Frank Luntz Focus Group of Trump Voters Shocks Washington
Jun 20, 2017
RUSH: Frank Luntz lives in Los Angeles. Frank Luntz powwows with Hollywood people, does work for them, and then travels back and forth to Washington, works for political people. He does focus groups and other kinds of consumer audience research.
He invited some people to his house. He invited Republicans and Democrats. Actually, he invited Republican congressmen to his House in LA and then invited a bunch of Hollywood leftists to the same get-together. It was Luntz trying to reach across the aisle. It was Luntz trying to put together the Republicans with the Democrats.
I think, Scalise was there, and Scalise got ripped to shreds by the Hollywood left, but reportedly continued to smile and shake hands and didn’t react to it. Another focus group that Luntz did, CBS This Morning, they played a portion of Luntz talking with a focus group of Trump voters. And Luntz says, “We’re now in the middle of June. I want you to give me one word or phrase to describe Donald Trump. Now that we have some idea of who he is, give me a word or phrase to describe Donald Trump.”
VOICE: I’d say honest.
VOICE: Tough SOB.
VOICE: Very authentic.
RUSH: Hot damn, Mabel, did you hear that? I didn’t hear one negative word about Trump. Did you hear what these people said? Honest, determined, effective, true, strong, productive, tough SOB, very authentic. And it turns out that they love Trump’s tweets! They love it, even when Luntz tries to talk ’em out of it.
LUNTZ: How many of you in this room love the tweeting? You think it’s really appropriate for a president to do that?
VOICE: It could be better.
VOICE: It could be better. He needs to tone down the language a little bit, but the bottom line is, it’s his way to get the message out.
VOICE: I would argue that Donald Trump shouldn’t tone it down. This brash brand that he has is what got him elected.
VOICE: You know, my thing is, I’m so tired of people beating on Donald Trump. Donald Trump made us promises, he kept them, and that’s a type of new leadership that we need.
LUNTZ: And what has he accomplished?
VOICE: What has he accomplished? He’s done more in the last hundred days than President Obama done in the last eight years.
RUSH: Now, what you didn’t see is when Luntz asked them how many people of you in this room love the tweeting, every hand went up, every hand. Now, I don’t know where Luntz falls in all this, but I’ll tell you most of the inside-the-Beltway establishment types would just blanch when they heard this last guy say, “What’s he accomplished? He’s done more in the last hundred days than Obama’s done in the last eight years.”
They think they have Trump paralyzed. They think they have Trump stopped. They believe Trump isn’t able to do anything because they have him so occupied with Comey and the Russians and the special counsel and the collusion and the obstruction of justice. They think — and I’m talking about the media — they think they have Trump stymied. And yet Trump — look at some of the things. They said during the campaign Trump hates Muslims, he despises ’em. What does he do? He goes to Saudi Arabia and he has a meeting with 55 different Muslim countries, and all of them rave about Donald Trump.
During the campaign, Trump said, “I’m gonna shut down NATO. NATO’s a waste of time, it’s a waste of money, I’m getting rid of it.” People said, “Trump’s horrible. Trump’s gonna close down NATO. Trump is an idiot.” Trump goes to NATO, doesn’t close it down, shapes it up and gets members to pay their dues, which has not been done. Trump is canceling and got us out of the Paris climate accords. He’s not paralyzed. He’s not stymied. But the Drive-Bys think that all that’s going on is that everybody is leaking and that nobody on the Trump staff is safe, and Trump’s gonna fire this person and that person. Jared Kushner is next, then Reince Priebus, Bannon, all this stuff that the media’s occupied with.
And yet Trump just keeps chugging along despite what they’re doing. And they’re not even seeing it, which is why Katrina vanden Heuvel is mad. Again, leftist, socialist, communist publisher of The Nation, and she today in the Washington Post is excoriating the media for malpractice by being focused on this nothing burger of collusion with the Russians while Trump is running rings around everybody.
And the media’s going, “What? What? What?” ‘Cause they think they’ve got Trump stopped. They think they’ve got him totally distracted. So when they hear things like this in this focus group, I’m telling you they are shell-shocked. They also think, the people in the focus group, they think that the Russia investigation is a huge waste of time. They think the entire programming of the American media is a huge waste of time. Luntz asked them, “Did the Russians intervene in this election?”
VOICE: No. I mean, they didn’t get into the voting machines and change votes. It wouldn’t have made any difference one way or the other.
VOICE: Don’t do it for the purpose of overturning an election.
VOICE: If the Russians affected the election, then that means they changed the minds of the American people. And that’s not what happened.
