Democrats see opening on economy, resist cheering recession

August 22, 2019 - 2:23 pm

PROLE, Iowa (AP) — As the U.S. economy flashes recession warning signs, Democratic presidential candidates are leveling preemptive blame on President Donald Trump.

They argue that his aggressive and unpredictable tariff policies are prompting gloomy economic forecasts. Yet they're also straining to avoid the appearance of cheering for a downturn that would inflict economic pain on millions of Americans, but potentially help their party's political fortunes in 2020.

An election year slump would likely scramble the White House race. A strong economy would be a bulwark for Trump, helping him maintain the support of many independents and moderate Republicans who are turned off by his incendiary statements and pugnacious personality.

Trump's advisers worry that support could deteriorate if there's an economic downturn in the coming months.