Kudlow’s Money Politics

Larry Kudlow’s daily web log of matters political and financial.

Romney Didn’t Make the Sale



Did Mitt Romney make the economic sale at the Republican National Convention? Did he convince people who are living at the margin or are unemployed and discouraged that he has the answers to the economy? Frankly, I don’t think so.

I do not understand why he did not talk about his 20 percent across-the-board personal-tax-cut plan that would help the middle class enormously. He never mentioned it, and he went into no detail on the business tax-cut plan. This plan is terrific for competition and global investment.

Instead, he talked about a jobs tour. I frankly have no idea what a “jobs tour” is. I do know that 23 million Americans need jobs. I don’t know that they need a president on a jobs tour to inspect them.

It concerns me that in the economic zone, he didn’t make the sale to independents, the so-called Reagan Democrats, or the Clinton Democrats. I didn’t hear anything new. I didn’t hear anything specific, and it troubles me.

I do think Romney helped himself enormously with his biographical narrative. He came off as a humble, grateful man. But on the economic front I don’t think he made the sale; I don’t think he convinced the independent voters and I don’t think he’s going in the right direction on tax policy.

On big business, I think he needs to be more specific. It’s not about big business — it’s really about small business. And guess what? Small businesses, the LLCs and the S-corps, pay the personal tax rate. That’s another reason why I don’t understand why he doesn’t talk about the 20 percent tax cut. It helps small businesses and it’s the opposite of what Obama is offering. The current president wants to raise taxes on those people. Except for a passage on success, I didn’t hear any contrast Thursday night. The best line of Romney’s speech from an economic standpoint was this: “In America, we celebrate success, we don’t apologize for success.” That is a great line, but I wish he presented more contrast to President Obama.

A final thought: Sen. Marco Rubio’s introduction of Romney was one of the most brilliant speeches I have heard in a long time. Freedom was his key point. America is about freedom — economic freedom, political freedom, religious freedom, and faith. It was just utterly brilliant, and the guy is an absolute Republican superstar.


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