Sometimes, even a Hollywood star has to get through Rush Limbaugh's call-screener.
Just ask Scott Baio, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump and a long-time listener of the nationally syndicated talk radio host's program. Baio just wanted to talk about something Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin said during an interview with FOX Business Network Thursday. Angered that perhaps the president's team might be getting stalled out by establishment Republicans, he was well-prepared to discuss the matter.
As far as Limbaugh knew, however, he was talking to Scott from Los Angeles. It wasn't until they were well into the conversation that Baio let slip he was in Hollywood. Here's how the whole conversation went down.
RUSH: Okay. We're going to the phones. We're starting in Los Angeles. Hi, Scott. Great to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hello.
SCOTT: Thanks, Rush. You know, I'm a hard-core conservative. I listen to you every day. I watch the news. I'm on the internet. So I'm a fairly informed individual. And I was watching Mnuchin today, and I thought my head was gonna explode. August? August. President Trump a few weeks ago said, "In a few weeks, I'm gonna roll out my tax plan." Now, Rush, we've got a very small window here to show this country that conservatism works and that conservatism is the only way to go.
OK? And, to me, there is one man—and, by the way, knock out these liberals forever. And to me there's one man that's stopping all of this, and that man is Paul Ryan. I think Paul Ryan doesn't like Trump. I think Paul Ryan is hamstringing Trump. Because there were six bills that were sent to Obama to repeal Obamacare. Where are those bills today? They're nowhere. So, for me, Paul Ryan ... because Trump is a guy that gets it done. Paul Ryan I don't think wants to work. I think Paul Ryan wants the status quo, and I think Paul Ryan is a Never Trumper. I'd like your thoughts.
RUSH: Well, all right. Let me just for the sake of responding to you, stipulate all that. Just for the (obscenity).
RUSH: Then what's the solution? Trump's gotta get up there and fight him. I mentioned this yesterday.
SCOTT: I agree!
RUSH: Because somebody... I had frustrated somebody like you, "Isn't Trump gonna ...? Are they gonna happen to give Trump anything?" I said, "They aren't gonna give him jack! He's gonna go up and defeat them. He's gonna have to win it. He's gonna have to defeat them, including the Republicans. He's gonna have to fight them for it."
SCOTT: Right. Trump has to do what Reagan did. Trump's gotta go on the air and tell us what his tax plan is and put it in our faces and put them on the spot. That's what I think he should do.
RUSH: Well ... (chuckles)
SCOTT: What would be the downside of that?
RUSH: Well, let me think. The downside. There wouldn't be a downside. Well, now, wait a minute. If it's Trump versus Ryan, if that's what it looks like on TV, if Trump goes on TV and starts attacking Ryan, I mean, that's red meat for the media. They can turn it into whatever. Trump's busy, though. I mean, Trump's got an agenda. We can see it. He's meeting with these people. He's doing what he said he was gonna do on immigration.
SCOTT: I agree. I love the immigration thing, I do, but, to me, the economy is everything. If he doesn't get this economy going, because, like you said earlier, the summer break's gonna come around; these guys will look for every escape to get out of town.
SCOTT: Then 2018, and the midterm elections come up, and then nothing happens.
SCOTT: So he's gotta strike now.
RUSH: I agree with you. For the purpose of stipulating your premise here, I have made it clear. I didn't state it as directly as you have by personalizing. But there's no doubt, the Republicans who are funded by their donors and they care about that more than voters don't want the Trump immigration agenda, for example. They probably don't care one way or the other about the Trump transgender reversal. They want comprehensive immigration reform, and they want amnesty, and that makes them an enemy of Trump.
SCOTT: But don't they want power, Rush?
RUSH: Well, naturally.
SCOTT: Well, then, Trump gave them power by winning, and by implementing his agenda—
RUSH: Oh, you think they should be grateful?
SCOTT: They'll win more.
RUSH: This is Washington, D.C.! (laughing) There isn't any.
SCOTT: I know, I know.
RUSH: There (laughing)—
SCOTT: Sorry. I'm in Hollywood so it's the same thing. Sorry about that.
RUSH: You're in Hollywood?
RUSH: Okay. Let me see the Scotts I know in Hollywood just off the top of my head. Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott.
SCOTT: No. I don't know you. I know people you know.
RUSH: I know but try names.
SCOTT: I'll give you my last name if you want.
RUSH: You are Scott Baio?
SCOTT: I am.
RUSH: Well, it's an honor to meet you. I'm happy that you're in the audience. It's great that you've called.
SCOTT: I've been in the audience every day, I'm a huge fan, and I'm dying to play golf with you, Rush.
RUSH: Well, where do you play out there?
SCOTT: I have a local course out here where I play. I could play wherever.
RUSH: All right. Well—
SCOTT: I'm in the West Valley in the San Fernando Valley.
