Trump touts economy as candidates challenge him on issues of guns and immigration

Democrats on the campaign trail countering the president's argument that he's the only one who can keep the economy strong
5:05 | 08/18/19

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Transcript for Trump touts economy as candidates challenge him on issues of guns and immigration
Now to the 2020 presidential race. Democrats on the campaign trail countering president trump's argument that he's the only one who can keep the economy strong. ABC's Rachel Scott is in new Jersey where the president is spending the weekend with more. Rachel, good morning. Reporter: Whit, good morning to you. The white house says the president has met with top advisers about the economy while here in New Jersey. But the 2020 democratic candidates say they see warning signs. The trump campaign said running on that issue isn't a winning strategy. Dream big. Reporter: The president's democratic rivals challenging him on a central part of his campaign message. The economy. The economy is in a very risky place right now and every day that goes by, Donald Trump makes it worse. The economy is falling apart on his watch. Reporter: Just days ago, the stock market experienced its worst day of the year with fears of a possible recession looming. 24 hours later, the president was still selling the economy. The United States, right now, has the hottest economy anywhere in the world. You have no choice but to vote for me. Because your 401(k)s down the tubes. Reporter: He claims the Democrats that want to drive up the tax. It's time for a wealth tax in America. Reporter: Out on the trail, the Democrats not only pushing back against the president's message on the economy but presenting a counter to his rhetoric as well. We have a president who's a racist. We will go to war against white nationalism. And racism. The first thing we need to do is, get the white nationalist currently in the oval office out of the oval office. Reporter: Beto O'rourke back on the campaign trail. With a new strategy, visiting communities he believes have been terrorized by the president. O'rourke stopping in Mississippi where those sweeping immigration raids took place. There's an attack on immigrants and specifically hispanics in this country right now under this administration. As the September democratic debate inches closer, some campaigns are scrambling to make the cut, Julian Castro asked voters to help him get across that line. Thank you. So much to talk about. Let's bring in Martha Raddatz who's in Washington, D.C., where she'll be co-hosting "This week." Fears of recession are really rising. Take a look at the front pages of today's papers. "The New York Times," is a new recession imminent? In the Washington post, signs that consumer strength is waning. How worried is the white house about an economic downturn here? Well, publicly, Dan, I think you've heard the president say this as well, he blames the fed for the stock market crash this week but privately they have to be worried. This is the number one campaign issue for president trump. He has to have a strong economy going into next year for this election to really work out well for him. From their point of view and many critics as well. So they want it to remain strong and there are strong signs for the economy despite these indicators that the indicators that the recession is possible. Lot of people say if he has a weak economy it will be very hard for him to win re-election and a major factor driving these concerns of a recession is the budding trade war that he's launched with China, that massive economy, and complicating matters even further in this relationship between the president of the United States and China is the situation in Hong Kong which we talked about just a few moments ago on the show, there are more protests going on as we speak, how do these protests play into our already-tricky relationship with China with so much at stake here? It is tricky. The president wants a trade deal with China and he hasn't gotten one. Those tariffs have been in place since last year. He's putting new tariffs on. He doesn't want to push China too hard on this. But the United States has always stood for human rights. There's some middle ground he's trying to walk. I don't know how successful he'll be if there's some sort of military confrontation and how the white house would deal with that if the Chinese move in on those protesters. And there are signs that they may do just that. Martha, thank you so much. Martha has a big show this morning. She'll speak with the white house trade adviser Peter Navarro. Plus, Georgia's Stacy Abrams talking about her new organization to combat voter suppression in 2020 that's all coming up on "This week" right here on ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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