Conservative governors were advised on how to deal with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement during the Republican Governor Association meeting this week in Florida, according Yahoo News’ Chris Moody.
The protest against political and economic inequalities started in New York City on September 17, and later spread across the country and even to other parts of the globe.
Although the movement has faced recent setbacks due to their encampments being dismantled by police, and negative media reports of drugs and violence, many have noted that the protesters forced to nation to focus its attention on unchecked corporate power.
Republican strategist Frank Luntz gave numerous tips on how to rhetorically deal with the protests, and counter their message.
“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” Luntz said. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”
Using the phrase “taking from the rich” rather than “taxing the rich” was one piece of advice from Luntz. Another was to talk about “careers” rather than “jobs.”
He also suggested that Republicans should stay away from the word “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.”
Luntz said the Republicans governors should sympathize with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, by claiming they “get it.” But they should respond to the frustration of the protesters with Republican solutions.
Many Republicans have already criticized the movement for directing its ire against Wall Street rather than Washington, and Luntz thinks they should continue to do so.
He advised the Republican governors to tell the protesters: “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”