Trump hits Obama for 2016 'magic wand' comment about economy

Trump hits Obama for 2016 'magic wand' comment about economy
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll The Memo: Cohen fans flames around Trump Memo Comey used to brief Trump on dossier released: report MORE on Monday criticized former President Obama for a 2016 claim that Trump would need a “magic wand” to deliver on his promises to boost U.S. manufacturing employment.

In a Monday tweet, Trump misquoted Obama’s June 2016 criticism of his economic agenda that came shortly after Trump had all but officially clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

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Trump quoted Obama as saying “President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4 percent GDP” at a PBS Newshour town hall event in 2016.

“'President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,'” stated President Obama,” Trump tweeted. “I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! We have just begun.”

Trump appeared to be referencing remarks Obama made about manufacturing employment, not economic growth, during the 2016 town hall.

During the town hall event, Obama referenced Trump's promise to woo American companies into manufacturing goods in the U.S. without saying the then-candidate's name.

“Well, how exactly are you going to do that? What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it,” Obama said, referring to Trump's campaign rhetoric.

“He just says, 'Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.' Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And, usually, the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.”

Trump was also criticized during the 2016 campaign for pledging to increase the annual growth rate to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a pace not experienced in the U.S. since 2000.

Many mainstream liberal and conservative economists said the U.S. was far too developed to sustain 4 percent annual growth and said the country’s long-term growth rate would be closer to 2 percent of GDP.

The U.S. economy grew by 2.3 percent of GDP in 2017, and it expanded by 4.2 percent of GDP in the second quarter of 2018 on an annualized basis. Trump and top White House aides have pointed to the rise as proof that the president’s skeptics were incorrect, but the U.S is still not on pace to achieve the president’s goal of 4 percent average growth throughout 2018.

Trump and Republican officials lashed out at Obama throughout the weekend after the former president blasted his successor and the GOP on Friday in a fiery speech as he hits the campaign trail ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Obama targeted Trump for taking credit for the strong economy.

"When you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started," Obama said in remarks at the University of Illinois.

"When the monthly job numbers come out suddenly Republicans are saying it's a miracle,” Obama said, seeming to note that the same Republicans lashed out at similar numbers during his presidency.

Trump on Friday fired back at Obama during a campaign speech in Montana, claiming that the U.S. economy would now be in a deep recession if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMemo Comey used to brief Trump on dossier released: report Trump will likely win reelection in 2020 Lanny Davis says Nixon had more respect for the Constitution than Trump MORE had won the 2016 election.

But, economists had projected the U.S. economy to grow closer to 2 percent in 2018 before Trump’s election, not shrink, as the president said it would.

Trump and Republican lawmakers are touting low U.S. unemployment, accelerating growth and rising consumer confidence as they attempt to maintain control of Congress in the midterm elections.

Democrats have largely given Obama credit for the current strength of the economy while blaming Republicans for stagnant wages and rising economic inequality.

Trump also erroneously said that the U.S. unemployment rate, at 3.9 percent as of last week, had sunk below the GDP growth rate, 4.2 percent in the second quarter, for the first time in 100 years.

However, the U.S. growth rate has been higher than the unemployment level more than 20 percent of the time since the Labor Department began reporting employment data 70 years ago, according to Bloomberg.

Fox News research also reported that there have been 63 quarters since 1948 when the growth rate exceeded the unemployment rate.