MESA, Arizona — Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) refused to give President Obama any credit Wednesday for recent economic and business improvements in the country, arguing instead that “anyone who’s paying attention knows that this president has done irreparable harm to the economy.”
ThinkProgress spoke with Franks to get his thoughts on the recent stock market gains and what they say about Republican critiques that President Obama is supposedly “anti-business.” (The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 13,000 at points earlier this week after a low of 6,626 in March 2009.) The five-term Arizona congressman dismissed the notion that Obama’s policies could have aided the economic recovery. There’s “no question” that the economy is improving in spite of President Obama, Franks said. “It’s a strong country, but Mr. Obama seems to be doing everything he can to hold it back.”
KEYES: A lot of other folks might say that under [President Obama's] watch the stock market has gone up over 5,000 points. What do you think?
FRANKS: Anyone who’s paying attention knows that this president has done irreparable harm to the economy, at least in the short run. [...]
KEYES: So it sounds like [the economy's] improved in spite of President Obama?
FRANKS: No question about it. No question about it. It’s a strong country, but Mr. Obama seems to be doing everything he can to hold it back.
The stock market is not a good indicator of an ecnomy’s health, but even a cursory look other figures shows just how spurious the claim is that Obama has been “anti-business.” As ThinkProgress’ Pat Garofalo noted, “in 2011, corporate profits hit their highest level since 1950.” Unfortunately, these record corporate gains have not trickled down into workers’ pockets; workers’ wages and purchasing power has been largely stagnant, even as their bosses do better than they have in 60 years.
It goes without saying that Franks is no fan of President Obama’s. Last year, he told ThinkProgress in an interview that even he supported impeaching Obama over the White House’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act.
Still, Franks is not the only GOPer reluctant to give even a shred of credit to Obama. From the economic recovery to the deaths of Osama bin Laden and Muammar Qaddafi, Republicans have done all they can to ensure they can continue criticizing the president, regardless of the facts.