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tv   The Kudlow Report  CNBC  January 26, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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>> larry, another big interview with newt gingrich. what else are you following? >> is newt a free market capitalist? i'm not so sure. good evening, i'm larry kudlow. this is "the kudlow report." is newt gingrich a free market capitalist? you'll see no no holds barred interview with him tonight. you'll see what happens when i express my disappointment with many of his recent statements attacking capital success. and sizzle story number two, former civil war veteran kevin warsh criticized the government today by saying the fed's ultra easy money threatens to forestall the economy. this is is a major statement by a highly influence policy maker. we'll get into it later. but first up my exclusive interview with newt gingrich. for the past several weeks, mr. gingrich hats been attacking
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free market capitalism one way or another, bain capital, success african-american investing, swiss bank accounts, even alleging mitt romney's annual income came from know work. as an old friend of newt's, all of this disappoints me. take a listen. >> mr. gingrich, thank you, sir, we appreciate it. >> glad to be back with you, larry. it's always fun. >> let me begin with this, some new polls today, the rasmussen poll has you 8 points down. it looks like you've lost the south carolina momentum. why is this? what's going against you right now? >> you have the usual effect. we had a big surge, we gained a lot of points literally overnight. you had a little bit of a subsiding and romney has vastly more money. he's running negative ads, many of them false. fraend of mine in tampa saw 12
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ads last night attacking me just in one evening. our ads just went up today. i think we'll be doing fine by the weekend. but it's a very tough campaign. there are other polls that show it much closer. we've had two polls today that showed it basically tied. you're in the zone of me slightly behind but clearly within distance of winning the race and we're going to go all out in the next six days. we're very fortunate. we have jose who ran marco rubio's campaign is running our campaign ehere. he's confident it's going to come together. >> this is something you said on the campaign trail knocking mitt romney's business and investment. let me play this quickly. >> i think you have to live in a world of swiss bank accounts and automatic 20d million income
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with no work to be this far from reality. >> mr. speaker, that's disturbing. i want to ask you what you mean, the no work part. i think you know mitt romney started at the bottom, worked up the ladder of success and had a fantastic career. why do you say no work? >> because for the last five years he's been sitting around running for president. he has a very large income he doesn't go out and work for, it based on investments. the point i was making is he's describing life for grandfathers and grandmothers in local communities around america suggesting they're going to self-deport. father, grandfather, grandmother, children, grandchildren, in a local community, they're not going to self-deport. their entire family is going to take care of them. that was a conversation in a setting in miami where people were nodding yes because they understood exactly what i was saying and that particular quote i think came later at an event in orlando. but my point is really simple.
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he has a whole series of ideas that i think don't work very well. they didn't work very well in massachusetts. romneycare, for example, has turned out to be vastly more expensive than they thought. and without the u.s. taxpayer kicking in, the state of massachusetts could never have done it. there's a big difference between somebody being effective in business and being effective in government. he ranked third from the bottom -- >> yeah, but you were -- speaker, just to challenge you, this is such a tough statement. swiss bank accounts, cayman island bank accounts, an automatic $20 million income from no work. you know romney worked his whole life. you know he succeeded and you also know at least free market people believe that investors should take advantage of whatever market opportunities are out there. >> sure. >> this sounds like you're going back to attacks on free market capitalism from the whole bain capital experience. >> there's a big difference
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between what investors out to do in life and whether or not a person running for president can meet certain standards. now, for example, i have no idea why he had a swiss bank account or why he had cayman island accounts, but i think if you're running for president, you had better be prepared to explain it the presidency is a very unique job of enormous power and the american people deserve to know in advance and particularly before they nominate somebody who has the job of beating barack obama, what are you doing and why are you doing it and how are you doing it? >> he's published all this stuff. he's been transparent. he just published his tax returns. in order, is there something illegal or something improper, then just come out and say it but i don't hear that from you. >> well, there are -- i think there are things that he's going to have to explain down here. he invested in one fund which makes its money by foreclosing on florida homes. that only became known yesterday. there was a lot of the stuff
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that was not very transparent and a lot of the stuff only came out in the last 72 hours. and we frankly don't know anything about the cayman islands or swiss bank account except they exist. so to say he's revealed everything, no. the truth is we don't know much of anything. i'm making a deeper point. the presidency is about judgment, it's about character, it's about whether or not you're doing things that the american people are comfortable with. it's not -- this is not to question capitalism. that's a phony romney defense. the fact is as you nope because you've worked with me for 30 years i am very pro free market, i am very pro capitalism, but i'm also for people who run for president being held accountable to a tough standard. >> but i agree with you. of course you and i have worked together for 30 years on and off. we go back all the way to the reagan revival of free market capitalism and supply-side economics. but when you're attacking -- it sounds like just as in the bain