LUNTZ: The whole purpose of this is to have an investigation to see if there are specifics. Do you want to shut that investigation down?
VOICE: Yeah. It’s a giant, huge waste of time.
VOICE: If there’s an investigation into this whole Russian thing, then it needs to be on, well, they physically went into our machines, hacked our machines, and actually changed the election results. People read fake stuff on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all day. Anybody could put that up.
RUSH: This ought to be inspiring confidence in a lot of you. Many of you are probably agreeing with what you’re hearing here, would be my guess. And here’s Luntz saying, “Don’t you think there ought to be an investigation?” Most people are saying no. That’s the dirty little secret, is most people in this country are looking at this and saying, “You’ve been doing an investigation for a year, and at the end of every day there’s no evidence of anything. What are you investigating?” Everybody knows what’s going on here. And it’s a very comforting thing.
One of the things, one of the personality characteristics, from the moment I have begun hosting this program, people would call here and they’d see something on television, an example of media bias, and they would call here compelled to point it out. Because they thought they were the only ones who noticed it, and they were not. Millions of people noticed it. You just never heard from ’em because the media never covered them or focused on ’em.
Same thing here. There are millions of people fed up with this daily diet of drivel from the Drive-By Media. But the media thinks everybody in America is waiting with bated breath for Trump to be convicted. They’re totally, totally out of touch. The disconnect between everything going on in Washington and the real country has never been wider.
RUSH: Back now to the audio sound bites. I’ve got a couple more here with Frank Luntz and his focus group. This is actually the interview for the TV host Jeff Glor. He’s the Fill-In Host on CBS This Morning. This happened yesterday, and after all these responses, Jeff Glor says to Luntz, “So what are you hearing now in that piece? It’s not that much different than what we heard during the campaign, right? I mean, these Trump people, they’re still with Trump. Is that right?”
LUNTZ: What surprised me the most about that segment is when we showed Trump pushing aside the European leaders at that meeting, and they applauded him. They loved it! Because to them it was the White House, it was the president asserting his rightful role as leader of the free world. And I’m thinking, “Oh, my God! (snickers) This is one of the most embarrassing moments.” They don’t see it that way. They love it and they want him to keep doing it.
RUSH: Yeah, you remember that? It was European gathering, and Trump jostled a bunch of people out of the way to get in the frame, and everybody in the establishment said, “This was horrible! Oh, this was embarrassing. Oh, my God, this is one of the most embarrassing moments we’ve ever seen. Trump is just a barbarian. He’s just so crude.” Trump’s voters loved it. You know, isn’t it interesting? You go back to June of 2015 when Trump came down the escalator. We’ve been at this for two years.
Trump has not masked who he is. Trump has not behaved like the Democrats do. He does not go out and camouflage. He doesn’t present a side of him that isn’t real. He doesn’t lie to people about what he believes. Although he has broken a serious promise, and that’s the DREAMers. And he’s got some immigration people that voted for him that are a little angry about that. That must be mentioned. But other than that, Trump voters know Trump is who he is. He doesn’t act, he doesn’t put on a front, he doesn’t make up things — as opposed to the Democrats who can’t be honest about who they are.
And isn’t it interesting that in these two years, Trump is an open book? You look at him and all you have to do is listen. He’ll tell you who he is. He’ll tell you what he thinks. He’ll tell you what he’s thinking about. He’ll tweet it out, and it will be honest and from his heart. And after two years of this, people are still surprised. Like Luntz. “Yeah, what surprised me the most is he pushed these people out of the way and asserts American primacy. That was the most embarrassing thing, but his people love it.” Of course they do, and they’re not surprised by it.
But even two years in, people whose job it is, journalists, to study these people — to get to know them, to be able to report on ’em — still act like they don’t know who they’re dealing with here, like they can’t figure this guy out. And he’s not a mystery. What he is, is foreign to them. They simply don’t know anybody like Trump. If there’s anybody like Trump in their circle, they eliminate him. People like Trump are not permitted in polite society inside the Beltway.
Trump is politically incorrect. Speaking of which, do you remember the story…? I can’t remember the guy’s name. He was one of the executives at Uber. He got fired. [David] Bonderman, I think, is his name. He got fired or dismissed or whatever because he violated the precious tenets of political correctness. Do you know how? During a meeting on the discussion of adding another woman to the board of directors at Uber, Arianna Huffing and Puffington said that the more women you have on the board, the more female points of view you’re going to have, and it’s a good thing.
