With most states fully engaged in restarting their stalled economies, Democrats are beginning to worry that a quick rebound could propel President Donald Trump into a second term.
Jason Furman, a top economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, signaled as much in early April when he warned, “We are about to see the best economic data we’ve seen in the history of this country.”
Furman believes that the recovery from a government-enforced economic standstill could give Trump the chance to take credit for playing fixer to a struggling economy not just after he took office, but again after the coronavirus pandemic. (RELATED: CNN’s Tapper: Is Trump Not Getting Enough Credit For The Economy?)
According to an article published Tuesday by Politico, Furman’s warnings have set off alarm bells within the Democratic Party.
Furman’s counterintuitive pitch has caused some Democrats, especially Obama alumni, around Washington to panic. ‘This is my big worry,’ said a former Obama White House official who is still close to the former president. Asked about the level of concern among top party officials, he said, ‘It’s high — high, high, high, high.’
The question was raised Tuesday on Fox News, where anchor Ed Henry discussed the possibility with Axios’ Jonathan Swan during a segment of “America’s Newsroom.”
Henry cited a recent Fox News poll that showed Biden beating Trump in several areas — but Trump still bested Biden with regard to who voters trusted more to handle the economy.
“This goes with Jason Furman’s prediction on the economy: ‘That will offer Trump the chance to brag truthfully about the most explosive monthly employment numbers and GDP growth ever.’ This is a former Obama economist,” Henry pointed out.
“If that scenario plays out as Mr. Furman described it, of course it would benefit President Trump,” Swan agreed, noting that there were others — including Trump economic advisor Kevin Hassett — who did not believe that the rebound was likely to be so dramatic.
“For President Trump it’s a matter of timing,” Swan continued. “The key question to both sides: will the economy be on an upward trajectory in October to the extent to which the general public can say, ‘You know what? We are heading in the right direction and President Trump is the right man to take us there.'”
Sandra Smith concluded the segment by noting that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow seemed to side with Furman, arguing that the rebound from a pandemic would be most comparable to the economic rebound following a natural disaster that struck when the economy was strong.