By Bernice Napach
Larry Kudlow, anchor of The Kudlow Report on CNBC and a budget official in the first Reagan White House, says this year's presidential election will be a referendum on the economy and President Obama.
The U.S. unemployment rate remains staggeringly high above 8 percent and is improving at a snails pace. The June jobs report Friday showed jobs were up from the previous month with 80,000 payrolls added, but still fell below expectations of 100,000 jobs. The problem facing Obama is the stark fact that no President since WWII has won re-election with unemployment above 7.4 percent.
Kudlow says Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney can win the election on his economic policies, but he has to communicate them better to voters.
"The trick for Mitt is to make the case with clarity that he's the guy to get jobs and growth going again," Kudlow tells The Daily Ticker's Dan Gross.
He says Romney should take a page from Reagan's 1980 election playbook: limit government, roll back spending, roll back regulation, strong defense, curb inflation.
"Mitt Romney needs to figure out what his four or five bullets will be," says Kudlow. "He has to say what he will do to turn around the country."
Kudlow says Romney has a plan but "hasn't marketed it well." He argues that Romney will hammer Obama on raising taxes including those to pay for Obama's health care plan, which the Supreme Court ruled last week was constitutional. But Romney needs to be optimistic and specific. The former Massachusetts Governor has to spell out he will "grow jobs and the economy, limit government deficits and debt so we won't be like Greece." Romney will get plenty of opportunities to sell his platform but Kudlow says his acceptance speech at the Republican convention in Tampa in late August will be "absolutely the most important speech in defining his campaign."