AP FACT CHECK: Rhetoric from Trump, Biden in the non-debate

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By CALVIN WOODWARD and HOPE YEN Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden faced inquisitive voters on separate stages in different cities in a substitute for the debate that was meant to be.

Here’s how some of the rhetoric Thursday night compared with the facts in the prime-time events and a day of campaigning:

ECONOMY

TRUMP, answering questions in Miami on NBC: “We had the greatest economy in the history of our country.”

THE FACTS: The numbers show it wasn’t the greatest in U.S. history.

Did the U.S. have the most jobs on record before the coronavirus pandemic? Sure, the population had grown. The 3.5% unemployment rate before the recession was at a half-century low, but the percentage of people working or searching for jobs was still below a 2000 peak.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer looked at Trump’s economic growth record this month. Growth under Trump averaged 2.48% annually before the pandemic, only slightly better than the 2.41% gains achieved during Barack Obama’s second term. By contrast, the economic expansion that began in 1982 during Ronald Reagan’s presidency averaged 4.2% a year.

So Trump is wrong.
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