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Stephanie Ruhle

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  • Trump Claimed He Saved American Jobs At Ford, But The Company Is Reportedly Shedding Thousands

    Ford May Lay Off 10 Percent Of Global Workforce, Highlighting Problematic Media Promotion Of Trump’s Empty Jobs Boasts

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Reports are circulating that American auto giant Ford Motor Co. plans to cut up to 10 percent of its global workforce in a bid to boost the company’s profits and its share price, with a focus on cutting nonunion salaried workers in North America and Asia. The news is potentially devastating for thousands of American workers and reveals another empty boast from President Donald Trump, who previously enjoyed a flood of positive press when he took personal credit for job creation at the company.

    On May 15, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ford CEO Mark Fields plans to shrink his company's global workforce by roughly 10 percent as part of a “drive to boost profits and the auto maker’s sliding stock price.” The Journal noted that such heavy job cuts at a company with 200,000 employees around the world, “half of which work in North America,” could “trigger a political backlash at the White House” for a president who “has repeatedly pointed to auto makers like Ford as examples of companies adding U.S. jobs.” The initial report was soon corroborated by Bloomberg, CNBC, CNNMoney, Reuters, and the Detroit Free Press, with some reporting that thousands of nonunion salaried employees in the U.S. might face layoffs. Many reports discussed the political fallout such a move could create for a Trump administration that has routinely claimed unfounded credit for spurring job growth at Ford and other companies in the U.S. On the May 16 edition of MSNBC Live, CNBC reporter Dominic Chu explained that the cuts would likely target administrative and managerial positions throughout the company as Ford tries to squeeze its workers:

    In the past, Trump has promoted reports of job creation at Ford and other companies by shoehorning himself into fawning press reports of business decisions he had little or nothing to do with. (See: Alibaba, Carrier, SoftBank.) Trump even falsely took credit for Ford canceling a planned factory expansion in Mexico, but the company later broke ground on a new Mexican factory expansion at a different location.

    After months of allowing themselves to be misled by Trump’s false tweets and rants, reporters finally appeared to have caught on; they largely downplayed Trump’s role in a March 28 investment agreement between Ford and the United Auto Workers union, which he heralded on Twitter. Unfortunately, much of the damage from the earlier glut of insipid coverage has been done. American companies are not making business decisions based on Trump’s rhetorical flourishes, but millions of news viewers still erroneously think of the president as a sort of “dealmaker-in-chief.”

  • MSNBC Anchor Stephanie Ruhle On New GOP Health Care Amendment: “Isn’t It Basically Universal Health Care?”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle made several severely misinformed statements about Rep. Fred Upton’s (R-MI) new amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Ruhle first questioned whether covering pre-existing conditions in the AHCA means the bill is “basically universal health care” and then, rephrasing, stated “it is coverage for all then.” She also suggested that the $8 billion the proposed -- but still unreleased -- Upton amendment provides is sufficient funding for the AHCA’s high-risk pools. The AHCA is far from universal care and it is also not “coverage for all.” When the AHCA was originally scored by the Congressional Budget Office several weeks ago, it estimated that 24 million people will lose their health care (not including the new amendments which would likely cause even more to lose coverage). Additionally, new estimates from the Center for American Progress show that the AHCA’s high risk pool financing is woefully insufficient as it “would leave a $20 billion shortfall annually” -- meaning an additional $8 billion over 5 years is functionally a drop in the bucket. From the May 3 edition of MSNBC Live:

    KRISTEN WELKER: Steph, according to our hill team, representative Fred Upton of Michigan is working on an amendment that would deal with the issue of pre-existing conditions. That's the major sticking point. Because there is concern that the bill so far could allow insurance companies to hike up the prices for people living with pre-existing conditions. So under this Upton amendment, it would effectively bring $8 billion over the next five years to help people living with pre-existing conditions to pay for their coverage. The reaction, we're still waiting to get that. What we do know is that Fred Upton and Billy Long of Missouri, who's also currently a no vote, are planning to meet with President Trump here at the White House later on this morning to discuss this amendment and this sticking point, this major sticking point. President Trump now getting personally engaged in this plan and in this effort to revive the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. I was also told according to one of my sources here at the White House that the president was working the phones overnight, reached out to a number of Republicans trying to switch those no votes to yes. As you point out, the margin is very slim. They can't afford to lose any more votes or else this new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare will be sunk, Steph.

    STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): I want to talk about this amendment. $8 billion that could get these moderates over the hump. What's it going to do to the freedom caucus? $8 billion is a very big number. Fundamentally, if you -- isn't it basically universal health care if you do cover pre-existing conditions?

    ELISE JORDAN: I don't think it's basically universal health care by any stretch, but still --

    RUHLE: It is coverage for all then, excuse me. 

    JORDAN: I agree that the $8 billion, how can that be palatable to these Freedom Caucus members that are already unhappy about this new spending bill. It just seems like there's so many initiatives floating around right now that the Freedom Caucus isn't going to stand for it. That's why I wonder if they're going to splinter this already pretty fragile coalition.