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10 Occupy Wall Street Talking Points for Republicans

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Herman Cain’s public list of gripes about Occupy Wall Street couldn’t have been stated better if they were part of an Ayn Rand novel. But apparently his inflammatory comments about protesters -- they're "trying to destroy the greatest nation in the world," they're attempting to “infringe upon people's right and liberty to go to work," the movement is “un-American,” and it's “a coordinated effort of the unions and Obama supporters to distract the American people from the real problem which is the failed policies of the Obama administration” -- are not in lock-step with the official Republican party line.  

Despite the fact that the now-embattled candidate spiked in the polls after saying things like “if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself,” this kind of rhetoric isn’t going to cut it anymore -- at least in order to be electable against Barack Obama.

Or at least that’s what Frank Luntz, a Republican consultant and Fox News commentator, thinks.

"I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death," said Luntz of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. "They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism."

Especially when protesters have expanded efforts to include large-scale student loan lenders at Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, Discover, Nelnet, and JP Morgan Chase. The movement's even started to sway actual Wall Street members.

This highly respected spin doctor, who specializes in crafting and testing messages that will result in a desired public opinion outcome, shared some crucial talking points yesterday in Orlando with the Republican Governors Association about how the party can take ownership of the issues of income equality and raising taxes on the rich.

What reads as a sort of find-replace exercise, outlined below are Luntz’ lessons for his Republican brethren, that teaches a new language for engaging in political debate. Certain intellectual terms like “capitalism” and “government spending” must be wiped out from the right-wing vernacular, replaced instead with emotional triggers like “economic freedom” and “waste.”

This holiday season, Luntz also cautioned high-ranking executives against calling that annual bump from the boss a “bonus.” In this economy, they’ll have more people on their side with the far more agreeable “pay for performance.” How do you argue with that? They earned it, after all.

A selection:

1. Don't say 'capitalism.'
"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either 'economic freedom' or 'free market,' " Luntz said. "The public...still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we're seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we've got a problem."

2. Don't say that the government 'taxes the rich.' Instead, tell them that the government 'takes from the rich.'
"If you talk about raising taxes on the rich," the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  "if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no.Taxing, the public will say yes."

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the 'middle class.' Call them 'hardworking taxpayers.'
"They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the 'middle class' and the public will say, I'm not sure about that. But defending 'hardworking taxpayers' and Republicans have the advantage."

4. Don't talk about 'jobs.' Talk about 'careers.'
"Everyone in this room talks about 'jobs,'" Luntz said. "Watch this."
He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a "job." Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a "career." Almost every hand was raised.
"So why are we talking about jobs?"

5. Don't say 'government spending.' Call it 'waste.'
"It's not about 'government spending.' It's about 'waste.' That's what makes people angry.

For the rest of Luntz's suggestions, CLICK HERE.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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