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CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer questioned the Biden administration’s efforts to blame the hike in gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During Thursday’s episode of “The Situation Room” Blitzer and CNN reporter MJ Lee said that increased gas prices are going to hurt Americans – and that President Biden’s efforts to place blame on Putin for the hikes is “not the case”.
“The White House is trying to sell this as Putin’s price hike. But that’s not necessarily quite the case, is it?” Blitzer asked.
“That’s right, the White House practically made Putin’s price hike a new slogan in terms of talking about inflation. And the point that they have been trying to make is that since the Russia invasion of Ukraine, energy prices in particular have really taken a hit. But of course, this is not the full story,” Lee responded.
The Biden administration is blaming the price hikes in gasoline and rising inflation on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and trying to message it as “Putin’s price hike.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki placed blame for higher prices on Putin after the president said during a press gaggle that there wasn’t much he could do on lowering gas prices. Kate Bedingfield, the White House communications director, used #PutinPriceHike in a Wednesday tweet.
Some news anchors and reporter have echoed the Biden administration’s message that inflation and gas price spikes are due to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with some calling it “great way to message it.”
However, critics say Biden’s energy policies, which include ending the Keystone XL Pipeline project, banning fracking on federal land, and increasing regulations on energy have significantly contributed to the lack of supply and increased in energy prices.
On CNN, Lee continued to state that COVID, the supply chain crisis, worker shortages, and other factors have contributed to inflation.
“As we know very well, even well before the Russian’ invasion began, there have been issues with inflation, gas prices already going up because of the pandemic, because of some of the issues that we saw related to COVID, like worker shortages, supply chain issues, we’ve seen some of the ports at our countries becoming blocked and exacerbating all of those issues,” Lee said. “The bottom line is that practically everything feels more expensive for American families across the country. Take a look at some of these numbers in terms of how much more things cost today compared to about a year ago. Gasoline prices, up 38%. Used cars, up 41% compared to a year ago. Groceries cost 8% more and apparel, more than 6% up from a year ago.”
She added, “With inflation, with this invasion of Ukraine, and with spring break and summer driving coming up, it’s going to be a very painful couple of months for Americans at the pump.”