Establishment Media Fact Check Biden’s False Inflation Claim

Establishment Media Fact Check Biden’s False Inflation Claim

At least six establishment media outlets fact checked President Joe Biden’s repeated false claim that inflation was nine percent when he “came into office.”

As initially fact checked in early May by Breitbart News and other media outlets, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation for January 2021, the latest reading when Biden assumed office, was 1.4 percent.

Inflation rose under Biden to historic highs not seen since the early 1980s due in large part to Biden’s massive spending packages, Breitbart News reported:

Biden’s inflation peaked in June 2022 at a year-over-year rate of 9.0 percent, nearly one and a half years after he took office. Inflation remains sticky and recently rose again. In March, inflation increased to 3.5 percent.

The average Wisconsin family lost $21,981 due to the increased cost of living under Biden, the Republican National Committee estimated in May.

A McDonald’s Big Mac burger, a medium beverage, and a medium fries meal costs $18 in some locations, up $10 from 2018 when Donald Trump was president.

On Tuesday, Biden, whom Special Counsel Robert Hur described as “an elderly man with a poor memory,” defied the fact checks and repeated the false claim again, drawing a multitude of fact checks from establishment media outlets.

Associated Press (AP)  assessed Biden’s repeated claim as false:

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Inflation was at 1.4% in 2021 as Biden assumed the presidency, having risen from a low of 0.1% in May 2020, two months into the COVID-19 pandemic. It continued to increase steadily in the first 17 months of Biden’s presidency, reaching a peak of 9.1% in June 2022. Data released today shows that as of last month, it had fallen to 3.4%.

THE FACTS: Biden has twice cited this number, which is drawn from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, in the past week, first in a CNN interview on May 8 and again during an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.

CNN wrote:

Biden repeated the claim about the inflation rate, albeit in slightly vaguer form, in a Tuesday interview with Yahoo Finance. This time, he said: “I think inflation has gone slightly up. It was at 9% when I came in, and it’s now down around 3%.”

A White House official said in a Tuesday email to CNN: “The President was making the point that the factors that caused inflation were in place when he took office. The pandemic caused inflation around the world by disrupting our economy and breaking our supply chains.”

Washignton Post gave Biden four Pinocchios:

Biden has tried to explain that inflation was largely the fault of the pandemic, not his policies, and that his administration has made strides in reducing it. But in doing so, he has been sloppy in his phrasing. Twice in just the past week, he flatly has said inflation was 9 percent when he became president — when inflation was 1.4 percent when he took office.

White House officials say that Biden means to say that the factors for 9 percent inflation in mid-2022 were already in place when he assumed the presidency. In other words, higher prices for goods and services would have happened no matter who was elected president in 2020.

National Review ripped Biden for the false claim:

One possibility is that Biden knows this is false, and this is a deliberate effort to mislead the public and get people to associate high inflation with Donald Trump’s presidency and not his own.

Another possibility is that Biden misremembers the inflation rate when he took office, he was informed that his claim was false, and he has since forgotten the correct numbers. Special counsel Robert Hur, among others, contended that Biden’s memory is poor.

Forbes wrote:

Biden told Yahoo Finance inflation was “at 9% when I came in,” repeating a claim he made in a CNN interview earlier this month (inflation was at 1.4% year-over-year when Biden took office in January 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index).

The Daily Mail reported:

Biden made a false claim about soaring inflation during his time in office in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

‘I think inflation has gone slightly up,’ Biden said in the interview. He claimed it was at ‘nine percent when I came in, and it’s now down around 3 percent.’

While inflation hit more than 9 percent during his presidency as the U.S. came out of the pandemic, it was less than two percent – 1.4 percent year-over-year in January 2021 – when he started his presidency.

Wendell Husebo is a political reporter with Breitbart News and a former GOP War Room Analyst. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality. Follow Wendell on “X” @WendellHusebø or on Truth Social @WendellHusebo.

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Originally Posted on: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2024/05/18/multiple-establishment-media-outlets-fact-check-bidens-repeated-false-inflation-claim/
[By: Wendell Husebø

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