White House adviser checks voter outrage over high gas prices and inflation
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White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein spoke to Fox News moments after a panel of swing state voters slammed President Biden for inflation and perceived inaction on the energy crisis, telling the network it needed to “check the facts” of statements by some voters.
A voter who allegedly owned a towing business was infuriated by fuel prices, and Bernstein began by thanking voters for their input, but took issue with the woman’s claim that gas only went down by “a few cents” in recent weeks.
“First of all, it’s always good to hear voices from across the country like that. And that’s one of the reasons the president comes out whenever he can to listen to voices like that. there and others,” Bernstein said.
“The message heard loud and clear from this group and similar groups like this is ‘inflation is unacceptably high’ – now that’s a quote from the President of the United States. We so couldn’t share that sentiment any closer.”
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Regarding the voter’s criticism of gasoline prices, Bernstein said Biden had indeed managed to oversee a steeper-than-perceived decline in prices.
“I think, though, there are some fact checks I want to do. Someone said they think the price of petrol has gone down a few cents. That’s just factually incorrect. C is down $0.83 from its high since mid-June,” he said.
Biden himself tweeted that exact number earlier on Tuesday, calling it “the fastest decline in over a decade” – although various respondents say the decline itself was negligible overall as it is still high compared to Trump-era figures.
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On “The Story,” host Martha MacCallum pushed back at Bernstein, noting that the voter in question uses diesel fuel that’s been even higher above generally reported national averages, which tend to cite gasoline at 87 octane.
Bernstein responded that, just like standard unleaded, diesel fuel has also fallen in recent months, more than expected.
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“To say that diesel fuel is down a few cents is absolutely incorrect. OK…,” he said, adding that although he and Biden find US inflation unacceptable, it would still be at a lower percentage than in England and the European Union.
MacCallum replied that voters tend not to care about comparative inflation rates because they both live in the United States and also believe that the United States should be proverbially “exceptional” compared to European governments, which , she also noted, include many socialist states.
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Bernstein responded that for those who think inflation is Biden’s fault, drawing comparisons is warranted because the Democrat from Delaware is not the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom or the like.
“Listen, you brought up an important point, which is that we people need to see ourselves doing whatever we can to help them. And I think if they look, that’s exactly what they’ll see.