U.S. Politics

Frank Luntz: ‘There’s Going To Be A Lot Of Recrimination After Election Day’


On Sunday’s Face the Nation, pollster Frank Luntz had some really bad news for down-ticket Republicans. The party is badly split between “never Trump” and “Trump or die”:

I think it’s going to be very challenging for the GOP, because you have got some Trump voters who are unwilling to vote for a Republican for Senate or Congress as a way to send a message to the establishment, and you have got some independents who want to vote Republican for the Senate and the House, but won’t because they’re too connected to Donald Trump.

With only 17 days to go, I have not seen an election like this, where there is so much intraparty battles going on at a time when the Republicans should be focused on the Democrats and prosecuting the case against their leadership.

He called the Trump campaign the most undisciplined he has ever seen, and suggested that if Trump had made the election about the voter rather than about himself, it would be a very different race and Trump’s to win.

Frances Langum

Frank Luntz · GOP · GOP Cluelessness

Mother Jones: Frank Luntz Calls Right-Wing Talk Radio ‘Problematic’ For GOP

I would agree that right-wing talk radio is an Achilles heel for the GOP but they have bigger problems than that.  

They have an immigration problem, a gun problem, a people of color problem and a “stupid party” problem.  Not to mention their anti-abortion legislation problems.  Also the fact that the Tea Party won’t allow the GOP any amount of compromise not only stifles our government, it stifles the party as well.

Yep, what the GOP has…is a bad image problem.

TPM Livewire

GOP strategist Frank Luntz went off the record before a group of college Republicans earlier this month at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss the negative impact he believes right-walk talk radio has had on the GOP, Mother Jones reported Thursday.

“And they get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it’s really problematic,” Luntz said of right-wing talk-radio programs, according to a recording of the event. Luntz added that talk radio has been especially damaging to Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigration reform efforts.

“He’s getting destroyed,” Luntz said, “by Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others. He’s trying to find a legitimate, long-term effective solution to immigration that isn’t the traditional Republican approach, and talk radio is killing him. That’s what’s causing this thing underneath. And too many politicians in Washington are playing coy.”

According to Mother Jones’ piece, written by David Corn, Luntz asked the audience to allow him to speak off the record, prompting one college newspaper reporter to switch off his device. But another student, Aakash Abbi, captured the sound bite on his iPhone.

Corn has built a reputation reporting on surreptitious recordings, starting with Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments and continuing with a secretly recorded Mitch McConnell campaign strategy meeting.

Listen to the audio and read Corn’s full piece here.

Racism · White Supremacism

GOP Lawmaker Behind Abortion Ban: ‘We’re Not Going To Allow Minorities To Run Roughshod’

So, they wonder why they’re losing the “minority” vote by double digits, yet still insist on denigrating minorities unabashedly.  Shame on the GOP leadership for continuing to allow their members to constantly put down “minorities” in this way.

Perhaps GOP “wordsmith and strategist Frank Luntz should contact this out of control politician ASAP.

Think Progress

On Wednesday, the Arkansas Senate approved anunconstitutional bill to ban abortion as early as six weeksinto a pregnancy. As The Nation’s Lee Fang noted Friday, this is part of a larger strategy by chief sponsor Sen. Jason Rapert (R) to remake America as a arch-conservative country.

Rapert explained his long-term goals in a racist 2011 rant at a Tea Party rally, as he bashed President Obama for hosting a Ramadan celebration:

RAPERT: I hear you loud and clear, Barack Obama. You don’t represent the country that I grew up with. And your values is [sic] not going to save us. We’re going to take this country back for the Lord. We’re going to try to take this country back for conservatism. And we’re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in!

Watch the video:

Rapert’s other proposals include amending the U.S. Constitution to give state legislatures control of the federal debt limit and for the absolute elimination of all parole for state prisoners.

GOP Obstructionism · GOP Partisanship

Editorial: Obama for president: A second term for a serious man

Sam SteinHuffington Post

As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington.

The event — which provides a telling revelation for how quickly the post-election climate soured — serves as the prologue of Robert Draper’s much-discussed and heavily-reported new book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.”

According to Draper, the guest list that night (which was just over 15 people in total) included Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, several years removed from his presidential campaign, and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith. Notably absent were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who, Draper writes, had an acrimonious relationship with Luntz.

For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment), the book says they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama’s legislative platform.

