President Donald Trump on Friday said he “fell asleep” watching Barack Obama tear into him during a rare public speech that framed Trump as a threat to democracy.
“I’m sorry I watched it, but I fell asleep,” Trump said, during his own speech in North Dakota.
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Trump added that he was not amused by Obama‘s taking credit for the improving economic situation, adding that if Democrats had remained in power, the situation would be a lot worse.
“I have to say this to President Obama, and it wasn’t him, but it would have been the same thing. If the Democrats got in with their agenda in November of almost two years ago, instead of having 4.2 up, I believe, honestly, you would have 4.2 down,” Trump said, mentioning the rate of GDP growth for the second quarter, the fastest since 2014.
Trump frequently touts U.S economic growth on his watch, but while economists dispute how much effect a president can have, many of those trends did begin when Obama was in office, especially when it comes to job creation and overall growth. While 4.2 percent GDP growth is a robust number, Obama also reached a level of at least 4 percent four times, according to a Politifact report.
Obama and Trump have publicly tangled for years, dating to Trump’s spreading the conspiracy theory that Obama was not born in the United States. But Friday marked the first time as a former president that Obama uttered Trump’s name and delivered a full-throated rebuke of his successor. Obama also took issue with Republicans who gloat about the economy now but were silent during his time in office.
“When you hear about this economic miracle going on … suddenly Republicans are saying, ‘It’s a miracle!’” Obama said during his speech in Illinois. “I have to remind them that those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015, 2016.”