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Gilmore: Voters Don’t See Optimism in Obama


President Barack Obama signs the Stock Act.
CNBC
President Barack Obama signs the Stock Act.

President Obama’s negative attacks on Republican Mitt Romney are failing because voters are looking for optimism, former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore said Thursday on CNBC.

“The people of the United States expect the president to offer some positive leadership. He’s been there for four years. We still see three 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. We’re still seeing low growth in this country. They’re expecting to see something in the way of a positive message from the president so that people will want to put him back in office again for four more years, and they’re not getting it,” he said on “The Kudlow Report.”

Gilmore pointed to a New York Times/CBS poll that shows 39 percent of respondents approved of Obama’s handling of the economy, while 55 percent disapproved.

The newest poll shows worsening numbers for the president, who had a 46 percent approval rating in April.

“The most important issue facing the people of the United States today is jobs and the economy and the future of their careers and their children’s careers. Instead, what are we getting? We’re getting attack after attack on irrelevant issues,” Gilmore said. “People of the United States are smart people.”

Jonathan Cowan, president and co-founder of Third Way, a think tank, found positive signs for the Obama campaign.

“Romney should be killing Obama in the horse race, absolutely killing him with these numbers, and he’s not,” he said. “Romney should be able to translate that into a lead in the national poll.”

The poll also found that 49 percent of Americans thought the Bush-era tax cuts should continue on incomes of $250,000 and below, as Obama has proposed, while more than a quarter support keeping them on all income groups.

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"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights 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"