Pete Buttigieg delivered what’s becoming a signature Fox News fact-check about Donald Trump in a tense interview about the economy under the president’s leadership.
The former Democratic presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, spoke to Fox News host Martha MacCallum following an appearance from Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump reelection campaign, who defended his boss’s economic record.
“I guess he thinks we’re all stupid,” said Buttigieg, who has become a regular fixture on the network as a surrogate for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign.
“If he’s trying to use the 2020 economy as an example of an economic triumph, he’s living on a different planet than the rest of us,” Buttigieg said. “The only reason those numbers are what they are is because it’s a partial comeback from the bloodbath that was the second quarter. We are still down, as I think anybody knows.”
MacCallum argued that the economy would take time to rebound after the nation was brought to a standstill earlier this year by coronavirus-related business closures.
“Some would say that it’s come back two-thirds from how far it was down. By any estimation from what happened, that’s a strong number,” she said. “It’s not back where it was, but we understand the world we live in, too.”
“Good, you understand that there’s an economic disaster touched off by the mismanagement of the pandemic,” Buttigieg interrupted.
But MacCallum argued that “anybody who was president” would have had to go through an economic dive and come back out of it.
“Well, except in other countries it didn’t happen quite like that, did it?” Buttigieg said.
“Well, we have the most diverse country in the entire world. We have a set of complex problems with our population. It’s a completely different environment,” MacCallum shot back.
“So we should settle for less? So we should settle for worse numbers?” Buttigieg replied.
“Absolutely not,” MacCallum said. “All I’m saying is there’s only one way to know how they would’ve handled it, and we don’t have two presidents at once.”
MacCallum then referred to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s endorsement of Trump, which touted the strength of the economy under his leadership.
“Do yourself a favor, if you’re sitting at home,” Buttigieg replied. “Google ‘stock market Obama versus Trump,’” he said. “Click on the first two or three articles, look at the charts, and you’ll see that [growth] was slower under Trump.”
He emphasized his point again on Twitter following his appearance.
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