GLENN: Let’s go to Erick Erickson. He is with redstate.com and working on Project Leper which I just, I love the name of that, Erick. Tell me about Project Leper.
ERICKSON: Well, Glenn, first I hear what you’re saying and, no thank you, I’m a happily married man.
GLENN: I don’t think I’ve said that in a long time. God bless you, Erick. Thanks, man.
ERICKSON: Project Leper, there’s this effort underway right now, McCain staffers who are trying to hitch their ride to a 2012 candidate already are out just smearing Sarah Palin. The leaks they are going with as well are so absurd claiming that Palin didn’t know what NAFTA was, that Palin thought Africa was a country instead of a continent: They’re just bizarre. We do know that one of the smears in chief as some of the other people in the McCain are calling her is Nicole Wallace who was picked to be Palin’s PR person on the campaign — in fact, I’m told by two different people on the campaign that she was in the office several weeks before the election raling against Palin because Palin wouldn’t keep to the talking points. According to Newsweek, by the way, the talking points were that the McCain campaign didn’t want to talk about Bill Ayers and Palin made them forcibly made them talk about Bill Ayers.
GLENN: Boy, that sucks. Here’s the thing. I think Sarah Palin did go rogue a little bit because I think that she knew, "Look, I’m not going to be trashed by these people." I think she got the impression when she finally got in there — you tell me Erick, what you think. I think she got in there and she realized I’m going to have my career destroyed by these people because of their advice and how they want me. And you know what? You picked me, you picked me for a reason. I’m not going to be your little chew toy to chew up and then spit off onto the side when you lose. I’m not going to be blamed for it. I think she did go rogue.
ERICKSON: I absolutely think you are right. In fact, if you read some of these profiles, you know all the reporters write the long "Behind the scenes" looks after the campaign’s over, they’re sworn to secrecy. They didn’t want her to talk about Bill Ayers. She had to force them to talk about Joe the plumber. It’s bizarre that they were so out of tune with this. Palin was the best thing that happened to this campaign. She excited the base and now these people who are preparing for 2012 are trying to throw her under the bus because they had already hitched a ride elsewhere. A lot of them are former staffers to other candidates who didn’t get the nomination and now they are hoping their guy is set up for 2012.
GLENN: Okay. So tell me what Project Leper is.
ERICKSON: Project Leper is we intend to continue writing about the people on the McCain campaign who were sabotaging Sarah Palin and make them political lepers so when 2012 rolls around, they are not going to be able to work for their chosen 2012 candidate.
GLENN: Who is it? Do we have any names?
ERICKSON: We know Nicole Wallace is one of the people smearing. I’ve heard Steve Schmidt. I haven’t been able to confirm that one yet.
GLENN: Who are they? Because I don’t know.
ERICKSON: Steve Schmidt was the day-to-day manager of the McCain campaign. Nicole Wallace was McCain’s press person who was put in charge of Sarah Palin’s — by the way, Nicole Wallace handled the beautiful communication shop of the Bush administration before she was put on for Sarah Palin.
GLENN: Oh, she was really good then.
ERICKSON: Yeah, exactly.
GLENN: Yeah, she was very good.
ERICKSON: So we just, we want to make sure people know in 2012 these are the people out trying to smear Sarah Palin. You just don’t do that. You don’t run a presidential campaign and then the day after it’s over start hurling blame on the candidates who put themselves out there and saw their families attacked and their lives smeared.
GLENN: Erick, what do you think, why do you think about the idea that Sarah Palin, that there’s a lot of people within the Republican party that don’t like her because they know she ain’t going to put up with any of that kind of crap? She is not a system person. She’ll keep the good stuff but she will dismantle all the bad stuff. She is not going to play anybody’s game.
ERICKSON: I totally agree with you on that. If you look at a lot of the people who are upset with her, it’s this old guard D.C./New York establishment who has always wanted those people as part of the base but has never wanted those people in charge of the party. Well, she’s one of those people and now she’s in a position to lead the party and they feel threatened.
GLENN: Is it true that John McCain said to the conservatives, you know, when they said you’ve got to stand up for some of these things and he said, back off; I’ve already given you people Sarah Palin. Have you heard that?
ERICKSON: I haven’t heard that but it would not surprise me. I mean, she really was — this is one of those things that proved Karl Rove was right in 2000, in 2004. You go to the war with your base. McCain did not. So he had to go pick Sarah Palin to bring the base along.
GLENN: And yet that is, they are blaming it on this because they are saying if Sarah Palin wouldn’t have been on the ticket, if it would have been somebody like Joe Lieberman, maybe he would have won. But if it would have been somebody like Joe Lieberman, you would have had Democrats and socialists running. I mean, you would have — half of the country would have said, well, now I don’t have anybody to vote for.
I mean, I have to tell you if I heard once, I heard 1,000 times from people, and I never said this, never said this on the air because you just don’t say these things, but I heard a million times from people, "I’m going to vote for John McCain and, you know, I mean, he’s old. Maybe we get Sarah Palin in the first term." You know what I mean?
ERICKSON: Exactly. I mean, the McCain campaign seemed to think their strategy was to win with moderates and independents, the mushy middle. You don’t win elections like that. I’m a political consultant. I’ve run races for 10 years. You go into the campaign by uniting your base and then picking off enough of the moderates and independents to build the 50 plus 1 coalition. You don’t go in without your base and go try to get the mushy middle that everyone else is fighting for and then pick off some of your base to come along, too.
GLENN: Do me a favor, Erick. You stay in touch with us and make sure that we’re alerting our audience about Project Leper as well. I want to make sure that we rat these — I mean, you know, it’s time that — forget about the Democrats. Democrats can police themselves. It’s time that the Republicans really answer to the conservatives, and I don’t mean the conservatives like, "Oh, those are religious right crazy whack jobs." I mean the people that believe in the Constitution and believe in freeing people from the shackles of government. So anything we can do to help and anything you are doing in that line, you let us know, will you, Erick?
ERICKSON: I sure will. Hey, Glenn, real quick, let me tell you your advice on having family game night changed my family and is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard anybody give on the radio.
GLENN: Tell me how it changed your family.
GLENN: Yeah, we played Leapfrog in our living room in our hallway just earlier this week and I mean, it’s like I can’t believe I’m playing Leapfrog but you play Leapfrog but you lay down on the floor and you laugh and you have a good time and it just does change your family. Thank you. I appreciate it.
GLENN: Appreciate it, man. We’ll be watching redstate.com.