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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, blasted Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, who he accused of expressing “glee” over the growing unemployment amid the coronavirus outbreak in an apparent jab against President Trump.
On Saturday, Kessler took to Twitter and invoked remarks President Trump made during his State of the Union address, where he boasted the record-low unemployment.
“Line from Trump’s State of the Union address that did not age well: ‘Incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country,'” Kessler wrote. “As we noted in our fact check at the time: ‘This is worth fact-checking because the average over three years is hardly comparable to a four- or eight-year average for other presidents.’ Imagine what the average will end up by the conclusion of Trump’s term.”
The Washington Post fact-checker then scolded the president, “This is an example of how manipulated stats can backfire on politicians. You shouldn’t be comparing yourself to full-term presidents before your term is up. Things can happen that make such claims appear foolish in retrospect. It’s also an example of how it’s foolhardy for any president to brag about the state of the economy on their watch. They have little to do with broad economic trends, good or bad.”
The Texas senator slammed Kessler, accusing him and the rest of the press of hating the strong economic numbers under President Trump.
“The press HATED that, three months ago, we had the lowest African-American & Hispanic unemployment ever recorded. Now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic—which originated in Wuhan, not the Oval Office—too many in the press are giddy with glee. #RootForAmerica,” Cruz tweeted.
Kessler rejected Cruz’s characterization of his tweet and doubled down on his assertion that it was “inappropriate” for Trump to compare his record before completing his first term.
However, the top Republican senator fact-checked the fact-checker.
“Fact check: Four Pinocchios,” Cruz wrote, adding four Pinnochio emojis.
Cruz’s colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, made similar remarks about the media for its reporting on the U.S. exceeding China in reported coronavirus cases despite the growing skepticism of its communist party-run government data.
“Some in our media can’t contain their glee & delight in reporting that the U.S. has more #CoronaVirus cases than #China,” Rubio tweeted. “Beyond being grotesque, it’s bad journalism.
He continued, “We have NO IDEA how many cases China really has but without any doubt it’s significantly more than why [sic] they admit to.”