The White House on Tuesday insisted that “global challenges” such as the conflict in Ukraine, and not President Joe Biden’s policies, are to blame for inflation in the US. Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted the economy remains strong and the government is in a “good position” to tackle the current headwinds.
“What we’re dealing with right now, is global challenges,” Jean-Pierre told ABC’s Good Morning America in an interview on Tuesday, arguing the US economy was in a crisis when Biden took office. Only Democrats voted for his American Rescue Plan, she said, and “it’s put us in a place where we are in a stronger economic position to deal with inflation.”
Jean-Pierre echoed that remark later in the day, at the White House press briefing dominated by actor Matthew McConaughey’s gun control speech.
“What we’re trying to say, what I’m trying to say to you, is that the economy is in a better place than it has been historically,” she told reporters.
Jean-Pierre also doubled down on the White House claim that gasoline prices spiked because of Russian actions in Ukraine, listing other countries where this happened as well – all of whom imposed sanctions against Moscow.
“I also want to add — because this is really important so that people understand and flag that similar issues are happening around the world. In the EU, gas is $8.15 per gallon. It has increased by $1.74. In Germany, gas is $8.88 per gallon. It has increased $2.16. In Canada, gas is $6.23 per gallon. It has increased $1.93,” she told reporters.
Fox News contributor and US Marine veteran Johnny Joey Jones fact-checked Jean-Pierre by pointing out that US gasoline prices had increased from $2.09 to $3.30 prior to the events in Ukraine, “and the embargoes didn’t start when the war started.”
“This is simply hot garbage,” Republican strategist Matt Whitlock commented on Jean-Pierre’s “better place” claim, calling it “word salad.” Whitlock pointed out that the US was suffering from a 40-year-high inflation and looking at an impending recession, with Biden not creating a single new job from the 2019 record, merely recovering some lost due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.