In an interview broadcast on Sunday, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow pushed back against former President Barack Obama‘s recent remarks about the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, reports Mediaite.
Speaking with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, Kudlow said that he is not sure what Obama was trying to say, suggesting that the former president was making a political statement about President Donald Trump.
“With all due to respect the former president — I don’t want to get into a political back and forth here — I don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t understand what President Obama is saying.”
“It sounds so darn political to me,” Kudlow added.
Obama has not publicly slammed Trump, but an audio recording of a private phone call obtained by Yahoo! News suggests that the former commander-in-chief is not exactly impressed with how the Trump administration has handled the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the recording, Obama can be heard describing Trump’s response to the crisis as an “absolute chaotic disaster.” During the phone call, Obama discussed a number of other pressing issues, including the 2020 presidential election. The former president can be heard vowing to campaign as “hard” as he can for Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
But according to Kudlow, Obama is being too harsh. The White House economic adviser told Stephanopoulos that the Trump administration is dealing with an unprecedented crisis, arguing that the economy will begin to recover by the end of the year.
“Look, what we have done may not be 100 percent perfect. These things happen once every 100 years, but the overall picture is we created a massive health and safety infrastructure to deal with the pandemic here in the United States,” Kudlow said, adding that the administration is “preparing to reopen the economy.”
In response to Obama’s criticism, Trump took to Twitter to argue that the former president’s administration mismanaged the response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
We are getting great marks for the handling of the CoronaVirus pandemic, especially the very early BAN of people from China, the infectious source, entering the USA. Compare that to the Obama/Sleepy Joe disaster known as H1N1 Swine Flu. Poor marks, bad polls - didn’t have a clue!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2020
However, polling suggests that the American public is split when it comes to Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. According to an April Gallup poll, 48 percent disapprove of Trump’s handling of the crisis and 50 percent approve. The president’s ratings have dropped 10 points since March.
Although he has publicly boasted about his administration’s accomplishments, Trump is reportedly concerned about his re-election prospects. According to White House insiders, the commander-in-chief has “struggled” to grapple with the fact that his popularity appears to have declined.