How Obama Tied Himself to the Stock Market

February 8, 2018

The stock market flourished during the administration of President Barack Obama, and he often reminded Americans of that when he was in office.

As President Donald Trump has frequently touted the soaring stock market since his election—the Dow Jones industrial average hit an all-time high of 26,616.71 on Jan. 26—critics have said such boasting means he owns the falls too.

The Dow declined 1,175 points on Monday, a 4.6 percent drop, although the market has still gained more than 6,000 points since his election.

Former Obama press secretary Jay Carney tweeted Monday that "we never boasted about the stock market" because the Obama administration knew two things: the stock market is not the economy, and if you claim the rise, you own the fall.

On the 2012 campaign trail, however, Obama mentioned the doubling of the stock market in his stump speech.  He also touted the stock market's recovery in his 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015 State of the Union addresses.

He frequently invoked the stock market's growth in other speeches as well, particularly during his second term, while cautioning at times it did not mean wages would grow or everyone would benefit.

In his farewell address last January, Obama boasted that the rich were paying a fairer share of taxes "even while the stock market shatters records."

Carney swiftly watered down his tweet, saying that Obama "talked very little about the markets in our first 3 years compared to now" and only did so later after years of "market, jobs and GDP growth."