'Did you hear the latest con job?': Trump and Obama spar over who should get credit for robust US economy

  • Trump and Obama clashed on Monday over who should get credit for the robust economic expansion that's underway.
  • Obama initially tweeted to commemorate the signing of a $800 billion stimulus package that he said paved the way for "a decade of economic growth."
  • "Did you hear the latest con job? President Obama is now trying to take credit for the Economic Boom taking place under the Trump Administration," Trump tweeted in response.
  • Trump has made the state of the economy central to his re-election bid, setting the stage for possible future rounds of confrontations on the matter between him and Obama.

President Trump and former President Obama clashed on Monday over who should get credit for the robust US economy, now in its 11th year of sustained growth.

Earlier in the day, Obama commemorated on Twitter the 11th anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He said the $800 billion stimulus package passed after the Great Recession helped pave "the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history."

That set off Trump, who responded later in the evening with a volley of back-to-back tweets deriding Obama for claiming credit for the recovery that began under the former president's watch.

"Did you hear the latest con job? President Obama is now trying to take credit for the Economic Boom taking place under the Trump Administration," Trump tweeted.

He attacked Obama for having the "WEAKEST recovery since the Great Depression" and said he had the "best jobs numbers ever. Trump ended his tweetstorm by proclaiming "THE BEST IS YET TO COME. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"

US economic growth is steady and unemployment is at a half-century low. As a result, Trump has cast himself as a chief executive uniquely responsible for leading the economy to new heights, calling it "the greatest" in US history.

But experts note the economy grew at a faster rate in the late 1990s under President Clinton, and jobs were added at a faster clip in the last three years of Obama's presidency compared to Trump's first three.

NBC News business correspondent Stephanie Ruhle tweeted that the US gross domestic product quarterly growth hasn't reached 4% yet under the Trump administration while it happened four times under Obama.

Trump is thrusting the economy toward the center of his re-election bid, setting the stage for possible future confrontations between him and Obama on the issue. It's not the first time the former president has tried highlighting his administration's economic record after he left office.

During the 2018 midterms, Obama gave a speech at the University of Illinois where he chided Republicans for giving themselves too much credit for the nation's economic health, Business Insider's Bob Bryan reported.

"So when you hear how the economy is doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started," Obama said. "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 — monthly job numbers — suddenly Republicans are saying it's a miracle. I have to kind of remind them those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016."

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President Trump speaking at 2020 World Economic Forum
US President Donald Trump, center with red tie, waves as he arrives in Davos, Switzerland on Marine One, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. President Trump arrived in Switzerland on Tuesday to start a two-day visit to the World Economic Forum. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
US President Donald Trump, center, arrives in Davos, Switzerland on Marine One, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. President Trump arrived in Switzerland on Tuesday to start a two-day visit to the World Economic Forum. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum will take place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
President Donald Trump delivers the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump listens as he is introduced by World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab to deliver the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump talks with reporters following his speech at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts after addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum will take place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24, 2020. Left is Ivanka Trump. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
People take images as U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, left, walk up the stairs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum will take place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24, 2020.. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
President Donald Trump delivers the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump shakes hands with World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab after delivering the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum will take place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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