PALM BEACH, Fla. – Are Republicans looking to win future elections by promising to provide all sorts of goodies like Santa Claus?
Radio giant Rush Limbaugh thinks so, now that some big names in the GOP have objected to his observation that Barack Obama won re-election because it’s “very difficult to beat Santa Claus.”
Limbaugh said Monday afternoon, “I came in the day after the election, a little throwaway line, I said, ‘It’s tough to beat Santa Claus,’ and all hell broke loose on our side, on the Republican side.”
Among those who expressed their opposition to that sentiment were Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, both of whom have been thought to be potential Republican presidential candidates.
“Folks, I am here to tell you, there isn’t a Republican alive who has not looked at the Democrat Party as the party promising goodies to people,” Limbaugh said. “That’s been a fact of life for as long as I’ve been alive, and now all of a sudden we’re acting like to say so is an insult. Why would so many Republicans be upset about this, unless, maybe, the strategy is to get in on that game, and they think I’m standing any way of it.”
He continued: “The only reason that I can think that all of these Republicans are so upset over my description of all this as Santa Claus is that they want in on the game, is they want to play, too. Because look at what’s happening here. There’s a fight to define the meaning of the election and its outcome, and we here are fighting the Drive-Bys. The Drive-Bys in the Democrat National Committee, the party, want to say that Obama has a mandate now to expand the government, to raise taxes, to expand the welfare state.
“I am saying we’ve lost the country, that it is a victory for the tax consumers over the taxpayers. The bizarre thing is, we’re actually agreeing. They just don’t like the terms [such as Santa Claus] that I’m using. We’re both defining the outcome of this election the same way. They just don’t like the terminology I’m using. I guess it’s too direct or too descriptive.”
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney himself agreed with Limbaugh’s notion of Obama winning because of financial gifts, stating, “What the president, president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote.”
“Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women,” Romney continued. “And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich thinks the Santa Claus gift theory is ridiculous.
“I just think it’s nuts,” Gingrich said on ABC. “I mean, first of all, it’s insulting.”
“The job of a political leader in part is to understand the people. If we can’t offer a better future that is believable to more people, we’re not going to win.”
Louisiana Gov. Jindal previously said a winning strategy doesn’t involve “insulting (voters) and saying their votes were bought.”
Florida’s Rubio told Politico: “I don’t want to rebut [Romney] point by point. I would just say to you, I don’t believe that we have millions and millions of people in this country that don’t want to work. I’m not saying that’s what he said. I think we have millions of people in this country that are out of work and are dependent on the government because they can’t find a job.”
Limbaugh noted today that “a majority of Americans think prosperity comes from the government now, not themselves, not hard work.”
He addressed Republican political consultants directly on their strategy to win elections: “You guys need to start asking yourselves some questions. You pick the candidates and you’re getting the candidates that you want. You’re getting the issues that you want. I’m not in charge of any Republican Party platform. I’m not in charge of anybody’s campaign. I have nothing to say, officially or unofficially, about what the Republican Party does as it tries to win elections. Zilch, zero, nada. I am simply a powerful, influential member of the media commenting on such things. But I can tell you that very little of what I thought should have happened in the campaign, very little of what I thought should have happened actually did.”