Kudlow says he won’t challenge Blumenthal
Updated at 3:20 p.m.
Washington – Larry Kudlow said Tuesday he loves being a broadcaster too much to challenge Sen. Richard Blumenthal for a chance to be a politician.
On CNBC’s “Power Lunch” Tuesday, Kudlow said, “You all taught me to be an anchor. I’m now commentating. I’m getting extended coverage for the elections. I love it. I love it so much I don’t want to give it up.”
On his CNBC show last year, Kudlow, a Republican, said he would consider running against Blumenthal if the Democratic senator supported the Iran nuclear deal. Blumenthal did.
Kudlow, 68, told CNBC that “last summer, a lot of Republican officials in Connecticut and Washington, senators and friends of mine, urged me to run for the Senate in Connecticut.”
He said he and his wife Judy “looked at this thing, exploring every angle really for about seven months.”
“Everybody was very helpful. And at the end of the day, we decided against it,” Kudlow said.
He also said he would consider a job in a Republican administration. Kudlow is a former Wall Street executive who served as a top economist in Ronald Reagan’s administration. “I don’t want to open or shut any doors,” Kudlow said.
He made his announcement after National Review Publisher Jack Fowler, who spearheaded an effort to prod Kudlow to run against Blumenthal, told supporters Tuesday morning the conservative radio and television commentator had decided not to enter the race.
“They deserved to know right away,” Fowler said.
He said Kudlow told him on Monday he would not challenge Blumenthal, and Fowler was disappointed by that decision.
“Larry is someone who people can get excited about,” Fowler said.
In an e-mail to “dozens” of members who had commited to support Kudlow, Fowler wrote, ”As for why he will not run, that is for Larry to explain. I believe the process is daunting, and the sacrifice significant, and, no matter how many people encouraged him — and I do believe there was a path to victory — that encouragement could not surmount the challenges Larry, or any candidate would face.”
Kudlow had considered running for office before, as a challenger to Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. There were once also rumors, which Kudlow denied, that he considered challenging former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd.
“People have been talking about Larry running for years,” Fowler said.
One problem Kudlow faced, Fowler said, is that his “main source of income” is his radio and television shows, which kept him from getting into the race “at an optimum time,” months ago. But Kudlow was bound by Federal Communications Commission regulations that kept him from being a political candidate while he was on the air.
“If he were a plumber, I guess he would have announced months ago, and it would not have affected his livelihood,” Fowler said.
August Wolf, a Stamford Republican, did join the Senate race months ago.
On Tuesday, Wolf campaign Field Director Chris Diorio said Wolf hoped to have Kudlow’s support should he decide not to enter the race,.
Kudlow told CNBC that he thought Blumenthal is “vulnerable” because “Connecticut has gone in the wrong economic direction.”
“The state is a mess,” Kudlow said.
Blumenthal’s campaign did not have an immediate response.
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