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capital attack you're going back to that. some people have said to me that's because newt is behind in the polls. you're slamming romney's success, you're slamming romney's investments, you're going to go back to the bain capital slam. it just sounds like the language of the left and if you run up against president obama in the fall, he's going to just quote you saying this stuff and you won't stand a chance. >> look, we would have said very similar things about john kerrey. we could have said john kerry in some ways of out of touch. we did say that. the bush campaign said that all the time. i'm suggesting in some way what is governor romney suggested about his self-deportation quote i think is very unrealistic. and he either doesn't mean it or he doesn't understand the real world. that's a fairly legitimate question to raise because i don't know anybody who believes that grandmothers and grandfathers are going to self-deport. that's where this whole thing started was an argument about what do you with people who have been here 25 years who have
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family, who have been paying their bills, who are part of the community? i took the position they ought to be allowed to be reviewed by a citizen review board. if they have an american familiar lip that supports them and is willing to stand for them, they ought to be considered for residency -- not for citizenship but for residency. governor romney said they should have to go home. i asked the question are you going to really have the police deport them? he said we don't have to do that, they'll self-deport. i don't think there's anybody who believes, the certainly the immigrant community, who believes a grandmother or a grandfather is going to self-deport. i was simply suggesting there are areas where governor romney doesn't necessarily understand the practical realities of life and the practical realities of what's going to happen on the street. >> but i think, speaker, i think that george w. bush never used this hostile language to investment and business. certainly ronald reagan never singled out investment funds and
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attacked them. that's my disappointment with your position on a lot of these issues, calling bain capital and other private equity funds for example, that they were looters, that they were raiders that, they were greedy corporations. you yourself, you worked for ted forceman at the great private equity fund forsman little and you worked for another firm, i have it down here, j.l.l. partners, a private equity firm, they gave you $40,000, you gave a speech. the guy said you were euphoric about private equity. what has made you run up against private equity firms and work out firms and turn around firms or is it just political expediency and opportunism where you're giving up your principles that i thought you and i shared? >> you know, larry, the idea that to criticize and ask a question about several business deals means you're anti-capitalist is nonsense. the fact is there are several
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deals that bain did that they took an enormous amount of money out of companies which shortly thereafter went broke, an enormous amount of money. that's a matter of public record. it's never been explained, it's never been defended. the law is written in such a way that there's no bankruptcy recourse against the people who took all the money. now that's a fact and could pretty easily be changed. i think to come in and say you're not allowed to question his career because the fact that you question anything in his career means you're anti-capitalist? so anybody can run for president and immediately say ask nothing but b it because that would mean you're somehow anti-capitalist. that's nonsense. >> i think it sounds like the language of the left. talking about corporate raiders and talking about looters -- look, we all know some of these deals go sour, we know most -- >> it's not a question of they go sour. >> but when you use that language, you sound like, pardon the phrase, president obama or
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the left wing of the democratic party. that's what's disappointed many of your conservative supporters during this campaign. >> okay. let's say that i said to you i really believe deeply in honest corporations. i suspect obama would say he believes deep any in honest corporations pi whi corporations. which of us is mimicking which one? somehow the idea of looking at something becomes radioactive, i'm really, truly puzzled by it, larry. i raise serious questions. there are at least three or four cases where as a matter of judgment and you mentioned teddy forsman, you remember when teddy went into gulfstream, he found a company in much deeper trouble than they thought. it would have been easy to have just cashed out. instead he found an extra billion dollar, moved to savannah, became ceo of the
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company, worked full time to turn it around and enlisted a whole group of people together and worked hard to make gulfstream the company it is today. that's a very positive behavior and he took very great responsibility for that. governor romney has run around for years citing his business record. the minute you start looking at his business record, they throw up this automatic smoke screen and say to question anything in his business record is anti-capital i. that's the game they've been playing. >> all right. coming up later, much more of my interview with newt gingrich. he reveals the strategy he's going to take against romney at tonight's debate in florida. plus newt defends his reagan creds. doesn't forget whether you're a politician or running for congress or anybody, please don't forget free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity. it made america great. i'm kudlow. we'll be right back.
