B²: Debate Attacks
People attack when they’re scared.
Enter Donald Trump and his admission during last Thursday night’s GOP debate that the focus on Cruz’s citizenship was a direct result of Cruz “doing a little bit better” in the polls.
While many praised Cruz for defending himself, at least 7 minutes were devoted to a back-and-forth between Trump and Cruz. 7 minutes! It’s understandable that Cruz wanted to set the record straight as he should, but can it be considered a win if talk of his citizenship dominated the headlines the next morning? DMG says no.
Do you know how to craft a message that slaps down ridiculous accusations but then pivots to highlight a way forward?
Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.
Here’s this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:
Q: “Well, aren’t you just (blank)/aren’t you just trying to do (blank)?”
B²: “That’s not the case. My record speaks for itself. What voters are interested in is <insert talking point>.”
A red herring is meant to distract, so don’t let it. Quickly correct the false premise (“that’s not the case” or “not at all”) and block and bridge to who you are or what policy position you support. It’s understandable that you want to set the record straight…and you should. But be mindful of the headline that will write itself if you spend too much time on defense. Don’t give the audience a reason to conclude, “thou dost protest too much!”