Luntz: Delaying Kavanaugh Confirmation Good For Conservatives, Longer Public Discussion On Constitution

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Frank Luntz said Monday night that Republicans should support Chuck Schumer's push to hold Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing until after the midterm election. He said conservatives are much more focused on the Supreme Court than liberals and this is the "only issue" that galvanizes Republicans to participate in the midterm.

Luntz said the longer there is a conversation about the Constitution, civics, freedom of speech, the Bill of Rights the better conservatives will do. He said the extended period to have a discussion may result in several Republican Senate pickups.

"I think that the longer the conversation goes, the better conservatives do," Luntz said. "We want to educate the American people on why that document is so important."





"Conservatives are much more focused on the Supreme Court then liberals are," he said. "Conservatives are more likely to get out and vote. This is the only issue that galvanizes Republicans to participate in this midterm election. So yes, Senator Schumer, I do hope you get that extended period to have this conversation. It will elect at least two more Republican senators. It may even save the Republicans in the House."

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Frank Luntz, you have an interesting theory about whether this vote to confirm this nominee is best rushed before the beginning of the court determined early October or held until after the midterm election cycle. When I first heard it, I was like, has Frank lost his mind? What is he talking about? But explain this, because it got more interesting as I thought about it as the day went on.

FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: I think Chuck Schumer is right. I in fact hope that the Republicans follow his advice. Two reasons. First is that we need a conversation about the Constitution, right now in 2018. And the longer we have this conversation, I think the better conservatives are going to do, because in the end when you talk about freedom of speech, the press, religion, when you talk about the Bill of Rights and the 10 Amendments, I think that the longer the conversation goes, the better conservatives do. We want to educate the American people on why that document is so important.

And second, conservatives are much more focused on the Supreme Court then liberals are. Conservatives are more likely to get out and vote. This is the only issue that galvanizes Republicans to participate in this midterm election. So yes, Senator Schumer, I do hope you get that extended period to have this conversation. It will elect at least two more Republican senators. It may even save the Republicans in the House because every conservative will vote to ensure that this man, a strict supporter of the constitution, becomes the next Supreme Court justice. It is that significant in the American political process.

INGRAHAM: Interesting. Mark Penn, the poll with hart about last week, I thought it was interesting about whether we whether the confirmation vote should take place before the midterms or after. And 62 percent according to the NBC poll said it should occur before the November elections, which I think it probably freaked out Chuck Schumer and company. But most people said before, not after. What about your pal Frank's idea here? Obviously that's from the Republican perspective. I think it's interesting but I am someone who is a bird in the hand. Get this done, get him in. I get paranoid about waiting too long on these things, although I think it's an interesting idea.

MARK PENN, POLLSTER: I always had a philosophy about nominations and endorsements. Get them done as quickly as possible because you never know what tomorrow brings. I think Frank's strategy would be a huge gift to Democrats. Thank you, Frank. The longer this thing plays out the more actually I think the Democratic base would be energized and the more the base would turn out because then they could actually affect the choice through the election.

Right now we can protest but we ain't going to do anything about this nomination in particular unless something significant is found in his record, which has not happened with Neil Gorsuch. And so I think the longer this plays out, the more it plays actually to the Democratic advantage. Two-thirds of the people in this country would not overturn Roe versus Wade even though abortion itself is a closely split issue. And second trimester and third trimester abortions most people want only under limited circumstances. They do not want to overturn and reopen social wounds in this country, and they think that any nominee that would do that will probably take the country in the wrong direction. And the more this reopens the wounds, the election, it makes for a more divisive society.

INGRAHAM: I think, though, here's the problem. Hold on, here's the problem with that. The problem with that is you have someone like Brett Kavanaugh who -- listen to his speech tonight, how he spoke, how he spoke with not only reverence about the Constitution but with the process. Looking forward to meeting with senators, being an independent jurist. I think most fair-minded people, not the agitators over at the courts tonight, Mark, but most Americans watching him tonight, they see even a snippet of that, they are going to think he's not a fire-breathing dragon. He's not going to rip up the Constitution and put women in jail. That doesn't strike most people.

And so I think that image tonight at the courts hurts the Democrats morning, noon, and nights. I don't like that's attractive. I don't think those women out there tonight helped the Democrats at all. But Frank, your thoughts about what we heard tonight. And apparently on another network tonight, CNN, Rick Santorum was criticizing Brett Kavanaugh, criticizing him. What is that all about?

LUNTZ: This country, this country needs civics. It's not taught in high schools. It's not taught in colleges. We need our next generation to understand the importance of the Constitution and how this government operates. And the longer that we have this discussion, it may not be about politics, but it absolutely is about the next generation, and to understand where they Constitution matters, the Bill of Rights matter, and that we should not be politicizing everything.

These protesters and the extremism that's being articulated is one of the things that's driving this country apart. And it's driving people insane. I love the fact that this president made this very calm, very conscientious choice, that he chose someone who is committed to the constitution. And I think that the longer we have this conversation, the better it's going to be for America in the long run.

INGRAHAM: Leonard Leo, that's a risky idea of putting up a confirmation vote. I get what Frank is saying and I think that's one of the main reasons people wanted Donald Trump -- for a lot of reasons -- immigration, trade. But this court became a really big issue in the presidential election, the Supreme Court. Huge. Would you be in favor of letting this thing play out longer than the beginning of the new term at the courts? Or do you agree with Mark Penn that that would be a gift to the Democrats?

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