Fact Check

Did Donald Trump Once Say, 'The Economy Always Does Better Under Democrats'?

In the same interview, Trump also said he wasn't going to be a politician.

Published Dec 29, 2023

 (Reddit user Introvert_Comics)
Image Via Reddit user Introvert_Comics
Claim:
In a 2004 interview on CNN, Donald Trump said, "The economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans."

It was March 21, 2004. The first season of "The Apprentice" had just aired on television, and CNN's Wolf Blitzer was interviewing business mogul and future U.S. President Donald Trump. Late in the interview, as the conversation turned to politics and the upcoming 2004 presidential election, Blitzer asked Trump if he identified as a Democrat or a Republican.

"Well, you'd be shocked if I said that in many cases I probably identify more as Democrat," Trump replied.

Just one sentence later, he said this:

You know, it's interesting, I've been now around long -- you know, I think of myself as a young guy, but I'm not so young anymore. And I've been around for a long time. And it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.

Looking back at the quote after 20 years could be shocking, which is why videos of the clip have circulated online. Snopes initially found the clip in a Dec. 28, 2023, Reddit post that gained over 2,000 upvotes, a large amount for a post on the site.

To verify it, we started by searching for the clip on YouTube, but found nothing. So, we cross-referenced the clip to other videos of the interview, like a different clip posted by the official CNN Politics Facebook account. Since the camera angle and outfits were the same, we felt comfortable saying that the clips originated from the same interview.

Furthermore, we discovered a transcript of the interview and the entire March 21 show it was featured in on CNN's website.

Trump's wording in the Reddit clip exactly matches that transcript. Although Snopes could not find an exact match for the specific clip from an official CNN account, there is substantial evidence, including later articles from reputable news sites like Forbes and CNN, political advertisements using the clip, and a transcript of the interview confirming that Trump actually said those words.

As such, we rate this claim as true.

Sources

CNN.Com - Transcripts. http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0403/21/le.00.html. Accessed 29 Dec. 2023.

“Flashback: Trump Says ‘The Economy Always Does Better under Democrats.’” Reddit, r/Interestingasfuck, 28 Dec. 2023, https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/18szoc4/flashback_trump_says_the_economy_always_does/.

Flows, Capital. “Trump Is Right About One Thing: ‘The Economy Does Better Under The Democrats.’” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2016/11/07/trump-is-right-about-one-thing-the-economy-does-better-under-the-democrats/. Accessed 29 Dec. 2023.

In a 2004 Interview with Wolf Blitzer, Donald J. Trump Says, “You Can Do Very Well in a Bad Market.” Cnnpolitics.Com | By CNN Politics | Facebook. www.facebook.com, https://www.facebook.com/cnnpolitics/videos/in-a-2004-interview-with-wolf-blitzer-donald-j-trump-says-you-can-do-very-well-i/1157462310962267/. Accessed 29 Dec. 2023.

Moody, Chris. “Trump in ’04: ‘I Probably Identify More as Democrat’ | CNN Politics.” CNN, 21 July 2015, https://www.cnn.com/2015/07/21/politics/donald-trump-election-democrat/index.html.

Jack Izzo is a Chicago-based journalist and two-time "Jeopardy!" alumnus.

Article Tags