'We're Making Our Country Great Again': Trump Touts Economic Growth, Calls US 'Envy of the World'
- Phil Kerpen is presidentof American Commitment,
and he joins us now to talk more about
what these new economic numbers mean.
- My pleasure.
- What are the political implications of
today's GDP numbers fromthe midterm elections?
- Well, it's a big number.
We were told by the Democratsand by the Liberals that
three percent growth was impossible,
four percent was a pipedream, and yet here we are.
We now have the firsthalf of the year above
three percent, and in the second quarter
we're above four percent,and so I think it's
going to be difficultfor Democrats to explain
that away, to explainwhy we're not seeing the
negative consequences that they predicted
from President Trump's economic policies,
of course, you know,they'll have an assist
from their media cheerleaders,
who will try to say thisis a temporary blip,
and it won't last, and to ignore it,
but I think that people know that we're
in a good economy right now, they feel it,
they see it, they seea lot more opportunity,
they know that if their bosswon't give them a raise,
there's a good chancethey can go out and find
a different job somewhereelse and get paid more,
and so I think thepsychology of the economy
is very, very positive right now,
and this GDP report just confirms that.
- Is the economy the big issue, and if so,
how do the Democrats respond to the
Trump Republican claims that tax cuts and
deregulation have greatly strengthened the
economy after President Obama?
- Well, I think Republicans certainly
want the economy to be the issue,
we had an extraordinarilyweak economic recovery
for really, all of the Obama years,
and it's now very long recovery though,
and it's... typically, it's the time in
the business cycle where we start worrying
about recession, butbecause of all the policy
changes that we've had underthe Trump Administration,
Republicans, and Congress,we've actually seen
this acceleration ineconomic growth instead.
If the elections about that,Republicans will win big.
Democrats do not want thiselection to be about the economy,
they want it to be about President Trump,
and his personal style, and his tweets,
and Russiagate, and allthe other things that
they're to get people whipped up about.
Usually, that stuff doesn't work,
usually, at the end of the day when the
economy's strong, theparty in power does well.
But, the President does have very weak
approval numbers, even in the face of
a strong economy, and so there certainly
a segment of voterswho are willing to look
past the good economy, to sort of,
vote Democrats to takeout their displeasure
with the President, and those will sort of
be the cross currents, and we won't know
how it works out until election day,
because as we've learnedthe last couple of cycles,
the polls aren't necessarilyright no matter what they show.
- What kind of alternative plans will
the Democrats offer for the economy,
and will any of them playwell with voters do you think?
- Well, you know, I think they're in
a little bit of a tough situation,
because Democrats almost allvoted against the tax cuts.
Their agenda appears tobe to go back, basically,
to the Obama era policieswe had that were producing,
you know, one point eightpercent economic growth.
They want to put back a lotof the Obama regulations
that have been deregulatedunder President Trump,
and of course, they wantto substantially reverse
the tax cuts, and they try to be cute
when they talk about, they want to say,
"we want to keep some of that,we want to revisit them".
They don't wanna outrightsay that they want
to repeal everyone's tax cut,
but they certainly don'thave a constructive
alternative other than that, and so,
I don't think they havemuch of an economic agenda.
They actually are in a bit of an
internal rift inside the Democratic party,
because they've got therise of the socialist
wing of the party, led by Bernie Sanders,
and now, AlexandriaOcasio-Cortez, that want to
outright nationalize largechunks of the US economy,
and move in a much moreaggressively socialist direction,
while the swing seats, theswing areas of the country,
are not gonna go for that.
And so the Democratic leadershave to sort of balance
that sort of hard linesocialist message with
what they're trying toaccomplish just by sort of,
harnessing the people who don't like
the President as areason to vote Democrat,
and it's gonna be a bit ofa balancing act for them,
but I don't thinkeconomic policy is really
what Democrats want totalk about right now,
cause the economy's doing well,
and they've got this socialistuprising in their own party.
- Let's talk a little bit more about that.
Does a strong economy hurt the Democrats
if they're seen as the party of socialism?
- Well, it should, look,I mean, we're looking at
another object lesson intotal socialist disaster
right now in Venezuela, we've uh,
I don't know how many timesthe world needs to learn
the lesson that plannedeconomies don't work,
and yet, we're lookingat the exact opposite
here in the United States right now.
We have a President who said, look,
I'm gonna get rid of so manyof these Obama regulations,
I'm gonna free up the economy,we're gonna lower tax rates,
and it's working despite everything that
all the Democrats andthe so-called experts
told us about how it was impossible,
and we weren't gonna getthe kind of economic growth,
of it, Trump promisedon the campaign trail.
He's hitting his marks,and I do think that
that's a big problemfor Democrats if people
are focused on the economy and of course,
the political challenge for Democrats is
to try to prevent thatfrom being the main issue.
- And you talked about this a little
bit earlier in the interview.
Can Democrats successfullychange the subject
away from the economy to other topics
like Russia or something else?
- Well, you know, I thinkthey can in some places.
I think that certainly inthe Liberal leaning areas
of the country, thesekind of Trump derangement
has taken full hold, andthere are a lot of people
who might otherwise vote Republican,
who just hate the Presidentfor whatever reason,
they've sort of been sweptup in that whole mentality,
and those can be very toughareas for Republicans.
And there a lot of USHouse seats that are in
kind of suburban areas thathave a lot of college voters,
that sort of find the Presidentculturally distasteful.
And there could be enough ofthose places for Democrats
to take the House of Representatives.
The Senate is a very, very different story
because the battlegrounds,are, in the Senate,
are States where thePresident did very well,
where they have a lotof non-college voters
that I think are very happy with the
increase in economicopportunity that they're seeing.
And so, I think that the Senate
should go well for Republicans,
but the House is very much in doubt,
even with the strongeconomy because there are
these big pockets of voterswho seem to be putting
other issues ahead ofthe economy right now.
- Anything else, Phil,that you want to add
about the new economicnumbers? Anything at all?
- Well, the only I would say is that
we really should not diminish what a big
number four point one percent is.
And there were some people thinking
this number might be ashigh as five percent,
and I think that themedia has used, kinda,
the fact that some people predicted even
higher economic growth to kind of
downplay the significance of this,
but this is a very big number,
and combined with what wesaw in the first quarter,
means that in the first half of this year,
economic growth was above three percent.
If that can be sustainedthrough the whole year,
it'll be the first timewe've seen that in 13 years.
Now a lot of people,when the President said
we'd get back to three percent growth,
said that was impossible.We're on track to do it.
That is a big deal, and, you know,
whatever you think of this President,
you really do have togive him credit that he
said he would get us to threepercent economic growth,
and we're on pace to do that right now.
- Alright, Phil Kerpen,
the president of American Commitment,
thanks so much for yourtime and insights today sir.
- My pleasure Mark, have a good one.
- You too.