A member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers was pressed by Newsmax White House correspondent James Rosen on Monday for President Joe Biden taking no blame for record-high gas prices, but taking credit for a recent dip.
“Aren’t you having it both ways, Jared?” Rosen asked White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein at Monday’s daily press briefing. “Because when the gas prices go up, it’s got nothing to do with the president. When we see some decline, you want him to get the credit.”
Bernstein fumbled a bit at the start of his response, as seized on by the Republican National Committee Research account on Twitter: “Uh, look, I think that, uh, uh, that, uh…”
“There’s no both way thinking here at all,” Bernstein said, finally getting his response together. “I think there has been consistent, uh, I think, pressure on this White House to do everything it could to ameliorate inflationary pressures, and the president has reacted from the beginning, talking about how this was such an important priority to, uh, alleviate these pressures on behalf of the American people.
“So what did he do? He put his head down and got to work and got us to work to do everything we could to achieve that goal. He then presided over the largest, historical release of barrels of oil from the strategic reserve, 180 million barrels, then he talked to global partners to kick in another 60 million.”
Rosen interjected: “So it was [Russia’s Vladimir] Putin’s fault; when they’re coming down, he gets the credit.”
“I very much disagree with that framing,” Bernstein responded. “I think that what’s happening here is a president who is working tirelessly to address the largest constraint – probably the toughest constraint – facing American households right now.
“The budgetary impacts of these elevated prices and we’re showing you here today some real results, partially, that partially derive from concrete efforts he’s taking.”
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