The White House was on the defensive on Monday amid a plummeting stock market and questions from reporters in the briefing room regarding whether Joe Biden was still proud of his economic recovery.
Monday’s briefing occurred as the Dow finished the day down nearly three per cent and with the Nasdaq dropping even further. Experts pointed to fear among investors and companies regarding further actions taken by Fed chair Jerome Powell to stabilise the surging inflation that has gripped America’s economy for months.
At the briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned on the economic trouble by Peter Doocy, Fox News’s correspondent.
“President Biden once bragged about the stock market hitting ‘record after record after record on my watch,’” Mr Doocy said, quoting the president. “How about now?”
Before Ms Jean-Pierre fully responded, he added: “All the gains from President Biden’s time in office have been wiped out.”
“As you know we are watching closely. We know families are concerned about inflation and the stock market, that is something the president is really aware of,” she responded.
Ms Jean-Pierre went on to blame a range of issues including “Putin’s price hike”, the White House shorthand for their blame of Russia’s government for rising prices they argue stem from Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic sanctions that have followed.
She also mentioned the difficulty the US experienced in recovering from the shadow of a “once-in-a-generation global pandemic”, which Ms Jean-Pierre noted had driven up unemployment significantly in 2020 only for that figure to drop considerably under Joe Biden’s leadership.
Americans now list inflation and rising consumer prices among their top concerns heading in to the 2022 midterm season, a dangerous sign for Democrats hoping to hold on to majorities in the House and Senate. Gas prices in particular remain at record-high levels around the nation, while other costs such as housing and food are also skyrocketing.
The White House for months has laid much of the blame on Russia and the invasion of Ukraine, a prospect that some economists say is not likely given additional problems presented by issues including global supply chain issues and surging demand triggered by shifts in the economic and working lives of persons in many western nations spurred by the pandemic.