22:34 GMT +324 September 2018
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    US President Barack Obama (L) hugs US Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the third night of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2016

    2 Birds, 1 Stone: Trump Economist Jabs Clinton Voters Over Obama Economic Data

    © AFP 2018 / Robyn BECK
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    Buoyant US GDP growth and jobs numbers have pitted President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama against one another in a battle to claim credit.

    In a presentation explaining the US's 4.2 percent second-quarter GDP growth and low 3.9 percent unemployment figures, the Trump administration's Council of Economic Advisors chairman, Kevin Hassett, managed to get a jab in at former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    "The basic point is that America's businesses … their activity is forward looking. And so if you want to model their investment today, then you have to understand the fact that they're forming expectations not just about this month, but about the next 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years," Hassett said, speaking at a White House press briefing on Monday.

    "Perhaps, you know, everybody, except for Mrs. Clinton's supporters, was starting to do that right after the election. And the fact is that those expectations turned out to be rational because the turnaround that they expected is something that we see, as you just saw in the data," Hassett noted, following a chart and graph-heavy presentation aimed at dispelling former President Barack Obama's claim that his administration was responsible for today's growth and jobs trends.

    Hassett's presentation included polling on small business optimism and figures on capital spending and new startups, among other data, aimed at showing how trends changed after the 2016 election.

    Speaking at a campaign event in Illinois on Friday, Barack Obama said that his presidency laid the groundwork for today's trends. "When you hear how great the economy's doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started," he boasted.

    "I mean, I'm glad it's continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that's been going on, when the job numbers come out … suddenly Republicans are saying it's a miracle. I have to kind of remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016," Obama added.

    Obama's comments prompted Trump to hit back in a tweet quoting the former president's 2016 remarks about Trump needing a "magic wand" to deliver on his promises to boosting GDP growth to 4 percent.

    In another tweet, Trump accused Democrats of "flailing & lying like CRAZY" amid "perhaps the best [economy] in our country's history."

    The back-and-forth economic debate has been active on social media, with users throwing stats back and forth at one another in an attempt to back either Trump or Obama's arguments.

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    Tags:
    competing claims, economic data, figures, reaction, statistics, economy, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States
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