Margaret Hoover, the host of PBS's "Firing Line With Margaret Hoover," grilled Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) on Friday after he refused to acknowledge anything positive about President Donald Trump, asking him, "Are you allergic to saying anything positive about Trump?"
Hoover, who pressed Swalwell hard over his obsession with Russia, asked Swalwell what he thought of the state of the U.S. economy.
"Insecure. It’s not working," Swalwell answered. "So, right now, about 78% of Americans, according to CareerBuilder, are living paycheck-to-paycheck."
"It is hard to argue with 3.9% unemployment, highest wage growth in this last year, in 2018, than any of the past years in the past decade," Hoover responded. "I mean, many of the fundamentals and the confidence of the economy are far better since Trump took office than they were under the previous eight years of President Obama’s presidency."
"And I wonder if it’s just too difficult for Democrats to give the president a win," Hoover continued.
"No, I think if you look at this like a building, if you work on the top floor of the building, you’re doing really well, and those fundamentals matter," Swalwell replied. "The stock market matters ’cause you’re invested in it. If you’re working on a lot of the floors below, where —"
"Yeah, but wages are up," Hoover shot back.
After several moments of back-and-forth exchanges between Swalwell and Hoover, Hoover nailed Swalwell over his unwillingness to say anything positive about the president.
"You just seem completely unwilling to say anything positive about this economy in relation to the leadership over the last two years," Hoover said. "Are you allergic to saying anything positive about Donald Trump?"
Later in the interview, Hoover asked Swalwell about the political divide in the U.S, asking, "Do you fault the president, though, for this polarization?"
"Oh, yeah. Yeah," Swalwell responded. "No, I do."
After Hoover highlighted how Swalwell's own rhetoric was contributing the increasing polarization in the U.S., Hoover noted that research actually proves Swalwell's claim that Trump is responsible for the polarization in the U.S. is false.
"You say that this polarization is because of Donald Trump, but there is pretty good research from many of our public research foundations — the Pew Research Center, for example — that has documented polarization over time and notes that, you can see in this graph, from 1994 to 2004 to 2014, that the Left and the Right having increasingly gotten further and further apart," Hoover said. "So it’s not fair, I think, to argue that Trump has started this or is responsible for this."
"That rift, as you said, was there when he was president, but I don’t think people will say that Barack Obama, you know, took a match and gasoline, you know, to the polarization," Swalwell responded. "I think he’s not a perfect president, but I don’t think, you know, people say that he made things worse, as far as our polarization."
Hoover responded: "The polarization absolutely increased under President Obama over, you know, many of his legislative efforts."