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GOP pollster who fostered emotionalism regrets lack of rationality in Craig case
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Saturday September 8, 2007


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GOP pollster Frank Luntz told Fox News this week that he believes it is necessary for Sen. Larry Craig to go ahead with his intention of resigning from the Senate for the good of the Republican Party. "My question to Senator Craig is 'Which is more important to you, your reputation or the reputation of your 49 colleagues?'" said Luntz.

"The American people think ... Washington is failing, and they want a change. Whichever side is more on the side of change, wins," Luntz stated, suggesting that Craig's departure would be perceived as a act of rehabilitation on the part of Republicans.

"But what if Craig is really innocent?" Sean Hannity asked Luntz. "What if this guy, this anonymous source of Rogers', is a liar?"

"In this day and age, the media does not give you a chance to rehabilitate yourself," replied Luntz. "Even if he fights this, the public will assume that he's doing it for his own purposes. ... It's tragic. ... There's not an opportunity for some rational, intellectual discussion."

Luntz himself has been known for years as a specialist in crafting words and phrases to evoke a strong emotional response and as an opponent of rational discourse. In December 2003, he told PBS, "It's all emotion. But there's nothing wrong with emotion. When we are in love, we are not rational; we are emotional. When we are on vacation, we are not rational; we are emotional. When we are happy, we are not [rational]. In fact, in more cases than not, when we are rational, we're actually unhappy. Emotion is good; passion is good. Being into what we're into, provided that it's a healthy pursuit, it's a good thing."

The following video is from Fox's Hannity & Colmes, broadcast on September 4.