Why Are So Many House Republicans Retiring?

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RUSH: Look, you’ll tell you something else is happening out there, folks. I saw… Have you noted all the Republican members of Congress that are again retiring? I think one of the reasons we lost the House in 2018 is that there were a huge number of Republicans who retired. Now, we were told the reason was, “Well, they’re being term limited out of their committee chairmanships, Mr. Limbaugh, and they don’t want to go back to just being regular members of the House. What’s in it for them? Once you become a committee chairman, you can’t go back to being a regular bencher.”

Okay. Fine. So they quit. Time to cash in. Time to use that experience to make real money, provide for your children’s future, defense contracts, whatever. But it’s continuing. Another guy, another Republican member of Congress (five terms, Texas) is retiring. Now, folks, I tell you something. I ran into a guy, a friend of mine some months ago who is from North Carolina. (That’s how they say it there.) Well, “Irksome Bowels” did. “I love my North Carolina.” Anyway, I was talking to this guy from North Carolina. I said, “Man, it’s not looking good. The Democrats appear to be taking over the state.”

“What are you talking about? The Democrats ain’t doing nothing in North Carolina! We own North Carolina.” I said, “I don’t think you do. Have you checked what’s going on in the cities and in the towns? You may think you have the governorship. You may think you’ve got a congressional seat. Have you seen what’s going on in your local towns?” “Ah, who cares what’s going on in a town unless you live in it.” Well, see, that’s the point.

Something… North Carolina is not true red Republican; I don’t care what anybody thinks. The Democrats are going in and taking over these local communities. All politics is local. That’s where they can have really tremendous impact on culture and a number of things because nobody’s paying attention. Now, in Texas, the Democrats are dying to take over Texas ’cause if they get Texas and the electoral votes of Texas, then (sigh) it’s not good. The Republicans need the electoral votes Texas to counter New York and California.

But yet another Republican’s retiring. Retiring! Why? Now, people will say, “Well, Rush, I’ll tell you what it is. The truth be known: There’s a bunch of Republicans that just can’t stand Trump.” That’s not what it is. That’s what they want you to think. That’s not what it is. You know what I think’s going on? I think — and don’t doubt me on that. I can’t prove this ’cause this is just a supposition. But I think based on how I have seen Democrats and their operatives act, I think — and that given that nobody, no human being is clean and pure as the wind-driven snow.

We’ve all got something in our closets. We’ve all done something that we don’t want people to know about. I think the Democrats are finding dirt, and they’re going to these Republicans, and they’re saying, “Do you want people to know about this? We are glad to publicize this about you.” “Oh, no, no. No, no! Please don’t.” “Well, okay. Then you gotta retire.” Now, I can’t prove it, but some of this stuff — and some of it may be legitimate. I mean, people retiring after ten years, they may think it’s enough. It’s five terms.

But it’s a lot of power to be giving up. But it just seems to be that these retirements are predominantly Republican, and it’s all happening under the radar. You hear about another retirement here, retirement there. They never add up in your mind. They’re all indiscriminate, little isolated stories — and what’s odd? Nothing’s odd about somebody retiring from Congress. But it seems there’s an exorbitant number of Republicans doing so, and I just have my suspicions about it. That’s all.

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RUSH: Let me grab a quick phone call. Somebody from Arlington, Texas, wants to weigh in on what’s happening with these retirements. It’s Deborah. I’m glad you called, Deborah. How are you doing?

CALLER: I am well. I heard you mention about the Republicans and this is actually a Republican issue. We had our speaker, Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, who threatened other Republicans. He wanted 10 Republicans targeted, and that is what the issue is and why we have so many retiring. He went to… What is the name of it? (sigh) Uh…

RUSH: Well, just tell me. Forget… Tell me, why are Republicans retiring? Because, what? A bunch of RINOs are being outed? What is it?

CALLER: No. Because our speaker of our House, Dennis Bonnen, threatened ten Republicans. He wanted them targeted to attack. So this was an inside job. It wasn’t even the liberals. It’s a RINO, and he is attacking ’em, and he got caught because it was audiotaped and went public in Texas, and —

RUSH: What is he attacking them with?

CALLER: He wanted a —

RUSH: These are members of Congress. What does a state politician have over members of Congress?

CALLER: He doesn’t have anything. He went to a media forum, Texas Scorecard, and told them, “We’ll allow you to have credentials, but I want you to go after these 10 Republicans.” He didn’t want ’em back in office because they were attacking him, or they were calling him out as a RINO. Well, there were several other Republicans that knew about it and were going along with this. This has been a huge issue down here. Huge.

