Larry Kudlow: Republicans must keep ‘Biden inflation’ as the number one issue on their campaign

Record-high inflation is killing families, killing working folks, killing take-home pay, killing groceries on kitchen tables and killing the economy — and everybody knows it. It is by far the number one issue in the midterm elections, by far.   

No matter what Joe Biden may say, the inflation buck started with him and continues on him to this very day. Frankly, I don’t care what he says about this topic. A year ago, he said there was no inflation, then he said it was transitory. Earlier in the summer he said it was zero. Yesterday, he said it was 2%. All completely fraudulent statements and the country knows it.   

Every Republican running in this election must keep the Biden inflation the number one issue in their campaign. I know there are other issues and I know there’s plenty of work to do on many fronts, but right now the cavalry must march to the inflation war drums. 

Any Democrat who voted for the so-called emergency relief spending bill back in March of 2021, or who voted for the out-of-control spending in the fraudulently named “Inflation Reduction Act,” or who supports the trillion-dollar cost of student loan cancelations, they must be hammered for supporting the Biden inflation that is wrecking families and the economy. That is the cavalry’s bugle call, number one issue and I’m going to bet, out of all the Dems running for the Senate and the House, near 100% voted for Biden’s inflationary policies.


With 25 days to go, the cavalry has to stay on this message. We’ve known this for quite a while, but the recent inflation reports just out on producer and consumer prices that came in much worse than expected put inflation once again squarely on the front burner.  

The Gallup poll says 59% of Americans are now concerned about inflation, 38% regard it as the number one issue. A Rasmussen poll shows the same story, 84% say rising prices will be important in their vote. By the way, that includes 77% of all Democrats, and Rasmussen’s likely voters show that 60% believe the president’s policies are to blame for increased inflation. Digging deeper in that poll, 64% of Whites, 60% of Blacks and 66% of other minorities are very concerned about inflation. 

Joe Biden is out there telling people that, “If Republicans win, inflation is going to get worse. It’s that simple.” Well, it’s not quite that simple, Mr. President. Republicans did not vote for your big inflationary spending bills. Republicans did not support your student loan bailout. Nor do Republicans support your closing off the fossil fuel spigots with no permits, no pipelines, no fracking, but very high prices at the pump and at home. These were your failed Green New Deal policies.  

Republicans didn’t vote for double-digit food prices, or high car prices, or high shelter prices, or high medical care prices, or high services prices. Republicans did not vote for 18 straight months of falling real wages. These were Democratic bills, Democratic spending, Democratic borrowing and Democratic failures. 

Am I being simple-minded here? Yes, I believe I am, but many years ago, working for Ronald Reagan, I learned that effective political messaging should be short and simple. That’s what the cavalry needs right now.  

Crime’s a big issue. It favors the GOP. I don’t want to lose that, but you know what’s a big crime? Record inflation robbing people of their livelihoods, their family budgets and their retirement savings. That’s a very big crime — think of it.  

Of course, Joe Biden won’t fess up to owning this issue. Yesterday, he tried to sell a 2% inflation rate and then was properly pounded across social media. Overall inflation was 2% for the past three months because of plunging gas prices — mostly a function of Biden’s destroying the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the worst case of election-year political price-fixing I’ve ever seen and of course, committing the crime of significantly weakening not only our economic security, but our national security as well.  

The world knows full well that the CPI is up 8.2% for the past year, the Producer Price Index, PPI, up 8.5%. That’s not zero, Joe. That’s not two, Joe. That’s over eight, Joe. I’m a numbers guy.

So-called core CPI is up 6.6%, the highest in 40 years. Mortgage rates — through the roof. Housing — unaffordable, blame it on inflation. Hang on a minute. Did he say, “If Republicans win, inflation will get worse”? Really? When Joe Biden was elected president, the inflation rate was barely above 1%. Did Biden say the economy would get worse under Republicans? Really?   

The economy, when Biden was inaugurated, was growing at 6.5%. You’d think the Democrats would die for those kinds of numbers right now. Well, they had ‘em. Trump gave it to ’em. They should’ve just left things alone. But no! They had to try big-government socialism, radical climate change, progressive lefty spending, taxing, regulating. All businesses are bad! So is free enterprise. 

This was a Democratic experiment. It failed. So did open borders and illegal immigration. So did crazy race and gender theories in schools. So did defunding the police. So did playing footsies with America-hating dictators to get an extra barrel of oil. All this was part of the grand progressive socialist dream. It all failed, just like it always does. So, let me hear the inflation bugle from the cavalry.

That is the winning issue that will put a check on all this progressive socialist nonsense. Don’t do it for Republicans. Don’t do it for Democrats. Do it for the country, and most of all, let that bugle play “Taps” for inflation.  

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the October 14, 2022, edition of “Kudlow.”

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