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White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein spoke to Fox News moments after a panel of swing-state voters criticized President Biden over inflation and perceived inaction on the energy crisis, telling the network he needed to “fact check” some voters’ pronouncements.
One voter who reportedly owned a towing business was exasperated at fuel prices, and Bernstein started by thanking the voters for their input but took exception to the woman’s claim gas has only fallen a “couple of 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 why the president gets out every time he can to listen to voices like that and others,” Bernstein said.
“The message one hears loud and clear from that group and similar groups like that is ‘inflation is unacceptably high’ – Now, that’s a quote from the president of the United States. So we couldn’t share that sentiment more closely.”
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In terms of the voter’s gas-price criticism, Bernstein said Biden has indeed been successful in overseeing a more marked price-drop than perceived.
“I do think, though, that there’s a couple of fact-checks I want to do. Someone said that they thought the gas price had come down a couple of cents. That’s just factually incorrect. It’s down $0.83 off of its peak since mid -June,” he said.
Biden himself tweeted that exact figure earlier Tuesday, calling it “the fastest decline in over a decade” – though with various respondents claiming the drop itself was negligible on the whole because it is still elevated compared to Trump-era figures.
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On “The Story,” host Martha MacCallum pushed back on Bernstein, noting the voter in question utilizes diesel fuel which has been even further elevated above the typically-reported national averages, which tend to cite 87-octane petrol.
Bernstein replied that just as with standard unleaded, diesel fuel has dropped as well in the past months, more than stated.
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“To say that diesel fuel has come down a couple of cents is absolutely incorrect. OK…,” he said, adding while he and Biden find US inflation unacceptably high, it is reportedly still at a lower percentage than England and the European Union.
MacCallum replied voters tend not to care about comparative inflation rates because they are both living in the US and also believe the US should be proverbially “exceptional” compared to European governments, which she also noted includes many socialist states.
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Bernstein replied that for those who believe inflation is Biden’s fault, making comparisons is justified because the Delaware Democrat is not the United Kingdom’s prime minister or the like.
“Look, you made a great point, though, which is that we people need to see us doing everything we can to help them. And I think if they look, that’s exactly what they’ll see.”