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Pushing back on the Luntz story

The response to this post Monday, on the Republicans' "permanent bailout" talking point, was loud and defiant. Republican sources were quick to remind me that Democrats, too, had sought polling advice on financial reform. One forwarded me an e-mail sent to Senate Democrats last year; here's the meat of it.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee invites all Democratic Caucus staff to a briefing on

FINANCIAL REFORM: HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CONSTITUENTS

Thursday, November 12
10:00 a.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628

Please join us for a review of recent public opinion polling and recommendations on proposed regulatory reform, featuring discussion of recent polls conducted by:

Lake Research Partners for Americans for Financial Reform
Benenson Strategy Group for the Service Employees International Union


Case closed! Both parties use, in Luntz's phrase, "words that work." So Republicans are pushing back on the "Luntz memo" story by arguing that the White House has fed it to a sleepy press corps. It's true that the White House has trained its guns on Luntz, but the key argument is about whether or not it's fair for Republicans to characterize financial reform as a "permanent bailout" -- something Republicans who've never opened a Luntz e-mail have been saying, too. The GOP's strategy? Dodge that question and point to Democrats who are making the case for them, like Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Ca.) and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

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By David Weigel  |  April 20, 2010; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  Financial reform  | Tags: Democratic, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Opinion poll, Politics, Republican, Talking point, United States, White House  
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