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Bush's Words: Do They Work?

Jan 24, 2007 (All Things Considered)

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President Bush included several turns of phrase in his State of the Union speech Tuesday that were meant to make his point — and to make it harder for those with other viewpoints to discount his ideas.

Frank Luntz, the author of Words That Work, is a pollster who advises Republicans on language they should use to promote their ideas.

Michele Norris talks with Luntz about some of the language President Bush used in his speech.

On immigration, the president said, "We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country — without animosity and without amnesty."

Speaking about security and the fight against terrorism, the president said, "Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this enemy. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in 9/11 is still at work in the world."

And finally, in discussing Iraq, President Bush called for unity — and support for his plan to increase troop levels on the ground. "We went into this largely united — in our assumptions, and in our convictions," the president said. "And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure."

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