CNN contributor Watkins falsely claimed poverty reduction under Bush rather than Clinton

››› ››› NICOLE CASTA

CNN contributor, talk radio host, and Bush-Cheney '04 campaign adviser Rev. Joe Watkins falsely claimed that the United States has experienced a "reduction" in poverty under President Bush. Misleadingly citing poverty statistics on the September 12 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now, Watkins stated that "under Bill Clinton, 15.1 percent of the population was poor; under President Bush, 12.7 percent of the population is poor. That's a reduction, that's a good thing." But the poverty rate declined every year Clinton was in office, from 15.1 percent when he took office in 1993 to a low of 11.3 percent in 2000; it has risen every year that Bush has been in office, from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.7 percent in 2004.

From the September 12 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now:

WATKINS: Well, let me take that. I think the president was reaching out like every president has done in times of sadness --

REV. AL SHARPTON (guest): From a helicopter?

WATKINS: -- to all Americans. He is there right now, and he is there reaching out to all Americans. It's so important to do that. Again, remember the fact that black people are disproportionately poor. Fifteen -- under Bill Clinton, 15.1 percent of the population was poor; under President Bush, 12.7 percent of the population is poor. That's a reduction, that's a good thing. But still, African-Americans are disproportionately affected.

Posted In
Economy, Poverty
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Bill Clinton, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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