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today close but no cigar. the dow unable to close at a three and a half year high after weak housing data reversed an early morning gain. but my question here is has the fed really eased or not with
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yesterday's announcement of several more years of a zero interest rate? that could affect stocks big time. let's talk. joining me now, art hogan, managing director at and michael. stocks fell today but commodity rose, gold up, copper up, the crb index up. i'm trying to gauge the fed announcement, the zero interest rates to another year and a half, to 2014, beyond what we thought, is this a real stock market influence in do you buy the inflation stocks? >> i think you do. one of the things you saw in the rise in the commodities because of the effect of the dollar. one of the bad things about the dollar coming down is we saw a pop in the euro, which shouldn't be where it is. it's not going to help that slowly improving situation in the euro zone. you've got a very transparent fed and they've let us know what they think about monetary policy for the next couple of years but
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that has an immediate effect of what's gong, yieing on, yields treasury markets and commodities. >> mike, you've got an easy money fed no matter how you score it. the question did they get easier with the 2014? you have an easier money from the chinese central bank because they're loosening up, too. are we on the verge of a boom for gold, a boom for commodities, a boom for copper? >> absolutely. i think gold will be $2,000 an ounce by the end of the year and i think we're headed for stagflation. corporate profit growth rates are slowing dramatically. in october they were saying the s&p would see 14% earnings growth in the fourth quarter of 2011. they now cut that to 7%. looking ahead, sales growth 3.3% in the first quarter of 2012,
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2.6% is what they're saying in the second quarter. >> raw seller of stocks? >> i'm a seller of equities, i'm buying gold and i think there there be a flight for high corporate bonds? >> you buy the gold commodities and sell the stock index? what do you? >> no, you don't do that at all. gold has had an interesting move over the last ten years and the last two years for obvious reasons, all of the economic instability. as you look at monetary policy, coordinated central bank intervention here and easy monetary policy, the senate are play is to think about riskier assets and that's in the equity markets. if we think the s&p can earn $100, conservative and below con sensitive and put an easy multiple of 15, you get to the stock market, it will be up between 14% and 19% on a
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year-to-date basis. >> with all due respects to brother art, stocks are anything but cheap to me. >> what's the earnings yield? >> compared to the treasury, sure, it's cheap. but those earnings are being ratcheted downward or not estimates. i don't trust them. >> even if the economy is growing at 3% and even if europe doesn't crash, you're still worried about -- >> i'm buying stagflation. the money supply has increased 10% over the past year, that's almost five times faster than gdp. that to me suggests rising price ps. >> are you worried about politicians that don't favor free market capitalism and doesn't like capitalist being success? i can think of three major figures now, president obama, governor romney and former speaker newt gingrich. are any of them reliable free market guys? your opinion, art hogan?
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>> i think the market is trying to price in now with some uncertainty. coming into the new year we thought we had more certainty as to who the republican candidate was going to be and we have a bit of uncertainty on that front. i think the market is looking at the unknown. we thought we had a known candidate coming out of the republican part. now there's a wild card and he's making a lot of noise that doesn't sound like he's for premarket -- >> that's the tricky point. look at the interview di. the second half is coming up. it worries me. and michael, you're always honest. that's the trouble. you're too honest. i appreciate it, gentlemen. thank you very much. >> now, let's go some more on this day after response to the dovish fed. moments ago, kevin warsh warned that the fed's record easing may impede u.s. economic growth. i quote, recent policy activism
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pressures that go beyond a central's bank's capacity or traditional remit threaten to forestall recovery and harms long-term growth. that's pretty powerful stuff from an ex-federal governor. let's talk to bob mctear. what do you make -- what is kevin trying to say? he's saying ultra easy money, including yesterday's policy announcement, may actually harm the economy. why is this? >> well, i think it's -- i think he's probably right about that. i think what the open market committee has actually done has been okay. but all this open market talk, all these projections i think are far beyond what we need. 2013 was a mistake and end of 2014 was a mistake and it a mistake under the guise of transparency to tie your hands like this, put yourself in a straight jacket. >> is it inflationary, bob?
