Video: Josh Earnest Has A Hard Time Spinning Trump's Carrier Deal

When White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked to comment on President-elect Trump managing to keep Carrier from moving their Indiana manufacturing plant to Mexico. It looks like the question snapped his brain.


What is he trying to say? “Imma let you finish, Trump, but Obama had the best job-saving record of ALL TIME.”  

He really seems to be grasping at straws. It seems almost like he’s saying that what Trump has done prior to even being inaugurated PALES in comparison to what Obama allegedly did in two terms in office. He looks really uncomfortable talking about it too.

Q    Thank you.  So, late yesterday, Carrier announced a deal with President-elect Donald Trump to keep close to a thousand jobs at an air conditioner plant in Indianapolis.  I guess all of the details of the deal haven’t been announced.  But I was wondering, does the White House have any thoughts on kind of the strategy that has been employed to maybe lean on a private company to get them to keep jobs in the U.S.?  Is that a strategy that the White House approves of, that thinks it’s a good thing to do?  I guess I just wanted thoughts on that.

MR. EARNEST:  Well, obviously we haven’t seen the details of the announcement from the company, but we’ll obviously — or the early indications are that this is good news.  And obviously we’d welcome that good news.

I know that the President-elect has indicated that he deserves credit for that announcement.  And I guess what I would observe is that if he is successful in doing that 804 more times, then he will meet the record of manufacturing jobs that were created in the United States while President Obama was in office.  There were 805,000 manufacturing jobs that weren’t just protected or saved, but actually created while President Obama was in office.

So President Obama has set a high standard, and President-elect Trump can meet that standard if this Carrier deal is completed in the way that he expects that it will be.  If he does that 804 more times, then he will have matched the standard established by President Obama — at least when it comes to manufacturing jobs.  The one difference would be that the President-elect is talking about protecting jobs, and the metric I’m using is actually creating jobs.


It is amusing that Earnest makes the distinction between protecting jobs and creating jobs. Recall the trillion dollar infrastructure stimulus boondoggle President Obama pushed through when he first took office. The “shovel ready jobs” were going to create thousands of jobs, but as it became increasingly clear that the shovel ready jobs were a myth the rhetoric from the White House quickly shifted from “jobs created” to “jobs created or saved.” They could use any number they wanted and it was next to impossible to disprove. shows where Earnest is lying in this case.

The president’s press secretary comes up with 805,000 by counting job growth since February 2010, which was the low point for manufacturing jobs in the U.S. following the Great Recession from December 2007 to June 2009. The administration frequently uses February 2010 as a start date when calculating manufacturing jobs, as it did on Aug. 8 to announce Manufacturing Day.

But Obama was president long before February 2010.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Manufacturing employment was 12,258,000 in October 2016, according to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down 303,000 from the number employed in January 2009, the same month that Obama was sworn in as president.

To make his point, Earnest just ignored all of the job losses that occurred during the first 13 months of Obama’s presidency.


The Obama Administration is being deceptive right up to the end.


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