Luntz falsely claimed Obama has no foreign policy experience

››› ››› KIRSTIN ELLISON

On Fox News, Frank Luntz told a focus group regarding Sen. Barack Obama: "But let's face it. He doesn't have foreign policy experience. He hasn't run a government, he hasn't run a business. Doesn't that concern you?" In fact, Obama is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has traveled to numerous countries while senator, and sponsored foreign policy-related bills.

During the 10 p.m. ET hour of the March 2 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, Republican pollster Frank Luntz said to the studio audience regarding Sen. Barack Obama: "But let's face it. He doesn't have foreign policy experience. He hasn't run a government, he hasn't run a business. Doesn't that concern you?" Luntz then asked the audience, whom he had earlier described as "30 uncommitted people here, come from all different places, different backgrounds": "How many of you are concerned about that?" The cameras then panned the studio to show people with their hands up.

In fact, Obama has served on the Foreign Relations Committee since his election to the Senate and has visited Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa as a senator. Additionally, Obama has sponsored foreign policy legislation such as the Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act of 2007 to eliminate weapons stockpiles and reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction -- portions of which were enacted as part of the omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2008 -- and the Democratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, which was enacted on December 22, 2006.

At the beginning of the hour, anchor Bill Hemmer introduced Luntz only as the "pollster-in-chief, Frank Luntz of Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research." As Media Matters for America has noted, Luntz has worked for the Republican Party and for Republican candidates, including Rudy Giuliani during his 1993 and 1997 mayoral campaigns, as well as his 2000 Senate race, from which Giuliani withdrew.

From the 10 p.m. ET hour of the March 2 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ:

HEMMER: We have a wonderful and well-informed audience with us tonight, and you at home will watch live as we chart their second-by-second reaction to the speeches, to the ads, what works, what doesn't work. With me tonight is the pollster-in-chief, Frank Luntz of Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research. Good evening, Frank.

LUNTZ: Hey, it's great to be here.

HEMMER: I'm going to start with the most important part of the entire evening. Who's in our audience?

LUNTZ: We've got 30 uncommitted people here, come from all different places, different backgrounds, and they're all holding a device: an instant-response dial. The higher that they turn their dial, the more favorable the response; and if they turn it down, you're getting a negative reaction. They're going to be determining whether the latest ads, the latest sound bites are working for the candidates or turning people off.

[...]

HEMMER: That was retort number two, rated by our viewers so far in this campaign season. We've talked a lot about the strengths with these candidates' men and women tonight. Now we are going to talk about the weaknesses, and where they can improve.

LUNTZ: It's interesting. In the break, we were talking about the balance, and it seems like there's an awful lot of good Obama stuff here. But that's because he's been such a good communicator.

HEMMER: And out here, too.

LUNTZ: But let's face it. He doesn't have foreign policy experience. He hasn't run a government, he hasn't run a business. Doesn't that concern you? It does. How many of you are concerned about that? OK, so most of you. And yet, Obama --

HEMMER: Every single one. Every hand went up.

LUNTZ: And Obama's got more support.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Frank Luntz
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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