House Majority Whip James Clyburn dismissed President Trump’s record unemployment lows for black Americans on Tuesday by arguing that slaves were “fully employed,” too.
The South Carolina Democrat weighed in on Mr. Trump’s economy during an appearance on Fox News after host Neil Cavuto said the president had “delivered the goods for a lot of African-Americans” with record-low unemployment.
“Come on, Neil,” Mr. Clyburn responded. “It’s not true.”
“I’m saying that the African-American unemployment is not the lowest it’s ever been unless you count slavery,” the congressman said. “We were fully employed during slavery. So it all depends how you measure this up.”
When pressed on whether Mr. Trump deserves any credit for the economy, Mr. Clyburn replied, “I’ll give President Trump credit for continuing what we laid the foundation for back in 2009.”
His comment echoes that of former President Barack Obama, who on Presidents Day credited himself with “paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.”
Mr. Trump scoffed at his predecessor’s assertion, calling it a “con job.”
“He had the WEAKEST recovery since the Great Depression, despite Zero Fed Rate & MASSIVE quantitative easing,” the president tweeted Monday. “NOW, best jobs numbers ever. Had to rebuild our military, which was totally depleted. Fed Rate UP, taxes and regulations WAY DOWN. If Dems won in 2016, the USA would be in big economic (Depression?) & military trouble right now.”