GOP official admits the economy 'presents serious problems' for Trump

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A spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee is insisting, however, that Trump will return the nation to prosperity.

On Monday, a top Republican official admitted that the awful state of the economy is a serious danger to Donald Trump's reelection chances.

"If the economy continues to crater, I think that present­­­­­s serious problems for the president," Michael McAdams, the press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told PBS on Monday.

After PBS published the statement, McAdams was forced to contact PBS and clarify his comments.

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McAdams insisted that "hands down Republicans win the issue of the economy overwhelmingly" and that Republicans and Trump can "steer the economy back to the record highs we saw before the pandemic."

Even though he inherited a recovering economy from President Obama, Trump has long touted his economic gains as the greatest of any administration in the history of the nation.

However, Factcheck.org labeled Trump's claim from the 2020 State of the Union address, that "our economy is the best it has ever been," as false.

The outlet noted that Trump "twisted the facts" in order to make a case that was not true. For instance, Trump claimed that he had created millions of jobs, yet job growth under his administration slowed compared to the growth at the end of Obama's second term.

Trump has also lied about wage growth under his watch, falsely stating, "After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast." But wages increased more for workers under Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton than they have under Trump.

The economic situation in the country is now much worse.

The current unemployment rate — 14.7% — is the highest the country has seen since the Great Depression.

And even Trump administration officials have said they expect it to get worse.

"The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better," Steve Mnuchin, Trump's Treasury secretary, said on Sunday.

The combination of Trump's inadequate crisis response and a struggling economy has many Republicans worried.

According to the Washington Post, Republican strategists are concerned that the current situation will make it more likely the GOP will lose control of the Senate, where it currently holds a narrow 53-47 majority.

"It is a bleak picture right now all across the map, to be honest with you," a GOP strategist involved in Senate races told the Post. A different Republican strategist added, "The political environment is not as favorable as it was a few months ago."

Economists predict a long and slow recovery as consumers may be hesitant to re-engage in pre-crisis activities such as going to the movies, MarketWatch reported.

To remedy the fears of a sluggish recovery, Republicans and Trump have pushed to reopen many parts of the economy, even against the advice of health experts. And Trump has encouraged protesters — even armed protesters — who are demanding states lift stay-at-home orders.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, warned Congress on Tuesday that reopening the economy too quickly might lead to "suffering and death that could be avoided."

In addition to the death toll — which is already more than 80,000 people — economists have warned that reopening the economy with the virus under control will lead to an even longer recession.

"Prematurely loosening [safety] policies could backfire," Bart van Ark and Erik Lundh, senior economists with the Conference Board, wrote in an April 3 CNN op-ed. The pair said that doing so would mean "the severity of the economic contraction intensifies during the second quarter," which runs from April through June.

They also warned that, "if the outbreak runs out of control, the outcome could be much worse than we predict."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.