Build the Right Message

Tony Blankley served as Newt Gingrich’s press secretary form 1990 to 1997. In this column he relates the challenges they faced in implementing the “Contract with America in 1995.

“We lost that battle” (the ensuing public relations battle) “for three reasons: 1) because the shutdown was falsely but effectively framed in the public mind as motivated by the personal pique of the speaker and the desire of the GOP to “cut Medicare in order to give tax cuts to the rich,” 2) the issue of deficit spending and public debt was of much less concern to the public than it is now and 3) we were not able to deliver our interpretation of the issues directly to even our own supporters.

I highlighted the key phrases here because they are still relevant today. First and foremost, we let them set the terms in which the debate would be conducted. It is imperative that the GOP take control of the wording of all the key issues and refuse to debate using liberal talking points. We have the internet and Fox News now. We are not forced to relive Mr. Blankley’s media frustrations. The left has utilized all the latest technologies and social networking was a big tool in the Obama campaign. We can’t let these tools go to waste.

Second, the “tax cuts to the rich” mantra will not go away until we insist on accuracy. All discussions should be about tax RATES and include references to the “Laffer Curve”, the exceedingly high rates currently in effect and the disproportionate burden already carried by the top earning brackets. If liberals want to appear ignorant about the Laffer Curve, let them.

The messaging needs to be clear:

1. The top earners are the job creators and higher tax RATES come at a prohibitive price: extended high jobless rates.

2. Health care is a system of goods and services created by American workers and delivered to American customers. It is no different than the housing market. The best way to make it affordable for all is to unleash the great American free enterprise system and get the government out of it. We’re still reeling from the fallout of the government-created housing mess; let’s not create a health care mess too.

Read Tony Blankley’s fine column here:


Pat Duggan

Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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