RUSH: San Fernando Valley. Okay, look, when we finish here if you stay on the line, if you give an email address to Mr. Snerdley —
RUSH: —Next time I'm out there, we'll play. I'd absolutely love that. Now, look, your premise is right on the money. But, see, identifying Ryan, I know a lot of people think this. I think it's bigger than that, though. I think it's the entire establishment. Not just Ryan. He probably personifies it 'cause he's speaker. But I think it's the entire Washington establishment that is against Trump. There's no excuse for this. We won everything; the Democrats can't stop us. If they were really desirous of implementing tax cuts, they could be working on it right now.
SCOTT: What frustrates me—and pardon the expression, but—power, I think, trumps everything for those people. So if they want the power, what people voted for was his agenda. And, you know, you can have your own personal feelings about anybody's agenda, but, at a certain point, I want to keep my power that gave it to me.
RUSH: That's the point. They don't think Trump had anything to do with them winning. They thing their donors made that possible. Hang on, Scott. Let me get back with you when we get back from the break.
[FOLLOWING COMMERCIAL BREAK]
RUSH: Welcome back, Scott Baio, from Hollywood. You know, one thing that you're right about and I want ... We glossed over this, but this is a really crucial point that you made, and that is that the House passed six Obamacare repeals when Obama was president. They knew that he would veto them, so there was no pain. There was no hassle. It was easy to do. They were throwing bones to conservative and Republican voters. But now the moment Trump became president, the repeals and the votes on the repeals have come to a screeching halt. Why? Because they think Trump might sign it!
RUSH: Which leads you to believe what? That their heart really isn't in it.
SCOTT: Right. Exactly.
RUSH: And then we got Boehner, who's today in Florida making a speech predicting that it'll never be repealed and replaced, that they'll just tinker with it at the edges. And that's all that's gonna happen. Let's go back to the campaign, Scott, and set the table here, because I think this helps explain everything. Even at nine o'clock on election night, everybody still thought Hillary was gonna win the election.
RUSH: The Republicans had built their plans based on losing. They had gotten together, I'm sure, and based their political futures—how they were gonna behave in Washington—what their agenda, if any, was gonna be based on losing. Then everything happened and everything ends up upside down. Trump wins, they win, Ryan is speaker. That was probably gonna be the case, but they hold the Senate. Now they got all three branches. Now they've got no excuses. This is not what they planned for. You know it as well as I do.
RUSH: They didn't have a plan for this.
SCOTT: I know they didn't have a plan for this, Rush. They had three months to get their act together, come up with a plan and implement it. Because I tell you what: If I were Paul Ryan and he doesn't get this done, I'd be afraid to go home. I'd be afraid for his next election, because somebody's gonna come up on his right and take him out. That's ... And all these guys. That's what I believe. So for me, just an average American—I play a lot of golf, I hang out with my friends, I smoke cigars—you know, all the guys that I know are starting to get upset about this and they're getting upset, and they all feel it's him.
RUSH: Yeah, well, you know ... Well, it is, but it's more than that. Don't—
SCOTT: I know.
RUSH: It's the whole ... Look, you go back to the campaign again. We know—we know—that the Never Trumper contingency was huge and consisted of most of the Republican Party, during the campaign, during the primaries. They were all expecting him to implode.
RUSH: The early money, of course, was on Jeb Bush. I'm just saying, in their world ... This is not an excuse. Their world has been turned upside down. They clearly ... Trump is not establishment. That is such a big deal. He's outsider. They're insider. They're establishment. What ... A question I wanted to ask you is, "What do you think ...?" They didn't make plans. After Trump won, they were running around talking about how great Trump is, how excited they are. They themselves are saying, "No excuses." They were making it look like they owed Trump everything, ready to go. But they haven't done anything.
SCOTT: Because I think the answer is, they assumed that Trump was all talk and no action like everything they've dealt with for their entire lives. So here comes a guy that says what he means and means what he says, and they didn't get it. So now they're panicking, 'cause they don't know what to do. So how do you deal with a guy like that? They don't know.
RUSH: But do you think they still oppose him?
SCOTT: Uh, I think they do to a certain extent. I absolutely do. I think Paul Ryan does not want to repeal Obamacare. I don't think they want to cut taxes. I don't think they want to ... I know they want some form of amnesty. They don't want immigration.
RUSH: Why don't they want tax cuts?
SCOTT: I'm sorry?
RUSH: Why do they not want to cut taxes?
SCOTT: Why don't they want to cut taxes?
SCOTT: I think because it's worked for them, and I think because they're gonna be called out as being racist and insensitive to the middle class and to the poor. "You're cutting taxes for the rich." That's what they're used to. Rush, you say it every day: They're playing on a playbook from 30, 40 years ago.
RUSH: Yeah, I know, but they won! It's about time to stop be afraid—
SCOTT: I agree.
RUSH: —and go on offense, for crying out loud!
SCOTT: I agree a hundred percent. But they don't know ... But if you don't know how to play offense, how do you play offense? If you don't know how to throw the ball, how do you throw it? They don't know how to do it.
