CNN scoffed at Hillary Clintons comparison between the presidency of her husband Bill Clinton and that of Ronald Reagan – both known for having presided over strong economic times – as being a “night and day” difference.
Hillary Rodham Clinton signs a copy of book "Hard Choices", Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Ridgewood, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
During an interview last week with Charlie Rose, the former secretary of state and likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate talked about the differences.
“If I just were to compare Reagan's eight years with Bill's eight years, it's like night and day in terms of the effects, the number of jobs that were created, the number of people lifted out of poverty, 100 times more when Bill was president,” Clinton said. “And did policies have something to do with that? I would argue that they did.”
CNN fact checked the claim in an article headlined, “Hillary's spin in the Reagan vs. Clinton economies off-mark.”
“On jobs then, the Reagan and Clinton economies both experienced dramatic job growth making Hillary’s claim of a 'night and day' difference between the two is exaggerated at best,” CNN said.
CNN also speculated the remark “represents a more confrontational tone from the former first lady” who would need to appeal to the left flank of the Democratic party in a presidential primary campaign.
In raw numbers, more jobs were created during the eight years of the Clinton administration, 18.7 million, than under the Reagan administration, 16.75 million – a difference of just under 2 million, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, that doesn't tell the complete story.
“When adjusting for population size and growth, though, the Reagan tenure actually grew employment at a faster rate than did the Clinton term,” according to CNN.
Further, CNN noted that Reagan's first two years in office were committed to fighting inflation, which postponed net job gains until 1983. Clinton had consistent job growth from early in his term until the final year when job growth began to level off.
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