MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Donald Trump doubled down on his economic argument for reelection Thursday night amid increasing concerns about a recession, declaring that even Americans who hate him “have no choice” but to vote for him because otherwise the stock market will collapse.
With markets already wobbling over fears of a slowdown amid an escalating trade and currency war with China, Trump flew to a battleground state to defend policies that are rattling many businesses and investors and to insist that he will prolong the country’s decadelong economic expansion into a second term.
“You have the best unemployment, you have the most successful state in the history of your state and the history of our country,” he told a campaign rally in Manchester. “And then you’re going to vote for somebody else? Oh great. ‘Let’s vote for Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren. We have the best numbers we’ve ever had — let’s vote for somebody else.’ ”
Even as he derided Warren, a senator from next-door Massachusetts and a Democratic presidential candidate, with a racial slur, Trump acknowledged the deep antipathy many voters have for him but made the argument that they should put aside their distaste for their own economic well-being.
“You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes,” he told the crowd. “Whether you love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me.”
In resting his case for a second term on the health of the economy, Trump underscored the political consequences of the economic turmoil that has played out in recent days. In private, he has expressed his own anxiety about the economy taking a dive, knowing that his electoral fortunes are likely tied to it, even as he vents frustration that his opponents in his view are overstating the troubles.
American stock markets fell about 3% Wednesday amid indications that the global economy could slow before shares rebounded slightly Thursday. Trump lashed out at those questioning his confrontation with China, including the conservative editorial page of The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal’s editorials “demonstrate that they understand nothing about trade or business,” he said. “Nothing. They advocate only economic surrender. They actually say go to China, take off the tariffs, make a deal. I lose all the cards, we take off the tariffs. We don’t have any cards.”
His speech was at times a greatest hits album of favorite lines, replaying the 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton and bashing the news media, Democrats and America’s allies in Europe. Typically rambling, veering on and off script seemingly at random over an hour and a half, he repeated points he had made earlier in the evening as if he did not remember already making them.