Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) refused to give President Donald Trump any credit during an interview on Wednesday for delivering record low unemployment rates for the black community, and instead argued that blacks had more jobs when they were slaves.
Clyburn made the remarks during an interview with Fox News when host Neil Cavuto brought up racially insensitive remarks made by Democrat billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
“If he were the nominee, would you back him?” Cavuto asked Clyburn.
“Oh, I’m going to back whoever our nominee is, absolutely,” Clyburn responded.
“Even with the things he has said about African Americans? Or does that bother you?” Cavuto asked.
“Well, not as much as what Trump has said about African Americans,” Clyburn continued. “Anytime that I go to the polls, I’m considering positives and negatives on all candidates, and I try to go with the one whose positives outweigh the negatives.”
“Well let’s leave the words aside, alright congressman? Let’s leave the words aside. Whether you like his style or not, or tweets or not, or comments or not, he’s delivered the goods for a lot of African Americans, has he not?” Cavuto asked. “With record low unemployment levels, one group after another, mostly with African Americans. You don’t think that’s something that’s constructive?”
“No, no, because it’s not true,” Clyburn falsely claimed.
“What do you mean it’s not true?” Cavuto pressed.
“I’m saying African American unemployment is not the lowest it’s ever been, unless you count slavery,” Clyburn responded. “We were fully employed during slavery, so it all depends about how you measure this up.”
.@WhipClyburn dismisses the record low black unemployment rate: "I’m saying that the African-American unemployment is not the lowest it has ever been unless you count slavery. We were fully employed during slavery." pic.twitter.com/avMkpS6A9J
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 19, 2020
The Fox News comes segment comes just a couple of days after former President Barack Obama tried to take credit for Trump’s booming economy.
National Review highlighted some of Trump’s economic accomplishments:
The census report ten days ago revealed workers’ earnings increasing at 3.4 percent annually, a rate not seen since the best of the Reagan years, and the poverty rate has declined to 11.8 percent, the best figure that has been recorded since the end of the Clinton administration and still resolutely proceeding in the right direction. Unemployment is at its lowest percentage since the Lyndon Johnson administration more than 50 years ago (and the numbers then were helped by having 545,000 conscripts in Vietnam). Minority groups are the principal beneficiaries of the Trump economy; this isn’t trickle-down, it’s surge-up. Average income for female-led single-parent households jumped 7.6 percent last year, well ahead of gains in higher income groups. The poverty rate among female-led households fell 2.7 percent for African Americans, and 4 percent for Hispanics. Industries largely populated by women (and, historically, exploited women), especially hospitality and, to a lesser extent, health care, showed strong earnings gains, even as unemployment rates for African-American and Hispanic women fell to under 4.5 percent. Another partisan Democratic falsehood that is exposed by the census is the myth that the middle class is shrinking. The percentage of total families at the lowest economic levels has fallen by over 1 whole percent and the brackets from $50,000 to $150,000 and above $200,000 have both increased by almost 1 whole percent (several million people in each case). There were sharp increases in the incomes of younger families (up to age 34).
In addition to those numbers, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians have experienced record low unemployment rates under the Trump administration and well over 6 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly quoted Clyburn as saying “fully unemployed during slavery”; it has been corrected to show that he said “fully employed.”