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>> not necessarily inflationary. everybody has said what the fed has already done would be inflationary and it hasn't been because the banks are hoarding excess reserves. as long as that goes on, the easy money policy in the u.s. and in europe is not likely to be inflationary and i would pick stocks over gold. >> one of the things warsh is implying is i think he's saying when you artificially controlled funds race, that that distorts risk decisions, may lead to bad investments which may come back to bite us in the leg and damage the economy. is that warsh's point and do you agree with that point sp. >> i tend to. that's economics. i also think that six years of financial repression is just a little bit long to hold interest rates down close to zero. >> is the federal reserve
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signaling to us that they are willing to accept and accompany date more inflation than would have been the case three, four, five, ten years ago? >> i think a 2% inflation target is a little high. but i think mainly what bernanke is trying to do is talk long-term rates down. he thinks if he convinces us they're going to stay down, he doesn't have to do much to bring that about. >> michael on our stock panel reminded us the money supply is growing about 10% year on year, bank loans also about 10% year on year. when you're in a deep recession, maybe you don't worry about that but if you grow at 3% and the fed's targets are 3% to 4%, maybe there is too much money now chasing too few goods. maybe the excess reserves will get put in and we'll get an inflation problem. is that an issue? >> i don't think so. most of that growth in the money supply took place in two or three months, it's already
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diminished greatly. i don't think money is growing too fast under the circumstances. >> then what's your beef with the fed, bob, just to sum up? >> just too many transparency or too much information, tying their hands with these promises that they may not need to keep, may not want to keep later on. >> i get that. another government agency making promises it cannot keep. that i stand. bob mcteer, thank you very much. next up, an obama-backed electric car battery maker has filed for bankruptcy. you guessed it, it got millions from a federal grant. the full story on that. plus the other stories coming into the cnbc newsroom next up on "kudlow." when bp made a commitment to the gulf,
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we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. . from the state of the union message no less, an obama-backed energy company has filed for bankruptcy. we're joined with more on that and all the latest breaking headlines coming into the cnbc newsroom. good evening. >> very good evening to you. an electric car battery maker has filed for bankruptcy. the indiana-based company received a $118 million grant from the energy department as part of a program touted by the president during his state of the union speech. and starbucks shares are falling despite record revenues for the company. it reported sales jumped by 9% but it reported a lighter outlook. that's why shares ended down. >>nd a federal judge has ruled
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bp has to indemnify against compensatory damages related to the gulf oil spill and it is still liable for punitive damages and civil penalties. >> freddie mac said the average rate crept up to 3.98% this week. >> monster, the online recruiter, will reduce its global workforce by about 7%. >> egypt bans employees of nongovernmental organizations from leaving the country. hostess says it can't survive without changing its labor force. and bill gates pledged $750 million to fight aids,
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tuberculosis and ma layeria this on top the $615 million it already contributed to the past decade. >> and finally, arizona governor jan breuer's book sales have gone up 1.3 million percent. she karcharacterized the presid as being patronizing in a meeting. the book went from 285,000 to number 1. >> now that's what i call a move. >> coming up, part two of my interview with republican presidential candidate newt gingrich, former speaker of the house reveals his debate strategy against mitt romney tonight. plus we're going to find out how he defends his reagan creds.
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welcome back to the "kudlow report." to part two of my interview with the gop front-runner newt gingrich, perhaps former front-runner, when i spoke with him this afternoon i asked him why so many conservatives are pounding him over his reagan credentials. please take a listen.
