Economic Analyst Battles Reality TV Star on the Economy… and It Goes Exactly As You’d Expect


On CNN Tonight Monday, host Don Lemon welcomed two people to spar over Donald Trump‘s newly-unveiled economic policy proposals. In this corner, CNN’s Ali Velshi, a global affairs and economic analyst and clearly a professional on the matter.

And in this corner, Katrina Campins, a participant on Season 1 of The Apprentice.

To her credit, Campins is also a successful real estate figure in her own right, and as Velshi correctly pointed out at one point, “Katrina, you’re very smart.” However, this battle was one-sided from the beginning, with Velshi multiple times questioning the very premise of what Campins was even talking about.

While the Republican nominee for President has long offered that the United States is losing on trade — opting for nativist rhetoric that protects and prioritizes our own self interests over those of our global trade partners — it’s an approach that Velshi argues is wildly unstable. In essence, we’re exporting more than we’re importing — “Trump’s more sophisticated argument, if he were to make it,” Velshi points out.

Where Campins attempted to equate Trump’s potential 2016 economy with that of every other President in American history, it’s simply a comparison that can not cogently be made. “Katrina, you’re really smart, I don’t know where you’re coming up with these things from,” Velshi said at one point.

“It’s naive. It’s unsophisticated. It sounds nice. It won’t happen,” he continued.

At one point Campins floated a statistic that President Obama is the first President in history not to, “experience at least 3% GDP growth.” Velshi seemed equally confused by the argument:

“I’m not disputing that statistic. It’s an interesting one. I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean to me. I may be the first economic journalist who didn’t have a single hair on his head. I don’t know what the relevance is of that statement.”

When Campins tried to made it a partisan issue by offering, “Do you believe that Obama and Hillary’s path towards socialism is the path forward for the United States of America?” she was met with blank stares.

“I dispute the premise of the question,” replied Velshi.

Even Don Lemon from the sidelines chimed in, “Yeah we’re getting off topic here.”

Watch the debate above from CNN.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrect identified Campins as the Season 1 Apprentice winner.

[image via screengrab]

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