RUSH: It must be, because it’s leading to a lot of retirements, and it’s not… Well, I knew it was something.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Everybody wants to chalk it up to the fact that people don’t like Trump. And there may be some of that, but there’s clearly something else going on. And it does involve people being called RINOs and so forth. I mean, we’ll dig deep into this. But I just wanted to call your attention to it. It’s, like she said, a big issue in Texas. But it’s not… You have to be paying attention to this kind of thing before it will cross your radar screen because it’s not something that’s all over the daily media — and it’s happening in some other places too.

What I really think is going is that a lot of this is being done as opposition research, dirty tricks, what have you, by Democrats, who are hell-bent on taking back Texas or converting Texas to their column. And, you know, the Democrats… Keep one thing in mind. After Obama was elected… People forget this. Barack Obama was a Death Star for the Democrat Party. After his two presidential elections, the Democrat Party lost over 1,000 seats total. Not just in the Congress, of course, but we’re talking statehouse, state senate, governorship, any number of offices. He was just horrible.

Of course, the Drive-Bys didn’t talk about any of this. I remember James Carville. After Trump won in 2016, James Carville was running around complaining that the Democrat Party had never, ever in his lifetime had so little electoral power. Well, my contention is that they’re doing what they can to bring it back at this super local level where they lost it with the election of Obama. Look, the Republicans can play the game, too, and they may well be. I just don’t know. You just don’t hear about a lot of Democrat retirements. But we will keep a sharp eye on this.

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RUSH: We’ll stick with Houston. This is David. We’re gonna get another stab here of what’s going on in Texas. Hi, David. Great to have you with us on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. First-time caller. I love it. Thank you.

RUSH: Uh… Yeah, I do. Thank you. We got limited time here so race on.

CALLER: So we’ve got something here we call “the Beto Effect.” So it relates to your discussion. There is a ton of local elections that had gone to Republicans for decades that suddenly got wiped out in the last election cycle. A lot of us looking at it said, ‘There’s huge external money coming from California, whatever, to support Beto.” And this… We call it the Beto Effect. It basically ripped out dozens and dozens of local elections. I think that’s part of the conversion process you just talked about.

RUSH: Well, but that wouldn’t… Is that why Republicans are retiring, because they’re afraid of Democrat money coming in because of Beto?

CALLER: No, that isn’t —

RUSH: I mean, Beto’s a joke! Beto’s fading away to, what, two points in the Democrat primary?

CALLER: The amazing thing in Texas, as much of a joke as he is, is how did he get so close to Ted Cruz? I think that scared the pants off of some people.

RUSH: You’re kidding. This is why they’re retiring? They saw what happened, how close Beto got and so they’re scared to go on?

CALLER: I don’t think this is why they’re retiring. I apologize. I was probably on hold. It explains why a lot of these conversions happened. I don’t know if these local conversions can be sustainable going forward without outside Beto money.

RUSH: Wait a minute. What do you mean by “conversions”?

CALLER: Local… Uh, this is at the local level, a lot of Texas districts’ judges — places that have been Republican for decades — actually lost to Democrats for the first time in decades.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: And so that’s what I’m talking about.

RUSH: This is still not what I’m talking about. Not your fault. It’s not what I’m talking about. We’ve already chronicled that. I have noted the congressional districts on the Texas border with Mexico, and they’re all turning blue. Now, this is illegal immigration in part, immigration in another part. Democrats targeting Texas is another reason for it. It’s very alarming. I mean, Texas used to be solid red. Now you look at those counties on the Mexican border, and they are starting to turn shades of blue. But I’m specifically here referring to retirements. These are people not even choosing to contest elections. They’re quitting.

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RUSH: Our last caller from Texas — and you gotta say “Texis” if you want to have “Texins” know that you get them. You don’t say “Texas.” I don’t say it lazily. “Texis.” “Texis.” There’s an “I” in there at the end of it instead of an “a.” One thing that he pointed out… The Beto stuff is one thing, but the way the Democrats are doing this in their efforts, they’re going for dogcatcher and up. The Democrats are kind of like the old Soviets. The Soviets didn’t have two-year plans and four-year plans based on elections.

They had lifetime plans. However long it took them to accomplish was however long it took them. Now, our elections run in cycles, two years and four years. Like CEOs have, you know, the next quarterly report to get the stock price up. But these Democrats have become more socialist and, in some cases, even “slash communists” and their goals and objectives are long-term. And they’re starting down at the essence of local level. And they are just funneling money. The Beto example is a great illustration of it.

