President Joe Biden has repeatedly and routinely sought to blame rising inflation and high gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ordered invasion of Ukraine, but not everybody is buying that particular excuse.
That would include Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who confirmed during a Senate committee hearing Wednesday that the current inflation issue began long before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started, Fox Business reported.
Powell throws Biden under the bus
Fed Chair Powell appeared before the Senate Banking Committee to testify during a hearing Wednesday about his efforts to address rising inflation rates that have proven economically painful to millions of American families.
At one point in the hearing, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) pointed out that inflation stood at 1.4 percent in January 2021 when President Biden first took office and had risen to 7 percent by December of that year.
Since December, and including the Russian invasion that was launched in February, inflation has further increased incrementally from 7 percent to around 8.6 percent.
In light of those basic facts, Hagerty asked Powell, “Given how inflation has escalated over the past 18 months, would you say that the war in Ukraine is the primary driver of inflation in America?”
Powell replied, “No. Inflation was high before — certainly before the war in Ukraine broke out.”
Q: “Would you say that the war in Ukraine is the primary driver of inflation in America?”
Fed Chair Powell: “No. Inflation was high before, certainly before the war in Ukraine broke out.” pic.twitter.com/hu69s1ELoF
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 22, 2022
“I’m glad to hear you say that. The Biden administration seems to be intent on deflecting blame,” the senator said, according to Fox Business. Hagerty further noted that it was just this past weekend that Biden and others had “spread the misinformation that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was the ‘biggest single driver of inflation,'” and added, “I’m glad you agree with me that that is not the truth.”
Biden’s blame-shifting is both “dishonest” and “politically dumb”
As for President Biden’s repeated blame-shifting to Putin, National Review‘s Phillip Klein recently wrote that it was “incredibly dishonest” and “politically dumb,” in that “blaming Putin will not in any way absolve Biden of responsibility in the eyes of voters.”
“One of Biden’s pitches to voters during the campaign was that he would not be pushed around by Putin as Donald Trump,” Klein continued.
He added, “It does not particularly help Biden to send the message to Americans who are upset about skyrocketing gas and grocery prices that he is completely helpless to do anything because Putin orchestrated a massive invasion of a neighboring country on his watch. It just makes him look pathetic and weak.”