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>> my friend elliott abrams who worked in the reagan state department and national security council, he said you weren't close to ronald reagan, that you were attacking and criticizing ronald reagan in the 80s saying measured against the scale and momentum of the soviet empire's challenge, the reagan administration has failed is failing and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. you are arguing in the campaign you were a reagan follower and intimate. abrams and others are saying it's not true. >> it's an orchestrated romney attack painting a falsehood. bud macfarlane will tell you for five years i worked closely with him. michael reagan has endorsed me. nancy reagan said the torch of
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conservatism has been passed from ronnie to newt. all of a sudden a handful of romney supporters create a totally fictitious version of the 1980s for one person, to prop up romney. romney in the 80s was an independent. he gives money to democratic candidates for congress, votes for paul tsongas, the most liberal candidate and runs for the senate to the left of teddy kennedy and says i was never for the reagan and bush policies, i am an independent, i would not want to bring them back. this is the campaign. he was the -- romney is the anti-reagan republican. this is the campaign somehow trying to smear me and distort my entire history. you know personally, larry, that we worked on supply side economics before reagan adopted it, worked to pass it in '81
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with reagan and to have the anti-reagan, which is what romney is, decide he's going to disrupt my historic record is typical of the romney campaign. >> if you look at the atlanta constitution journal, i defended you. i didn't get the anti-conservative memo. i'm just here to ask questions. you know your bain capital thing is driving me crazy, you know that, i got to put it out from the heart. >> that's fine. >> you have a big, very important debate tonight, sir. romney in the monday debate put you in a box. he said you, newt gingrich, you were a long-time consultant to freddie mac and freddie mac along with fannie mae was one of the causes of the housing crisis, they lowered their credit standard, pushed out unaffordable mortgages and people of florida are suffering the consequences. how can you get out of that box tonight, mr. speaker? >> this is an example.
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i hope you're not going to think this is anti-capitalist. this is an example of the whole way the romney operation works. what we've learned since monday night, he personally owns stock in fannie mae and freddie mac. he's surrounded by lobbyist who is have been defending fannie mae and freddie mac. he owns stocks in a goldman sachs subsidiary which is foreclosing on people in florida. i'm very happy to take this up tonight. i'd like to know from governor romney how many people have been foreclosed on by the places he's made investments and how much money has he made personally out of the foreclosures in florida. he wanted to go down this road. you'll notice by wait that when we released the contracts, they said i will do no lobbying of any kind despite the fact that for weeks governor romney had been falsely saying something that is not true. but let's find out tonight. how many people have been foreclosed on by the goldman sachs investment that he made. how much money did he make out
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of florida foreclosures? he started this particular fight. this is not anti-capitalism. this is finding out whether or not he's personally responsible for the things he's been involved in. >> we're all going to watch the debate tonight, mr. speaker. i know you've got a busy campaign schedule. i appreciate your time very much sir. please do not bash free market capitalism. this is your old pal kudlow. thank you for coming on the "kudlow report," newt gingrich. >> we have republican governor bob mcdonnell of the great state of virginia. we're going to talk about free market capitalism, newt and mitt. stay with us, please.
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medicare supplement insurance plan... insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. call this toll-free number on your screen now... for this free information kit, including this... medicare guide and customized rate quote. welcome back to the "kudlow report." you heard newt gingrich's closing florida arguments for tonight's debate. mr. mcdonnell. welcome back. can s newt gingrich a free market capitalist or what? apart from romney versus gingrich, i don't know if you heard our interview, but this is something that troubles me. >> well, i heard parts of your
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interview. listen, i appreciate some of the things the speaker has done with the contract with america, other things, but the rhetoric as of late is very disturbing. the reason i'm supporting mitt romney is he's a guy who knows how to create jobs, balance budgets and get things down. he knows how to defend the american dream because he's lived it. i think he will give the most robust, enthusiastic defense of free markets in the american free enterprise system, which has delivered more wealth and opportunity to people than any system other devised. to have other candidates saying we ought to criticize governor romney for his success i think is wrong. >> that's the thing. it's the rhetoric that sounds so anti-success which seems unbecoming for a conservative or
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republican candidate. i said previous on the air you should have run for president and i heard my friend roger ales called you to run for president. would you be a vice president if mr. romney wins? >> we don't even have a candidate yet so that's awfully premature. i love what i'm doing, i've got patrick henry's job as governor of virginia. any governor if they got a call from the candidate and said could you help our party and our country, i think you'd certainly be interested. i'm interested in most importantly we have to replace barack obama who has had more bad ideas on jobs and economy and taxes and spending. we have a lot of bogus rhetoric but no results out of washington. >> do you think president obama's call last night for the so-called buffett tax, millionaires must be at least 30%, which is is a doubling of the capital gains tax from 15 to
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30, do you think that was aimed at mitt romney? is his totally political campaign aimed at romney? >> i think in part because he thinks romney will be the nominee and so do i. but it's also part of this horrible class warfare anticapitalist rhetoric we get out of this administration. everything he's tried on jobs has been a failure. it's been more spending, more taxes, more regulation, no government takeover. mitt romney understands from bain capital, from governor as massachusetts and from the successful olympics he ran it's the free enterprise system with limited taxes anz regulation that's the secret to wealth. you understand it well, you've defended this concept, the reason everybody has supported a low are rate for capital gains is because you've already paid a 35% rate at the top level when you earned that money. >> right, right, right, good for you. >> and then you invest it and you're taxed again.
