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Romney on CNBC: Primaries Have Made Him ‘Tougher’

Monday, 5 Mar 2012 | 4:00 PM ET

Mitt Romney told CNBC said Monday the bruising primary season has only made him “tougher” and better prepared him to take on President Barack Obama.

GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Larry Kudlow
CNBC
GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Larry Kudlow

“I’m more ready to go after the president than I was before I started,” Romney said in an interview with Larry Kudlow a day before 10 states hold Super Tuesday contests.

“There’s an advantage to going having done this twice, by the way. First time through you learn some lessons; second time through you’re also continuing to learn.”

However, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollfound thatthe combative primary season is actually hurting the Republican Party and its candidates. Four in 10 adults say the GOP nominating process has given them a less than favorable impression of the Republican Party. Romney said it’s just part of the process.

“Anyone would love to be coronated, if you will, the nominee of their party, but that doesn’t happen. We go through a rough and tumble process of sorting things out. I think it makes us tougher,” he said on "The Kudlow Report."

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The poll also found that Obama’s job approval has risen to 50 percent. Forty percent believe the economy will improve during the next year. Kudlow said that news has contributed to a new “conventional wisdom” that the election is over since Romney’s main issue is the economy. Romney insisted that is not the case.

“We sure hope the economy gets better, but this has been the slowest recovery since Hoover,” Romney said. “This president has failed us. … Incomes have not risen. Gasoline prices are high. The idea that everything’s fine out there in America comes from people who are detached from America.”

The former Massachusetts governor isn’t giving the president credit for the auto industry’s come back either.

“Thank heavens they’ve come back, but they had to go through that bankruptcy process just like a lot of other industries that get in trouble that have overpromised to their distribution network,” he said. “That’s why they’ve come back.”

Watch Larry Kudlow's full interview with Mitt Romney on "The Kudlow Report" Monday night at 7 p.m. ET.

Questions? Comments, send your emails to: lkudlow@kudlow.com

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  • Lawrence Kudlow is a CNBC senior contributor. Previously, Kudlow was anchor of CNBC's prime-time program "The Kudlow Report"