- On the June 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Luntz said of Clinton : "[I]f she is shown to be a flip-flopper ... [t]hat will undercut her credibility immediately." He went on to say that "[w]hat the Democrats want ... is somebody who says what they mean and means what they say." Luntz predicted Clinton is "going to have a problem later on in her campaign." On the same program, Luntz falsely claimed that "[t]here's data out there that shows that the Democrats have a significant lead over the Republicans in who people want for president. But when you compare Giuliani and Hillary Clinton ... she runs behind." Co-host Alan Colmes corrected Luntz, saying: "It depends on the poll. She runs ahead in some." Indeed, several of the recent polls available at the time of Luntz's comments had Clinton either ahead or tied with Giuliani in a possible general election match-up. A June 15-17 Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll had Clinton and Giuliani tied at 42 percent, but in a June 11-14 Gallup poll, Clinton led Giuliani 50-46 percent. In a June 8-11 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton was ahead of Giuliani 48-43.
- On the June 14 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Luntz repeated the phrase, saying that "the reason why [Giuliani is] still leading right now is because the number-two attribute after someone who says what they mean and means what they say -- the number-two attribute that the American people want in a president is a leader in times of crisis." Luntz then asked: "Does that not define Rudy Giuliani?"
- In an April 25 article, Variety reported that "Luntz predicted that [former Sen. John] Edwards [D-NC] will win Iowa but said the next president will be whoever shows authenticity, a person 'who says what he means and means what he says.' " Luntz was quoted as saying: "I pray that it is Rudy Giuliani vs. Hillary Clinton for one reason: It will be the biggest brawl in modern political history. Every guy will be rooting for Rudy. Every woman will be rooting for Hillary. Divorce lawyers will make a mint off this election. And it will be fun to watch."
- As Media Matters noted, on the March 13 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Luntz described Giuliani as "someone who defines the phrase 'Says what he means, means what he says.' "
- Again, on the March 2 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Luntz criticized Sen. Clinton and said that Americans "want to look you straight in the eye and they want you to say what you mean and mean what you say and not hide anything."
- On the February 10 edition of CNBC's The Tim Russert Show, when asked to explain how "[c]redibility is as important as philosophy," Luntz said: "It means that you have to genuinely say what you mean and mean what you say." Later in the show, after suggesting Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is a "flip-flop[per]," Luntz stated: "You want [politicians] to look you straight in the eye and absolutely say what you mean and mean what you say. It's why [Sen.] John McCain [R-AZ] is popular, it's why Rudy Giuliani is popular, and it's why Barack Obama is popular.
- In a February 4 New York Times article, in which Luntz was identified as "Mr. Giuliani's second mayoral campaign pollster," he was quoted as saying, "No one in New York, not even Ed Koch, could equal Rudy in the phrase, 'He says what he means and means what he says.' "
- And on the January 19 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, Luntz was asked by host Tucker Carlson, "What kind of language should Giuliani use?" Luntz replied: "First off, I'm not advising him. I worked with him in his mayoral races, but I'm not involved in the presidential." Luntz went on to say: "Rudy doesn't use sound bites. He's the only politician in America that speaks in entire thoughts. And if you look at the transcript of what he says, it's not beautiful. But if you listen to it, he moves people."
Karl Vincent Frisch
Director of Media Relations
Media Matters for America