Top Republican consultant Frank Luntz told college students at the University of Pennsylvania this week that Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing radio shows have a negative impact on the GOP, Mother Jones reported.
When asked about political polarization, the Republican strategist asked to speak off the record with the group of students. A reporter for the college newspaper, Eric Kaplan, agreed, but another student, Aakash Abbi, secretly recorded Luntz’s response anyway. David Corn of Mother Jones published that recording.
"And they get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it's really problematic, and it’s not on the Democrat’s side, it’s only on the Republican’s side,” Luntz said of right-wing radio hosts.
Luntz said Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigrate reform has been “destroyed” by right-wing radio hosts.
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"He's getting destroyed by Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others. He's trying to find a legitimate, long-term effective solution to immigration that isn't the traditional Republican approach, and talk radio is killing him. That's what's causing this thing underneath. And too many politicians in Washington are playing coy."
Abbi also told Mother Jones that Luntz went on to call the GOP weighing in on women’s bodies and birth control as “irresponsible.” That, however, was not recorded on Abbi’s iPhone.
"His request rang with a sense of disingenuity,” Abbi said of the desire to go off record. Abbi said he attended the lecture because Luntz had impressed him in the past.
Abbi explained that he felt the public deserved to hear what Luntz was telling the group of students.
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“To me, a man whose career is built on being viewed as the 'Master of Words' should be willing to always stand by what he says,” Abbi said. “If he can say it to a hundred-plus Penn students, the rest of America deserves to hear it.”