Politics CNN Host Confronts Biden Adviser on June Remark Inflation Would 'Pop Up' and 'Go Back Down'
Inflation is bad. Infrastructure is good.
"Inflation" and "infrastructure" usually excite only professors and policy wonks, but everyday Americans need to bone up. © David Zalubowski/AP A motorist fills a vehicle with gasoline at a Shell station Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in southeast Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Infrastructure is the major accomplishment that could save President Joe Biden's presidency. Inflation is the force majeure that could doom it.Anyone filling up the tank in their gas guzzler can talk about inflation -- gas prices are creeping toward $4 per gallon.
CNN host Jake Tapper pressed White House economic adviser Brian Deese on Sunday over comments Presidentmade in June regarding inflation, which .
Biden said at the time, "By the way, talk of inflation, the overwhelming consensus is it's going to pop up a little bit and then go back down."
Biden forced to get real on inflation as the price of nearly everything shoots up
Rising consumer prices have quickly become one of the White House's most urgent concerns as Americans grow unsettled at the higher cost of goods -- and place the blame on President Joe Biden. © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images President Joe Biden speaks on the authorization of the Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, in Washington, DC on November 3.
Tapper also played a clip of Deese speaking about inflation then: "To the degree that people are focused on inflationary pressures in the short term, that really is not the issue," he said at the time.
"Do you think that you and the president were wrong and inflation is not a short-term, pop up a little bit and then go back down issue?" Tapper asked Deese.
"No, I don't think so, Jake," Deese responded. "I think what we have said consistently is that the pandemic and the economy are interlinked, and certainly we saw just as the Delta variant posed real health challenges to the economy, it also had economic impacts."
He added that "we're seeing these price increases, this inflation globally, because of the supply chain challenges associated with COVID. That's why we're going right at attacking those issues right now as well."
GOP sees inflation as winning issue
Republicans are looking at surging inflation as a winning issue as the party molds its attack lines against President Biden and down-ballot Democrats ahead of the midterms. Annual inflation jumped to 6.2 percent in October, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department, reaching the highest level in more than 30 years. Prices rose 0.9 percent last month alone, marking the third straight month of accelerating inflation. Republicans have spent months blaming Biden and Democrats for rising food and gas prices, and inflation was a central focus of Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin's (R ) successful bid for the Virginia governor's mansion.
Deese said that the administration is "working with ports around the country to get goods moving more quickly through the economy."
He called the infrastructure packagerecently passed "the most significant step that we will have taken in decades to actually invest in the arteries that help move goods" more cheaply and efficiently.
Tapper then pressed Deese over the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package the Biden admin pushed for, the American Rescue Plan. Tapper noted that Larry Summers, who served as a director of the National Economic Council under former President, considered the bill a major reason behind inflation.
"Is it possible that Americans are suffering now from high prices because the Biden administration overstimulated the economy with all of this money going into the economy?" Tapper asked.
"Well no, that's not our perspective. The American Rescue Plan saved us from an acute economic emergency," Deese said, noting that when Biden took office 18 million Americans were collecting unemployment benefits, and thousands were dying each day.
Joe Manchin and Larry Summers were both right about inflation but disagree on Biden's agenda. Who's right will determine the path of his presidency and the economy.
Manchin and Summers were both right to argue that inflation is bad and getting worse, but they disagree on Build Back Better. The stakes are massive.He's in his 60s or 70s, and he remembers when inflation was terrible in the 1970s - he's been warning about it ever since Joe Biden was elected president.
Deese also said that Summers agrees with the Biden administration that the' Build Back Better Act, a nearly $2 trillion social spending measure, won't add to inflation and "will actually improve the productive capacity of our economy."
Tapper then asked Deese when he thinks inflation is going to go back "below the 2 percent level considered normal."
Deese said most experts believe that inflation "will moderate next year."
"But I really think that...most Americans are less interested in predictions and they're more interested in actions and seeing concrete action to try to address these issues. That's what our focus is."
Poll: 77% of Americans now say inflation is personally affecting them — and 57% blame Biden .
More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) say inflation is affecting their lives as the holiday season begins, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — and a clear majority (57 percent) blame President Biden. Republicans (32 percent) are also far more likely than Democrats (8 percent) to identify inflation as America’s biggest problem right now, and to say that Biden isn’t doing enough to address it (87 percent). Yet inflation worries aren’t merely partisan. Nearly 7 in 10 Democrats (69 percent) say inflation affects their lives at least "some" — not all that many less than the number of independents (79 percent) and Republicans (90 percent) who say the same.