Religious Liberty, Presidential Pardons, and #MeToo

So much has happened, and it’s only Tuesday. Given the busy, busy news cycle, we thought we’d highlight the teachable moments from yesterday’s top stories:

#1 — U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop

This story has been making headlines for a while, so Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop are now household names. Which is the point. You want to fight for someone rather than against someone, and the only way you’re able to do so is by connecting a face to an issue. The importance of this case for religious liberty doesn’t change, but you’ll win more hearts and minds any time you can talk about a person instead of a wonky policy or legal case.

#2 — Trump threatens to pardon himself

In a bright and early Monday morning tweet, President Trump reminded the Twitterverse that he has the power to pardon himself:

In case you’re asked to respond, here’s a block and bridge:

Q: President Trump claimed he has the power to pardon himself – do you support his claim?

A: “The Constitution does allow for a President to pardon himself, but my hope is that the result of this investigation will be clear and swift and not warrant any threat of a presidential pardon.” Then immediately transition to your talking point as we assume you don’t intend to address presidential pardons in your interview.

#3 — Bill Clinton makes an impeachment claim

Bill Clinton is back in the spotlight to promote a book he coauthored with James Patterson, which you may not have realized because the sound bites from his latest interview cover every topic BUT the book. This is a PR nightmare made worse by Clinton’s hypocritical attempts to label “bad behavior” in others. To avoid a similar fate for you or your boss, remember that it’s not a good move to call out someone else’s indiscretions when you haven’t apologized for your own. It’s best to start with “I’m sorry.”

B²: SCOTUS Nominee

One week down, so many more to go.

Love him or hate him, agree or disagree, he’s wasted no time delivering on his campaign promises. And in a few short hours, he’ll do it again.

In case you haven’t heard, or checked President Trump’s Twitter feed, he plans to announce his pick for Supreme Court at 8:00 PM.

No matter who he chooses, you can bet the #1 question reporters will ask is whether Democrats should block his nominee based on Republican behavior towards Merrick Garland. Need a block and bridge for that? We thought so.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “Don’t you think Democrats have every right to block a vote since Republicans did the same thing?”

B²: “It’s not the same thing. We were in the middle of a lame duck session, and the Senate Republicans took a stand for the American people. <Insert talking point.>”

Wherever you take the conversation next, emphasize the timing and pivot to qualifications. Nominating a Supreme Court justice in a lame duck session is risky business as elected officials face few consequences and voters don’t have a say. Senate Republicans were just defending their constituents. But that lame duck session has ended and the Congress America voted for is back to work. Democrats should respect the process and move forward by examining the nominee’s qualifications.

B²: SCOTUS and Abortion

As the Running of the Interns confirmed yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law that required (among other things) abortion clinics to meet the same health standards as surgical centers.

Some immediately rejoiced…

…while others acknowledged the defeat for what it is – the Supreme Court not only ignored due process, but made it clear that courts—not state legislatures—have the power to determine abortion laws.

So, the fight continues. Especially as November nears and Hillary leads the charge for the Democrats. Women’s health will remain a key talking point on both platforms. Get ready to rumble.

Do you know how to articulate your message in the midst of the firestorm?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “Why do you want to shut down abortion facilities that provide and protect women’s health?”

B²: “This decision took away the ability to protect women’s health. When Planned Parenthood clinics routinely fail to meet the same safety and health requirements as hospitals, the opposite happens: women’s health is put at risk. Women deserve (insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, maintain that protecting women’s health is your #1 concern…and the Supreme Court just made that goal a lot more difficult to achieve. Cite Kermit Gosnell and the disgusting state of his clinic as example numero uno of what you hope to prevent. Though some (and the mainstream media) will want to make it seem like you’re just out to end abortion (and maybe you are), control the narrative. Talk about women’s health on your terms.

B²: SCOTUS and ObamaCare

Last week, President Obama delivered a pre-emptive strike against this year’s Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies secured through the federal marketplace.

“There is no reason why the existing exchanges should be overturned through a court case,” Obama said. “It has been well documented that those who passed this legislation never intended for folks who were going through the federal exchange not to have their citizens get subsidies.”

While the Administration has been on the offensive talking about the “intent” of the law, the Supreme Court ruling has the potential to affect 6 million people who signed up for insurance on and the subsidies they receive. This large number of Americans could have cause for worry and panic if solutions aren’t discussed.

It’s complicated. But the B² team is here to help you avoid a messaging position in apparent support of leaving people high and dry, especially those who are struggling to pay for healthcare.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “What will all these people do, 6 million of them, if these subsidies are eliminated?”

: “This case is more bad news for those who signed up for insurance on since our President said they could receive subsidies when the law actually says they can’t. The good news is that this opens up opportunities to lower high costs for them and every other American. We can get there by <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, start by maintaining that people have another broken promise from the President. Then, turn to solutions! Focus on the fact that the Affordable Care Act has driven up healthcare costs and disrupted the existing coverage of millions of Americans. And then offer up a plan to remedy the situation. Get specific!