Wash Post's Rampell Sneers, Media Hyping Recession Is 'Huge Conspiracy' From Right

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CNN host Don Lemon joined his liberal panelists in ganging up on his one conservative guest on Monday night’s CNN Tonight over the economy. Rob Astorino of President Trump’s re-election campaign argued that the media was pushing a false narrative that a recession was near. But the liberals at CNN insisted he was wrong, with one analyst even calling that idea a conservative “conspiracy.”

Lemon led the segment griping about Kellyanne Conway calling out the media’s usual avoidance of Trump’s strong economy. Catherine Rampell, a CNN economic analyst and Washington Post columnist claimed that Trump was taking credit for Obama’s economy:

It's the data. I mean, it's funny, when Obama was president and the economic indicators were good, Trump said that they were fake. Then Trump became president. He inherited basically the exact same economic indicators, then they were real!

She added that other countries’ bad economies meant we were having a bad economy and Trump’s advisers were trying to “fool the public:”

Now that the numbers are going South again, of course they're fake...[I]ts also the threat of contagion from abroad, there are now nine major economies in the world that are either in recession or on the verge of recession. 

I think the real question is, is are -- when Trump sends his White House aides on TV and they pretend these numbers aren't real...are they trying to fool the public or trying to fool their boss?

 

 

But Astorino called this a “talking point from the left:

“To say that the economy is tanking or that we're in really bad economic downturn just around the corner is a talking point from the left. Because that's what they want it to be. Right now we have a very strong economy, all the indicators [show],” he stated.

He then got in a back-and-forth with Rampell over Obama’s “minimal” economic growth while arguing businesses were continuing to invest in Trump’s economy. Rampell called that patently “false." Astorino pointed out consumer confidence and spending was up, which Rampell again, denied. Finally, he blasted this narrative as a political tactic put out by Democrats:

The average consumer who is going out and spending is thinking things are going pretty well. That's why the Democrats are attacking the economy, because it's a strength. It's a smart political move. You always go after your opponent's strength.

Rampell could take it no longer, complaining that the media and Democrats had no agenda against Trump, and that was simply a right-wing “conspiracy."

“This is such a huge conspiracy! I'm sorry!” she gushed.

Fellow guest, Michael D’Antonio who recently wrote an anti-Trump book, joined Lemon in attacking the Republican. D’Antonio wrapped up the segment saying that Obama is going to look like a conservative next to Trump:

“He's going to make Obama look like the most careful spender in presidential history. He's blown through Obama's record. So I think for anyone to not look at this economy and be worried, they have to have their head in the sand,” he sneered.

 

Read a partial transcript from the segment, below:

CNN Tonight

8/19/19

CATHERINE RAMPELL: It's the data. I mean, it's funny, when Obama was president and the economic indicators were good, Trump said that they were fake. Then Trump became president. He inherited basically the exact same economic indicators, then they were real!Remember, Sean spicer went up on that podium and he said, they might have been phony before, but they're very real now. Now that the numbers are going South again, of course they're fake. Now this would be like the most amazing conspiracy, right? This would rival the Illuminati if, in fact, these numbers were fake, because It's not just the trade wars causing problems for the U.S. economy, its also the threat of contagion from abroad, there are now nine major economies in the world that are either in recession or on the verge of recession. So, like, are all of their statisticians, you know, part of this anti-Trump conspiracy, too? They're all faking the data?

I think the real question is, is are -- when Trump sends his White House aides on TV and they pretend these numbers aren't real, they pretend that the yield curve hasn't inverted, which Peter Navarro pretended. When Larry kudlow goes on TV and says we shouldn't worry about consumers even though we got a very disappointed consumer number, are they trying to fool the public or trying to fool their boss?

DON LEMON: Why would Trump -- his chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow be making calls this week to business leaders, to state and local officials to talk about the economy if there wasn't some real fear here?

