Below is a lengthy, yet worthwhile, audio clip from Rush Limbaugh's Thursday broadcast. In it, the conservative icon defends GOP candidate Newt Gingrich and dissects the reasons why Ronald Reagan would likely have supported Gingrich in his quest for the presidency.
The thought-provoking segment delves into decades' worth of instances surrounding the Contract with America architect and makes for a persuasive case in favor of his candidacy. Providing facts, figures and history unlike any other who has argued either yea or nay for Gingrich before, Limbaugh says the coordinated media and political onslaught against the Republican candidate -- like the one featured on Thursday's Drudge Report (screenshot follows) -- is incongruent with his recollection from the Reagan years.
While at one point in the broadcast Limbaugh cedes that Gingrich did make some of the statements for which he now stands accused, he suggests that much of their content was taken out of context. Limbaugh also posits the former House Speaker merely had to adapt in order to succeed in the "softer" Bush-41 era, thus Gingrich suggested to then-candidate Bush that following a different path than did Reagan might be the only prudent course of action.
Throughout the course of the 40-plus minute broadcast, Limbaugh paints a picture of shared respect and admiration between Gingrich and Reagan. If this were not the case, Limbaugh maintains that Nancy Reagan would never have embraced Gingrich, as she was fiercely protective of her husband.
Food for thought, Rush-style:
Below is an excerpt from the broadcast:
RUSH: You've got Nancy Reagan. People have produced, I think, either a letter or a video from Nancy Reagan saying that Newt would be the obvious inheritor of Reaganism. And you've got Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan's son, who's endorsed Newt. This Elliott Abrams piece, though, folks, of all the stuff that's out there is probably the most devastating because Elliott Abrams' credentials are impeccable. He almost went to jail for the cause. For example, here's one thing he says about Newt: "As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years -- and I was an assistant secretary of state -- Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides and his policies to defeat communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan's policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong." That's the tone of the entire piece by Elliott Abrams. But there's more than just an opposition research document dump here going on. You have Elliott Abrams, Bob Tyrrell coming out with some of this stuff. It is overwhelming, and it happens in one day.
Now, back to this Newt stuff. I got a note from Jeffrey Lord. Jeffrey Lord writes for the American Spectator, which is Bob Tyrrell's bunch. Bob Tyrrell has a devastating piece: Newt is Bill Clinton, only worse! Oh, it's devastating. This Elliott Abrams piece is devastating. And they all happen the same day. So Jeffrey Lord says: Wait a minute now, Nancy Reagan, 1985, Goldwater Institute, after the Reagan era -- and Jeff Lord says, "Believe me, if Nancy Reagan thought for a nanosecond that Newt was anti-Reagan, she would never have been on the same platform with him." I can vouch for that. I've never seen a more protective wife of anybody than Nancy Reagan. If you in your life said one thing against Ronald Reagan, you were gone. You were banished. You were never allowed to be in the same room.
Talk to the people who knew them both and worked with them, and they'll confirm that. So Jeff Lord says (paraphrased), "Well, if all this that we're hearing yesterday's true, what the hell's Nancy Reagan doing out there giving Newt basically a huge award?" She said, "The dramatic movement of 1995," that was going on then, "is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century. Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie," her husband, "and in turn Ronnie turned the torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive." That's Nancy Reagan in 1985. Now, Jeff Lord worked in the Reagan White House.
Again, the entire transcript can be found at Rush's website.