Larry Kudlow, Wall Street’s Palladin of American capitalism and free market economics, says he is moved by the public support he’s getting to run for the U.S. Senate aganst New York Democrat Charles Schumer.
“I’m very flattered by all the attention and quite frankly surprised at the size of the draft movement which has developed. So it has my attention,” the CNBC host and weekday anchor, and former Reagan administration economist told HUMAN EVENTS
“But, and this is a very important thing, and from the heart, I love my work at CNBC. I just love it. And that’s the reason why I have no plans to run for the Senate at the present time,” Kudlow said in an interview.
“The network has been great for me. It’s a second career and it’s gone very well with God’s grace. Frankly, that’s a major impediment to any political campaigning,” he said.
The draft Kudlow movement was begun by a core group of supporters, including Michael Caputo, a former speech writer for the late Jack Kemp. But its growth has been fueled in large part by his legions of fans across the country, especially the tea party movement, who have embraced the network business commentator’s unabashed defense of capitalism, free enterprise, pro-growth tax cuts and smaller government.
The daunting challenge of beating Schumer, an arch-liberal who won a third term in 2004 with more than 70 percent of the vote in a bastion of Democratic liberalism, and has since amassed a huge campaign warchest of more than $30 million, seemed like a fool’s errand to many observers.
But the idea gathered strength after the GOP’s improbable Senate election victory in Massachusetts where Scott Brown, then a little-known state senator, came out of nowhere to capture the late Ted Kennedy’s seat, drawing strong support from Republicans and independents alike.
“Just a few short weeks ago, it was unthinkable that Scott Brown, a conservative Republican in dark blue Massachusetts, would win the Senate seat… Now it appears New York’s Chuck Schumer, the ultimate big spending, high tax liberal and third in line to run the U.S. Senate, could be beaten in the Empire state,” the Draft Larry Kudlow Committee said in a statement late last month.
“Schumer is a driving force behind the Obama health care proposal, which shortchanges New York and guarantees higher taxes. He also backs a new tax on banks — according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, this could destroy New York’s economy. And recent polls show Schumer’s job approval has fallen below 50 percent!”
Kudlow has been urged by both national and state party leaders to run for office. Last year, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman, tried to talk him into running for the Senate in Connecticut against Sen. Chris Dodd, but he turned down the offer.
More recently, New York Republican Chairman Edward Cox and state Conservative Party chairman Mike Long have been talking to him about challenging Schumer’s bid for a third term, according to people who are close to Kudlow.
One source close to the CNBC economic commentator said “he’s still listening, but to be honest with you, I don’t see what could change his mind at this point.”
But in a wideranging telephone interview, Kudlow showed that while he may be reluctant to leave his influential perch at CNBC and jump into the political arena, he has not lost his political zeal to go on the attack against out of control spending and sky high tax rates that he says have retarded economic expansion and job creation.
“The most important message in politics today is smaller government, lower spending and borrowing, lower taxes across the board, allowing people people more economic freedom and keeping their own money, thank you very much,” he said.
“I think we need fullfledged, across-the-board spending reform, tax reform and monetary reform. The dollar has to be relinked to commodity baskets, including gold, which would help keep energy and food costs down,” he said.
“What you have now is an unbelievable Keynesian big government return to the past that sends a very pessimistic message that says the government knows better than individual families do,” he said.
Kudlow, a former chief economist for a bevy of top Wall Street financial firms, has since turned himself into what many conservatives regard as the leading voice for supply-side economics and a media powerhouse whose views are sought by major political and corporate leaders both here and around the world.
Besides anchoring CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” each weeknight and co-anchoring the weekday Morning Call, he is also a nationally syndicated columnist, hosts “The Larry Kudlow Show” on WABC Radio on Saturdays, and is the CEO of Kudlow & Co., an economic research firm.
If Kudlow were to change his mind and seek for the Republican Senate nomination, he would also be assured of being on the Conservative Party balllot line.
A recent Marist poll released Tuesday showed that he would start out around 35 points behind Schumer, but conservative strategists are quick to point out that would put Kudlow about where Scott Brown started out before he came from behind to win.
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