The Editorial Board  –  St. Louis Post Dispatch

Four years ago, in endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president, we noted his intellect, his temperament and equanimity under pressure. He was unproven, but we found him to be presidential, in all that that word implies.

In that, we have not been disappointed. This is a serious man. And now he is a proven leader. He has earned a second term.

Mr. Obama sees an America where the common good is as important as the individual good. That is the vision on which the nation was founded. It is the vision that has seen America through its darkest days and illuminated its best days. It is the vision that underlies the president’s greatest achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Twenty years from now, it will be hard to find anyone who remembers being opposed to Obamacare.

He continues to steer the nation through the most perilous economic challenges since the Great Depression. Those who complain that unemployment remains high, or that economic growth is too slow, either do not understand the scope of the catastrophe imposed upon the nation by Wall Street and its enablers, or they are lying about it.

To expect Barack Obama to have repaired, in four years, what took 30 years to undermine, is simply absurd. He might have gotten further had he not been saddled with an opposition party, funded by plutocrats, that sneers at the word compromise. But even if Mr. Obama had had Franklin Roosevelt’s majorities, the economy would still be in peril.

Extraordinary, perhaps existential, economic challenges lie just beyond Election Day. The nation’s $16 trillion debt must be addressed, but in ways that do not endanger the sick and elderly, or further erode the middle class or drive the poor deeper into penury.

The social Darwinist solutions put forward by Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, are not worthy of this nation’s history, except that part of it known as the Gilded Age.

Mr. Obama has not been everything we expected. In his first weeks in office, Democrats ran amokwith part of his economic stimulus package. His mortgage relief program was insufficient. Together with his Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, the president has been too deferential to the financial industry. The president should have moved to nationalize troubled banks instead of structuring the bailout to their benefit. Regulatory agencies and the Justice Department were unable to bring financial crooks to heel.

We had hoped that Mr. Obama would staff the executive branch with the best and the brightest. There have been stars, but there have been egregious failures, too. The “Fast and Furious”operation at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was a disgrace. The vastly expensive and unaccountable intelligence and Homeland Security agencies need stronger oversight. The now-renamed Minerals Management Service could have used some best-and-brightest inspectors before the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

People who don’t understand the word “socialist” accuse Mr. Obama of being one. But as president he has proven to be pragmatic and conciliatory. He is not one to tilt at windmills. He did not close Guantanamo. He cut deals with anyone who’d come to the table. In health care, banking regulation and most other policy areas, he has practiced the art of the possible.

In foreign policy, after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for doing little more than not being George W. Bush, he has been a centrist. He has stood with Israel, but not as its surrogate. He brought the last of the U.S. troops out of Iraq. He began to wind down the war in Afghanistan — too slowly in our view. He let the nations of the Arab Spring follow their own course to democracy. He used thumb drives instead of bunker busters in Iran.

Against the advice of his senior advisers, he approved the SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden. He has been almost ruthless in his pursuit of terrorists, reserving to himself the right to approve targets. Regretfully, he massaged “due process” to allow himself to assassinate an al-Qaida leader who was an American citizen.

He is not a happy warrior, literally or figuratively. He is careful, cautious, private and deeply thoughtful, almost introverted. His rhetoric soars because he is a good writer, and good writers tend to be solitary souls. He is not as good working off the cuff, as was demonstrated in Wednesday’s debate with Mr. Romney. But being careful and thoughtful is a good thing in a president.

As to Mr. Romney, we are puzzled. Which Mitt Romney are we talking about? The one who said of himself, in 2002, “I’m not a partisan Republican. I’m someone who is moderate and … my views are progressive.”

Or is it the Mitt Romney who posed as a “severely conservative” primary candidate? Is it the Mitt Romney who supported abortion rights and public health care subsidies in Massachusetts or the one who is pro-life and anti-Obamacare now?

Is it the Mitt Romney who wants to cut taxes by $5 trillion or the one who can’t remember saying that now? Is it the Mitt Romney who said in May that 47 percent of Americans are moochers or the one who said last week that’s not what he believes?

U.S. Politics

14 Republican Traitors Plot to Sabotage US Economy with additional information about 2010 New Wave in Congress

The following information has been known to the public for a few months now.  However, I want to add it to my post archives as a reference point from time to time.  

