White House Trolls Trump on Carrier Jobs Deal

Obama spokesman: Do it ‘804 more times’

President-elect Donald Trump walks through the lobby of the New York Times following a meeting with editors at the paper last week. On Wednesday, the White House seemed less than impressed with a jobs deal Trump struck. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The White House first applauded Donald Trump’s deal to keep around 1,000 manufacturing jobs in Indiana, then challenged him to do it 800 more times to match President Barack Obama’s “high standard.”

Trump’s team announced he and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor, will appear in Indiana Thursday to formally announce Carrier will keep those jobs at an air conditioning plant rather than move them to Mexico. His aides are eager to make sure the president-elect and Pence get credit for cutting the deal.

[Trump to Sever Business Ties, But Conflicts Possible if Kids Run Firm]

At the White House on Wednesday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said “this is good news and, obviously, we’d welcome that good news.”

Then the trolling began.

“I know that the president-elect has indicated that he deserves credit … for that announcement, and I guess what I would observe is that if he is successful in doing that 804 more times, then he will meet the record of manufacturing jobs that were created in the United States while President Obama was in office,” Earnest said.

“There were 805,000 manufacturing jobs that weren’t just protected or saved, but actually created while President Obama was in office,” he said.

Earnest said his boss “has set a high standard,” jabbing at Trump by saying he can only match the sitting president if he creates manufacturing jobs rather than merely keeping them inside the United States.

[Secretary of State List Trimmed to Four as Trump Nears Decision]

“If we go to protecting jobs, there are more than a million jobs in the industrial Midwest that were saved when President Obama made the decision to rescue the American auto industry,” Earnest said, “and the long-term benefits of that fateful decision that was not initially popular has yielded a substantial benefit for the entire country, but certainly for the industrial Midwest.”

On Tuesday night, Trump took to his preferred communication venue, Twitter, and vowed to prevent more U.S. jobs from being moved to other countries.


Contact Bennett at johnbennett@cqrollcall.com. Follow him on Twitter @BennettJohnT.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.