Rush Gives Newt Both Barrels

by Daniel Foster

Today, Rush Limbaugh compared Newt Gingrich to Elizabeth Warren and Occupy Wall Street, and then he really went to work. From the transcript:

Now, one of the things that you have to say that is happening here is (whether he intends it or not) we’re finding out some things about Newt that we didn’t know. We’re finding out that he looks at “these rich guys,” six rich guys, and they have an obligation. He sounds like Elizabeth Warren.

[. . . ]

I don’t understand why the Occupy Wall Street crowd is protesting Newt. They’re singing from the same hymnal on this. This is right out of the New York Times. Newt is parroting what the New York Times is writing about Romney on this: Six rich guys taking over. “But, if we identify capitalism with rich guys looting companies…” Folks, it is clear here (to me, anyway) what’s really going on. This is not a campaign for the presidency. That’s not what this is anymore. This is payback time. This is Newt. It drove him nuts that series of ads the Romney super PAC ran against him in Iowa, and this is the result of it. That’s why we are where we are. (interruption) No, no. I’m not making excuses, don’t misunderstand. I’m just explaining. I’m not defending anybody. I just think this is very unfortunate. This is… (sigh) This is not the kind of stuff you want said by Republicans. I mean, even the establishment Republicans don’t go after conservatives this way.

[. . .]

You know, he’s trying to dredge up and have long-lasting negatives attach to Romney (this is what’s so unsettling about this) in the same way the left would say it. You could, after all these bites, say, “I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”

We’ve been worried about Newt’s say-anything streak for a while around these parts. We even put out an editorial on it a few weeks ago. From that document:

Each week we see the same traits that weakened Republicans from 1995 through 1998: I’d vote for Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform; Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform is radical right-wing social engineering; I apologize for saying that, and no one should quote what I said because I was wrong; actually, what I said was right all along but nobody understood me. I helped defeat Communism; anyone who made money in the ’80s and ’90s owes me; I’m like Reagan and Thatcher. Local community boards should decide what to do with illegal immigrants. Freddie Mac paid me all that money to tell them how stupid they were. Enough. Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself. He should be an adviser to the Republican party, but not again its head.

And indeed, as Rich points out below, Newt doesn’t even have the courage of his anti-Bain convictions, having debuted the line of attack, apologized for it, and redeployed it with even greater force seemingly in the span of a single news cycle.