ROB ASTORINO: They do that all the time. I remember we had a discussion I don't know some time last year when there was a business roundtable in Bedminster and whether or not the Pepsico CEO should attend and all this kind of nonsense. They do this all the time. The White House has to do it. The president checks in with key people in banking and all different sectors. And that's important. But, look, to say that the economy is tanking or that we're in really bad economic downturn just around the corner is a talking point from the left. Because that's what they want it to be. Right now we have a very strong economy, all the indicators. Housing---

LEMON: No one is saying the economy is tanking!

ASTORINO: No, they're saying it's getting close. It's really dangerous.

RAMPELL: This happened before every prior recession.

LEMON: But they're saying the recession is on the horizon.

ASTORINO: A recession could always be on the horizon no matter where the economy is. But it is strong right now. It is very strong. And the Obama economy was going up, so that's why we're in this long period of good economic standing...Yes it was improving but it was minimal.

RAMPELL: GDP growth is exactly where it was when Obama left office.

ASTORINO: Now it's doing very well. With the tax cuts, Corporations spent money, they're investing.

RAMPELL: That's false.

ASTORINO: Of course they did. They're hiring.

RAMPELL: Corporate investments fell last quarter.

ASTORINO: Last quarter. Do you know why? Because for two and a half years, they have been investing. You can't invest at a high pace --

RAMPELL: That was the argument. That was the entire argument.

ASTORINO: Because they did a lot of hiring, so they're not going to continue hiring. They did their hiring.

RAMPELL: The pace is hiring is below what it was before Obama left office. Before we spent $2 trillion for this tax cut.

ASTORINO: Businesses started doing capital expansions. Businesses started expanding all over the place. That's why the economy is doing well.

RAMPELL: I cover this stuff. I've been covering this stuff for more than a decade.

D’ ANTONIO: This is all untrue. Business investment is down 5.5% in the last year.

ASTORINO: Okay. You're missing the point. They spent a lot of money when they got this new money from the tax cuts.

D’ANTONIO: He has not exceeded Obama's rate of gdp growth. Obama's was 2.9%, the best Trump has done is 2.9%. To spend all this money, he's got to be double the deficit. Where are the Republicans who are hawks on the deficit?

LEMON: Let me ask you this, Rob. Listen, if you look at the economic indicators, and that's what people are looking at. They're looking at the facts. They're looking at what has indicated every economy, every downturn in history. Why is this different under Trump?

ASTORINO:One thing can be -- they can be interpreted in different ways. Even board of governors have said this. Yes, they have. You can look at the numbers which are strong, but then one can interpret if a trade war happens then this could happen. Others say we don't think a trade war can happen.

D’ANTONIO: It's happening now.

RAMPELL: With China, with the eu, with Japan. We were in a trade war with Canada and Mexico, our two closest borders.

 

ASTORINO We were. So it's not having a major effect on the economy at this point.

LEMON: Rob, my question is do you have any concern? Any major concern?

ASTORINO: Not right now, no, I don't. Consumer confidence is up, consumer spending is up.

RAMPELL: Consumer confidence is not up.

ASTORINO: It's down from what? From really high to a little bit less?

RAMPELL: It's at its lowest level so far this year.

ASTORINO: Ask the average person and they think things are going well.

RAMPELL: Well The bond market says different.

ASTORINO: The bond market? The average consumer who is going out and spending is thinking things are going pretty well. That's why the Democrats are attacking the economy, because it's a strength. It's a smart political move. You always go after your opponent's strength.

RAMPELL: This is such a huge conspiracy! I'm sorry.

LEMON: Are you saying, all these people who do the predictions, all the economists, all of them are Democrats?

ASTORINO: No, definitely not. But they're all wrong.

D’ANTONIO: This is the problem, is the data doesn't align with the argument. And people have to look ahead. Businesses are looking ahead. That's why they stopped investing. The raises that people were supposed to get never materialized. We have this huge deficit looming on the horizon. He's going to make Obama look like the most careful spender in presidential history. He's blown through Obama's record. So I think for anyone to not look at this economy and be worried, they have to have their head in the sand.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Economy CNN Tonight Catherine Rampell Don Lemon Donald Trump Barack Obama
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