There were two very symbolic endorsements today as a direct result of the big speech. They were from Bush 41 and from Rush Limbaugh. Each of them claimed that they weren't endorsing Romney (wink) but then each went on to heap lavish praise on the Governor.
Bush 41: He introduced the Romney family and spoke nostalgically of his relationship with Mitt's parents and the good example and mentor that George Romney was to him. Then he turned his attention to Mitt and his sons, naming each of them one by one. Folks, it looked like the red carpet was laid for Mitt by our good former President. Not an endorsement, but good enough... and perhaps better in some regard.
Rush Limbaugh: the most listened to host in America had this to say:
"This speech, the kind of stuff he said today is the kind of stuff I've been dreaming of hearing in a presidential campaign in a long time in terms of what this country is and where we're headed."
"Do you realize how long it has been since a political person, a presidential candidate of either party, spoke extensively of the founding of this country and how crucial everybody's understanding of that is to maintaining American exceptionalism? Mitt Romney took the long view of this country, from its founding to its future, farther than we can see, and he described what it is that binds us together and defines us as Americans. It is crucially important that people understand this. This was a speech of the long view, a speech of leadership and of vision. It didn't attack anybody. It was optimistic. It was positive. It had reinforcement of American traditions and values.
"So the criticism I'm hearing of this really does a disservice, I think, to the critics and the whole process here. Politics is dirty, I understand that, but this speech today that he gave was -- when I do speeches, when I do the Rush to Excellence Tour, I go out and I'll do two hours, sometimes an hour-and-45 minutes, depends on whether or not I run out of water. But that's a theme of every one of them: American exceptionalism; American greatness. How did we get here? Why are we here? Why are we who we are? What defines us? Why are we as human beings so much more advanced in any way you can imagine than other human beings? We're all human beings on this planet, what is it about us? Our DNA's not special; it's not better. We're not any brighter, smarter than anybody else. But there is an answer to the question. I've given the answer on this program, it's very simple. Freedom.
But it is the understanding and the documentation in our founding documents, by our Founding Fathers, that our freedom is bestowed by our creation, or our creator. It is the natural yearning of the human being to be free. Now you can destroy that, you can imprison a human being for so many years they don't know what to do when they get out of the cage, but until such time, the natural yearning of each human being is to be free. I don't care what some say, "Rush, some people just want to be controlled." No, they can be conditioned to be controlled, trade their freedom for security; trade their freedom for a welfare check, whatever, they can be conditioned to that, but that's not the natural yearning of the human spirit.
"All Romney was doing today was answering all these charges and criticisms that his religion makes him unfit to lead, and he was trying to, and I thought did a bang-up job, of defining this country. He gave a brilliant analysis of what he thinks the country is and where we're headed as a country, filled with optimism that's been sorely lacking in the campaign. This was not a speech that was designed to say to various members, "Okay, you want health care, I'm going to give it to you and here's my plan, and my religion is not going to get in the way. You're worried about the environment, don't worry. I'm going to make sure we cut our CO2 emissions and, by the way, my Mormonism is not going to get in the way. You're worried about these forest fires and the lead in the toys from the ChiComs, I'm going to make sure there's no lead in the toys from the ChiComs and I'm going to make sure my Mormonism is not going to get in the way." It's not what it was about today. It's not what he was doing. It was grander than that. "
Indeed it was.