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CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona said Sunday on Inside Politics that Democrats have been “privately panicking” over President Biden’s inflation message 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 that go?” She asked.
“Not good, to say the least, listen Democrats, they’ve been panicking privately. They’ve been saying for months that in December they started urging the White House to get inflation under control, start talking about this issue,” Zanona said.
Inflation rose to 8.6% in May, hitting another 40-year high.
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She said that pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to get bills on the House floor “even if it’s just about voting” to show voters they’re acting on it.
When officials got to the hill, they urged Congress to “blame other people, blame corporate greed for talking about what we’re doing legally to talk about these issues,” according to Zanona .
She said Democrats didn’t feel “armed” with any method of sending the inflation message after the meeting, adding that officials were late for the meeting.
“It’s never good to be late for 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 attempting to balance the poor economic data by doubting a recession was not inevitable. She compared it to the administration’s early messages on inflation, when the president and government said inflation was “temporary” and would ease after a few months.
Biden said during an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday that a recession is not “inevitable.”
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He also said the idea that America’s bailout caused inflation was “bizarre”.
“Of course that didn’t happen, so you see the White House doing its best at this point months before the midterms to really try to get a foothold on the inflation messages, but it really remains to be seen if that will be the case work because voters grapple with gas prices and food prices every day. So some kind of presidential resistance can only go so far,” Parti said.
New York Times correspondent Jonathon Martin said high gas prices, inflation and more were difficult for Biden to overcome.
“I think the Democrats’ frustration is that the Biden people have known this for months and that there still isn’t a clear plan to confront it other than try to turn the tables, but even Biden isn’t doing that consistently . I think that’s another frustration too,” he continued.
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Parti also noted that the President is slow to act and make decisions.
Democrats were frustrated “because he’s so slow at figuring out these things, not just rates but student loans.” He kind of did it slowly,” she said.
The President and his administration have repeatedly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and the COVID-19 pandemic for inflation and high gas prices.