FreedomWorks Communicators Strategy Breakfast Recap
We’re glad so many of you were able to join us for yesterday’s breakfast with Matt Kibbe and Dean Clancy. Want
to give a special thanks to Sen. Mike Lee of Utah for joining us as well. We thought it might be helpful for you and
those who were unable to join us to provide a brief overview of the key action and messaging points for your
review. The next breakfast will be held on June 14 at 8:00am.
The most important point that Sen. Lee, Matt and Dean hope you took away from this meeting is that BOLD action
is needed to get our economy turned around and our fiscal house in order. We looked at how to communicate
with colleagues and constituents on three key issues that our research has found are extremely important to
voters: the Balanced Budget Amendment, the debt ceiling, and Medicare (“Mediscare”).
Balanced Budget Amendment (the “Fight of our Generation”) – Sen. Mike Lee
The debt ceiling has become a key bargaining chip that can be used to get the BBA passed.
Ask the question, “What effect will America’s debt have on future generations?” We need to explain to
constituents that the amount being spent in interest on our loans will soon equal the amount we spend
on National Defense, Social Security and other major government programs. As the debt continues to
grow, what kind of economy and nation are we leaving our children and grandchildren?
Key point: Passing the BBA will make fiscal responsibility a Constitutional mandate.
Debt Ceiling- Dean Clancy, FreedomWorks Legislative Counsel
Key point: the world does not end if the debt ceiling is not raised. Treasury Secretary Geitner is not likely
to default on our loans. Spending cuts will become a priority before default.
Our communication should dispel the notion that raising the debt ceiling is the “adult” thing to do. Any
adult knows that you don’t combat credit card debt by opening another account.
The Democrats’ communication strategy is to scare people into thinking that Republicans are going to cut
grandma’s benefits. We must communicate the truth that if spending is allowed to continue, our children
and grandchildren will have no benefits, and grandma is likely to suffer too.
We need to take this battle to the states where activists have a focal point to rally around as we head into
the 2012 elections.
Medicare (and Democrats’ “Mediscare” Message) - Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks
Get out there and talk to people. Hold town halls at senior centers and other areas where the population
is especially concerned about their benefits being cut. Take the lessons of ’94 and ’95 and get out there
and explain to people that their immediate benefits will not be affected. Explaining the plan will offset
confusion and the Democrats’ negative messaging.
We need to dispel the myth that if we leave Medicare alone it will stay the same. It won’t. By reforming
them we are saving and strengthening these programs for the current and future generations.
Don’t bury your head in the sand. Republicans must not shy away from this issue. Expect Democrats to
attack, but not fighting back will only makes it worse. BOLD action is needed.
Communicate that Democrats do not have a plan of their own. Hold up a blank piece of paper as a
powerful image of their do-nothing approach.
Stick to your message.