President Donald Trump has defended his record on jobs and growth, vowing to adopt policies that would see the post-pandemic rebound soar to new heights, while claiming that Democratic policies of high taxes and higher regulations would “kill” the economy.
Speaking before an audience of supporters in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Aug. 28, Trump began by saying that the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which he referred to as “the plague,” has been a major disruptive force, driving uncertainty in the political landscape and making his electoral prospects less assured.
“If you go back six months before the plague from China, the horrible plague, this election was over,” Trump said, implicitly referring to his standing in the polls amid a roaring economy that took a devastating hit from the pandemic. Lockdowns and business shutdowns since then have decimated the labor market, with 20.5 million jobs lost and the unemployment rate surging to 14.7 percent in April, both post-World War II records.
“We built the single greatest economy in the history of the world,” Trump said. Prior to the pandemic, America’s record long economic expansion saw unemployment fall to a historic low of 3.5 percent.
“And then the plague came in from China and we had to close it up,” Trump said. “We saved millions of lives, and now we’re opening it and we’re setting records.”
After plummeting in the wake of the outbreak, U.S. stock markets have mustered a V-shaped recovery, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq trading at all-time highs. And while the plunging real economy set records on the way down, so has its resurgence in a number of measures, such as retail sales, which in July soared to a record high.
“We’re setting records,” Trump said. “Wait till you see the numbers just before the election.”
Economists widely expect a sharp rebound in gross domestic product in the third quarter, led by consumer spending, although many are cutting their forecasts for the fourth quarter amid lingering virus uncertainty.
Trump told his supporters the economy would mount a strong recovery “despite the fact that the Democrats are holding back Michigan, North Carolina, you take a look, Pennsylvania,” adding that he believes Democratic-led states are keeping their economies closed as a strategy calculated to help him lose the election.
“On November 4, regardless, they will be opening them up. November 4. Because they think that hurts the economy and that’ll hurt me. But our numbers are going to be great third quarter. We’re going to have an unbelievable next year,” Trump said.
Calling the November election “truly the most important election in the history of our country,” Trump laid into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, calling him a “puppet of the radical left movement that seeks to obliterate and destroy everything that you hold dear, including your Second Amendment, which will have no chance.”
Saying that Democratic policies would be a setback to the economy, Trump vowed to create 10 million new jobs in 10 months following his reelection, if successful.
“If I’m reelected, we will create 10 million jobs over the next 10 months, and we’ll do that easily,” Trump said, adding that Biden’s agenda of “big tax increases and big regulation increases will immediately kill everything.”
Trump also talked up the prospect of his daughter, Ivanka Trump, one day becoming the first female president of the United States.
“I want to see the first woman president also, but I don’t want to see a woman president get into the position the way [Kamala Harris] would do it; she’s not competent, she’s not competent,” Trump said in reference to the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee.
“They’re all saying, ‘We want Ivanka!’” he continued, pointing to his supporters, who cheered the president’s words. “I don’t blame them.”
At the rally, Trump also touched on the U.S.–Mexico border wall and rebuked Democrats for what he said was their intention to slash funding for law enforcement.