Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman doesn't seem to get Cornel West's critique of President Obama, West told HuffPost Live on Wednesday.
In a recent Rolling Stone cover story, Krugman stood up for Obama and called out West for his fierce criticism of the president. Krugman argued that the "current wave of Obama-bashing" coming from both sides of the aisle is unwarranted. As he sees it, the commander-in-chief's progress on certain issues, like the economy, health care and national security, has made him one of the most "successful presidents in American history." Krugman went on to lambast Obama's liberal critics, like West, for denouncing the president as one who "posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit."
West challenged Krugman in an interview with host Marc Lamont Hill, saying that the Princeton professor fundamentally misunderstood his comments.
"Paul, he’s wrong. He’s my dear brother and I appreciate his contribution, but he’s wrong about that," West said. "The claim from the left is not [that] Obama's eloquence would have pushed through against the Republicans' entrenched position."
West argued his assessment included valid economic criticisms from the left, including dissatisfaction with Obama's pandering to Wall Street following the financial crisis and his weak push for the stimulus bill. West said that Krugman's incorrect interpretation of the leftist critique distracted from such valid criticisms.
"[Krugman’s critique is] a red herring for the left. So you can dismiss that, but you can’t dismiss the substantial leftist critique," he said. "Brother Krugman, he is a dyed-in-the-wool, genuine, progressive liberal. He’s not a leftist."
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