None of it is made up. In fact, I just scratch the surface. Nobody ever says this kind of stuff to Obama’s face. They asked Jay Carney yesterday, “Well, what about the Clem transcripts?” Carney said, “Well (muttering). It’s not important. It’s not relevant! What do you mean? He’s the King! He doesn’t have to tell you that.”
That’s just their attitude.