Billionaire Donald Trump sees economic clouds hovering above the U.S. economy. And if it's going to rain, he wants the precipitation to fall while President Barack Obama is still in the White House.
"Remember the word bubble? You heard it here first," the Republican presidential front-runner told about 1,200 people at a rally Saturday afternoon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "I don't want to sound rude, but I hope if it explodes, it's going to be now, rather than two months into another administration."
With the unemployment rate on the decline, the Federal Reserve on Dec. 16 raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2006, after deciding the U.S. economy is now performing well enough that it could make the move.
"We could be on a bubble and that bubble could crash and it's not going to be a pretty picture," said Trump, whose boasts about his ability to anticipate the market have aroused some skepticism among investment professionals. "The market has gone down big league the last couple of weeks. We could be in a big fat bubble and if that bubble crashes, it's a problem."
Economic gloom aside, Trump did wish his supporters a Merry Christmas as he took the stage. Then, less than 30 seconds after the holiday greeting, he restarted his ongoing feud with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the most aggressive in confronting Trump among his eight opponents on stage at Tuesday's prime-time Republican debate in Las Vegas.
"It was so sad to watch him, so sad, Bush," Trump said to laughter. "No, it was just sad. Close to incompetent. You look at that. It was terrible."
The real estate mogul also trashed congressional Republicans for supporting a newly-passed $1.1 trillion spending plan that received bipartisan support.
"I couldn't believe that they did it," Trump said. "The Republicans are supposed to stop it."
Trump called the budget a "disaster" and criticized the nation's level of debt. "We're printing money," he said. "We have debt like we've never had before."