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Frank Luntz on Clinton's "Shared Prosperity"

Hannity & Colmes

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time for a new beginning. For an end to government of the few by the few and for the few. Time to reject the idea of an on-your-own society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a "we're all in it together" society.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was Senator Hillary Clinton yesterday in New Hampshire. So what is the senator really trying to say with those words?

Joining us now is our friend, author of a terrific book, "Words that Work". Frank Luntz is with us.

It sounds to me like that's -- it takes a village 2.0, Frank.

FRANK LUNTZ, AUTHOR, "WORDS THAT WORK": It's that phrase, to end an "on-your-own society." If there ever was an indication of where Hillary Clinton stands politically, ideologically, those are the words.

What she's clearly saying is enough of individualism. We're now going to do things collectively. Now, the American people do like the concept of we're all in this together, but what they don't want is to give up individual freedoms, individual rights.

I think that this rhetoric, if people pay attention to it carefully, they will see that this goes too far to the left, too close to social democracy rather than freedom. And I think she'll have a problem with it in the general election.

HANNITY: I agree with that. I think the Republicans are going to have a field day with this. You know, to each according to their need, from each according to their ability. Sounds almost identical. Doesn't it?

All right. Clip No. 2. Let me show you this one. It is John Edwards. You know, there's this big controversy. He asked people on the one day we're supposed to remember these brave heroes, Memorial Day, he's asking people on his web site to go out and politicize it. Let's roll that tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This Memorial Day weekend don't stand quietly, don't just go to picnics, don't just gather with your friends. Engage in an act of patriotism. Show how much you love this country and speak out in support of our troops. And bring an end to this war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Even selling T-shirts and asking for donations to, quote, "end the war." Does that help him?

LUNTZ: Well, look, there is a huge difference. It's not a chasm anymore. It's this earthquake between Republicans and Democrats. And the war is what's causing this division.

And what John Edwards is saying is going to be very popular among Democrats in Iowa. I think that this is a continuation of Edwards' focus on the war, trying to turn the war into his electoral issue.

Hillary Clinton is focusing on economy. Edwards goes after the war. Their rhetoric is increasingly sharp and extreme.

I've got to tell you something, Sean, it may not be pleasant to hear. But there are thousand of Democratic caucus voters in Iowa that absolutely will respond to this message. And I think from a Democratic perspective, it's smart for him to be doing this.

COLMES: I think he's in sync with most Americans on the war at this point.

But let me show you what President Bush is saying on immigration, which seems to be bothering people on all sides of the spectrum. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This reform is complex. There's a lot of emotions around this issue. Convictions run deep. Those determined to find fault with this bill will always be able to look at a narrow slice of it and find something they don't like.

If you want to kill the bill, if you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it. You can use it to frighten people.

Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all, so the people who wear the uniform in this crowd can do the job we expect them to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: If you don't agree with him, you're not doing what's right for America?

LUNTZ: Actually, I have a different take on it, and it's going to surprise both of you. What's going on within the Republican Party has barely touched the surface on shows like this one. You have a genuine fracture within the Republican base over immigration.

And it's language like that and positions like that that is leading to that fracture. Don't take sides on the issue. Just focus on what's going on in conventions and meetings and Republican gatherings all across the country. Immigration is the No. 1 issue. And it's causing a divide directly down the center of the GOP.

COLMES: Here is Rudy Giuliani reacting to the possibility of Fred Thompson as a candidate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Has he decided to join? It would be very good if he did. He has a great deal to offer. We'd be very -- I think the American people is very interested in hearing his ideas, particularly Republicans.

So, I mean, there are ten in the race right now, 11, 12, 13. It doesn't matter very much. We all get a chance to make our point.

And I'm very comfortable with the idea that the Republican Party members get to decide who the candidate is going to be. And they have a right to be exposed to all different possible candidates that there are. I think Fred joining the race would be a really good thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: He wants more competition, right?

LUNTZ: Of course, he doesn't want more competition. Fred Thompson is going to be very good competition. The guy's a fantastic actor. But more importantly, people see in him what they saw in Ronald Reagan. I think Thompson may do well.

But I've got to go back before you end this segment on that issue of immigration. Guys, this is so divisive, so polarizing, so emotional. I can tell you right now if you're going into rating sweeps, immigration is the issue to be talking about, because it's causing divisions all across the country.

And the hostility and anger towards this legislation on both sides of it is increasing with every single day.

HANNITY: Hey, Frank, I totally agree with your analysis. The fracture is there. Conservatives do not like this bill, and it's not one small aspect of it. I don't like it for a variety of reasons: the costs, the amnesty aspect. I mean, I think you're dead on.

LUNTZ: That's the key word. Amnesty is the key word.

HANNITY: I agree with you.


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