Unlike 55 percent of Americans who disapprove of Trump’s handling of the economy, senior economic adviser to Trump’s campaign, Stephen Moore, said he is enthusiastic about the future of the U.S. economy under President Trump, according to The New York Times.
Moore discussed his evolving relationship with Trump, his thoughts on the U.S. economy and his criticism of policies past and present at an event held by Northwestern University College Republicans at Northwestern's Technological Institute on Wednesday.
Standing in front of a presentation titled “Trumponomics,” Moore said that when he initially joined Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, he did not yet know how he felt about the candidate, saying his first words to Trump were, “Donald, I’m not sure if I love you, but I sure love your voters.”
As time went on during the campaign, he said he grew fonder of Trump, describing him as “incredibly charming, incredibly gracious, incredibly fun to meet with.” Moore said, however, that he was not here to sell the room on Trump. He instead spoke about the presidential race itself.
“Sometimes, what the experts say is wrong,” he said about pollsters leading up to election night.
He remained skeptical of all the experts who said that Hillary Clinton would win and that Donald Trump had no chance.
“I always knew that this was going to be a close race,” Moore said.
This mindset, he said, came from his experiences while doing surrogate work for the Trump campaign. He said he learned more while working for the campaign than he ever did while working in Washington.
“If you want to understand America, there’s no better way than just doing it and going on a presidential campaign and meeting people,” he said.
Moore said his understanding of America grew exponentially when he was sent to Ohio by the campaign.
He remembered leaving the cities, where there were many Democratic voters, and entering the rural regions of the state, where he saw sign after sign bearing Trump’s name, with the exception of one sign that said, “Hillary for Prison,” marking the polarization between rural and urban populations in the U.S.
“People in cities and people in the country have completely different, divergent views on what’s happening in America,” he said, adding that these different views can lead rural populations to feel outnumbered by and resentful towards urban populations.
Moore said he did have his doubts about the campaign after news broke about the Billy Bush tape. He said these doubts were quelled, though, when he saw a bumper sticker in Tampa, Florida that read “Vote for Trump. Nobody has to know.”
He said the idea of what he refers to as “undercover Trump voters” encouraged him to stay positive about the election.
Moore has remained positive throughout Trump’s presidency thus far, stating that he is "super bullish" right now regarding the U.S. economy.
Referring to a chart comparing Reagan’s and Obama’s economic recoveries, he said Obama’s recovery was too slow and lacking necessary growth. Moore noted that when he advised Trump, he repeatedly pushed the concept of economic growth.
“It may not solve every problem, but it will make every other problem America is dealing with a lot easier to solve,” Moore said.
So far, Moore is pleased with the results of his advising.
“This is a pro-business president who is focused like a laser beam on growth,” he said. Moore said he does have concerns about the national debt, which he attributed to the slow economic growth from Obama’s recovery plan and entitlements to elderly people in the U.S.
Though Moore backs Trump in many ways, he openly disagrees with with the president’s views on free trade, saying that he thinks the steel tariffs Trump recently announced are a bad idea.
“It’s probably going to end up costing the United States more jobs,” he said.
He added that he, unlike the president, is a fan of trade agreements, but he emphasized that Trump should take a tough stance on China and Russia.
“Russia and China, I think, are two countries that we should hold at arm’s length from us and be very suspicious of their activities,” he said.
Despite his reservations, Moore maintains a positive outlook on the future of the economy. Moore indicated that the energy sector has greatly impacted the U.S. economy over the past few years, saying that “the biggest thing that happened that changed the U.S. economy was three words: shale, oil and gas.”
Moore also took a moment to criticize President Obama’s attempts to shift the energy sector, saying he should not have been pushing renewable energy during his term because, due to new technology, more oil and gas were being discovered in the U.S.
“If we’re going to continue to be an industrial superpower, which I believe we will, we’re going to have to use our oil and gas and coal, and the good news is that we’ve got a lot of it.”
Moore also said Trump’s recent decision to cut the corporate tax rate is a big step in the right direction, even remarking that it has been the biggest thing to happen to the U.S. economy since the Reagan Era.
He also remains positive because of the diversity of the U.S. workforce, which he added is powered by “yankee ingenuity.”
“The economy is absolutely booming,” Moore said.
Moore remains eager to see what Trump does for the economy in the future, claiming that “Finally we have somebody who knows something about business.”