Every citizen of the United States of America should know this information…

These guys are United States Congressmen, elected by “The People” to make laws that would help put an end to the horrific status of the  economy at the time.

They chose not to…

The Thom Hartmann Program via Daily Kos

The 14 Traitors:

This article appeared on the Daily Kos, Friday, June 8, 2012, and is based on information from Robert Draper’s book Do Not Ask What Good We Do:  Inside the US House of Representatives.  Here is part of the article:

Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan & Kevin McCarthy: Plot To Sabotage US Economy with Frank Luntz

On January 20, 2009 Republican Leaders in Congress literally plotted to sabotage and undermine U.S. Economy during President Obama’s Inauguration.  

 In Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” Draper wrote that during a four hour, “invitation only” meeting with GOP Hate-Propaganda Minister, Frank Luntz, the below listed Senior GOP Law Writers literally plotted to sabotage, undermine and destroy America’s Economy.

The Guest List:
Frank Luntz – GOP Minister of Propaganda
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA),
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX),
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX),
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA),
Sen. Jim DeMint (SC-R),
Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ-R),
Sen. Tom Coburn (OK-R),
Sen. John Ensign (NV-R) and
Sen. Bob Corker (TN-R).

Non-lawmakers present Newt Gingrich

During the four hour meeting:
The senior GOP members plotted to bring Congress to a standstill regardless how much it would hurt the American   Economy by pledging to obstruct and block President Obama on all legislation.

 These Republican members of Congress were not simply airing their complaints regarding the other party’s political platform for four long hours.  No, these Republican Congressional Policymakers, who were elected to do ‘the People’s work’ were literally plotting to sabotage, undermine and destroy the U.S. Economy.  

Read much more here… 

Redistribution of Wealth Myth · Tax Cuts For The Wealthy

Adviser Admits Romney’s Tax Plan Would Redistribute Wealth

Thanks to Frank Luntz, the GOP’s “go to guy” for political strategy and “word play”, once again the GOP has succeeded in blaming Democrats…in particular, Barack Obama of socialism because he wants to “redistribute the wealth”.   They look for the candidate’s strongest points and turn it into a weakness/liability.


Luntz frequently tests word and phrase choices using focus groups and interviews. His stated purpose in this is the goal of causing audiences to react based on emotion. “80 percent of our life is emotion, and only 20 percent is intellect. I am much more interested in how you feel than how you think.” “If I respond to you quietly, the viewer at home is going to have a different reaction than if I respond to you with emotion and with passion and I wave my arms around. Somebody like this is an intellectual; somebody like this is a freak.”[2]

So my point is, the GOP knows that everyday business in Congress is in some form “redistributing” money from one source and giving it to another…whether it’s Farm assistance, State subsidies, tax breaks for the wealthy, bailouts, an economic stimulus, etc., it’s still redistributing the income of our government in several ways.  It’s the nature of our Republic.

Frank Luntz

Yet, Luntz, et al know they are dealing with low information voters and people who generally hate the President so the “Obama is a communist” meme plays well enough to use it as often as possible but…with the following phrase:  “Obama is a communist.  He wants to redistribute the wealth to the poor, just like a communist.”

Think Progress

Mitt Romney economic adviser Emil Henry tripled down on the GOP presidential candidate’s claim that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent upon government” and see themselves as “victims” because they don’t pay federal income taxes, during an appearance on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes on Sunday. “You have a president who errs towards, in the very least, an entitlement society, a society of hand downs, a society of 46 million people on food stamps,” Henry said, adding that Romney opposes Obama’s efforts to “redistribute” wealth to those with lower incomes.

He then advocated for Romney’s tax reform plan — which he likened to a flat tax — of lowering the marginal rates by 20 percent across the board and limiting exemptions and deductions for the richest Americans, while providing the middle class with tax relief. “I have heard him say this 100 times and I know this for a fact, he says taxes on rich folks are not going to go down because of the elimination of exemptions,” Henry added.

But when Hayes pointed out the inconsistency of the charge, noting that taxes on wealthy people would have to come down substantially if Romney seeks to eliminate the “redistribution” inherent in America’s progressive tax code, Henry conceded that Republicans would also transfer wealth from one group to another:

HAYES: There is a tension with the nonredistributed thing. Taxes on wealthy people have to go down. If he doesn’t believe in that, he has to reduce the burden of wealthy people. We have a barely, but progressive income tax. If he doesn’t believe in redistribution, he has to cut it for the wealthy. It’s not the case he is flattening the tax code and not lowering them for rich people. […]

HENRY: If your point is that a progressive tax code, which is what the United States of America has and it’s the right thing, and it’s about fairness and fairness of opportunity, your point is there’s a technical element of redistribution by virtue of hiring –

HAYES: Not just technical — that’s redistribution. You are paying for it!

