Biden’s new press secretary isn’t doing a great job; maybe he can give Jen Psaki a raise or something because he needs her and her competence back desperately.
Such is what became more obvious than ever during the June 2nd press conference when FNC’s White House correspondent, Peter Doocy, pressed her over the inflation topic, something she had no interest in answering, and thus decided to get angry about instead.
It began when Doocy bluntly asked the White House when it would admit that it was wrong on the inflation topic, something that certainly wasn’t “transitory”, as Team Biden initially claimed, saying :
Okay. Another big topic. When are you guys going to admit that you were wrong about inflation?
Jean-Pierre, as could be expected, didn’t answer, but instead chuckled awkwardly and said “No easy questions today, huh?”
Doocy, undeterred, then followed up with a second question, saying “The Treasury Secretary says that she was wrong, so why doesn’t anybody here at the White House?”
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“Because we’re already plumbing the very bottom of support levels for Biden” is the honest answer, but that’s of course not what Jean-Pierre said. Instead, she went on a stutter-filled word salad about the inflation crisis “could have been foreseen”, saying:
Okay. Okay. So, look, what — what the Secretary was pointing out — this was talking about yesterday, when she was doing her hit with — her TV hit with CNN — is that there have been shocks to the economy that have exacerbated inflationary pressures, which couldn’t have been foreseen 18 months ago, including —
Doocy jumped in, testing her and not letting her get away with the lie, saying “Why not?”
She had no good answer, so she snapped back, saying “Well, let me — I’m — I’m trying to answer your question.”
Doocy again refused to let her off, saying “It’s a big problem.” Indeed it is, particularly for those Americans already struggling to pay their bills.
So Jean-Pierre tried to respond to Doocy with yet another word salad, saying:
I — I — hold on. I was just getting to the “Why not?” Including Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine, multiple successive variants of COVID, and lockdowns in China.
As she also noted during that interview, there has been historic growth and record job creation. And our goal is now to transition to steady and stable growth as inflation is brought down, as Brian Deese said yesterday to all of you when he was standing behind this podium.
So, the President’s economic plan, as we see it, is working. Just today, we learned that the manufacturing was up in May, building on the 545,000 manufacturing jobs that have been created since he took office — further proof that companies are investing in America, we are on a path to stable growth, and we are addressing supply chain problems.
Our plan to tackle inflation, lower costs reduces the deficit and respects the FDA’s [Fed’s] independence. It’s the best way for us to achieve sustainable and durable economic growth. So that’s how we’re — we’re doing — what — the work that we’re doing every day to make sure that we (inaudible) lower costs — well, higher costs.
Yes, she really tried to make the current economic situation sound like a good thing. Doocy, surprisingly ignoring that, followed up by sticking to the original question, saying “And just so that I under- — just that I understand: The Treasury Secretary says that she was wrong, but the White House was not wrong about inflation.”
And so Jean-Pierre followed up with yet another bit of nonsense, saying:
So here’s the thing: We have — we have achieved a — first of all, I explained to you what she was trying to say. So, I just laid that out. So those are your words, not my words. I just laid out what she was trying to say and try to explain in full- — in fullness her part and her answer.
We have achieved an historic recovery through an extraordinarily unprecedented economic moment. The President has consistently noted that the primary drivers of inflation are the pandemic and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The twists and turns of both these monumental events have affected energy prices and also food prices that we have seen these past several months. This is Putin’s price hike, which the President refers to, and that is what Secretary Yellen was referring to if you — if you read the entire transcript. And that’s what I’m — I’m trying to say to you, hopefully. Hopefully that lands.
No Karine, it didn’t “land”. You just made it obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about and won’t truthfully answer tough questions.