And this Bonderman guy — who is a dyed-in-the-wool leftist. He is a dyed-in-the-wool, devoted liberal Democrat. This guy said (paraphrased), “The only thing we’re gonna get with another woman on board is a lot more talking,” and they drummed him out of the company for that. That day! He was gone that day. That was a primo violation of political correctness. That was akin to misogyny. That was sexual harassment to even think this way.
All the guy was doing was cracking a stereotypical line. But it’s not permitted in the left anymore. I’m telling you, people like Donald Trump in Washington? They are drummed out of there. They are not permitted. They live in a different world. They live in this manufactured, concocted, so-called utopia of equality and equity and sustainability, and everybody’s the same and nobody’s feelings ever get hurt and all of this.
And in the real world, of course, it’s markedly different. They drum a liberal in good standing out of Uber because he said, “Well, one thing we’re definitely gonna get is more talk if we add a woman to the board.” Do you know how old the joke is about women talking? I mean, that joke is as old as marriage. That joke is as old as male-female relationships. It’s a stereotypical joke. You know why? It has been statistically proven that women do talk more than men. Scientific research — (interruption) You think I’m getting in trouble here? Who did?
Women speak an average, folks, get this, 18,000 more words a day than men do. And there may be a genetic reason, it may be neurologically. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. See, this is the thing. When you make the observation that women talk 18,000 more words a day than men, it’s immediately taken as a criticism because it implies inequality. It implies that there’s something wrong with women.
Why is it wrong? You know, women talk more than men. So here’s a guy cracking a joke about it, a liberal in good standing, and he is swatted out of Uber that instant. And they’re all applauding themselves. My point is, you can’t joke, there’s no lighthearted banter. One cannot engage in any kind of traditional stereotypical humor because leftists cannot laugh at themselves. As I say, there’s not much laughter in liberalism anyway. And they have all of these politically correct barriers up here.
They create a world that’s not real. They create a world where it’s impossible to be obedient. It’s impossible to go through the day not violating some precious liberal tenet. And, as such, they end up getting rid of people. So somebody like Trump comes along and it’s culture shock, it’s all kinds of things. And a guy like Trump would not be permitted in polite Washington society.
Then Luntz typifies it. He saw these guys push ’em out of the way, oh, my God, it’s one of the most embarrassing things. The president of the United States shoved that guy from Spain, oh, my. And Trump’s voters are, “Right on.” Because we’ve been taking a backseat, we’ve been eating the excrement sandwich here for way too many years under the premise that we have to because we’ve been unfair all these many years in the past.
Then on CBS This Morning, Luntz next went over talked to Charlie Rose, and Rose had a question after all this focus-grouping. He said, “Frank, are we talking about simply the hard-core, and I mean that in the best sense of the word, Frank, I don’t mean to insult the hard-core, I just mean these are the people that voted for Trump. Are we talking just about them, or also some of these Democrats who came to vote for Trump and they put him over the top. I mean, who are these people that think Trump’s doing a good job that are not offended or embarrassed by him?”
LUNTZ: His base is significant, it is small but significant. And it isn’t weakening.
ROSE: Is it enough, and is it all of what elected him?
LUNTZ: No, it’s not enough. You cannot govern successfully at 38%. That said, the people who voted for him are still behind him, and you can see that emotionally.
WAGNER: They are not behind the Republican Party, though.
LUNTZ: It is the most significant condemnation of the speaker since what I heard Trump voters saying about John Boehner about two years ago. They think Congress is holding up the agenda, they think Congress is part of the swamp, and they blame the Republicans as well as the Democrats.
RUSH: Well, you know, that’s all gobbledygook. The take-away here is that they’re sitting here talking about Trump’s base — in all candor, they’re talking about Trump’s base the way they talk about you in this audience. This audience — I’m uncomfortable saying this. People take it the wrong way. But this audience is number one by a mile. You people in this audience dwarf the highest rated cable TV audience, nonspecial event cable TV audience, you dwarf it.
This audience is huge. It’s not niche. It’s huge. However, the media considers you a small minority, a subset, you are a bunch of outliers. You don’t represent the mainstream in any away. Just as Trump’s voters are outliers, and Trump’s voters are on the fringe, and they’re not enough to get Trump reelected. And it’s loyal, though, whoa, they’re really, really loyal.
But to the frustration of everybody, those Trump supporters are blaming the Republicans in Congress for whatever Trump’s problems are. They’re not blaming Trump. So many, many similarities, all adds up. Now, after two years of Trump winning the Republican primaries against 15 opponents and winning the presidency and these inside-the-Beltway best and brightest still maintain they have no idea who the guy really is.