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that's wrong. >> you get a nobel prize. that's right. you have to pass through the 35% corporate tax. in effect that capital gains tax of 15% runs 45 to 50%. you get a nobel prize for that. now what's going to happen? the way the laws stack up, the bush tax cuts are reversed at the end of this year and the capital gains tax is going to 20 and the obamacare tax puts another 4 percent and points on it. so much you may not be looking at a 30% cap gain, sir, you could be looking at a 24% from 15 to 24. how is that going to work on the economy? >> not well, larry. and the other point about the reason that capital gains are taxed at a low are rate is it's too incentivize people to take risk, invest companies and when you invest in companies like mitt romney invested in, you create thousands of jobs. mitt romney and his team created hundreds of thousands of jobs
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because access to capital incentivizes new businesses. this oppressive 35% corporate income tax rate, the second high nest all the world, that's why we can't get companies to repatriate and come back on american soil. we need pro job pro preenterprise job policies and mitt romney is the one to put at that in place. >> we appreciate your time. >> next up, the gop candidates will slug it out tonight in jacksonville, florida. my question, a simple one. will mitt montaromney stay aggressive? our panel will help us sort this out. i was worried. i worried about my wife, and my family. bill has the most common type of atrial fibrillation, or afib. it's not caused by a heart valve problem.
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he was taking warfarin, but i've put him on pradaxa instead. in a clinical trial, pradaxa 150 mgs reduced stroke risk 35% more than warfarin without the need for regular blood tests. i sure was glad to hear that. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding, and seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have a bleeding condition like stomach ulcers, or take aspirin, nsaids, or bloodthinners, or if you have kidney problems, especially if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctor's approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning. pradaxa is progress. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if you can reduce your risk of stroke with pradaxa.
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welcome back to the "kudlow report." going into tonight's debate in jacksonville, florida, mitt romney has erased newt gingrich's south carolina lead in the polls. a cording to rasmussen and a couple of others, the former governor is running a 7 to 8 point lead. will mitt stay on the offense? joining us is robert costa from the "national review." will mitt come out swinging tonight as he did on monday? >> i think so, larry. as a reporter, you want to take your clues from the trail. what has mitt romney done all
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week? he's held housing events, emphasized gingrich and freddie mac. he's going to hammer it hard. >> newt gingrich knows he's losing in the polls, i interviewed him earlier. when i hear newt going back to bashing success and bashing swiss bank accounts and saying mitt romney didn't earn a living, i think he sounds desperate, robert. >> mitt romney's forces are telling me all day they think they're getting under newt gingrich's skin. we saw it in his energy and how he handled his interview with you. he seems flustered and is wagging his finger at the negativity. romney is spending millions on the airwaves, he's been on the air longer than newt gingrich. if he continue to be a prosecutor, not being too negative but pointing out fact, he can win here in florida. >> are we going to hear a lot about swiss bank accounts tonight? is this going to be a debate over swiss bank accounts and what they mean is it. >> a lot of conservatives will
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be wiping their brow, now happy about the tone of the debate. it's going to be nasty. you're going to hear republicans talking about bain, swiss bank accounts and other things that make conservatives grumble. >> makes me grumble. not you but the talk. let's go to our panel, kevin madden, matt louis, thank you, gentlemen. kevin, to you first. the debate starts in just a few moments. will mitt come out swinging? will he be aggressive the way he was on monday night? >> robert costa is a good reporter. i think he's right. i think governor romney will be very aggressive, in drawing the contrasts that are needed for voters to make an informed decision about whether they want newt gingrich or romney as a nominee? you have someone who is is a life long politician, someone
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who has been in the private sector, been governor and brings an outside perspective to washington. i think he'll be aggressive in prosecuting the case against president obama on the economy. are we going to be a country that puts its faith in the government with regard to spurg economic development or put our faith in the american people? on those issues tonight, governor romney will be very aggressive. >> matt lewis, let me go to you. newt gingrich, an old front, it isn't personal, but i told him directly in the interview how disturbed and disappointed i was he's given back to capital bashing, cheap shots about swiss bank accounts, things of that nature, saying mitt romney didn't have to work for his income. that sounds desperate to me and it going to back fire against newt. will he go there tonight. >> a couple things. he is desperate. florida is hugely important. it is pretty much the end of the road. gingrich sort of has to win florida. the way he handled himself in south carolina.
