President Biden called NBC journalist Lester Holt a “wise guy” Thursday when the veteran TV anchor pointed out that Biden erroneously said high inflation would be temporary and that instead it surged to a new 40-year high.
“I think it was back in July, you said inflation was going to be temporary. I think a lot of Americans are wondering what your definition of temporary is,” Holt said during Biden’s first TV interview of 2022.
“Well, you’re being a wise guy with me a little bit,” Biden said. “And I understand, that’s your job.”
The federal Consumer Price Index found overall consumer costs up 7.5 percent in January versus one year earlier — dashing White House predictions that the figure would begin to fall.
Biden in December claimed that the prior month’s 6.8 percent annual inflation rate was likely the “peak.” He said in July that inflation was “temporary” when it was around 5 percent.
Biden told Holt that COVID-19 supply chain bottlenecks helped drive inflation and singled out a shortage of semiconductors for cars — though the federal CPI tracked large jumps in a broad basket of goods and services.
“When can Americans expect some relief from this soaring inflation?” Holt asked.
The president said, “According to Nobel laureates, 14 on them that contacted me and a number of corporate leaders, it ought to be able to start to taper off as we go through this year.”
Biden taped the interview in Culpeper, Va., immediately after he gave a speech urging Democrats to pass his stalled $2.2 trillion Build Back Better Act as a way to alleviate inflation — despite Republicans and centrist Democrats saying that government spending fueled the current crisis.
Biden has lashed out at other reporters asking about inflation as the devaluing dollar drags down his approval rating.
“It’s a great asset — more inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch,” Biden sneered last month when asked about the issue by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy.
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SOURCE: New York Post – By Steven Nelson