Burnett: GM shows Trump's jobs promise false

CNN's Erin Burnett looks back at promises President Donald Trump made to car country in the wake of GM announcing it is closing plants amid mass layoffs.

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 7:52 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 7:52 PM

On Monday, General Motors (GM) announced that it will close five plants in North America and cut thousands of jobs, marking one of the most serious economic challenges to the Trump presidency yet.

Until now, it appeared President Donald Trump had done a good job of energizing the American economy, specifically when it came to jobs. Legitimately or not, he has been praised for record low unemployment -- now at 3.7%, a 49-year low. While liberal critics argue that he is merely the beneficiary of the Obama administration's smart economic policies, it is hard to definitively say what the driver is.

What we do know is this: Had unemployment increased while Trump was in the White House, he would have been blamed. So, it seems only fair to give him some credit for low unemployment numbers now.

But that credit may not sustain him for long. While GM has said that an evolving marketplace and changing consumer demands are the chief reasons for the actions it took, the Trump administration's onerous steel tariffs are also an important contributing factor. It's more expensive to buy steel parts for cars than it was before he took office.

That Trump's economic policies are in any way causing manufacturing plants to close and jobs to be eliminated could be a stake in the heart of the Trump presidential experiment. In response, on Tuesday, the President, clearly concerned by GM's announcement, threatened to cut the car company's subsidies.

Because Trump was allegedly "good for the economy," many Republicans were willing to forgive his sometimes-boorish behavior -- both domestically and internationally. They became "yes, buts" in their defense of a president many still feel is unworthy of an office occupied by the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.

But that just became a tougher pill to swallow, as thousands of American autoworkers, many who voted for Trump in 2016 -- believing he would protect their jobs -- now face a stark reality just weeks before the holidays.

And it's a more powerful reality than the one Trump critics had been betting on prior to the GM announcement. Many Democrats, and perhaps even a few Republicans, have looked to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign's potential dealings with Russia as an engine to drive Trump from office.

At this point, there is no way to know whether that will happen. Whatever Mueller presents (presuming the Trump-controlled Department of Justice tells us) will be believed by some, disbelieved by others and debated ad nauseam. Unless there is irrefutable evidence of Trump himself committing a crime, which even his some of sharpest critics admit is unlikely, the Mueller report alone will not bring Trump down.

That's not a bad thing, per se. If the President did not violate the law, he should not be removed from office -- regardless of how some may feel about him.

But it may not take a Mueller investigation to sway the public anymore. The one thing Trump had going for him was a strong economy and low unemployment, but now those jobs numbers may be in jeopardy.

GM is by no means the only US company to be hurt by Trump's tariffs. His misguided economic policies are wreaking havoc in many industries. A number of smaller companies, including the country's largest nail manufacturer, have already laid off workers due to the tariffs, and such giants as Boeing, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola and General Electric have also suffered.

While this is a tremendous loss for the many blue-collar workers in America, it may finally motivate Americans to seek new leadership in the White House -- leadership that keeps its economic promises to the people.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13260

Reported Deaths: 625
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89324
Lauderdale67855
Madison65421
Scott58910
Neshoba51231
Forrest48034
Jones46713
DeSoto4616
Leake38410
Holmes36523
Rankin3496
Jackson29613
Copiah2784
Attala27014
Lincoln24320
Monroe24224
Leflore24025
Harrison2346
Newton2243
Lamar2194
Yazoo2152
Pearl River20327
Pike19611
Adams18615
Lowndes1607
Noxubee1586
Washington1535
Warren1506
Bolivar14010
Jasper1393
Oktibbeha13410
Smith13110
Covington1271
Chickasaw12612
Clarke12616
Kemper12510
Lafayette1233
Carroll11310
Wayne1090
Marion1088
Lee1045
Clay993
Winston981
Coahoma983
Lawrence901
Hancock8711
Simpson850
Itawamba857
Yalobusha824
Wilkinson829
Montgomery781
Sunflower773
Grenada752
Jefferson Davis712
Union715
Tippah7011
Marshall693
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne581
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall510
Tunica483
Perry462
Jefferson400
Prentiss383
Stone300
Choctaw292
Webster271
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George191
Alcorn151
Benton140
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14478

Reported Deaths: 551
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1996109
Jefferson161488
Montgomery118630
Marshall6499
Tuscaloosa50512
Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
Chambers33623
Madison2964
Baldwin2749
Elmore2637
Etowah23610
DeKalb2213
Coffee2001
Walker1981
Dallas1973
Sumter1916
Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
Autauga1593
Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
Marengo1336
Hale1293
Russell1280
Lauderdale1282
Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
Bullock1111
Barbour1101
Clarke1022
St. Clair1021
Pickens934
Talladega912
Greene894
Chilton871
Dale830
Cullman760
Limestone740
Jackson692
Covington651
Washington645
Winston620
Macon602
Bibb591
Crenshaw582
Henry562
Blount491
Escambia433
Lawrence420
Coosa331
Geneva330
Cherokee332
Perry310
Monroe282
Clay272
Conecuh251
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Columbus
Few Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 79°
Oxford
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 81°
Starkville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 81°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather