National Economic Council Chairman Brian Deese spoke with CNN Thursday afternoon just hours after President Joe Biden told reporters that the public should expect prices to remain at their current level for “as long as it takes” for Ukraine to win the war against Russia.
“What we heard from the president, this is about the future of the liberal world order. We have to stand firm,” Deese said. “At the same time, what I’d say to Americans across the country is you have a presidential administration that is going to do everything in its power to blunt those price increases and bring those prices down.”
“These are uncertain times,” he said about a recent poll showing that 85% believe America is on the wrong track. “When prices are high, people are understandably frustrated when they are pulling up at the gas pump. That’s understandable. At the same time, it is our job, and it’s the president’s firm conviction, that what he can do as president is to take every responsible action that he has, and we have and also remind the American people that even as we go through this challenging period, even whilst we move through this transition, we also have made historic economic progress.”
National gas prices dipped roughly 20 cents to round out June, but they continue to hover above $4.80 per gallon, and Deese’s comments sparked a significant negative backlash on Twitter.
Biden himself has recently sought to change his messaging on gas prices after Democratic officials urged the White House to focus on domestic solutions rather than blaming prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The American people understood. The American people rose to the moment. The American people did what they always have done: defend freedom around the world. They chose to stand with the people of Ukraine,” Biden said during a speech calling for a three-month gas tax holiday.
“So for all those Republicans in Congress criticizing me today for high gas prices in America, are you now saying we were wrong to support Ukraine? Are you saying we were wrong to stand up to Putin? Are you saying that we would rather have lower gas prices in America and Putin’s iron fist in Europe? I don’t believe that,” he said.
Reporting by The Washington Examiner.