BOSTON (CBS) – This hasn’t been a very good week for President Trump, and things will likely get worse for him before they get better. And Wednesday, he had this to say during a commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy:
“No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
Quite a sweeping assertion, one that merits a quick fact check.
It’s hard to measure unfairness in real time – that depends on what we learn about the truth of the charges and criticisms he is reaction to. But we can assess the hostility presidents often face, and thus have some context to weigh the president’s claim.
Andrew Johnson, the president who succeeded Lincoln, was widely reviled and was actually impeached, although the law used to impeach him was later ruled unconstitutional. Now that’s unfair.
Herbert Hoover inherited the Great Depression, and was unfairly blamed for it.
And you don’t have to go back that far to find presidents who ran a harsh gauntlet.
Jimmy Carter was ridiculed for everything from long gas lines to jogging, and was quickly shown the door after one term.
George H.W. Bush saw his popularity collapse while being mocked for seeming to be impressed by a supermarket checkout scanner.
His son George was derided as a bumbling idiot by Democrats and media alike.
And Barack Obama saw his very citizenship falsely challenged.
It’s been a bumpy ride for Trump, no doubt. He entered office as the least-popular new president in memory. But a sure thing as most unfairly-treated president ever?