GOP messaging guru Luntz advised Biden’s Covid task force



“I don’t care if people b—- at me,” he mentioned.

“The Biden team didn’t ask me for anything. They simply said, ‘Whatever you find, we want to know,’” Luntz mentioned. “This is more than Trump did. Trump did not care about the research we started to do. The [Trump] White House wasn’t interested in it, he didn’t promote it.”

Slavitt, who mentioned he was the primary to achieve out to Luntz within the early days of the administration, credited Luntz for offering copious particulars of focus group analysis that confirmed the best methods of speaking to folks in regards to the security of Covid vaccines.

“The cable networks in particular were using language that was not helping the cause,” Slavitt mentioned in an interview. “His whole point is that, you hear CNN say ‘Republicans, conservatives aren’t getting vaccinated, they’re vaccine hesitant.’ It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and it creates a wedge, it talks down to people. And that was not helpful.”

A fixture of Republican politics because the days when he was advising lawmakers to name the “estate tax” the “death tax,” Luntz has develop into a little bit of a nomad in recent times. He maintains allies within the GOP but in addition claimed in 2019 to have had an epiphany on local weather change, after advising Republicans for years on beat again legislative efforts to deal with it.

He is maybe the one operative in Washington who has each rented a room to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and advised the Biden White House. For the previous, Fox News host Tucker Carlson attacked him this 12 months, arguing that McCarthy was compromised by Luntz’s company purchasers after renting a room in his dwelling.

Asked if information of his relationship with the White House would solely additional ruffle feathers with conservatives like Carlson, Luntz responded, “I don’t care.” He emphasised every phrase.

While Slavitt mentioned Luntz’s analysis was helpful, he additionally mentioned that the framework he supplied was one the White House had already been adopting. In the tip, it solidified their perception {that a} hyper-local technique to encourage vaccinations — which included having docs attain out to their sufferers in regards to the vaccine — was the best one.

“The question we were asked the most coming in was, ‘Why aren’t you getting out there with political leaders, talking about this with movie stars, sports stars?’ and all of the research we heard — including from Frank — told us it was the local conversations with doctors and Trump people that were more important,” Slavitt mentioned. “I want to make clear, we called and talked and listened to a lot of people, I don’t want to overstate it. But of the people we talked to he was among the best.”

The advising was on a volunteer foundation, mentioned Slavitt, who now hosts a Podcast referred to as “In the Bubble” wherein he lately had Luntz on as a visitor. He mentioned that the public-health oriented de Beaumont Foundation paid for the Luntz focus group work that the White House was in a position to make use of.

Though he informally advised the White House, Luntz on Wednesday mentioned he was important of Biden’s door-to-door technique — one the place neighborhood members like pastors or grassroots activists try to clarify the advantages of the Covid vaccine and inform folks entry one. While the White House has been utilizing some facet of this technique for weeks, the president and Press Secretary Jen Psaki lately highlighted the efforts as a method the administration was tackling the rapid-spreading Delta variant.

“I don’t know why they came up with this strategy, I don’t know why they recommended it. The likelihood of success is extremely low,” mentioned Luntz. “You have to either know the person or trust a person. Someone who shows up at your door isn’t someone you know or trust.”

Luntz did, nevertheless, credit score the White House for attempting completely different approaches. Another one he prompt was for Biden to instantly name on his predecessor, Donald Trump, to get extra concerned.

“I think Joe Biden needs to say explicitly, ‘President Trump, tell your people to get vaccinated … If you won’t, explain why. And if you won’t, stop trying to take credit for developing the vaccine because what good is the vaccine if people won’t get it,’” mentioned Luntz.

Luntz additionally supplied some strategies based mostly on his newest focus group findings, which present an efficient method to attain reluctant populations is thru deploying grandparents to speak to their grandkids and native pharmacists to speak to their sufferers.

“You gotta keep trying,” he mentioned. “Because success saves lives.”



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