CNN anchor Jake Tapper grilled a top Biden official Wednesday over dismal inflation numbers that show the U.S. economy is continuing its downward spiral.
The consumer price index showed that year-over-year inflation spiked 9.1% in June, a worrying figure that outpaced every expert prediction. The Biden administration downplayed the seriousness of the figure, repeatedly claiming it is “backward-looking” and does not reflect present-day reality.
What happened on CNN?
Tapper directly confronted Cecilia Rouse, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, over why the Biden administration is only talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
“I just feel like every month, one of you nice people from the White House comes on the show to talk about inflation, and you talk about these tools in the president’s tool kit and you don’t use them. You don’t use these tools,” Tapper confronted. “Meanwhile, prices are still going up.”
In response, Rouse deflected responsibility from the Biden administration. She explained that Biden is doing everything in his power to help the economy and said it is time for Congress “to act.”
“[Biden is] the Democratic president and the Congress is controlled by Democrats,” Tapper shot back. “So, it’s not as though you guys don’t have each other’s phone numbers.”
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Tapper even confronted Rouse over the Biden administration’s repeated insistence that inflation has hit its peak, reminding Rouse that last December Biden told reporters inflation would go no higher.
“It just seems clear that the Biden administration has misjudged how bad inflation was going to get — for months and months and months,” Tapper noted.
Instead of assuming some responsibility for the inflation crisis or admitting the administration was wrong about the trajectory of inflation (the administration claimed for months that it was only transitory), Rouse recycled the administration’s overused talking points: The war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic are to blame for inflation.
Rouse ended the interview by saying Americans are fighting economic woes from a “position of relative strength,” words that ring hollow to most Americans, especially when coming from a high-paid government official.