Trump attacks Obama on Twitter over who gets credit for 'economic boom'
WASHINGTON - On Monday, former President Barack Obama commemorated the 11th anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $800 billion stimulus, with a tweet, boasting that it paved "the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history."
Obama's tweet did not sit well with President Donald Trump, who brags constantly about being responsible for the "greatest economy in the history of our country" and has touted economic growth as a main talking point in his bid for reelection.
Trump fired off back-to-back tweets Monday evening, writing, "Did you hear the latest con job? President Obama is now trying to take credit for the Economic Boom taking place under the Trump Administration."
Trump went on to attack Obama for having the "WEAKEST recovery since the Great Depression," adding, "NOW best jobs numbers ever." The president concluded his missives with an all-caps declaration: "THE BEST IS YET TO COME. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"
Monday's Twitter spat sparked an online frenzy among supporters of Trump and Obama over who should get credit for the current robust economy, which grew 2.3 percent in 2019, according to federal data released last month.
Conservatives, including prominent commentators and at least two Republican lawmakers, backed Trump and echoed his criticisms of Obama. An October 2019 Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 44 percent of Americans said the economy had improved under Trump. Within that group, about four in five said Trump deserves at least a good amount of the credit.
"President Trump reversed every single failed Obama-era economic policy, and with it, reversed the floundering Obama/Biden economy," Kayleigh McEnany, the Trump campaign's national press secretary, said in a statement emailed to The Washington Post early Tuesday.
"Obama and [former vice president Joe Biden] orchestrated the worst economic recovery in modern history," McEnany said, later adding: "It's no wonder Democrats seek to take credit for the Trump economy after eight years of betraying blue collar workers and inflicting pain upon the middle class as Americans everywhere suffered. But the failed days of Democrat stagnation are over, and the soaring Trump economy is here to stay."
Meanwhile, Democrats rallied behind Obama, praising the Recovery Act and launching the trending hashtag "#ObamaWasBetterAtEverything."
"THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!" tweeted Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the super PAC Democratic Coalition. "A REAL president."
This isn't the first time Trump and Obama have taken aim at each other in public over the economy. Trump has repeatedly attacked his predecessor on Twitter and crowed that the economy is now the "best," "strongest" and "greatest" the United States has ever seen. On the other hand, Obama has argued that Trump inherited the strong economy created by his administration.
"When I walked into office 10 years ago, we were in the middle of the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes," Obama said during a 2018 campaign rally for Nevada Democrats. "That was the last time that the other party was in charge of things."
"By the time I left office, wages were rising, uninsurance rate was falling, poverty was falling and that's what I handed off to the next guy," Obama continued. "So when you hear all of his talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it."
Among those rising to Obama's provocation Monday were Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and actor James Woods, a prominent pro-Trump tweeter.
Scalise highlighted a well-known quote by Obama from his 2012 presidential campaign, tweeting, "I believe the saying is: 'You didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.'"
Stories that may interest you
President Donald Trump's diverging viewpoints on the coronavirus and China have generated finger-pointing by both Beijing and Washington
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis mandated a 30-day stay-at-home order for the state Wednesday, requiring that its nearly 21 million residents stay indoors unless they are pursuing essential services or activities. His executive order will take effect midnight Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Donald Trump's impeachment trial distracted the federal government from the coronavirus as it reached the United States in January