Luntz: Congressional GOP Leadership Should Not Be ‘Reappointed’ After ’06 And ’08 Losses

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"Luntz: Congressional GOP Leadership Should Not Be ‘Reappointed’ After ’06 And ’08 Losses"

In an interview with ThinkProgress yesterday at the Republican Governors Association‘s annual conference in Miami, pollster Frank Luntz argued that the results of the 2008 elections showed that conservatives had “lost touch with young people” and “with moderates and independents.” “They basically lost the center,” said Luntz.

Saying that conservatives and the Republican party need “to understand, to really personalize, why people who voted Republican, abandoned them,” Luntz predicted that conservatives are “years away from coming back to where they were 10 years ago.” Asked if conservatives were having “that conversation with themselves,” Luntz said that the governors at the conference were, but that he didn’t “think Washington is having it”:

THINK PROGRESS: From what you’ve heard at the Republican Governors Association conference this week, does it sound like they’re having that conversation with themselves or does it sound like they’re not getting around to it yet?

LUNTZ: No, I think that the governors are having it, but frankly, I don’t think that Washington is having it. I don’t know a place where if you have two bad elections in a row, your leadership gets reappointed. In every other democracy — Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, every country, Mexico — when you lose an election, you replace the leaders. They’ve now lost two elections and it’s the same people leading the House and the Senate. So, yeah, I think these guys get it, but I don’t think Washington gets it.

Watch it:

Luntz is referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). Though McConnell was not leading the Senate caucus in 2006 when Republicans lost six seats, Boehner was the House Majority Leader in 2006 when Republicans lost 30 seats.

Luntz’ comments to ThinkProgress weren’t the only harsh words he had for the GOP at the RGA meeting. “I understand how Dr. Kevorkian feels at an AARP convention,” Luntz declared at a panel discussion on the 2008 election. “There’s a generational problem the Republican Party is going to have to address.”

Transcript:

THINK PROGRESS: What are the main changes that the Republican party needs to make, going forward, following the 2008 elections?

LUNTZ: The first thing they need to do is look back at what went wrong, both in 2006 and 2008. It was not just on the presidential level. It’s on the state and the local level. They lost touch with young people, they lost touch with moderates and independents. They basically lost the center. And I think it’s going to be important for them to understand, to really personalize, why people who voted Republican, abandoned them. And, once you understand it, you can start to solve it. But it’s going to take a while. I think that the, I think that they’re years away from coming back to where they were 10 years ago.

THINK PROGRESS: From what you’ve heard at the Republican Governors Association conference this week, does it sound like they’re having that conversation with themselves or does it sound like they’re not getting around to it yet?

LUNTZ: No, I think that the governors are having it, but frankly, I don’t think that Washington is having it. I don’t know a place where if you have two bad elections in a row, your leadership gets reappointed. In every other democracy — Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, every country, Mexico — when you lose an election, you replace the leaders. They’ve now lost two elections and it’s the same people leading the House and the Senate. So, yeah, I think these guys get it, but I don’t think Washington gets it.

Update

Politico reports that Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) is considering challenging Boehner for his leadership position.

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