Obama Claims Ownership of Economic Growth Under Trump at Speech in Illinois

After receiving a government award from the University of Illinois Friday, former president Barack Obama criticized his successor and took credit for economic growth since his election.

Obama speaks at the University of Illinois and sharply criticizes his successor.

Obama spoke at Urbana, Illinois, where he was receiving an award for ethics in government. During his time there, he made it a point to criticize the current administration for their divisiveness and their harsh words toward the American press.

“By the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high, and the uninsured rate had hit an all-time low and wages were rising,” Obama touted. “I mention all this so when you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.”

Obama went even further to suggest that the growth during the Trump administration isn’t really growth at all.

“I’m glad it’s continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on … I have to kind of remind them, actually those job numbers are kind of the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.”

Obama then took his attention to the administration’s treatment of the press. He reminded the crowd that he complained about Fox News coverage all the time during his tenure as president, “but you never heard me threaten to shut them down or call them enemies of the people.”

While Obama did note that job numbers were also solid during his administration, he refused to talk about the generational-high unemployment or the near five percent GDP growth estimated by the Fed. He is using job numbers to describe economic growth, which is acceptable, but not wholly adequate.

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