CNN host Don Lemon does not think that President Donald Trump deserves credit for the booming economy under his administration — and claimed that Trump “rode the Obama economy for the first part of the presidency” and is “still riding it.”
Trump largely credits deregulation and such policies as last year’s historic tax cuts for the economic gains made during his presidency.
But Lemon, known for his frequent criticisms of and verbal attacks against the president, challenged Trump’s claim that his administration’s policies are responsible for the booming economy over the last nearly two years.
“Fifty-seven percent of Americans in the latest Gallup poll disapprove of the job [Trump] is doing, but he’s been buoyed by an economy that’s been going gangbusters, an economy President Trump inherited from [former] President Barack Obama and then juiced with a big mostly corporate tax cut passed a year ago this week,” Lemon said Tuesday on “CNN Tonight.”
Noting that “the economy is suddenly looking less rosy” and that “bad news on that front is getting harder to ignore,” Lemon said, “Concerns over economic growth in Trump’s trade war with China have dragged the markets down and stocks are on track for the worst December since the Great Depression.”
“[Trump has] made stock market performance a big part of his case for the Trump agenda,” Lemon added.
“Well, if you use stocks as a barometer of success, as the president has done over and over and over again, there’s not much to brag about right now.”
But a Harvard-Harris poll released in October found that 47 percent of registered voters credit Trump with the economy — just 21 percent credited Obama with the economy.
And the most recent RealClearPolitics polling average found that 50.6 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 43.2 percent disapprove.
Lemon claimed the “boost” the tax cuts gave the economy are “fading,” pointing to a graph comparing the S&P 500 under Trump’s administration and Obama’s administration.
“The president has hinged his entire presidency on the economy. It’s been a shield of sorts for him,” Lemon declared. “But what happens if the economy weakens?”
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CNN contributor Frank Bruni — long associated with The New York Times — agreed with Lemon, saying Trump “has hinged his entire presidency on the economy.”
“He hasn’t just said the economy is doing well on my watch, he said … this is the best economy in the history of the country. He has taken full credit for things that he doesn’t deserve full credit for because a lot of this stuff gets set in motion before him. A lot of this is about the end of the Obama presidency,” Bruni said.
“He’s going to then have to take full blame for it when, in the second two years of his presidency after his policies have had more time to kick in, the economy is actually doing worse,” Bruni added.
“He’ll blame it on Barack Obama. He’ll probably find a way to blame it on Hillary Clinton, but it won’t fly.”
“He’ll try to deflect that. He’ll come up with Trumpian conspiracy theories. He’ll blame it on Barack Obama. He’ll probably find a way to blame it on Hillary Clinton, but it won’t fly.”
Lemon then mocked Trump further, saying, “He rode the Obama economy for the first part of the presidency. He’s still riding it.”
Check out more in the video below: