A report from Politico on Wednesday revealed that Republican pollster and communications specialist Frank Luntz had, in an unofficial capacity, been advising the Biden White House on how to convince people to take the COVID vaccine.
Luntz may be best known by Republicans for focus groups he has done on the Fox News Channel for elections and presidential candidates.
Luntz also sat in on several briefing calls between the White House and various TV networks where one of the main topics was which terms to use on air that would better convince conservatives to take the jab. This comes from Andy Slavitt, who resigned last month as a senior advisor to the task force.
Republican communications specialist Frank Luntz has been sharing research with the White House to help the Biden administration reach people still hesitant to get vaccinated https://t.co/SyntN8zqAg
— POLITICO (@politico) July 15, 2021
On Thursday, Luntz confirmed that the White House COVID team contacted him, but says “they didn’t ask me for anything.” He claims that all they said to him was, “Whatever you find, we want to know.”
Luntz also says that the Trump administration was uninterested in any findings he had.
He said, “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.”
— Sen. Frank Niceley (@SenFrankNiceley) July 15, 2021
Some Luntz Strategies
Slavitt said that what Luntz had to say verified their belief that a local strategy of doctors talking to their patients would be the most effective. He says other advisors were telling them to getting political leaders, movie and sports stars to push vaccines, Luntz kept insisting the local approach would work best.
Of the recent suggestion of a door-to-door strategy, Luntz said he was critical of it. He said,
“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. 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.”
What Luntz did say, was that the Biden administration would do well to get former President Donald Trump on board with urging Americans to get vaccinated:
“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.”
A Perfect Example Of The DC Swamp: Frank Luntz Advising Joe Biden & Kevin McCarthy. https://t.co/kiDeSynOt2
— The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) July 15, 2021
Luntz Is The Republican Establishment
In May, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson revealed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA), a long time friend of Luntz, was renting a room in Luntz’s D.C. condo. McCarthy claimed that when he was in Washington, he would stay in hotels or sleep on the couch in his office, but because of the pandemic, he had rented the room from Luntz.
During an appearance on Fox & Friends, McCarthy stated that the two had been friends for over 30 years, and that, “I didn’t know how this was controversial.”
He added, “Yeah, I rented a room from Frank for a couple of months, but don’t worry, I’m going back to where I am normally … back to the couch in my office.” He also insisted that Luntz was not a lobbyist.
And for reasons not really known, Luntz has a life-sized Oval Office replica in his Los Angeles home. It comes complete with a copy of Monica Lewinsky’s infamous blue dress.
Frank Luntz’s life-sized replica Oval Office is apparently in his bedroom. And includes Bill Clinton’s humidor.
— The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) May 1, 2021
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