As America prepares to enter a summer of inflation and high gas prices, Peter Doocy of Fox News grilled the White House Press Secretary on Tuesday about whether the Biden administration still blames Russia’s Vladimir Putin for the current economic situation.
"And 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?" asked Doocy.
Karine Jean-Pierre’s response:
"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. More than 8.5 million jobs."
On Monday, Biden published an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal where he outlined his plans for fighting inflation. He met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to discuss the matter on Tuesday.
The White House press secretary in her response echoed the talking points mentioned in Biden’s piece:
"Now, we’re going to a place where we’re going into transition. 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] Putin has created and started, on Ukraine. And so we have seen, data has shown us, since these past couple of months, since the war, we have seen an uptick on gas prices."
In a follow-up, Peter Doocy asked: "Does President Biden take any responsibility for his policies potentially contributing to inflation?"
"His policies [have] helped the economy get back on its feet. That’s what his policies [have] done," Jean-Pierre responded.
She reiterated: "When we talk about the gas prices right now, this is indeed Putin’s gas hike. This is what we have seen in the most recent months, of what we’re seeing at the gas pump. And so that is a fact. We have seen about a 60 percent increase in the past several months and because of the amassing and his invasion of Ukraine, and so the President his goal right now, and what he is frustrated about, is what the American people have to go through, and what they are trying to deal with, as they are around their kitchen tables. So that is his focus right now.”
President Biden signed an Executive Order to ban Russian oil, coal, and natural gas imports into the United States back in early March. In his public address he asserted that it would target "the main artery of Russia's economy," but even CBS News recently reported that Russian ruble is the "strongest currency in the world" so far this year.
The average price for a gallon of gas in California surpassed six dollars over Memorial Day weekend, with the national average setting yet again another record on Tuesday at $4.62 per gallon.
Peter Doocy asked the former press secretary, Jen Psaki, the same questions about the White House’s economic blame game back in March. The current press secretary also blamed Putin for high gas prices when Doocy previously posed the question nearly two weeks ago.