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CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona told “Inside Politics” on Sunday that Democrats have been “privately freaking out” over President Biden’s inflation messaging for months.
“Inside Politics” host Abby Philip asked Zanona about a meeting Democrats had with White House aides on the Hill last week. ” How did it go ? ” she asked.
“Not good, to put it mildly, listen, Democrats, they’re privately freaking out. They’ve been saying for months, in December, they started pressuring the White House to get inflation under control, start talking about this problem,” Zanona said.
Inflation soared to 8.6% in May, reaching a new 40-year high.
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She said it prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to get bills introduced in the House, “even if her messages are just voting,” in a bid to show voters they’re taking action. result.
When officials arrived on the Hill, they told Congress to “blame others, blame corporate greed, start talking about what we’re doing legislatively to talk about these issues,” according to Zanona.
She said Democrats did not feel “armed” with a method of messaging about inflation after the meeting, adding that officials were late to the meeting.
“It’s never good to be late to a meeting like this,” Phillip said. Another panelist said it was “on brand”.
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Wall Street Journal reporter Tarini Parti said earlier in the segment that the president was trying to put a positive spin on poor economic numbers by doubting a recession was not inevitable. She compared it to the administration’s early messages on inflation, when the president and administration said inflation was “transient” and would subside after a few months.
Biden, during an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, said a recession was not “inevitable.”
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He also said the idea that the US bailout was causing inflation was “bizarre”.
“Of course that hasn’t happened, so you see the White House doing its best at this point months before the midterm elections to really try to find its footing in inflation messaging, but it really remains to be seen if this is going to work because voters are struggling every day with gas prices, with food prices. So some sort of pushback from the president can only go so far,” Party said.
New York Times correspondent Jonathon Martin said high gas prices, inflation and more would be difficult for Biden to overcome.
“I think the frustration for Democrats is that the Biden people have known this for months now and there’s still no clear plan to deal with it beyond trying to turn the tables on the GOP. , but even Biden doesn’t do it consistently. I think that’s another frustration as well,” he continued.
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Party also noted that the president has been slow to act and make decisions.
Democrats were frustrated “because he’s been so slow to figure out these things, not just tariffs but also student loans. He’s been kind of slow to walk on that,” she said.
The president and his administration have consistently blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and the COVID-19 pandemic for inflation and high gasoline prices.