White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appears to be trying to blunt the impact of today’s expected inflation numbers, warning they will be “extraordinarily elevated.”
She was quick to focus blame for soaring inflation rates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite it trending upward since the day President Biden entered the White House.
“We expect March CPI headline inflation to be extraordinarily elevated due to Putin’s price hike,” Psaki told reporters at a press briefing Wednesday.
“We expect a large difference between core and headline inflation, reflecting the global disruptions in energy and food markets,” she added.
Listen to how many times she packs the phrase ‘Putin price hike’ or references to the Russian President in the span of the following 60-second clip.
PSAKI: Tomorrow’s inflation reading is expected to be “extraordinarily elevated.” pic.twitter.com/zaAdp9mpnc
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 11, 2022
Extraordinarily Elevated Inflation Due to ‘Putin’s Price Hike’
Psaki’s harrowing prediction comes as consumer prices spiked last month at a new 40-year high of 7.9% from the previous February according to numbers provided by the Labor Department. Month over month, prices spiked at 0.8%.
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March data is expected to be even worse according to outlets such as Axios and U.S. News.
“Get ready for a nasty inflation report,” Axios reported Monday. “A new inflation reading is due out Tuesday morning, and it looks to be a doozy.”
The inflation number is “likely to be ugly for March,” writes U.S. News & World Report.
Axios adds, “Gasoline prices alone are a major culprit” with “the average gallon of gasoline cost $4.08 in March, according to government data, up 20% from February.”
Axios: Get ready for a nasty inflation report
“A new inflation reading is due out Tuesday morning, and it looks to be a doozy.” https://t.co/uuaHIIKIcU
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 11, 2022
It’s Going to Be Bad
Psaki continued by addressing the gas price situation as if they only started rising due to ‘Putin’s price hike.’
“At times, gas prices were more than one dollar above pre-invasion levels, so that roughly 25% increase in gas prices will drive tomorrow’s inflation reading,” Psaki said.
Lest we forget that despite the handy catchphrase, the price increases in February reflected the 12 months ending in February and didn’t include the oil and gas price surges that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of that month.
Nice try, Jen.
The White House press secretary was confronted by a reporter who pointed out that rising inflation predated Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Jen Psaki blames everything except for the Biden administration for inflation when pressed about how Americans realize that Biden’s inflation predates Putin’s invasion. pic.twitter.com/NoWe4VTpdU
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 11, 2022
She Also Continues To Blame The Pandemic
Psaki insisted Putin’s invasion was mostly to blame.
“We talked about inflation long before there was an invasion,” she replied. “But we also know that factually … it’s about a 25 percent, we’ve seen, increase in gas prices since the start of this invasion. And we know energy prices is a big driver of the inflation data.”
But then, she pivoted to the old pandemic blame game as well.
“We’ve long talked about, since at least I started this job since the President came into office, the impacts of the pandemic on supply chains, how that’s impacted a range of costs, and steps we’re taking to address those,” she explained.
Whose fault is that?
Don’t believe your eyes, bank statement, or data https://t.co/8cjMQlTAdf
— Sarah (@sarah_wxtx) April 11, 2022
Americans Losing Patience With Biden
To answer the previous question – America is beginning to view President Biden’s handling of inflation in a negative light.
CBS News reports “the rising costs of food, gas and rent have Americans concerned, and it’s taking a toll on President Biden’s approval rating.”
A new poll, they write, “suggests Americans may be losing patience with Biden on the economy.”
In that CBS News/YouGov poll, roughly 69% of respondents disapproved of Biden’s handling of inflation. Even among Democrats, 41% disapproved of how Biden is addressing inflation.
It’s Biden’s price hike.
Former Obama adviser Steven Rattner slammed the administration last month for trying to pin record-high inflation on Putin saying President Biden needs to “own it.”
Well, no. These are Feb #’s and only include small Russia effect. This is Biden’s inflation and he needs to own it. https://t.co/WsJjn6picV
— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) March 10, 2022
The reality is consumer prices have risen at or above 5% year-over-year for 11 months and counting.
UPDATE: The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released the new numbers, with inflation rising year-over-year at a rate of 8.5%. It marks the biggest spike since December of 1981.