Writing in an op-ed for The Hill, journalist and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams says President Donald Trump’s “failure of leadership” allowed the coronavirus “to do greater damage to the economy than it otherwise would.”
“Yet an upbeat Vice President Pence is still selling the illusion that the nation will be done with the punishing virus by the end of May. And Trump is forecasting a “phenomenal” economy in time for the November election,” Williams wrote. “Any voter applauding Trump’s bluster has to close their eyes to the obvious. With the virus still spreading and many people out of work, there is not a lot of consumer confidence in an economy that thrives on consumer spending.”
Williams pointed out that most Americans “tell pollsters they have no plans to spend money to go to a movie, to go out to dinner, to attend a ballgame or travel” and suggested that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “needs to remind voters of the Obama administration’s success in pulling the country out of recession and specifically its success in pushing the stimulus plan that got the economy back on track.”
Williams also said that the president has never grown the economy the way he’s always claimed.
“Even Trump’s most loyal backers know that despite his promise to create 4 percent or higher economic growth when he became president, he has never produced such results,” he said. “The truth is that he has averaged about 2 percent growth. And that was before the virus hit.”
He continued: “That 2 percent rate of growth is basically the same as the growth rate under President Obama… Obama also reduced unemployment from 10 percent at the height of the recession in 2009 to 4.7 percent by January 2017 when Trump took office. Yet, Trump brags that he took unemployment down to 3.5 percent without mentioning that he inherited a growing economy.”