Hours after his own administration posted tweets lavishly praising the Louisiana economy, Donald Trump held a rally in the state Wednesday at which he blasted Louisiana as the worst economy in the country, a report by The Advocate recounted.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is currently the only Democrat holding a governor’s office in a southern state. Trump held the campaign rally to support Edwards’ Republican opponent, businessman Eddie Rispone, who largely paid for his own campaign. A central theme of Rispone’s campaign has been what he says is a poor economic performance by the state under Edwards.
But the White House Twitter account spent much of Wednesday heaping praise on the state’s economic turnaround. In a tweet that was posted at the same time Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry was speaking at the rally, the White House Twitter declared that Louisiana’s “unemployment rate (is) down from 6 percent to 4.3 percent. Wages up for blue collar workers. Louisiana energy industry is booming.”
In an earlier tweet, the White House account exclaimed, “wheels up for Louisiana!”
And earlier in the afternoon, Trump’s Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, also tweeted out praise for Louisiana’s economy.
But at a rally in which, according to a CNN fact-checking reporter, he said “false/misleading/bizarre things” so fast that the journalist could not keep up, the president took a far more negative approach.
“Your taxes are way too high. You’re actually 50th in terms of economic development,” Trump told the rally crowd in Monroe, Louisiana, as quoted by WWL-TV. “Can you believe it, with all we’re doing, you’re rated 50 out of 50.”
Trump attempted to take credit for the successes of the state’s economy under Edwards, whom the president referred to only as John Bel. He told the crowd that the state was “setting records” in part because of “a couple of really big LNG plants” that had opened in Louisiana.
Though Politifact noted that Trump attempted to take credit for the opening of the LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) facilities, the first of three Cameron LNG plants in Louisiana was opened in 2014, under the administration of President Barack Obama. The second two plants were given the green light in 2016, also under Obama.
Politifact noted that LNG exports “skyrocketed” during Trump’s term, which has increased the profits brought into the state from sales of Liquid Natural Gas, but the permits were granted and the main plant in the state opened well before Trump assumed office.
Edwards quickly responded to the positive tweets from the White House on Wednesday.
“Thank you, I agree,” the Louisiana governor wrote on Twitter, as quoted by The Advocate. “We’re much better off than we were four years ago when I took office.”