Trump shouldn't take credit for the economy because he got a running start from Obama: Top Democrat

  • President Trump should not take credit for the economy's performance, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer tells CNBC.
  • He says Trump had a running start because former President Obama's policies had spurred growth.

President Donald Trump should not have taken credit during his State of the Union address for the stronger performance of the U.S. economy, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told CNBC on Wednesday.

Hoyer said Trump had a running start because former President Barack Obama's economic policies had already caused a spur in U.S. jobs growth.

Trump made "some pretty glaring misrepresentations about why the economy is where it is," the No. 2 House Democrat told "Squawk Box." "There were more jobs created in 2016 than there were in 2017."

The U.S. economy created 2.2 million jobs in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2017, the economy added 2.1 million jobs.

Trump "was advantaged by inheriting a growing economy," Hoyer said, adding that Democrats were "disappointed by the speech."

By contrast, top House tax writer Kevin Brady told "Squawk Box" earlier Wednesday that economic sentiment began to improve in 2016 on anticipation of Trump's policies.

Trump "shook up" the economy, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman told CNBC. "Now, we're seeing the result" of Trump's policies, he said.

In Tuesday night's State of the Union speech, the president celebrated the booming economy and unemployment rates reaching new lows. "There has never been a better time to start living the American dream," Trump said.

On Wednesday morning, ADP and Moody's Analytics reported employers added 234,000 jobs in the private sector for the month of January, higher than economists expected.

The Labor Department releases its closely watched monthly employment data on Friday.

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