This past week, President-elect Donald Trump took a “victory lap” in Indiana after his transition team announced a deal he had struck with Carrier parent company United Technologies Corp. that would keep a certain number of factory jobs in the U.S. in exchange for $7 million in tax breaks.
But how good was the deal from a man who spent his campaign promising the “best” deals?
The promise to keep Carrier jobs from moving to Mexico was one Trump made at almost every campaign stop during the 2016 election. As Seth Meyers pointed out on Thursday’s Late Night, “Apparently Trump didn’t actually think he would have to live up to his promises,” which he openly admitted in his speech announcing the deal.
It was only after Trump saw a story about a worker who believed in him and reminded him about what he said that he decided to intervene. He called his original campaign pledge a “euphemism.”
“What you said was not a euphemism,” Meyers said. “If you say, ‘I got to second base,’ that’s a euphemism. ‘I’m not going to let an air-conditioning company move to Mexico’ is just a sentence.”
On Twitter, Trump declared that the workers whose jobs he “saved” will “sell many air conditioners.” The only problem is, the factory in question manufactures furnaces. “A furnace, which is, of course, the fucking opposite of an air conditioner.”
And now that the details of the deal have emerged, it turns out that 1,250 factory jobs are still scheduled to move to Mexico while just 730 factory jobs were saved. “Now, it is very important to know the 730 jobs were saved and for those families, that is great relief that we can all be happy about,” Meyers allowed. But in the words of Carrier’s union leader Chuck Jones, Trump “lied his ass off” about the extent of his deal.
In response, Trump did what he always does and tweeted that Jones has “done a terrible job representing workers,” adding, “No wonder companies flee country!”
But what struck Meyers most about this whole story was the fact that conservative media figures like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh spent the past eight years bashing President Obama for policies like the auto bailout, which saved upwards of 1.5 million jobs. “As you might have guessed, they saw the Carrier deal a little differently,” he said, before showing clips of those same hosts praising Trump’s actions.
When Obama does it, he’s “hijacking capitalism,” but when Trump does the same thing, it’s “flat-out cool.”