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ABC Fact-Checks Biden’s Claim Inflation Was 9% When He Took Office

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


President Joe Biden has come under fire this week for falsely claiming that voters were wrong to blame him for high inflation because it “was 9% when I came to office” — it was actually just 1.4%.

“No president has had the run we’ve had in creating jobs and bringing down inflation, It was 9% when I came to office — 9%,” Biden told CNN’s Erin Burnett in a rare interview.

Biden defended his economic policies after Burnett pressed him on the fact that “voters by a wide margin trust [former President Donald] Trump more on the economy.”

“Biden insisted ahead of his November rematch against Trump that he already “turned around” the economy, despite persistently high inflation and interest rates. Inflation crept up shortly after Biden took office before surging to rates unseen since the early 1980s, peaking at an annual rate of 9.1% in June 2022 — 17 months after he took office,” the New York Post noted.

“Inflation has remained stubbornly high at an annual rate of 3.5% as of March. Biden’s critics, including prominent Democratic economists, say massive spending passed during Biden’s first year in office fueled the rapid loss of a dollar’s buying power by effectively printing more money,” the outlet added.

The NY Post continued: “Since Biden took office, the average prices of goods and services have increased 19%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. During Trump’s four years in office, by comparison, prices increased by 8%, or roughly 2% per year.”

“Voters by a wide margin trust Trump more on the economy — they say that in polls — and part of the reason for that may be the numbers,” Burnett told Biden during a day-trip to swing-state Wisconsin.

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“And you’re aware of many of these, of course: the cost of buying a home in the United States is double what it was — when you look at your monthly costs — from before the pandemic, real income when you account for inflation is actually down since you took office, economic growth last week fell short of expectations, consumer confidence — maybe no surprise — is near a two-year low.”

Burnett asked: “With less than six months to go to election day, are you worried that you’re running out of time to turn that around? “

“We’ve already turned it around,” Biden insisted.

“Look at the [University of] Michigan survey — 65% of the American people think they’re in good shape economically. They think the nation is not in good shape. They’re personally good shape. The polling data has been wrong all along.”

“No president has had the run we’ve had in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation, It was 9% when I came to office — 9%,” Biden told CNN’s Erin Burnett in a rare interview.

“I mean, grocery prices are up 30% — more than 30% — since the beginning of the pandemic. And people are spending more on food and groceries than they have at any time, really, in the past 30 years. I mean, that’s a real day-to-day pain that people feel.”

“It’s real,” Biden replied, adding, “But the fact is that if you take a look at what the people have, they have the money to spend; it angers them and angers me that you have to spend more. For example, the whole idea of this notion Senator [Bob] Casey [of Pennsylvania] talked about, shrink inflation. For example, Snickers bar they did a thing, and it’s like 20% less for the same price. That’s corporate greed, it is corporate greed. And we’ve got to deal with it.”

Even the fact-checkers at ABC News called out Biden’s false claim.

Below is a transcript, via Grabien:

Biden: “It was 9 percent when I came into office, nine percent.”

Reporter (voice-over): “Inflation was actually 1.4 percent when Biden was sworn in peaking at 9.1 percent in June 2022. It has since come down to 3.5 percent, preventing a further drop housing costs. In New York City one survey found rent is rising seven times faster than wages. In California, a condo in West Hollywood just sold for record smashing $24 million. Food costs also playing a role, grocery prices are up 26 percent since 2019, and fast food prices are up 33 percent. Many consumers saying enough is enough.”

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UNKNOWN FEMALE: “I don’t mean to be broke. But for an 8 count menu and a lemonade, $14.”

UNKNOWN FEMALE: “I joked that this was fine dining now because I might as well go at a sit-down restaurant and be served if I’m going to pay those type of prices.”

WATCH:

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