Beto O’Rourke could not have survived if he had relied only on money from Texas, because there wasn’t that much. This is what George Soros and his buddies have been doing, and the objective here is… You know, they want to win the White House, and they want to win the Congress as well. But let me tell you something. If they keep this up, if they’re able to convert states from red to blue, then they can survive losing the White House to Trump in 2020. I mean, they’ll go batty if they do, but their long-term planning…

They’re not paralyzed is the point. They’re not sitting there… It makes it look like that all they’re focusing on is getting rid of Trump and that all of their eggs are in that basket, and that’s not the case. Now, whether or not this influx of money is causing Republicans in Texas to quit, to retire? That’s a whole ‘nother thing. It’s no doubt daunting. But incumbency is the greatest tool that an incumbent has. You know what the return election rate is for incumbents in the House of Representatives? It’s 95% of them win!

It’s really tough to come in and beat an incumbent. That’s why there was such news about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But she did it in the primary when the turnout was 2%! This is… That’s why it’s alarming that so many of these guys are quitting. They’re giving up almost automatic reelection. They’re giving up the seat. And some people, “Well, Rush, they’re retiring ’cause they’re not Make America Great Again people. They really don’t like Trump.” That could be a factor for some of it.

But do not doubt me when I say that no human being is free of embarrassments that have accumulated over the course of his or her lifetime. I wouldn’t doubt some of these Democrats digging this stuff up… Look at the tweets that people write as teenagers that are coming back and destroying them five and six years later — which, by the way, I predicted. When I knew this was gonna happen… Remember the name Krystal Ball with a K? Some thought she was attractive. She was running for Congress, and she got elected, and some tweets came out.

She posed nude when she 14 or 15. She was outraged. “How dare you!” I said, “What do you expect to happen? You put a picture of yourself nude on Facebook or MySpace or, you know, My Butt, whatever it is. Somebody’s gonna find that stuff.” I think some of that is going on, and it’s being used to… Dare I say the word “blackmail”? But threaten members. Now, as I say, the Republicans can do this, too, and they may be doing it in certain places. I don’t know.

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RUSH: This is Joe in Fairfield, Connecticut. Joe, great to have you on the program. Hello.

CALLER: Good day, Rush. I’d like to extend your theory as to why potential incumbent Republican candidates are not running, and I (crosstalk).

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Let me be specific. Retiring. Yeah, they’re not running —

CALLER: Retiring.

RUSH: Retiring.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: They are quitting. Q-u-i-t-t-i-n-g. They are quitting. Okay. So —

CALLER: Yes. Quitting. Well, if we look at the potentials of blackmail where would it come from? Would it come from social media? Is there a connection between Google and maybe a connection to China that controls a lot of this? Could they get that information, research information from those sources? And why, if the Republicans try that, they might not have that advantage ’cause they don’t have that connection. Schmidt, didn’t he have a strong connection to the previous White House? Didn’t he have a room in the West Wing or somewhere? (pause)

RUSH: I guess we lost him.

CALLER: Is that possible?

RUSH: Wait a minute. Who is…? Schmidt did not have a previous…?

CALLER: Well, Google, the leader —

RUSH: Oh, Eric Schmidt. Google. Google. Google. Okay.

CALLER: Yeah, Google.

RUSH: Well, we’re not — unfortunately, here — advancing the ball. You’re just saying that you… You’re citing sources where the blackmail is coming from, Google, whatever. It’s the Democrats. The Democrats run Google. The Democrats run Facebook. But it’s something that… There may be other reasons for it. I mean, I think there’s a MAGA connection. I do think there’s some Republicans that don’t believe in the Trump agenda. Look, there’s a whole host of reasons why.

It’s just struck me that it seems like every week there’s another Republican retiring, and I don’t hear about Democrats quitting. So I began… I’ve begun to think, you know, why it is. Then you look at Texas and the map and you see those counties on the border with Mexico are beginning to turn stages of blue. Let me try… Let’s see. Give me line 3. This is James in Chipley, Florida. I’m, I’m glad you called. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Rush. It’s an honor to talk to you. I think I have an answer to your question. The threat of violence, violent coercion from the left. You’ve got Steve Scalise being shot for wearing a red shirt to baseball practice. You’ve got Sarah Huckabee Sanders being run out of a restaurant and called all kinds of named in front of her family. You’ve got people lining up outside of Mitch McConnell’s house shouting threats at the windows. You’ve got Julian Castro doxing Republican donors in Texas. I think that a lot of people — especially since Republican representatives tend to come from lucrative fields in the private sector — are saying, “Why would I go into politics and subject my family to this kind of thing?”

