Dan Quayle: Economy vital to 2020 presidential election

Former Vice President Dan Quayle said on Sunday the state of the U.S. economy will play a key role in the 2020 presidential election.

“President Trump ran on that – bringing jobs back to America, increasing wages for the workers – it’s all good right now … if the economy slips then it’ll be a real challenge for President Trump,” Quayle, who served under the late, former President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, told “Sunday Morning Futures.”

The economy under Trump has been quite strong, according to economists, though he still lags behind his predecessors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 5 percent from a year ago, while the unemployment rate has declined and job growth has continued – both of which have continued their positive trends since around 2010. Wages rose 3.1 percent in the 12 months ending October, their largest gain since 2009, and, if the labor market remains very tight, could increase more in November. The side effect, however, could mean higher inflation.

But Quayle said the economy doesn’t need to be spectacular in order for Trump to win in 2020, citing former President Barack Obama, who faced an unemployment rate of nearly 8 percent at the time of the 2012 election and went on to win a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“Obama proved to us that you could not have a good economy and still be successful,” the former vice president said. “We’ll have to wait and see. Every election’s different.”

During the one term of Bush and Quayle, the economy grew north of 2 percent. Bush took office faced with a high deficit left over from Ronald Reagan’s administration.

“There was a perception that the economy wasn't doing as well as it should. But yet it was growing at 6 percent when we left office. You also had a little bit of perhaps Republican fatigue,” Quayle said when noting possible reasons why the duo did not win a second term.

The former vice president also reflected on his time in office working alongside Bush, who died Saturday at the age of 94.

“His legacy was accomplishments, he got things done.” Quayle said. “When he left office the economy was growing at 5 [percent], 6 percent; the Berlin Wall came down; Eastern [and] Central Europe freed from the yoke of Communism; apartheid in South Africa was eliminated; success in putting Saddam Hussein back into Iraq; [former Panamanian dictator Manuel] Noriega apprehended; so many things in a short period of time on the domestic front as well.”

Quayle called Bush a “great individual” and “great president” who loved his family, work and the country, adding that he learned a lot about the vice presidency from the 41st president.

“I can say that today, that man, George Bush, was very good to me,” Quayle said.