Luntz, seen here not apologizing yet
Well, Republican message-tweaker Frank Luntz is screwed. He's done a bad, bad thing
At one point, Luntz was asked about political polarization. He replied that he had something important to say on this matter but was apprehensive about speaking openly; doing so, he explained, could land him in trouble. Members of the audience groaned; some called out for Luntz to continue off the record. Luntz asked if anyone was recording the event, and Eric Kaplan, a reporter from the college paper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, indicated that he was. Luntz requested that he turn off his recording device. Kaplan did so and agreed that this part of Luntz's talk would remain off the record. But one of the students present […] started to record Luntz on his iPhone (without letting Luntz know), and Abbi has provided that recording to Mother Jones.
You know, you can't just claim things are "off the record" during a public freaking speech
to a hundred or so people and expect the entire audience, reporters and nonreporters alike, to go "oh rats, I guess we are all bound to secrecy now." It does not work that way. "Off the record" is not a patronus charm, Mr. Luntz.
Once convinced that the one Real Reporter in the room had been sufficiently disarmed, Luntz gave his answer, and it revolved around conservative talk radio and how it was hurting Republicans and their political prospects:
"And they get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it's really problematic. And this is not on the Democratic side. It's only on the Republican side…[inaudible]. [Democrats have] got every other source of news on their side. And so that is a lot of what's driving it. If you take—Marco Rubio's getting his ass kicked. Who's my Rubio fan here? We talked about it. 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."
He also obliquely referenced Limbaugh's war against Sandra Fluke, and had the audacity to think it was a bad thing.
So Luntz has uttered the name Rush Limbaugh, leader of the party and decider of all party policies, in a slightly negative way. If history is any guide, Luntz now has two choices. He can either apologize profusely to Limbaugh, groveling at his feet and begging forgiveness for this, the most audacious of all possible Republican sins, or he become Rush's enemy #1 on several weeks worth of shows, entire speeches devoted to how while Frank Luntz might once have been a good and useful Republican, he is now evil incarnate and all Rush listeners are required to spit on him if they see him in public.
Well, that should be interesting.