“I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans.”
BET founder Robert Johnson, America’s first African-American billionaire, had some harsh words for the Democratic Party and praise for President Donald Trump:
“The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” Johnson, the founder of cable network BET and RLJ Companies business network, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble Tuesday.
“And for that reason, I don’t have a particular candidate (I’m supporting) in the party at this time,” he said. “I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, then that person, he or she, will have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that.”
Johnson supported Hillary, but has since shown admiration over some of Trump’s policies, especially the economy:
“I think the economy is doing great, and it’s reaching populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs and employments and the opportunities that come with employment … so African-American unemployment is at its lowest level, ” Johnson said.
Johnson became the country’s first African-American billionaire after selling Black Entertainment Television in 2001, according to Forbes.
“I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans,” he said. “I think the tax cuts clearly helped stimulate the economy. I think business people have more confidence in the way the economy is going.”
Despite the U.S. dispute with China over trade, Johnson said that “overall, if you look at the U.S. economy … you got to give the president an A+ for that.”
Johnson basically repeated what he told CNBC in April 2018 when he reminded people that Trump’s economy put black people back to work. He said at the time:
“When you look at that [January report], you have to say something is going right,” said Johnson, a Democrat and founder and chairman of The RLJ Cos.
“You have to take encouragement from what’s happening in the labor force and the job market,” Johnson told “Squawk Box. ” “When you look at African-American unemployment, … you’ve never had African-American unemployment this low and the spread between African-Americans and whites narrowing.”
If you look at the jobs reports since then, which I have covered, the unemployment rate among black men has remained low and dipped lower most months.
Johnson told CNBC he doesn’t like Trump’s brash personality, but he offered a dose of reality to those who hate Trump:
“A lot of people are not going to like that style,” he said, “but when he says he’s going to try to do something economically, you have to give him credit for taking some specific steps to do that.”
“At the end of the day, the American people are looking for someone who can deliver economically and deliver on opportunities,” he said.
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