Former President Donald Trump talks economy, 2022 in exclusive interview

Former President Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd as he speaks at the North Carolina Republican Convention Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
Donald Trump speaks with North State Journal Editor in Chief Matt Mercer before Trump spoke to the NC GOP Convention in Greenville, N.C. (North State Journal)

GREENVILLE – Donald J. Trump. The 45th President of the United States, spoke exclusively to North State Journal prior to his speech at Saturday’s North Carolina Republican Party convention dinner. President Trump talked about the differing economic agendas of his four years and President Joe Biden’s, Operation Warp Speed, and his 2022 U.S. Senate endorsement.

On the economy, Trump touted his 2017 tax reform bill’s success.

“We cut taxes at the highest rate in history, including Ronald Reagan. We had the biggest tax cut, biggest regulation cuts by far, and it just inspired people to go out and do what they were doing,” said President Trump.

In 2019, the national unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Trump also criticized monthly jobs numbers in April in May, which both fell below economists’ expectations.

“You look at the numbers yesterday. They were really not good numbers at all. They were way below what was anticipated. We were talking well over a million (new jobs added) and they’re talking about half of that. They were shocking numbers and that’s just the beginning,” Trump added.

Trump also tied his economic plans to the development of the COVID-19 vaccines.

He said his economic plans help set a foundation when Operation Warp Speed was brought online.

“They did a fantastic job. And uh, we got it done in less than nine months. And everybody said, including Dr. Fauci, three years, four years, five years. And we did something else that people don’t talk about. We bought billions of dollars of the vaccine before we knew for sure that it worked,” said Trump.

Kaiser Health News reported that the total amount of vaccine purchases made during the Trump administration totaled 800 million doses, enough for more than 400 million people.

Trump also commended the military’s efforts in aiding distribution, saying, “Our military did a great job of distribution before the other group took over.”

In talking about the 2022 midterms, President Trump previewed his endorsement later in the evening of U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, although not by name. Trump said it was important to win the Senate and said, “I’m going to be announcing pretty soon who I think, uh, should be your next senator. I might even be doing it in about 30 minutes (before the speech). So stay tuned.”

During the speech, after Trump brought his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump onstage to announce that she was not running in 2022, he gave his “complete and total endorsement” of Budd and said he would be back to campaign with him in the state.

The second part of NSJ’s exclusive interview with President Trump will appear in this week’s print edition.