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Sunday, December 9 News

Larry Kudlow gets nod from Trump, still has eye on Connecticut

Larry Kudlow might be the favorite on a list of potential economic advisers to President Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean he’s not paying attention to the race for the top seat in his home state.

Kudlow, the TV personality and Redding resident who served as an economic adviser to Trump’s campaign, is providing similar advice to a first-time Republican candidate for governor.

Kudlow is a long-time friend of Art Laffer, the economics guru Bob Stefanowski paid to endorse his 26-page plan for resuscitating Connecticut’s economy. It’s the centerpiece of Stefanowski’s mostly-self-funded candidacy for governor, and it’s apparently got Kudlow’s approval.

“My introduction (to Kudlow) was through Art Laffer, who I’ve known for 20 years,” Stefanowski said. “Art and I wrote the plan for Connecticut and Larry has reviewed that plan. We’ve talked about it and he’s supportive of what I’m trying to do for Connecticut. Larry is very supportive of what I’m trying to do to bring taxes down.”

Stefanowski stopped short of characterizing their relationship as friends, but said he’s been in frequent contact with Kudlow, who’s been providing advice on his economic plan for the state.

“Art and Larry and I have very similar views on supply-side economics,” he said.

Kudlow’s name has made headlines as the top candidate to replace former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn as Trump’s economic chief.

More Information

Lawrence “Larry” Kudlow

Age: 70

Residence: Redding, Connecticut

Political party: Republican (former Democrat)

Occupation: Economic analyst, television personality and newspaper columnist

Known for: The Kudlow Report

"I'm looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly,” Trump told reporters outside the White House Tuesday.

Kudlow took to Twitter after Cohn’s resignation (prompted by Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel) to say he’d encouraged Cohn to stay in the role. Kudlow has also been loudly anti-tariff both on Twitter and in his commentary on CNBC, calling the tariffs a “crisis of logic.”

“Blanket tariffs never a good thing,” Kudlow tweeted. “Why hurt allies? Or econ? Punish biggest offenders w/ targeted tariffs.”

He backed off the stance once Trump announced the tariffs wouldn’t apply to every country.

“Excluding Canada & Mexico right decision @realDonaldTrump Also optimism on NAFTA. All very positive,” Kudlow tweeted.

Trump brushed over their differing viewpoints in his comments to reporters.

“We don't agree on everything but in this case I think that's good: I want to have a divergent opinion,” Trump said. “We agree on most. He now has come around to believing in tariffs as also a negotiating point. I'm renegotiating trade deals and without tariffs we wouldn't do nearly as well. But Larry has been a friend of mine for a long time. He backed me very early in the campaign; I think the earliest; I think he was one of my original backers. He's a very, very talented man, a good man, and I think Larry Kudlow has a good chance. I'm also speaking to many others but I think Larry has a very good chance.”

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Kudlow, 70, was the host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” and spent several years working in former president Ronald Reagan's White House budget office, and for the Wall Street firm Bear Stearns. He is still a regular presence on cable news and hosts a podcast, “The Larry Kudlow Show.” On both Twitter and his podcast, Kudlow has been generally complimentary of Trump on a wide range of issues beyond economics, including on immigration, abortion and the Russia investigation.

A former Democrat, Kudlow has often been touted as a potential Republican challenger to Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

kkrasselt@hearstmediact.com; 203-842-2563; @kaitlynkrasselt

Kaitlyn Krasselt|Reporter

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