HENRY: Let’s be real about it. Let’s be real about this. When President Obama talks about redistribution, Chris, you know this is true, when he talks about redistribution, he is talking about a massive difference from the Romney plan, which is about simpler, lower marginal rates, getting rid of exemptions and lowering the corporate tax rate to attract business in America.

Watch it:

Continue reading here…

GOP Obstructionism · GOP's Obama Derangement Syndrome

From Day One

The Daily Beast‘s Michael Tomasky has written a critique about GOP behavior toward Obama and the country.  His premise is supported by Robert  Draper’s Do Not Ask What Good We Do, which focuses on just that, GOP behavior towards this president.

The Daily Beast

I’ve been reading Robert Draper’s Do No Ask What Good We Do, about the new GOP House, and it opens with a very interesting anecdote. On the night of Obama’s inauguration, Draper writes, about 15 GOP legislators from both houses–along with Newt Gingrich, journalist Fred Barnes, and pollster Frank Luntz, who arranged the evening–got together at a Washington restaurant.

They were not necessarily the party’s official leaders, but they were the emotional leaders of the new breed–Jim DeMint, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy–which is to say, the cohort to whom many others were looking for leadership; indeed, if you know anything about Mitch McConnell, to whom the leadership was looking for leadership. They talked for four hours about what their posture should be.

They agreed that night: oppose everything in completely unity. Show, Draper writes, “united and unyielding opposition to the president’s economic policies.”

So, before President Obama had proposed a single idea, the Republicans had already decided that they would oppose everything he did. Didn’t matter what it was. Look his plans over and see where we might be able to work together? Are you kidding?

Remember, this is the middle of a near-depression. The country lost around 800,000 jobs that very month. Every economic indicator was in the toilet and quickly rushing down into the sewer. The country was at the rock-bottom point of its worst economic crisis in the lifetimes of every one of the men in that room.

One might hope under such circumstances that the agenda-setting members of a minority party would, oh, convene a meeting in which someone said something like, “You know, we don’t like this president, and we’re not going to agree with him much, but let’s remember that almost a million Americans are losing their jobs this month, so we might want to find one or two areas of agreement.”

If anyone said such a thing, which seems doubtful, Draper doesn’t record it. Instead, the posture was–oppose, and stick him with the blame.

And no, Democrats don’t behave this way. I have shown before that Democrats in Congress voted at far higher rates for Bush’s signature legislative proposals than Republicans did for Obama’s, by 41 percent to 6 percent. It’s not chiefly because Democrats are better people, although it’s certainly true that Democrats aren’t as ideologically crazed as Republicans. it’s chiefly because many Democrats were in January 2001 from purple districts. But whatever the reason, Democrats didn’t and don’t do this.

It’s pretty amazing, and it’s worse that they get away with it because it’s precisely the behavior expected of them, so no one bats an eye any more. But this is not even the behavior of apes, who are far more socialized.

Frank Luntz · Republicans

Manufacturing Consent – Republicans Worried About Occupy Wall Street

Well, they should be worried, very worried…

Mario Piperni

Frank Luntz, master of political communication professional liar, told a meeting of Republican Governors how deeply concerned he was about the impact Occupy Wall Street is having on political discourse and American’s view of capitalism. Imagine having people realize that capitalists don’t always have their best interests at heart. That would do serious damage to that ‘job creators’ image conservatives have so carefully crafted over the last while.

Luntz outlined his strategy on how conservatives should best deal with lie to and about the movement.  Chris Moody has the full list.

  • Don’t say ‘capitalism.’:  “I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”
  • Don’t say ‘taxes the rich’:  “If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  ”if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes.”
  • Don’t say ‘middle class’:  “They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”
  • Don’t say ‘entrepreneur’:  “Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”
  • Blame Washington for everything:  Tell them, “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”

Noam Chomsky, co-author of the 1988 book – Manufacturing Consent, understands only too well propaganda of this sort.

