None of the candidates in the second GOP primary debate hosted hosted by FOX Business Wednesday successfully buried President Biden’s economic platform, FBN host Larry Kudlow said following the event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Kudlow joined a handful of other analysts including FOX News host Laura Ingraham. who reacted to the debate by saying a debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley would be an exemplar for major dichotomies within conservative Republican ranks.
Kudlow, who served in Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget, said no candidate appeared to fully express the 40th president’s mantra regarding the ineffectiveness of government.
“I worked for Reagan a long time ago. I come into the Reagan Library … I wanted someone to say, as per Reagan, that government is the problem, not the solution,” Kudlow said.
“I also wanted someone to say that we need to get 4[%] or 5% economic growth, not 1%, so we should be slashing taxes across the board.”
Kudlow said no candidate successfully deconstructed the far-left economics of Biden and the Democrats.
“Did they make the sale on the economy? I’m not entirely sure, but they punched away at it to some extent,” he said.
“I still don’t think Bidenomics was buried today on that stage. I just don’t think so. I don’t think there were direct hits.”
He said the candidates – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Haley, DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, nor former Vice President Mike Pence – should support Kennedyesque, Reaganesque and Trumpian economic platforms, including lowering the marginal tax rate to spur economic growth.
“There were a lot of good points on the economy. They acted more like Republicans this week than they did the last debate,” he said.
Ingraham suggest two of the candidates, DeSantis and Haley, appeared to best embody their particular wing of the conservative Republican movement, saying that a debate between the two – in the vein of a forthcoming “Hannity” debate between DeSantis and California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom – would be a great forum to positively express differences.
“At least tonight, those two emerged as the strongest advocates for their brand of conservatism: Nikki Haley is a lot closer to the GOP establishment; the donor base on issues of regarding Ukraine and the immigration system is broken – all that kind of lingo,” she said.
“And then you have DeSantis, who’s much more in the populist strain of Donald Trump and probably the person, if Trump ends up being the nominee, the likely person to pick it, pick up the torch after Trump.”
A debate between the two would be a “fascinating” look at the nation’s biggest issues, the “Ingraham Angle” host said.
One other candidate who caught analysts’ eyes was Scott, who offered a dual takedown of former Democratic President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” as well as the assertion that America is a racist nation
Scott, who grew up impoverished in a single-parent North Charleston home, said he is the example that defies leftist mantras about America’s purported racism and inability for underprivileged Americans to succeed.
“America has suffered because of slavery. But we’ve overcome that. We are the greatest nation on Earth because we faced our demons in the mirror and made a decision,” Scott said during the debate.
“Families survived slavery. We survived poll taxes and literacy tests. We survived discrimination being woven into the laws of our country,” he said, pivoting to what he believes minority communities have yet to defeat:
“What was hard to survive was Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided … to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail. And you can now measure that in unemployment and crime and devastation.”
Kudlow said Scott’s remarks on that front during the debate were stirring.
“I’ve got to give Tim Scott a lot of credit because he did this riff on African-Americans somehow surviving through slavery and then went on to say that the Great Society of LBJ and all the Democratic presidents since then have made their situation worse, not better, breaking up the Black family.”
Host Sean Hannity distilled Scott’s comments into the idea the senator “has faced discrimination but that America is not a racist country.”
Kudlow agreed with Scott that Johnson’s “Great Society” was the worst thing to happen to minority communities in the last 100 years.
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