CNN host Abby Phillip called out President Joe Biden on Sunday for repeatedly refusing to accept responsibility for the historic surge of gas prices.
On Friday, Biden celebrated the positive jobs report, which showed the economy added more than 400,000 jobs in March. However, the report is a misleading indicator of economic health because employment remains 1.6 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, according to government data.
During a panel discussion on CNN’s “Inside Politics Sunday,” Axios reporter Hans Nichols described any positive news about the economy as “largely irrelevant” because of inflation and high gas prices, and Phillip agreed.
“There’s one number that they can’t really change right now. And that is what the placard says at the local gas station, and that number is high and that’s the daily jobs report that voters, Americans, consumers see every day,” Nichols said. “And there’s nothing the White House can do about it, other than bring down the price of gasoline.”
“And maybe blame Putin,” Phillip quipped, before beginning to criticize Biden for calling the gas price surge the “Putin price hike.”
“Look,” Nichols interjected, “when I’ve passed gas stations that say ‘blame Putin’ more than they say ‘Let’s go Brandon,’ I’ll know the White House has been successful in messaging.”
Phillip responded by calling Nichols’ observation “fascinating,” and she brought attention to polling that proves Biden’s messaging has failed.
“Take a look at this Quinnipiac poll. Americans just don’t buy that this is related to the war in Ukraine, and most of it, frankly, is not: 41% say it’s Biden’s policies, just 24% say the war in Ukraine, 24% also say the oil and gas companies are raising prices,” Phillip explained
“But the White House is trying to do both — blame Putin, blame the oil and gas companies — but Americans just don’t agree,” she observed.
Abby Phillip on rising gas prices
The fact that Americans blame Biden for economic problems is electorally disastrous for Democrats.
Polling overwhelmingly shows that Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and thus they are looking to Republicans, as indicated by generic ballot polling for the 2022 midterm elections, for solutions.
In fact, NBC News anchor Chuck Todd predicted last week that Democrats will face a “shellacking” in the upcoming elections because of voter sentiment toward the state of the economy and direction of the country.