The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must — namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

It all comes down to corporate interests (by way of media and politicians) manufacturing knowledge as a means to shape public opinion.  With the help of shameless politicos like Luntz, Republicans have mastered the art form.

On the bright side, the fact that Republicans feel they need a plan as manipulative and deceiving as the one outlined by Luntz tells you that OWS is making a difference.  The big boys are worried…and that’s a good thing.

U.S. Politics

Luntz: “9/11 allows us to celebrate Bush/Cheney for keeping us safe”

Dr. Frank Luntz at the 2009 Texas Book Festiva...
Image via Wikipedia

What in the world is wrong with right-wingers.  Are they that brain-washed about 9/11 and the Bush/Cheney misguided involvement  in the events following that tragedy?

Frank Luntz is the guru behind most right-wing talking points.  One would think that he would know better, unless of course, this is simply yet another “messaging” ploy to re-write the negative history of the Bush administration’s abject failures leading up to the events of 9/11 and mistakes and mis-steps after 9/11.

Raw Replay

In the mind of pollster Frank Luntz, September 11th gives the nation a chance to praise George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Appearing on Your World with Neil Cavuto on Friday afternoon, Luntz expressed his concern about America’s lack of optimism in the last decade. Then, the Fox analysis shared a controversial sentiment by speaking in positive terms about the the previous Administration despite the attack happening on their watch.

“I don’t think this date is a positive,” Luntz said. “Yes, it allows us to look back and say ‘We haven’t been hit.’ Yes, it allows us to appreciate George Bush and Dick Cheney for keeping us safe. But in the end, it reminds us that we are vulnerable, and that hurts our confidence.”

WATCH: Video from Fox News, which appeared on September 9, 2011.

Related articles

President Barack Obama · President Obama

Obama’s ‘Apology Tour’ As Told By His Detractors

The GOP and Tea Partiers have been reading their talking points from Frank Luntz because they all have been saying the same thing lately…

The Washington Post – Fact Checker

“I think he had made a practice of trying to apologize for America. I personally am proud of America.”
–Former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Feb. 20, 2011

“I will not and I will never apologize for America. I don’t apologize for America, because I believe in America.”
–Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (author of “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness”), Feb. 11, 2011

“Mr. President, stop apologizing for our country.”
–Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Feb. 11, 2011

The Fact Checker senses a campaign theme emerging: Obama the apologist.

As the above quotes illustrate, it is an article of faith among top Republicans that President Obama has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its behavior. Even more, the argument goes, he does not believe in American strength and greatness. The assertion feeds into a subterranean narrative that Obama, with his exotic, mixed-race background, is not really American in the first place.

The claim that Obama is an apologist for America actually began to take shape shortly after he became president. It had been bubbling in the conservative blogs before Karl Rove, the former political adviser to George W. Bush, published an article titled “The President’s Apology Tour” in the Wall Street Journal on April 23, 2009, just three months after Obama took the oath of office.


Let’s look at the evidence.

The Facts

Most of the criticism stems from a series of speeches that Obama made shortly after taking office, when he was trying to introduce himself to the world and also signify a break with the Bush administration with new policies, such as pledging to close the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Most of the criticism stems from a series of speeches that Obama made shortly after taking office, when he was trying to introduce himself to the world and also signify a break with the Bush administration with new policies, such as pledging to close the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay.

This is typical of many new presidents. George W. Bush, for instance, quickly broke with Clinton administration policy on dealings with North Korea, the Kyoto climate change treaty and the international criminal court, to name a few.

Rove built his case around four quotes made by Obama:

Mr. Obama told the French (the French!) that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. In Prague, he said America has “a moral responsibility to act” on arms control because only the U.S. had “used a nuclear weapon.” In London, he said that decisions about the world financial system were no longer made by “just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy” — as if that were a bad thing. And in Latin America, he said the U.S. had not “pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors” because we “failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”


The Pinocchio Test

The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context.

Obama often was trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush, a common practice when the presidency changes parties. The shift in policies, in fact, might have been more dramatic from Clinton to Bush than from Bush to Obama, given how Obama has largely maintained Bush’s approach to fighting terrorism.

In other cases, Obama’s quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes. Or they were not much different than sentiments expressed by Bush or his secretary of state. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama’s handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist.

Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened.

Four Pinocchios