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The Rush Limbaugh Show

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Why Are So Many House Republicans Retiring?

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.


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.


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.


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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