By Jon Dougherty

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser fired up the crowd at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington, D.C., on Thursday by imploring the country “to put socialism on trial and convict it.”

After making the case that the president’s free-market, capitalist ideas are working, as evidenced by the growing economy, low unemployment, and dramatically improved job market, Kudlow said blue-collar employment for all demographics is at its highest level since the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan.

He also praised the annual growth rate of about 3 percent, which is nearly 1 full point higher than President Obama’s average of about 2.1 percent.

In fact, he said, the 3-percent figure is nearly double the rate during the last year of Obama’s presidency. “It’s the hottest economy in the world,” Kudlow said.

The president’s economist ticked off the keys to the current boom: Lowering taxes on businesses and individuals; cutting red tape and regulations; setting the energy sector free; and adopting significant new trade policies.

Meanwhile, “Our opponents are proposing to overturn America’s success and its greatness,” Kudlow said. “It’s crazy stuff … high taxes, health care take over, impoverished poverty traps … socialism.”

“So I’m going to come to you today, really with a plea. Stay with me on this; I need your help,” said Kudlow, a former Reagan administration economist. “I want you, everybody in this room and your friends and your neighbors, I want you to put socialism on trial.

“That’s what I’m asking you to do today. I don’t want us to stand idly by. I don’t want to let this stuff fester; I want it challenged; I want it debated; I want it rebutted, and I want to convict socialism.”

The economist then pulled a quote from the president’s State of the Union Address last month:

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, or domination, or control.

“We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

He also recited words from a speech Trump gave to Venezuelan-Americans in Miami not long after: “Socialism promises prosperity, but it delivers poverty. Socialism promises unity, but it delivers hatred and it delivers division. Socialism promises a better future but it always returns to the darkest chapters of the past. It never fails; it always happens.”

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