On Morning Joe, Obama Aide Tells Dems to ‘Worry’ About Strong Economy

December 19th, 2019 12:19 PM

The Morning Joe producer would have had to hit the bleep button multiple times this morning to stop Steve Rattner from blurting out all the good news about the economy.  Democrat Rattner, President Obama's former "car czar" and Morning Joe's resident economist, painted a very positive picture of the economy heading into the 2020 election. 

Rattner even gave President Trump credit for the economy in various ways. And in statements likely to send Democrats scurrying for their emotional support animals, Rattner warned that the strong economy is "something for the Democrats to worry about," adding that the economy will be an electoral "tailwind" for President Trump, "whether we [Democrats] like it or not."



Incredibly, even unalloyed Trump antagonist Joe Scarborough supported Rattner's view that in his handling of trade deals, President Trump has been "crazy like a fox." Scarborough concluded on a note that should shivers down Democrat spines: "It looks like some really great news for Americans going into the new year."

Note: the closest Rattner could come to fashioning an argument for the Democrats on the economy was that the numbers are not as strong in swing states.  

Here's the transcript: 

Morning Joe
6:58 am ET

WILLIE GEIST: Looking at the economy as we turn the corner into 2020, what the president is really going to emphasize as he seeks re-election.

STEVE RATTNER: Yeah, I heard Joe talking earlier about kitchen-table issues, and we're in a situation now where the economy is actually doing a little bit better, and kitchen-table issues may work in his favor, something for the Democrats to worry about. And I think some of this is the president's own affirmative actions. 

. . . 

And consumers are spending, and that's good news for Trump. We had a very big jobs number last month, the fourth-quarter GDP number looks like it's going to come in ahead of expectations, so good news on that front.

And as you look ahead, the news is also quite good on the economy. People's expectations of recession have really dropped. Economists' predictions have fallen from about 38% to a 24% probability. But let's take a look at the 2020 economy, and what you can see here is--this is one set of forecasts, this is Goldman Sachs, not every economist completely agrees--but you can see GDP growth actually accelerating a little bit next year, you can see consumer spending actually accelerating a little bit next year, and you can see a forecast of unemployment coming down to 3.2%, which would be the lowest since the Korean War in 1953. 

So this is an economic tailwind for Donald Trump whether we like it or not.

. . . 

And I do think Trump is actually a little crazy like a fox on this. I think for all the nonsense we've been seeing in the rallies and things like that, I think he is quite focused on the economy. And I think he made a deliberate effort to get a trade deal with Mexico. It may not mean very much, but there is one. He made a deliberate effort to get a so-called Phase 1 deal with China. It may not mean very much. But all that gives consumers and business more confidence; it leads them to spend more money and it keeps the economic machine going.

. . . 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, those close to President Trump have told me, yes, on these trade deals, he is crazy like a fox. 


SCARBOROUGH: There were several times when the negotiators were helped when he blew things up, walked away from the table, they didn't think he was going to come back. Particularly with Mexico.

. . . 

It looks like some really great news for Americans going into the new year.