We’ve become a little spoiled in Connecticut in terms of being a spectator to some interesting senate races over the past decade thanks to challengers like Linda McMahon and Ned Lamont, but what about 2016? Who will take on one of the state’s most recognizable politicians, Senator Richard Blumenthal?
One Republican considering the race is economist Larry Kudlow, a former Reagan administration official who became one of the best known talking heads on cable television. The Fairfield County resident, now a senior contributor to CNBC, and the host of a syndicated radio show that bears his name, was on Face the State this Sunday to talk about becoming a candidate for the U.S. senate. Kudlow is upset over Blumenthal’s support for President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, calling it a radical treaty.
“I’m leaning toward it…there are lot of moving parts,” Kudlow told me during a wide ranging interview that covered everything from his work on a Hartford mayoral campaign, the Connecticut economy, Iran, President Obama and his life in the quiet town of Redding. Kudlow talked about the “Democratic machine” in the Constitution State and the need for Republicans.
Kudlow seems unafraid of the history that shows it can be difficult for Republicans to win a senate seat in the land of steady habits. The last Republican to defeat a sitting Democratic senator was 63 years ago, when William Purtell defeated Senator William Benton, but it wasn’t a typical race. Purtell held the other senate seat in the state, having been appointed to it after the death of Senator Brien McMahon. Prescott Bush won the seat Purtell was vacating, meaning Connecticut’s two senators were both Republicans.
You really have to go back to 1938, 77 years ago, for the last time a Republican challenger sent a Democratic senator to the showers. It is true in 1970, Lowell Weicker defeated Senator Thomas Dodd, but Dodd had lost the Democratic nomination to Joseph Duffey and sought re-election as an independent in a three way race.
Kudlow suggested his race as a Republican will be different, and said he will expand the GOP brand by reaching out to women, gays, Latinos and African Americans across Connecticut. “If I do this (run for senate) I will not depend on people from out of state.”
Kudlow also spoke at length about General Electric, and whether it will move out of state, and he also shared the story of his personal battle with addiction, and how it has shaped him into his current self.
Kudlow called GE boss Jeff Immelt “a friend of mine” but said the company should not get special treatment. “Where’s the tax relief for everybody? I hope GE stays but it’s unfair to give them millions and not help ordinary person.”
You can watch the entire interview right here:
Also read this article on Kudlow and the senate by Alex Burns in the New York Times http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/nyregion/larry-kudlow-weighs-run-against-senator-richard-blumenthal-in-connecticut.html?referrer=