The comparison between Trump and Hoover, who is infamously linked to the Great Depression that led to the rise of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came during a speech to union members in Philadelphia.
“We’ve come a long way in a short time,” he said before members of the AFL-CIO. “Can you remember what our economy looked like before we took office? Three thousand Americans were dying every day from COVID. Twenty million Americans had lost their jobs under the last guy.”
Biden then made the comparison with Hoover, who was swept out of office after a single term in 1932 with the country in the throes of a worldwide economic depression.
“In fact, so many Americans lost their jobs that my predecessor became just the second president in history to leave office with fewer jobs in America than when he took office,” Biden said. “The other one, by the way, was Herbert Hoover.”
Later in the speech, Biden referenced 8.7 million new jobs created since he took office, calling it an all-time record.
The president alluded to long lines of cars waiting for boxes of food in 2020, the same year that America created more billionaires than any other year in history.
Biden took office in January 2021, with much of the country still locked down due to COVID-19-related policies. Trump said in August 2020 that lockdowns “do not prevent infection in the future. They just don’t. It comes back. Many times, it comes back.” State lawmakers, rather than the federal government, were responsible for most restrictions on residents and businesses.
During his speech, Biden reiterated the importance of unions in building and maintaining America’s middle class.
“Talk about a contrast,” Biden said. “Ordinary people waiting in line for an hour for a box of food and the policies of the past created more billionaires than ever in American history.”