President Joe Biden on Thursday said Americans should pay higher gas prices for ‘as long as it takes’ as he doubled down on blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the United States’ domestic woes.
Biden, in a press conference wrapping up his NATO summit, addressed the high prices Americans are paying at the pump and the record high inflation facing the country even as he argued other nations have even higher prices.
And he angrily argued American is not going backwards under his presidency.
Domestic issues – abortion, gas prices, and the economy – dominated Biden’s press conference.
‘As long as it takes,’ the president said when asked how long Americans will pay nearly $5 a gallon at the pump. The average price of gas is $4.857.
He argued it was necessary to help Ukraine fight off Russia.
‘Russia cannot in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine. This is a critical critical position for the world,’ the president said.
President Joe Biden on Thursday said Americans should pay higher gas prices for ‘as long as it takes’
The average price of gas is $4.857
Biden, as he has done repeatedly in the past, blamed Russia’s war in the Ukraine. He cites ‘Putin’s price hike’ when he talks about the high costs Americans are paying for food and gas – costs that have contributed to high inflation.
‘Ultimately, the reason why gas prices are up is because of Russia, Russia, Russia,’ he said. ‘The reason why the food crisis exists is because of Russia – Russia not allowing the grain to get out of Ukraine.’
Biden has been under pressure to get gas prices down.
He pointed to the actions he’s taken to get prices down at the pump – including releasing oil from the strategic oil reserve and calling on Congress to levy a federal gas holiday through September.
But prices haven’t fallen much and experts say Biden’s actions would only save a few cents a gallon.
Biden, who is visiting Saudi Arabia next month, said he wasn’t going to ask the king or crown prince to release more oil.
‘I’m not gonna ask to him,’ he said. ‘I hope we see them in their own interest concluding that makes sense to do.’
‘I’ve indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not to the Saudis, particularly,’ Biden said.
Meanwhile, the OPEC oil cartel and allied producing nations decided Thursday to boost oil production of crude by an amount that will do little to relieve gas prices.
The increase of 648,000 barrels per day in August still leaves the world hungry for oil.
The White House has downplayed Biden’s trip, pushing back against questions on his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The administration has repeatedly said the upcoming trip is a meeting with heads of Gulf nations.
President Biden argued other countries have a higher rate of inflation, despite data that shows the opposite
Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development from April 2021 until April 2022 shows U.S. inflation has been rising steadily above all other nations
The president also argued other countries have a higher rate of inflation, despite data that shows the opposite.
‘I can understand why the American people are frustrated because of inflation. But inflation is higher in almost every other country,’ he said.
‘We have the strongest economy in the world. Our inflation rates are lower than other nations in the world,’ he argued.
A measure of inflation from the Commerce Department – that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve – jumped 6.3% in May from a year earlier, unchanged from its level in April – a troubling sign for the economy.
While prices having been rising across the globe, the inflation in the U.S. has been higher than the G7 nations and China for most of the year.
The United Kingdom with a four-decade high of 8.6 percent has only just surpassed inflation in the United States.
But nations including Germany, France, Japan and Canada are all still behind the U.S. when it comes to prices.
Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development from April 2021 until April 2022 shows U.S. inflation has been rising steadily above all other nations.
‘We’re strongly committed to bringing inflation back down. And we’re moving expeditiously to do so,’ Biden said.
And he got snappy when asked about Americans who worry the country is going backwards under his presidency.
Nearly 85% of U.S. adults feel the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center poll out this week.
‘They do not think that, you haven’t found one person, one world leader to say America is going back’ he said.
‘America’s in a better position with the world than we ever have been.’
Voters have consistently given Biden low marks on his handling of the economy, citing high gas prices, and naming it one of their top concerns.
Many Democrats are worried the voter anger will hurt the party at this November’s midterm election, when control of Congress is decided.