RUSH: Well, I guess they should call Andy Reid. He doesn't—
SCOTT: Or call Tom Brady—
RUSH: (laughing) Better idea.
SCOTT: —and learn to throw the football!
RUSH: I was being facetious. (laughing)
SCOTT: (chuckles) I know.
RUSH: You're being serious.
SCOTT: But, anyway, this is the frustration. And again, I'm in show business, Rush, but I like to think of myself as a regular guy. I've been working my whole life, but I see things, and I know that people starting to get frustrated. And I hope that the Republican Party starts getting in gear.
RUSH: Okay, let me go back tax cuts one thing. It was Mnuchin, and that's Trump.
RUSH: That's Trump's treasury secretary who said they're gonna have a tax cut plan in August. Reagan's tax cuts were signed into law in August. So Mnuchin is Trump. Mnuchin is the treasury secretary. What do you think Trump ought to do, knowing—and let's just stipulate that you're right, that he's got some opposition among Republicans on Capitol Hill. Here's Trump meeting every day with his CEOs of this and that. He's dealing with immigration. He's reversing some Obama stuff. How should Trump go about this?
SCOTT: Trump can't throw Mnuchin under the bus, you can't do that. The guy just came on board. I'm just going by what the president said. A few weeks he said, "In a few weeks we're gonna have a plan." Now, maybe Mnuchin misspoke. I don't know. I don't know what Mnuchin ... I don't think Mnuchin is a television-savvy guy. So I don't know what his intention was. He might be trying to backpedal that a little bit, because to wait for August is crazy. So I honestly ... What I said earlier, Rush, was Trump should come out and say what his tax plan might look like.
SCOTT: That, to me, is everything.
RUSH: Let me ask your opinion on this. They're not in a vacuum up there at the White House. Trump, Priebus, Bannon, whoever. If there is an active Republican resistance, they have to know it. They're not blind, and they're not naïve. So if there is an active Republican resistance, which you seem to think there is, the Trump people have to know this, and it's obvious ... You know, you got Priebus as the chief of staff, and Priebus would clearly advise, "You do not want to go to war with your own party, certainly not the first month in." But that seems like what it's gonna take, doesn't it?
SCOTT: Well, I think Trump should do what Trump does best. Call people out. The reason he's here is he took everybody out on that stage in those debates, everybody. However he did it, he did it.
RUSH: He called 'em out. You're right, he called 'em out.
SCOTT: He took out Hillary Clinton, and that was not easy, Rush, as you know. That was a (obscenity) of a machine that they had, and he took her out in a big way, big league. He took her out. So, for me, who he is, you call those guys out and you call them and you say, they're the problem. They're the problem this isn't getting done.
RUSH: How much —
SCOTT: They're the reason why.
RUSH: How much time — or how much patience are you going to give Trump before you start questioning things? I mean, he could do that today, could do it tomorrow. He could do it in his CPAC speech tomorrow if he really wanted to. He could do it any time. And I think when you said what you said, I think a lot of people in the audience were probably standing up and cheering in agreement with you. So but if he doesn't do it next week, next month, I mean, how long does Trump have to do this before you start losing support for Trump?
SCOTT: Well, I have this theory about Trump. I will give him eight years if he does nothing, because I don't want the other side doing anything. I don't want liberals getting any more of their agenda through because I think they're killing the country.
RUSH: Amen. Right on.
SCOTT: So if he does eight years of absolutely nothing, I'm okay.
RUSH: So you are not gonna abandon Trump no matter?
SCOTT: I will not abandon Trump. Absolutely not.
RUSH: Hubba-hubba. Okay.
SCOTT: I believe in him!
SCOTT: I believe in him 100 percent.
RUSH: I think his supporters are the same.
SCOTT: Yeah, I do, too. But I want the other people that are hurting that still voted for Hillary to see what conservative ideas do, and how they help and how they make the country strong and safe.
RUSH: Amen. But you understand that the actual number of conservatives in the Republican caucus in the House is not the whole caucus.
RUSH: There's a lot of moderates, quasi-RINOs [and] so forth. No, you're absolutely right. I think already the left is being flushed out in this regard. I think they're being forced to demonstrate who they really are. I agree with you. It's frustrating. I'm trying to quell the frustration verbally as much as I can in lieu of patience. Because I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we have here.
SCOTT: Absolutely. Absolutely.
RUSH: And we can't squander this. We just can't squander it.
SCOTT: That's my point with the tax cuts. It's just he's gotta get it done, must get that done and everything else falls into place.
RUSH: True. Not just that but what you just said demonstrating to the people of this country that what we just went through for the past eight years, never again, and be that the opposite—conservatism—is the best for everybody.
RUSH: Well, I'm glad you called. It's been a thrill, and I will make sure that I let you know the next time I'm gonna out in Los Angeles and we'll go play. That'd be cool.
SCOTT: I'd like that very much.
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