Fox News Host Challenges White House Official on Biden’s Alleged Misrepresentation of Inflation Rate from Previous Administration

The‍ summary covers Fox Business host Neil Cavuto’s challenging stance against White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernstein regarding President Biden’s ‌alleged misrepresentation of ​inheriting a 9% inflation rate. Cavuto’s persistence in exposing inconsistencies in Biden’s claims was evident in ⁣their exchange, ​revealing a critical analysis of the situation. The summary highlights Fox Business host Neil Cavuto’s firm‌ stance‌ against White House​ Council of Economic Advisers Chair ‍Jared Bernstein on President Biden’s purported ​misrepresentation of inheriting a 9% inflation rate. Cavuto’s tenacity in revealing discrepancies in‍ Biden’s statements⁤ showcased a thorough scrutiny of the matter.


By Randy DeSoto May 18, 2024 at 7:10am

Fox Business host Neil Cavuto was not having it when White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernstein tried to explain away President Joe Biden’s repeated claims that the inflation rate was 9 percent when he took office in January 2021.

Biden referenced that 9 percent statistic both during a CNN interview on May 8 and a Yahoo Finance interview on Tuesday. Multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press and The Washington Post, have now fact-checked that claim to be false.

In fact, the Post even gave the president its worst rating of Four Pinocchios.

“No president has had the run we’ve had in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation,” the president said during the CNN interview. “It was 9 percent when I came to office.”

Biden also made the false claim during a news conference last month with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. “We have dramatically reduced inflation from 9 percent down to close to 3 percent,” he contended. “We’re in a situation where we’re better situated than we were when we took office where inflation was skyrocketing.”

Inflation was at 1.4 percent when Biden took over from former President Donald Trump, both the AP and the Post noted.

The inflation rate hovered mostly between 1 percent and 2 percent throughout much of Trump’s time in office, though it did hit as high as 2.9 percent in 2018.

In contrast, the last time inflation has been below 3 percent with Biden in charge was March 2021. It hit a high of 9.1 percent in June 2022, about a year and a half into his presidency.

Do you think Trump handled the economy better than Biden?

Cavuto pressed Bernstein over Biden’s false assertion that he inherited a 9 percent inflation rate.

“Why does he keep saying that?” Cavuto asked.

“First of all, let me point out that in that very quote you played, the president talked about how concerned he was for households struggling with prices,” Bernstein began to answer before Cavuto cut him off.

“That’s not what I asked you. Why does he keep misrepresenting this?” the host pressed.

“He’s making the point that the factors that caused inflation to climb to 9 percent were in place when he took office,” Bernstein said.

“No! That’s not what he said,” Cavuto shot back. “He said it was at 9 percent. It would eventually get to 9 percent a little over a year after that, but the fact of the matter is it wasn’t 9 percent, so if I can’t trust him with quoting data in real time, why should I believe what he’s talking about now?”

“So the annual growth in core inflation in the second quarter of 2021 was in fact about 9 percent, and his point about inflation down 60 percent off its peak is very much the case,” Bernstein answered.

“No, it wasn’t,” Cavuto said. “It was not at that, so you’re almost as bad as he is. Why can’t you just say it was high? It got as high as 9 percent. You’d be accurate in saying that.”

“You’re just lying” to try to hang it on Trump, the Fox host asserted.

“Now, hold on. I hear you.” Berstein said, finally conceding some ground.

He reiterated that Biden was trying to make a point that is “unequivocally true,” namely that the factors which took inflation to 9 percent were in place when he took office.

“That is not what he said, Jared,” Cavuto again noted.

“Look, I think what the American people care most about is…” Bernstein began to say.

“Is truth!” Cavuto interrupted. “The American people care about truth.”

“This only works if you let me talk,” Bernstein replied.

“You haven’t answered my question. I’ve asked you five times, five ways,” Cavuto said.

Bernstein then fell back on his talking point that the factors which caused inflation were in place when Biden entered office.

“Oh, boy, all right,” Cavuto said.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre offered essentially the same answer that Bernstein did when asked about Biden’s 9 percent inflation rate claim.

Q: Why did Biden claim, twice in one week, that inflation was 9% when he took office — when it was really 1.4%?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Well, uh, you see….

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 15, 2024

“The point that he was making is that the factors that caused inflation was in place when he walked into the administration, when he took office,” she said.

“As you know, the pandemic caused inflation around the world by disrupting our economy and breaking our supply chains.”

There is no doubt the lockdowns had an impact on the economy. But for the entire first year of them under Trump, inflation remained mostly below 2 percent and, as previously noted, was 1.4 percent when he left office in January 2021, as well as 1.7 percent the following month.

However, by April 2021, inflation had shot up to 4.2 percent and continued on an upward ascent until peaking in June 2022 at 9.1 percent.

It remained above 6 percent at the beginning of last year before finally dropping to 3 percent.

Former Trump and Reagan administration economist Larry Kudlow explained in May 2022 that as price spikes were hitting their highest, “You had prominent Democrat economists and Republican economists a year ago predict rising inflation because of huge social spending, aggregate demand increasing, deficit financing, too much borrowing and too much money printing.”

“And then you had the war against fossil fuels at exactly the wrong time,” he added, referring to Biden’s policy of restricting oil production on federal lands and offshore, which helped send fuel costs spiking. Gas prices remain over 50 percent higher than when Trump was in office.

In a February 2021 opinion piece for The Washington Post, former Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Larry Summers wrote that passing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan as the economy was already well on its way to recovery would “set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation, with consequences for the value of the dollar and financial stability.”

After it passed in March, Summers called it “the least responsible macroeconomic policy we’ve had in the last 40 years.”

Further, former Obama administration Treasury Department official Steven Rattner in a November 2021 article for The New York Times identified the American Rescue Plan as the “original sin” leading to the current high inflation rate.

He pointed to Summers’ warning, as well as “many others.”

“We worried that shoveling an unprecedented amount of spending into an economy already on the road to recovery would mean too much money chasing too few goods,” Rattner wrote.

Remember that inflation began significantly rising by April with passage of the spending and implementation of Biden’s new restrictive energy policies.

The Democrats have since passed the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act, with costs on green initiatives alone expected to exceed $1 trillion, and the $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill, pouring more Federal Reserve money into the economy.

The reason inflation has come down is because the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times in recent years and the new Republican House has at least put some restraint on the Democrats’ proclivity to spend trillions of dollars we do not have.

Good job, Cavuto, for holding the Biden White House’s feet to the fire.

The president did not inherit 9 percent inflation; he and the Democrats created it.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”


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