President Obama compared Republicans to Grumpy Cat and shocked them out of their Twilight Zone of denial by dropping an economic fact bomb on the GOP.
While speaking at the DNC Women’s Leadership Forum, President Obama mentioned a New York Times article written by John Harwood, which detailed that Republicans have a data problem because the U.S. budget deficit grew during the presidencies of Reagan and both Bushes, but was eliminated during Clinton and sharply cut during Obama.
Right after calling Republicans Grumpy Cat, the President said, “There was an article I think in The New York Times today, or maybe it was yesterday, where they pointed out that it’s very hard for them (Republicans) to make the arguments they make about tax cuts for the wealthy and doing the same stuff that they’ve been promoting, and trying to eliminate regulations on the big banks and all that when the empirical evidence shows that when Democrats control the White House and we’ve got a Democratic Congress, the economy does better; and when they’re in charge, it does worse.”
Obama continued, “I mean, just look at the facts. Don’t take my word for it. Go back and take a look at, all right, here’s Bill Clinton’s presidency, and then there’s Bush presidency, and then there’s my presidency, and take a look.”
So here we go, taking a look — and the view is nice, I’ll start off with a quote sure to upset the Grumpy Cat doomsayers, “Today, the United States has the strongest major economy in the world.”
More from the NYTimes:
The (Republican) party still likes to invoke its success under President Ronald Reagan, who cut taxes after defeating Jimmy Carter in 1980. By the mid-1980s, stagflation had turned into an economic boom.
But neither of the two subsequent Republican presidents fared as well compared with their Democratic successors. That has left the party vulnerable in three ways.
Growth has remained modest under President Obama, but unemployment has dropped to 5.1 percent since the recession ended five months into his term. The budget deficit as a percentage of the overall economy has fallen to 2.5 percent from 9.8 percent.
A second problem for Republicans stems from their own rhetoric. Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama pushed through tax increases despite warnings from partisan adversaries. Among many other Republicans, the current presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John R. Kasich and Jeb Bush all denounced the “job-killing” consequences of Mr. Obama’s policies.
Yet the economy gained 2.9 million jobs in 2014, more than in any year since 1999, during Mr. Clinton’s term. Net job creation during the 15 years that Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama occupied the White House has topped 30 million. That is 50 percent more than were created in the 20 years of Mr. Reagan and both Mr. Bushes.
Republicans have been skating by on the already debunked notion that they are the party of fiscal business. Under this misguided belief, they have been treated as the experts on the economy. The media has gone along with this for years, even though the data told a different story. George W Bush’s eight years at the helm told the story of a party of entitled, drunken frat boys racking up debt on daddy’s black card while refusing to feed a starving relative for “moral” reasons.
President Obama isn’t running in 2016, but he can deliver a devastating argument on behalf of Democrats in a way that few others can. Nobody in the U.S. understands the Republican Twilight Zone better than Obama. He has lived with it, challenged it, and defeated it throughout his presidency.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.