In the latest salvo in a Republican Party civil war that shows no signs of stopping, CBS political analyst and GOP consultant Frank Luntz criticized Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and others in right-wing talk radio for attacking Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) over his support for immigration reform.
Luntz's comments came during an April 22 talk at the University of Pennsylvania. According to Mother Jones, Luntz asked to go off the record after being questioned about political polarization because he was concerned his comments could have repercussions. One of the students in the audience then started to record Luntz without the consultant's knowledge.
In that video, Luntz says:
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.
Since the 2012 election, Republican media figures and activists have been engaged in often intense debates over who to blame for the party's electoral failures and what the party's future direction should be. Luntz's comments provide more fuel for that fire.