On Tuesday, President Joe Biden met with Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell to discuss disinflation. Meanwhile, his White House held a press briefing with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, economic adviser Brian Deese, and some members of the South Korean musical act BTS.
Jean-Pierre fielded some questions and tried to deflect responsibility away from Biden — until one Fox News star stepped up.
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Peter Doocy, the White House correspondent at Fox News, asked, “Does President Biden take any responsibility for his policies potentially contributing to inflation?”
Jean-Pierre sidestepped the question, and she characterized Russian President Vladimir Putin as the sole cause of inflation.
“His policies has helped the economy get back on its feet. That’s what his policy has — his policies has done,” Jean-Pierre responded, according to the White House transcript. “This — when we talk about the gas prices right now, this is indeed Putin’s gas hike.”
Jean-Pierre was presumably touting Biden’s role in GDP recovery and putting the economy “back on its feet.” She neglected to answer the question about inflation, a different issue.
Plus, inflation can have more than one cause. It can stem both from Putin’s war and from Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Even liberal outlets like Vox have run “explainers” linking the American Rescue Plan to some amount of inflation.
Take a look at Jean-Pierre’s exchange —
Doocy: "Does President Biden take any responsibility for his policies potentially contributing to inflation?"
Karine Jean-Pierre: "His policies has [sic] helped the economy gets back on its feet. That's what his policies has [sic] — his policies has [sic] done." pic.twitter.com/vYGpboygRc
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 31, 2022
Jean-Pierre also discussed gun control, hate crimes, and Korean pop music. She made the remark about inflation during a longer exchange with Doocy, in which she mentioned Putin several times.
Doocy remarked, “You just mentioned Putin a few times… as a reason for recent inflation. Do you guys think that any part of inflation this year is because of President Biden’s spending plans, or is it all Putin’s fault?”
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Jean-Pierre continued harping on Putin, and she credited the American Rescue Plan with low unemployment.
Well, what I can say is we are — and Brian just spoke to this: We are at a historic place when it comes to the economy, when it comes to unemployment being at the lowest that we have seen in some time, when it comes to the President creating more jobs in his first term — his first year than any other President — eight point — more than 8.5 million jobs.
Now we’re going to a place where it’s being — we’re going into transition, where we’re going to see an economy that’s more stable, that’s more steady. So that’s because of the American Rescue Plan that we — that the President signed into law that no Republican signed — or voted for, I should say.
And all of that work that he’s done the first year has led us to a place where there are more jobs out there, more jobs are being created — that we are in a place where we’re seeing economic growth.
Now — and also, as I’ve stated, this is an unprecedented time with COVID. This is an unprecedented time with the war. And so that — that Putin has created and started on Ukraine. And so, we have seen — data has shown us, since — since these past couple of months — since the war, we have seen an uptick on gas prices…
And so, the President — his goal right now and what he is frustrated about is what the peop- — what the American people have to go through and what they are trying to deal with, as they are — as they are around their kitchen table. So that is his focus right now.
The Horn editorial team