News & Election Videos
Election 2008 Democrats | Republicans | General Election: Heads-to-Heads | Latest Polls


Frank Luntz on Giuliani, Edwards, Vitter

Hannity & Colmes


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: The abortion question is not a litmus test. Roe against Wade is not a litmus test. No particular case is a litmus test. That is actually -- this is my humble opinion, as somebody who has practiced in the federal courts, even argued before the Supreme Court. That's not the way to appoint a Supreme Court justice or any judge. Any really good candidate for judge, when you ask him that question, will tell you "I don't know the answer to that question, and I will not know the answer to that question until I hear the arguments in the case."


COLMES: That was presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani earlier today assuring voters he will put conservatives on the bench regardless of his stance on abortion. You heard his words, but what's the real message here? With us, author of "Words That Work," Republican strategist Frank Luntz.

What say you about what Rudy Giuliani just said?

FRANK LUNTZ, AUTHOR, "WORDS THAT WORK": It's a smart approach. Look, he does not want to talk about abortion anywhere, anytime, not Iowa, not New Hampshire. Anytime that he can shift the conversation to judges, he's moving to the mainstream of the Republican Party. When he's talking about abortion, he's only into the one-third of Republicans.

COLMES: By the way, of the 75 New York City judges he appointed as mayor, six were Republicans. So if people bring that up, is that going to taint the way people look at him in terms of what he might do as a national candidate?

LUNTZ: And that's the whole issue. Rudy Giuliani has proven that he is the best general election candidate. His challenge is to get to the primaries. That's why he's using rhetoric that you heard right there. When you focus on conservative judges -- and we see what the Supreme Court can do, that's where Republicans...


COLMES: Fine, not what he did as mayor of New York. But here's John McCain in his last salvo about Guantanamo Bay. Let's take a look at that.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I would announce on the day of inauguration that we're closing Guantanamo Bay.


I would announce that we will never torture another person in our custody again.


I will announce that we will sit down with our neighbors and friends all over the world and comprehensively and internationally address the issue of climate change. And I'd be humble.


COLMES: That would be a nice change, humility. Frank, what do you think about what we just saw?

LUNTZ: It's funny, the one that did not get applause was climate change. That's when everyone sat on their hands and said, "I ain't going to react to that." Where's the passion? He needs what Geraldo Rivera almost did to you moments ago.

HANNITY: Beat me up.

LUNTZ: There is no intensity. If he were to sit there and bang on the table or show some emotion, it's not just the...

COLMES: What about the words he used, though?

LUNTZ: But it's not just the words, Alan. It's also how he presents himself. If you're going to be the reformer, if you're going to be anti- status quo, if you're going to challenge the system, you've got to do what I'm doing now. You've got to be loud, you've got to be tough, you've got to be engaged.

HANNITY: I agree with everything you're saying. All right, we've got a couple more cuts in here we want to get to you. First of all, this whole issue, John Edwards, first it's a $400 haircut that actually became a $1,200 haircut. Let's roll that tape.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, I was just wondering, since you're on this national poverty tour, how do you justify spending $400 on a haircut?


JOHN EDWARDS (D), CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT: I don't. No excuses. But can I just tell you, you know, some lessons you learn the hard way. I've learned my lesson. I got a very cheap haircut a few days ago, and I'm going to keep getting cheap haircuts.


HANNITY: ... explain the 28,000-square-foot mansion, the $55,000 speech on poverty, can he -- I think that's why he's on this tour, right?

LUNTZ: It's simple. The guy is just a darn good lawyer, and he makes the money and he wants to spend it. What he should have said there is gone even further. And, yes, you two would have had a field day with it. He would have looked to the camera, straight in the eye of the woman and said, "I'm an idiot." Sometimes you've got to be that candid to just put it aside. If he would say that, nobody would ask him the question again.

HANNITY: That would have been it?

LUNTZ: That would have been it.

HANNITY: You know what? I think that's good advice, but you're never going to hear that from a politician.

LUNTZ: And you're certainly not going to hear it from John Edwards.

HANNITY: All right, we've been following the case of Senator Vitter. He had a press conference with his wife. Let's roll the tape.


SEN. DAVID VITTER (R), LOUISIANA: I want to again offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past. I am completely responsible, and I'm so very, very sorry. Unfortunately, my admission has encouraged some longtime political enemies and those hoping to profit from the situation to spread falsehoods, too, like those New Orleans stories in recent reporting. Those stories are not true.


LUNTZ: Again, it's not the words. If you looked at her wife, as Mrs. Vitter's face, this is a woman in agony. This is not just pain. And it's tight, and she's emotional, and I don't think I would have had her standing next to him.

HANNITY: You know what? It's funny you say that, because that's the first thing I noticed. She was uptight. Why did he put her in that position?

LUNTZ: Because every politician who's been in that position -- go back to Bill and Hillary Clinton on "60 Minutes." If the wife will stand by you and stand beside you...

HANNITY: It's a level of acceptability.

LUNTZ: ... yes, it's symbolic, but it means something. And that's why he did it.

COLMES: Why did he put her in the position by cheating on her in the first place? Anyway, thank you very much...

HANNITY: Hey, why did Bill Clinton do it?

COLMES: It's all about Clinton.

Sphere: Related Content | Email | Print | AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sponsored Links