Before he departed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he’s open to the idea of cutting federal entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, despite past promises that he would never do so.
Speaking to Joe Kernan of CNBC, the president was asked:
“Entitlements ever be on your plate?”
“At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I― it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look, cause it’s such a―big percentage.”
When Kernen again reiterated his query in order to give the president a chance to walk back his comments, Trump doubled down, going on what sounded like an extended round of self-congratulations:
“Well, we’re going― we’re going look. We also have― assets that we’ve never had. I mean we’ve never had growth like this. We never had a consumer that was taking in, through― different means, over $10,000 a family. We never had the kind of― the kind of things that we have. Look, our country is the hottest in the world. We have the hottest economy in the world. We have the best unemployment numbers we’ve ever had.
“Right now we have almost 160 million people working in the United States, and we’ve never even been close to that, Joe.”
However, when Trump was running for president back in 2015, he flat-out declared that he would never cut entitlements, remarking:
“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican’s going to cut, and even if they wouldn’t, they don’t know what to do because they don’t know where the money is. I do. I do.”
Even if Trump merely misspoke on Thursday, he has now given Democrats a powerful weapon to use against him in November.
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