Veteran political pollster and GOP messaging guru Frank Luntz says stress over not forcefully speaking out enough against former president Donald Trump led to life-threatening health consequences three years ago.
Mr Luntz, who spoke to Washington Post reporter Ben Terris for the journalist’s forthcoming book, The Big Break, visited a hospital in early 2020 because he felt a tingling sensation in his arm, shoulder, and face.
When doctors examined him, they told him his blood pressure was dangerously high — and said he’d suffered a stroke.
Three years later, Mr Luntz told Terris he places the blame for his medical crisis on the former president.
“I had a stroke because of Trump,” he said, according to an excerpt of the book published in New York magazine’s Intelligencer section.
“I didn’t have the guts to speak out enough about him, and it drove me crazy. Every time I spoke out, I felt the backlash, I felt it on social media, I felt it a little bit with my clients, I felt it with my friends here,” he said.
The result, he said, was catastrophic for his health.
“Donald Trump made my head explode,” he said.
The Independent has contacted a Trump campaign spokesperson for comment
The Republican communications expert, who first gained prominence after advising House Republicans in the run-up to their takeover of the House in the 1994 midterm elections, has previously spoken out about the effect Mr Trump’s presidency had on him.
In January 2022, Mr Luntz told The Independent and other correspondents from British newspapers that he’d decamped to the UK, where he’d lived while studying at Oxford in the 1980s.
At the time, he said he’d been “in real emotional trouble” when he arrived there, and as a result he wasn’t able to discuss what had happened to the US over the last few years.
“I still haven’t fully recovered from a stroke. And what goes on in this country? I couldn’t talk about it,” he said.