Outlook: Frank Luntz on the GOP's 'Pledge to America'

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Frank Luntz
Monday, September 27, 2010; 10:00 AM

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Frank Luntz: So let's get it on, first question.

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is plan good ?: At the end you said its a good plan, I am confused, so many economists and others have said its undoable. So should I just accept it cause its a plan on paper and the Dems do not have one. I too am an independent, the type that no one talks about.

Frank Luntz: I wish it had a balanced budget amendment but it does have dozens of specifics regarding spending, taxes, health care, national security that the American people want now.

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Deficit Chickenhawks: How exactly do Republicans plan on controlling the deficit if they exclude defense, seniors and veterans from spending cuts?

Frank Luntz: At the very minimum Washington has a responsbility to spend your tax dollars a lot more wisely.

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Pledge to me State/District: There appears to be a bi-partisan spirit to throw the bums out, as visible Republicans AND Democrats have been turned out from the right and left, respectively (Murkowski and Castle; Specter and Fenty). I suspect what the electorate really wants to do is un-elect OTHER people's congressmen, who bring pork projects to their home jurisdictions. Does the Pledge constitute a commitment to cut spending (including defense), even that which benefits MY CONSTITUENTS, or is it just another "low taxes for everyone and pork for us" platform?

Frank Luntz: That's why they won in 2008 and that's why they will lose in 2010.

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Contract or Pledge : Which has more creditablity or which is more leaglly binding

Frank Luntz:

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What do you mean by : If the current "Pledge" helps the GOP in the short-term (2010 elections) but, in so doing, helps re-elect Obama in 2012 (as happened with Clinton in 1996), then can the "Pledge" really be considered successful? In other words, is this just a short-term gimmick that is " deja-vu all over again"? -- @transpartisan

Frank Luntz: I realize that there are those reading this who won't believe what I'm about to say but those who know me know exactly how I think about questions like this. I care more about governing than about elections.

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Chantilly ,Va.: Frank, did you really use the term "intellectual heft" in connection with this plan? Have you been paying attention to who is pulling the strings in the GOP lately? Intellectual heft is not something I'd associate with this bunch. Maybe Paul Ryan and a couple others, but Eric Cantor for one seems to be doing his best to make people forget he's an Ivy Leaguer.

Frank Luntz: He's the only individual pursuing a genuinely thoughtful, intellectual, comprehensive approach to all these issues, and many of his ideas can be found in the pledge.These two people give me faith that the next generation of GOP leaders will be better than the past.

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Contract or Pledge: Which is more legally binding? A Contract With or A Pledge to.

Frank Luntz: Enough said.

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Words That Work and the Pledge: Just read your book, "Words That Work", again. Know you worked on the Contract w/America years ago. Were you involved with this pledge and what words you would advise "never to use" and what words/phrases should be used in thier place in this pledge? My first impression with this pledge idea was, "Been there, done that." This seems a gimmick when the Repubicans, I regret to say, don't really have any idea what to do either. I usually vote Republican, but I'm just not too impressed with the leadership these days. But we do like you and always look forward to your commentary.

Frank Luntz:

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Frank Luntz:

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Frank Luntz:

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Delivery mechanism: How about discussing the difference in the delivery mechanism between the Pledge and Contract? The Contract could be torn out in physical form in a magazine most Americans had on their coffee table. As far as I know, the Pledge seems only available when linked to from news article?

Frank Luntz: But with the Web millions of people will hold the Republicans accountable so I think the Pledge has just as much a chance of succeeding.

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Where can I find their alternative approaches?: "They have a complete alternative budget but the press won't write about it. They have an entirely different approach to national security and energy security but no one knows about it. "Where can I find more about this? Something with a bit more substance than this pedge.

Frank Luntz:

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Budget Credibility: I dont think either party has any credibility when it comes to the budget and deficits. The Dems have not shown any ability to cut spending, yet the GOP shows no ability to propose anything but a tax cut. The Bush tax cuts were never paid for. Until there are adults in Washington who are serious about handling this budget differently, we are stuck with these two political parties

Frank Luntz:

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Heatlh care: Might health care backfire on Republicans. While it is not popular, how popular do you think it will be to take away health benefits after the public has been given them?

Frank Luntz:

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Frank Luntz:


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