First it was quick-tempered former basketball coach Bobby Knight. Now another long-time college coach has come out with an endorsement of Donald Trump.
Former Notre Dame University football coach Lou Holtz joined Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade to explain why he announced three days ago that he is backing Donald Trump for president. Holtz spent several years coaching at the University of Arkansas, and has previously donated to Hillary Clinton, although the record shows that most of his political contributions have gone to Republicans in the past.
Holtz offered one reason for endorsing Trump when he made his announcement. You’ve probably never heard a national figure offer support to a presidential candidate by saying something like this before:
The main reason I’m endorsing him: I’ve played his golf course. I’ve stayed in his hotel. He does nothing but go first class in everything, he wants this country to be first class as well.
There you have it. A man who builds great hotels and golf courses will definitely make America great again, at least in the mind of a former football coach. Holtz should have stopped at that. But he offered some other reasons for backing Trump and got much of his information wrong.
Holtz starts out his list of things that he sees as being wrong with America by saying “we have fewer people working today than we have in the last 40 years.” To anybody who has been paying attention to more than football, that statistic probably doesn’t sound right, and it isn’t. In 1976, there were approximately 80 million non-farm employees in the U.S. As of January 2016, that number stands at about 143 million.
To be fair, Holtz is probably referring to the “labor participation rate,” a number used by some conservatives to claim that the employment situation isn’t as good as it seems. But what the coach probably doesn’t know, and what the people who are giving him this data won’t tell him, is that the labor participation rate is dropping in part because there are so many people like him around now — elderly Americans who are aging out of the work force. Thanks to the oldest of the baby boomers hitting retirement age over the past few years, there are more retired people now than ever before.
Holtz follows that by saying that “we have more people in poverty, more people on welfare, more people on food stamps.” In raw numbers he is correct. There are more people in poverty today than there were 40 years ago. But as he observed when talking about employment, that is because “we have a much larger population.”
The poverty rate has been stubbornly stagnant since the 2008 recession, but data shows that the rate, at least since 1990, has risen under Republican leadership and declined under Democratic leadership.
Then he shifts to Trump’s big issue: border protection. “We don’t protect our borders,” Holtz says. But there are more agents assigned to border security now than under previous presidents. President Obama has deported more people than his predecessors, and more Mexicans are returning home than are trying to enter the U.S.
Of course Kilmeade just thinks that all this nonsense is wonderful, and never bothers to correct the coach or clarify anything he says. But why should he? It’s exactly the nonsense that Fox News has been spouting ever since President Obama took office. Maybe if Holtz wasn’t a Fox viewer he might still be a Hillary supporter.
Here’s what coach Holtz told Kilmeade about his Trump endorsement:
Featured image via Fox News screen capture