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Gov. DeSantis calls out Fed Chair Powell

Yahoo Finance political columnist Rick Newman joins the Live Show to discuss Florida Gov Ron DeSantis' criticism of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, and former President Trump's felony charges.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Fed Chair Jerome Powell has been a, quote, "total and complete disaster." Those are the words of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the presumed top challenger to Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, adding that, quote, "people across the country are paying for it."

Senior columnist Rick Newman here with more on the unlikely common ground for DeSantis and Elizabeth Warren. Politics is weird, man. Why is DeSantis criticizing Powell?

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RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, I'm glad you pointed that out, Dave. Well, this is actually a good tactic for Republicans on main street America. This reminds me of the old Tea Party attacks back when Ben Bernanke was chairman of the Fed. I mean, it's just easy to attack the Fed for something that goes wrong in the economy. To normal people, it seems like sort of a star chamber of elites, some kind of Illuminati in Washington, DC, that just does all this, you know, black magic and makes interest rates go up or down.

Sometimes when Republicans take shots at the Fed, it's kind of a cheap shot. I'm not sure this is that much of a cheap shot because there are a number of mainstream economists, both Democrats and Republicans, who are pretty critical of the Fed for, first of all, pushing so much money into the economy during COVID and then waiting so long to start raising rates, even when it seemed pretty clear we had inflation on the way.

And as you pointed out, on the left Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, she's been one of the Fed's biggest critics. I think her criticisms are a little bit different. She's saying that the Fed needs to just back off on interest rates because it's trying to put people out of work.

But this is one of those sort of, you know, time-warp issues where if you go around to the extremes of the parties enough, you meet on the other side, and that seems to be where Ron DeSantis and Elizabeth Warren have met. So I'm not sure they're going to get together on this, but they are kind of saying the same thing.

DAVE BRIGGS: The thing is about making Powell your boogeyman, yes, 100% of our audience knows who he is. I would wager 75% of the American people who have no idea who Jerome Powell is or really what the Fed does. So that's an interesting enemy to take on.

But I think the few days after the Trump indictment were going to be really fascinating, Rick, because I wanted to see if anyone would criticize former President Trump. And if you can't draw a distinction between yourself and a man who's been indicted for having an affair with a porn star and covered up the hush-money payments to her, how in the world can you win a primary against him?

RICK NEWMAN: This is DeSantis's entire problem. I've seen some analysis sort of establishing four character types for Republicans running for the election in 2024. One is Trump himself, and then there are other candidates who are Trumpy but they're not Trump, and that is DeSantis.

So perhaps, you know, it's possible that one little crack here DeSantis is trying to create is he can say, well, everybody knows Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, has messed up the economy, and guess who appointed Jerome Powell the first time around? That was Donald Trump. Maybe he's going to go there at some point. I kind of agree with you. That doesn't seem like a real distinctive differentiation with Trump.

Here's what I am guessing that some of the candidates are waiting for in the next couple of months. We know there are going to be more charges against Trump. They're probably going to be more serious and have heavier consequences than the ones we saw charged this week. In fact, in just a few weeks, there is going to be a civil case related to charges of rape and defamation against Trump, and I think we're going to have some upcoming cases that are going to make it easier for Republicans to criticize Trump because, you know what went on with the New York district attorney getting lost in translation a little bit. You know, it has to do with these payments that went from-- they bounced from one account to another, and that somehow turned into a crime. That's a little bit hazy.

When you get into a rape allegation, not so hazy. So I don't think you're going to see-- depending on the outcome of that trial, I'm not sure you're going to see so many Republicans rushing to defend Trump on that and some of the other stuff that's coming-- possible voter fraud in Georgia, possible obstruction of justice with national-security implications at the federal level.