An interesting conversation occurred on this morning’s CNBC Squawk Box. Host Joe Kernan had a guest Scott Nations of Nationshare plus former GE CEO Jack Welch. They were discussing our economy. Kernan suggested that “the only thing that’s going to bring us out of it (recession); the only thing that’s going to create jobs in the private sector; the only way that we’re going to ever recover, it’s going to have to be capitalism.”
Rick Santelli of the Chicago Mercantile joined in. “That’s right. From internal forces, not external forces.”
Welch added his two cents worth (well maybe many millions worth).
“Absolutely. We’ve got to innovate, we’ve got to be productive, we’ve got to have every policy pass through that prism. We want to be exceptional as an economy and a free people.”
Kernan: “There are people who think that it’s the government’s job to invest and to innovate and that it’s going to start there and that’s the two different kinds of people in the world.”
Then Nations touched the essence of the problem. “How do we bridge that gap? Because I have a friend who’s a Democrat and he says he would not vote for a Republican if Abraham Lincoln rose from the dead and ran unopposed. My question to you is how do you bridge that gap? Because you’re preaching to the converted. You have to have that conversation…You can’t write people off because Paul Ryan will never get his plan passed if all he does is get Republicans…How are you going to bridge that gap?”
Then Welch offered some very good advice that all Republican candidates should heed. “By repeating over and over again where you’re going to take the country, why you’re going to take it there and what is in it for the people when they get there. You have to repeat yourself until you gag on it. but you’ve got to get a vision that people buy into, you’ve got to have them believe you mean it and you’ve got to get them there and show them… better jobs, better lives.”
That prompted Santelli to ask, “Scott, I have one question for you. Does your friend have children?”
Nations replied yes, one child.
“My call would be ask him if he could get out of being a Democrat, not start thinking about politics – Democrat, Republican – look his kid in the eye, think about when he was a kid and ask him what he thinks the chances are that his child will make more money, have a better education, a nicer house than him. And after he answers those three questions, ask him one simple question: How do we make your child’s life better? And my guess it’s not going to be be a Democrat or Republican, maybe it will be to think better about the country and escape the ideologies.”
Santelli and Welch laid out the winning campaign right there for 2012. Let’s hope our candidates heed it.