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desperation is probably apt. if newt gingrich is smart, he will not go after romney on the swiss bank accounts and on bain. let somebody else do that. let surrogates do that, let the main street media do it, let the super pac do it. there are plenty of things with mitt romney you could attack him on, whether it romneycare or whatever. so we'll see if gingrich follows that advice or deep sides to go down that rabbit hole. and then lastly, larry, i would say i do think we have to sort of caution the viewers, though, that i think the populist message may not resonate to looft viewers of cnbc but resonates more to a lot of average conservatives out there. people like sarah palin, mark levin, there are a lot of grass roots conservatives out there who support gingrich and it's sort of like an old reagan thing versus a bush thing. >> let me go to ari.
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i want to make very clear ronald reagan never bashed capitalism, never. you're wrong on that, matt lewis. you're completely wrong. i want to ask ari, as an observer, you're with the nation, on the other side of the aisle from the republican conservatives, what does it look like to you, gingrich going back to bain capital bashing like message, actually insulting romney yesterday, which saying he didn't work to earn his money, which i think is a horrible personal insult. what does it look like to you? >> newt gingrich is a protester. he's a protest candidate. he's appealing to the protest energy, that was tea party, it's about anger and that's why he needs the media, he needs the fight. look for him to be going not directly after mitt romney but going after media elites and position himself as the angriest protester around. >> will he go after my good friend wolf blitzer? >> you bet. >> or my pal gloria borger?
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they're both good friends of mine. >> it will be early and often and he'll want wolf to be howling. he needs that. if newt is hurting, which has been the thesis of several of the contributions you've had on the show, it not because of mitt romney. did is because there are now krdible conservatives coming out and saying he's not a true conservative. i think that's the point here if you take away one thing newt gingrich's biggest vulnerability is he's not a consistent conservative, whether that's about bain and private equity or the fact he supported the individual mandate or some of his cooky ideas about the courts you've spotlighted before. none of those things in my mind are traditional conservatives. >> let's go to kevin on this. kevin, this is an interesting turn of events now. bob dole was out on the tape this afternoon supporting mitt romney and bashing newt gingrich. bashing newt pretty bad. john mccain bashed newt earlier. you had of course the bob terrell from the "american
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spectator" writing a tough article on newt, my pal elliott abrams going bag to pat moynihan days wrote a rough piece in "the national review." why are these conservatives coming out and slamming newt gingrich so much? >> well, look, i think there's a couple reasons. first i don't think it breaks along eideological lines as muc as it breaks along the lines of these are people who know newt gingrich. they've seen him up close, they've witnessed his lack of leadership as somebody who is in a position of power in the late 90s and they just believe that it would -- he would take the country in the wrong direction. he's very erratic. in his interview tonight he showed he's very irrational, pointing his finger at the camera. is this someone we want to nominate to lead the party? i think the answer on that is no. and these are the type of arguments that many of these
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people who know newt gingrich are trying to make. >> matt lewis, just to stay with kevin's argument, national review online is running a poll 2-to-1 people don't want newt, are you exhilarated or happy? they're very unhappy with it. is the republican party threatened by newt gingrich? that's the bottom line. i'll give you the last word, matt lewis. >> i think some in the establishment are. think that i that clearly the establishment republican party has lined up against gingrich. some of it is frankly because he's not their type of person. they're more comfortable with a businessman like a romney. some of it i think is legitimate. gingrich has been erratic. but, look, he's also gave republicans the republican revolution, he gave americans working with bill clinton four balanced budgets and the national journal has an article
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out of why bob dole doesn't like newt gingrich and it's because bob dole raised taxes. >> all right, i got to jump out. that will do it for tonight's show. that will do it. we'll have a lot of debate discussion tomorrow night. i'm kudlow. we'll see you then. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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