George Romney did not run against Reagan. I checked. He was running against Nixon when his campaign began to collapse after his “I was brainwashed in Vietnam” statement. Reagan came along later. It was Nixon he was running against. Now, I got an e-mail during the break. “Why is this intelligence business…” somebody was worried about the debates mattering so much. Somebody was just terribly concerned. I appreciate, by the way, this notion that we have to nominate somebody who can win a debate. I don’t think that’s how this election is gonna be won. This is an election about ideas, not debate skills, but I know people disagree with me. The reason people, conservatives, the reason people on our side care about this so much is very simple.

Conservatism is an idea with multiple subsets of ideas. Conservatism requires basic speaking and communication skills to explain it and to contrast it with liberalism. In addition to that, people have to be able to complete thoughts and get those ideas across. When you are in the ideas business, you had better be able to communicate them. I would submit to most of you who think that recent Republican presidential nominees have been stupid or inarticulate, is really not what they’ve been. They haven’t been full-fledged conservative. When it’s in your heart, it pours out of you. When it’s not and you’re having to fake it, that’s gonna create pauses and insecurity, unsuredness and so forth.

I don’t ever have a problem explaining conservatism. I don’t care who I’m talking to. But I would probably be a little halting if I were trying to make somebody think I was a moderate. I’d have to stop and think about it. When you stop and think about it, you look stupid, unless you’ve mastered the facial expressions of looking thoughtful. (interruption) Snerdley just said, “That’s not fair for me to say because I could make anything interesting.” No. I can only make the things I care about interesting. You don’t want to hear me talk about something I don’t care about. I will bore you to tears. That’s why I’ve always believed that passion is the giant magnet. It is passion. You could talk about bowling, and if you do it passionately, you will attract people like a magnet to it.

They may be laughing themselves silly that you care so much about bowling or whatever it is, but you’ll still have ’em. You know, passion is the ingredient. But my only point is, conservatism, we’re a party of ideas, gotta be able to communicate them. You have to feel it, they have to be in your heart. And when they’re not, you have to stop and think, “Okay, what should I say here? I gotta make those conservatives really believe I’m a conservative.” And then you’re gonna make mistakes, and then the conservatives are going to say, “See, he’s not really a conservative, he’s a moderate, he’s a flip-flopper,” and they’d be right. Or when the person halts, pauses to think about what the next sentence ought to be, “Stupid! See, can’t even remember what he was saying, just lost his place, what an idiot.” The lack of commitment to it manifests itself as something other than it really is, in this case it’s stupid.

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