RUSH: You know, I think that there is something to this. I had not considered this before I looked at the summary of what you wanted to talk about. But, James, thanks very much. I want to expand on this, and tell you a personal story. You know, one of my big bugaboos that I’ve shared with you over the course of many broadcast years has been the laziness or the intransigence or the lack of desire to really mix it up with Democrats by supposed RINOs who have thought whenever I would talk to them and warn them that this kind of stuff was coming… They would pooh-pooh it.

“That’s crazy, Rush. This stuff is never gonna happen. Abortion after the baby’s born? It’s never gonna happen!” Well, here we are, and there’s been a sizable contingent of the Republican Party that’s made up of people who’ve never wanted to mix it up with the left, and they’ve anybody who does want to mix it up with the left — get down into the mud with the Democrats, actually have a political fight — “Oh, no, that’s beneath me! That’s not called for. That’s not where we are.”

Now, the way this manifested itself in many years… I know a lot of these people ’cause I’m a powerful, influential member of the media. I know all of them; a lot of people want to know me. I go into places, they come up to me. I can’t tell you… Well, I have told you. I can’t count the number of people who have chided me over 20 years, “Rush, you gotta get these Republicans to stop talking about abortion! You gotta. We’re gonna get creamed. My wife won’t stop nagging me about it. You gotta shut up about it yourself, and you gotta get these people to shut up!”

“Wait. Why?”

“‘Cause we’re losing votes! We’re sending votes to the Democrat Party. We’re losing women.”

I said, “No, we’re not. You don’t really know what’s going on here. Do you have no concern over what is happening? There are 1.3 million of these a year. Do you have no concern about the impact of this on our culture, on our morality?”

“No, I just want my wife to stop nagging me about it. Stop it! We’re losing.”

They have not wanted to go anywhere near it. And every time the Republicans lost an election, they came to me and said, “Nah-nah-nah! See? That’s why. You’re losing us. You’re losing us the elections with abortion.” Remember? This was all through the nineties and into the 2000s. Well, those people are still there. There’s just something new they say instead of abortion. You know what it is? (impression) “I wish Trump would stop tweeting. I’m tired of tweets. Trump’s embarrassing me.

“I can’t defend Trump when he starts tweeting. I wish he’d stop attacking people.” It’s amazing to me, folks! The same crowd that wanted nothing to do with abortion as Republicans — and they became RINOs. They became (impression), “I am socially liberal and, uh, uh, economically conservative.” That’s the way they describe themselves because the public test in polite society was you could not be pro-life. If you were, you were a hayseed southerner hick. You had a pickup truck and a shotgun in the gun rack in the back window.

They didn’t want to be thought of that way, and it was my contention that that’s losing. To take that attitude, to cede that issue to the Democrats is to lose the foundational pinning of the Republican Party or the conservative movement. I kept telling them this. I said, “There’s gonna be a price to pay for you not being willing to get up to speed on this,” and we’re here now! So now this guy calls and (he’s gotta good point) says, “These Republicans are afraid, Rush.” It’s what he’s saying. They see Sarah Sanders get heckled out of a restaurant; they’re afraid.

They see Betsy DeVos get heckled out of a restaurant; they’re afraid. They see Scalise get shot at baseball practice… Now, that’s something to be afraid of, Democrats running around shooting people. But all of these doxing efforts, the Julian Castro making public all of the Trump donors (and outing some of his own, by the way). The caller’s theory is that these people and some of them are elected people, they’re scared. They don’t want to fight anybody over anything, which means they’re not committed to any of these issues really.

If you’re not willing to fight for them, you’re not committed to them. So I think this is partly what’s happened. The same crowd that been telling me to shut up about abortion, to get everybody to get the Republican Party to drop it. I can’t… I would go to a football game in Pittsburgh. I would go to play golf somewhere. It would never fail. “You gotta get these Republicans to stop talking about abortion, Rush!” I even had one guy say, “What are you gonna do about the Christians, Rush?

“What are you gonna do? Until you tame the Christians, Rush, we’re never gonna win.” This is 15, 20 years ago. Well, here we are now. So now the Democrats are able to intimidate people into quitting elective office because they might be heckled at a restaurant or worse? There may be something to it. If we’re talking about people that haven’t been willing to fight for what they believe in, that could be a partial explanation.

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