Texas Senator Ted Cruz appeared to take a shot at President Joe Biden on Saturday by sharing a clip of his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton stating that a recession is ‘two quarters’ of economic contraction.
The Republican lawmaker retweeted a video clip of Clinton sitting at the White House on December 19, 2000, alongside incoming Republican President George W. Bush.
Asked about his fears of an oncoming recession, Clinton replied, ‘Well a recession is two quarters in a row of negative growth.’
‘Bill Clinton was right,’ Cruz wrote on Twitter.
It comes as the Biden administration continues to deny that the US economy is in a recession, despite it shrinking for a second straight quarter late last week.
President Joe Biden and his officials point to metrics like record job growth and steady levels of consumer spending to argue that the country is not yet in a recession – and previously claiming that such a downturn is not inevitable.
The Clinton clip shared by Cruz goes on to show the former president presenting an optimistic view of the economy under Bush’s stewardship, in a show of bipartisanship that’s less familiar in Washington today.
He argued that negative GDP growth after a period of significant gains is not uncommon – similar to the Biden administration’s reasoning about the economy’s rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz said ‘Bill Clinton was right’ when the former Democratic president defined a recession as ‘two quarters in a row’ of negative economic growth
‘I think there will be things to be managed and there’ll still be economic challenges, and y’all give to give him a chance to meet them and not figure it all out in advance,’ Clinton told reporters of his Republican successor.
Biden has faced criticism from both sides of the aisle for being slow to react to Americans’ growing financial burdens.
From calling inflation ‘transitory’ in summer 2021, to denying there is a recession despite two quarters of negative economic growth, multiple surveys have shown US voters feel that the president is disconnected from their struggles.
A recent CNN poll found that just 30 percent of Americans approve of how he’s handling the economy and nearly 7 in 10 don’t think the president has paid attention to the country’s worst issues.
A survey from Black to the Future Action Fund and Socioanalitica Research released last week shows the economy is among the top concerns for black voters, a critical bloc of support for Biden.
‘Now, there’s no doubt we expect growth to be slower than last year, and – for the rapid clip we had. But that’s consistent with a transition to a stable, steady growth and lower inflation,’ Biden said at a meeting with business executives after the data was released.
The most recent inflation data shows the average cost of consumer goods shot up 9.1 percent from the year prior in June. That’s the sharpest increase seen in four decades.
‘There are going to be a lot of chatter today on Wall Street and among pundits about whether we are in a recession,’ Biden said on Thursday.
‘But if you look at our job market – consumer spending, business investment – we see signs of economic progress in the second quarter as well.’
Cruz’s tweet appeared to be a veiled jab at President Joe Biden even though it does not mention him by name. Biden critics have slammed the president for continuing to deny that the US is in a recession
Inflation in the U.S. rose to 9.1 percent in June, the highest since 1981 and above what economist had predicted
Biden pointed out that Federal Reserve Chairman Powell ‘made it clear that he doesn’t think the US is currently in a recession.’
Cruz, meanwhile, shared the clip after being singled out online and by Democrats for being one of the Republican senators who took down a bill that would have expanded healthcare coverage for military veterans exposed to toxic ‘burn pits.’
These ‘burn pits’ to destroy material in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to US troops returning home with a range of afflictions from asthma to deadly cancers.
It had been passed by the Senate but had to come up for another vote due to a technicality.
Republicans including Cruz claimed they voted it down due to ‘budgetary’ reasons and have accused Democrats of inserting unrelated provisions into the bill.
‘The bill that Ted Cruz voted yes on had the exact same funding provisions as the bill he voted no on. It’s the exact same bill. None of this makes any sense,’ Jon Stewart, who has spent decades advocating for veterans, said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
Stewart slammed Cruz’s explanation as ‘a word salad that he’s spewing into his coffee cup on his way to God knows where, as veterans sit in Washington, D.C., in the sweltering heat, demanding that they pass this legislation that they’ve been fighting for, for 15 years.’