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BET Founder: 'You’ve Got to Give President an A+' on Economy

By Michael W. Chapman | July 10, 2019 | 4:22pm EDT
Robert Johnson (Getty Images)

Entrepreneur Robert Johnson, the co-founder of BET and America's first black billionaire, said the U.S. economy "is doing absolutely great" and "you've got to give the president an A+ for that." Johnson, a long-time Democrat, added that if a Democrat hopes to beat Trump in 2020, then "he or she is going to have to move to the center."

Johnson made his remarks during a July 9 interview with CNBC's Hadley Gamble

Asked about the economy, Johnson said, "I think the economy is doing absolutely great, and it's particularly reaching into populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs, unemployment and the opportunities that come with full employment."

"So, African-American unemployment is at its lowest level, Hispanic unemployment, women," he said.  "I give President Trump – and I said this before on SquawkBox – I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that's benefiting a large number of Americans."

Johnson, who currently has an estimated net worth of $600 million, continued, "I think the [2017] tax cuts clearly helped stimulate the economy. I think business people have a little bit more confidence in the way the economy is going, and I think it's beginning to have some impact globally."

"Overall, if you look at the U.S. economy, if you look at the number of people who are no longer looking for jobs but are now seeing the opportunity for job growth, you’ve got to give the president an A+ for that," said Johnson.

As for the 2020 presidential election, Johnson said, "Right now, I’m not taking a position on the Democratic Party.  I’ve long-time been a centrist in terms of Democratic politics.   The party, in my opinion, has moved, for me personally, too far to the left. And for that reason, I don't have a candidate in this particular -- in the party at this time."

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

"I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, that person, he or she is going to have to move to the center, and you can't wait too long to do that," said Johnson. 

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