Yahoo News’ Chris Moody knocks it out of the ball park with his latest report from Orlando, Florida, where the Republican Governors Association met with top GOP message-man-turned-Yoda Frank Luntz. The crux of their meeting? Learning how to wiggle out of uncomfortable moments whenever questioned about the politically inconvenient Occupy Wall Street movement.
Staring down a crazed youth angry about inequality? Don’t panic, says Luntz. Instead, follow this handy-dandy guide guaranteed to help pacify your subject, explain that things actually aren’t all that bad, and that Republican policies can make it better.
First, Luntz instructs the attendees to avoid referring to “capitalism,” and instead stick to the much more aesthetically pleasing “economic freedom” or “market.”
“The public … still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral,” says Luntz. “And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”
Next, Luntz instructs the gathered governors that the phrase “hardworking taxpayers” is much more politically advantageous than “middle class.”
“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers,” Luntz says. “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.”
But the top tip in winning an angry Occupier to your side, Lunt advises, is to show some compassion. Understand where they’re coming from, their struggle to make ends meet, their never ending search for employment.
“First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ … ‘I get that you’re. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”
The only thing Luntz forgot, really, is to teach these governors how to respond to reports of excessive use of pepper-spray to control protesters. But not to worry, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has him covered.
For even more tips from the GOP’s top message guru, head here.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.