FInance

Kudlow baffled by Obama’s criticism of Trump administration

He defends the White House response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Larry Kudlow

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday did not take kindly to former President Barack Obama blasting the Trump administration’s pandemic response: “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

According to a recording obtained by Yahoo News, Obama told former members of his administration that combating the virus would have been difficult for even the best of governments. Still, Obama said, “It's been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset of ‘What's in it for me’ and ‘To heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government.”

On Sunday, Kudlow pointed to the relief packages President Donald Trump signed into law to send money for testing, medical equipment and businesses.

“With all due respect to the former president, and I really don't want to get into a political back and forth here. I just — I don't know what he's talking about,” Kudlow said on ABC’s “This Week.”

He later added, “Look, what we’ve done may not be 100 percent perfect. You know, these things happen once every 100 years. But the overall picture is we’ve created a massive health and safety infrastructure to deal with the pandemic here in the United States.”

The Trump administration has been accused of politicizing the pandemic response and even drugs that could treat the virus, as Democratic governors clash with the Republican White House — and Trump tweets about his standing in the polls.

In April, 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs. Unemployment is at 14.7 percent, more than four times the rate it was in February. It’s a level last seen during the Great Depression.

Most states have begun easing lockdowns and restrictions on businesses, hoping to breathe life into economies floundering under the weight of the pandemic and long stay-at-home orders. But cases are continuing to rise, with the total in the United States crossing 1.3 million.

Trump on Friday downplayed the record unemployment rate and claimed that "those jobs will be back and they'll be back very soon."

Asked whether that promise could be kept, Kudlow said Sunday that he didn’t want to sugarcoat the numbers, which will be very difficult for May.

However, Kudlow said, "Inside the numbers, there's a glimmer of hope ... about 80 percent of it was furloughs and temporary layoffs. That, by the way, doesn't assure that you will go back to a job, but it suggests strongly that the cord between the worker and the business is still intact."

He also pushed the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction for a strong second half of the year — "probably 20 percent economic growth" — and for a “tremendous snapback” in 2021.

"I’m going to leave President Obama alone. I just want to make the case that I think is the prevailing consensus case right now,” Kudlow finished.

Still, not everyone is sold on the idea that there will be a quick economic resurgence. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, who appeared on ABC after Kudlow, said he wishes Kudlow’s view was realistic.

“Unfortunately, this is more likely to be slow, more gradual recovery” and the worst is yet to come on the jobs front, he said. “To solve the economy we must solve the virus. Let's never lose sight of that fact.”

永乐国际新版下载