President Biden appeared to get defensive when asked during a Thursday interview if his energy policies were to blame for inflation.
In his first interview with The Associated Press, the president – running contrary to what many economists are forecasting after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates – said a recession was “not inevitable.”
“We’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation,” Biden said, pointing to 3.6% unemployment rate and America’s relatively strong standing in the world.
At the notion that his administration’s policies were responsible for the worst inflation in 40 years and record-high gas prices, the president reportedly bristled.
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“If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher? You ask yourself that? I’m not being a wise guy.”
Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later Thursday to explain Biden’s inflation comments, noting that the US has higher inflation than Germany, France, Japan, Canada, India, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.
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The latest figures on inflation for these countries indicate the following: Germany at 7.9%, France at 5.2%, Japan at 2.5%, India at 7.04%, Canada and Italy at 6.8%, and Saudi Arabia at 2.2%. Meanwhile, data released last week showed that US inflation rose in May to a four-decade high of 8.6%.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.