Larry Kudlow: Election Night was not that bad, stop with the 'blame game'

Election Night may not have been what we wanted, but it was not such a bad night, Larry Kudlow argues

So, I will be the first to admit that last night's GOP vote was more a platoon than an entire cavalry. Not exactly what we were hoping for, but remember this, according to the U.S. Army, a platoon is 3 to 4 squads. That could come out to as many as 140 soldiers. That's not nothing. So, let’s not be too discouraged about the showing last night and, by the way, a squad — and you know who I mean and what I mean about squads — squads are less than 10 soldiers. So, to sum it up: platoons are much, much bigger than squads, if you get my meaning.  

Now, back to the story line. All the votes are not counted yet, but it sure looks like the GOP will carry the House, with at least 225 seats, that is very, very, important.  By the way, 225 GOP House members will make a hell of a platoon and also, by the way, House Republicans defeated half a dozen Democratic incumbents and they’re still counting, including my pal, Mike Lawler, right here in New York, who defeated the Democratic campaign chairman Sean Maloney.  

Kevin McCarthy's efforts to expand his House troops — recruiting women and minority candidates paid off in places like Florida, Michigan, New York, Texas, Virginia and elsewhere.  The Senate looks like it's going to be a photo finish. Now, Senator Ron Johnson was just declared the winner in Wisconsin, that puts the GOP headcount at 49. Senator Johnson, celebrating his third victory, will be here in just a few moments to tell us about it.

That leaves three remaining races, of which Adam Laxalt looks to me like a sure winner in Nevada. Herschel Walker in a runoff in Georgia and this time his friends and allies will urge Georgians to come out and vote for him — you know what I mean about that —  and there's 80,000 libertarian votes I think will swing towards Herschel and then finally there’s Blake Masters in Arizona, who I admit is a longer shot, but Kari Lake looks to be a winner and who knows about Blake? He’s been on the show several times, he’s a fine person. So, I'll go out on a limb and say there's a good path to 51, maybe even 52. 


By the way, kudos, many kudos to Governor Ron DeSantis for his huge win in Florida, along with Marco Rubio, by the way, the under ticket in Florida was just fantastic, under ticket, picking up House seats and just about everything else. So, I just want to say my conservative friends should really, please, stop gnashing your teeth, stop pointing fingers, stop the incriminations, you know the post-mortem incriminations, I can’t stand it. It wasn't such a bad night. Alright? It wasn’t what we wanted, but it wasn’t such a bad night and I remain optimistic.  

On the Senate side, listen, you had a large number of first-time candidates. They won primaries, and then they faced tough, well-funded Democratic incumbents. That's a very hard thing to beat. You look down the list: JD Vance, Ted Budd, Tiffany Smiley, Joe O'Dea, Don Bolduc, Blake Masters, Herschel Walker... we interviewed almost all of them on this show several times during the campaign. We watched them mature, improve and grow as great candidates. Some of them who lost last night, I think, will be back for more in future elections.  They will be future leaders.

A number of people are criticizing my former boss, Donald Trump, for backing bad candidates. This is just so vastly overrated. Remember, these candidates won primaries and they gave it their best shot in the general election. Some made it and some of them didn’t. Mr. Trump was not on the ballot. I dare say he was not a major force, with one exception, that I will acknowledge, that I wish he had backed my pal David McCormick, who I think would've beaten Fetterman. By the way, I like Mehmet Oz personally, but I just think McCormick was the guy to do it, but so it goes. 

The others gave it their best shot. Some of them are going to win. Others lost. It’s up to them. Not anybody else. I mean the tone with the blame game with these things — it’s they who lost. Mr. Trump was not on the ballots. Anyway, the blame game, to me, is always a lot of hooey. But, whatever the final count, the GOP is going to have the House in order to stop the bad stuff on spending, on taxing, on regulating, on weaponizing places like the Justice Department, or the IRS, or the FBI and other agencies and stopping the bad stuff will bring relief.  

If the GOP can pull out the Senate, why then they can be an even greater force for positive legislative strategies to grow the economy and curb inflation. I mean look it, next year 2023 is going to be a huge economic challenge. I was looking today at the OECD index of leading indicators, which is pointing straight down. It’s been doing it for many months. It's predicting a global recession, including in the U.S. and high prices and inflation with a sinking economy is going to have to be dealt with immediately.  


Donald Trump stands with Kari Lake

Former U.S. President Donald Trump (L) embraces Arizona Republican nominee for governor Kari Lake, who he has endorsed, during a campaign rally attended by former U.S. President Donald Trump at Legacy Sports USA on October 09, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images / Getty Images)

I still believe the first order of business is to take the handcuffs off fossil fuels, open the spigots, permitting, drilling, pipelining, refining... all of it. Oil and gas products permeate the entire economy, affecting the everyday lives of working folks and their families. Opening the spigots could also take the pressure off of the Fed's anti-inflation tightening, which would be a welcome relief for everybody. Then, of course, let’s cut spending, let’s cut taxes. Let us try to grow the supply side of the economy. Let’s pick up where we left off a couple years ago with the Trump V-shaped recovery boom.  Remember that?

Now, Joe Biden, he’s going to oppose all this, I guess, but he'll do so at his own peril. I mean he may have lost two Houses in the midterms last night. Okay? Certainly lost one, it may be two. All the exit polls showed inflation and the economy was by far the number one issue.  So, if Mr. Biden doesn't want a reset, or do business, he will do so or won’t do so at his own political peril. So, I’ll just say at the end, folks, take heart. The platoon is coming! Nothing wrong with a platoon. 

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the November 9, 2022, edition of "Kudlow."