Vice President Kamala Harris dodged a reporter’s question about inflation and gas prices Friday, instead answering a question intended for Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Harris attended the joint press conference at Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday to demonstrate U.S. support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Ukraine. A reporter asked Iohannis whether Romania needs more U.S. troops and defense aid to combat the “dire threat” the country is facing in the Black Sea.
“And if I can ask you, Madame Vice President, President Biden has said that Americans will feel some pain for the sake of defending freedom and liberty. But there does seem to be no endgame in sight. How long should Americans expect, how long should we be bracing for this historic inflation and some unprecedented gas prices?” an Associated Press reporter asked.
“In terms of the discussions that the president Iohannis had, they ranged in subject including the issue of the Black Sea and I’ll let him explain in more detail as he would like. But we are, again, fully aware and apprised because we are in constant communication with the president, with his administration here about the concerns that they have about the entire region and frankly the vulnerability.”
“All you have to do is look at the map and see that where Romania exists geographically and as is the case for our allies on the Eastern flank, that there are potential vulnerabilities which is why we say very clearly, we will dedicate and have been in especially enhancing over the last few weeks, our support based on their current needs,” the vice president continued.
The vice president then said “it was painful to watch” the atrocities in Ukraine caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military forces. She said the Ukrainian people want to “live in their own country and have pride” in themselves and be home “speaking the language they know” and raising their families in their own communities. (RELATED: ‘Putin’s Gas Price Hike’: Psaki Pins Russia And Oil Companies For Rising Gas Prices)
The vice president brought up both the over 2.5 million refugees who have fled “with nothing but a backpack” to neighboring countries in recent weeks, plus the maternity hospital bombed in Mariupol, leaving 3 dead and 17 injured.
“We have the unfortunate experience—all of us right now that are not in Ukraine—of witnessing horror,” she continued. “So we are committed in everything we are doing and yes, then the president did say in the State of the Union. There is a price to pay for democracy. Got to stand with your friends.”
“And everybody knows even in your personal life, being loyal to those friendships based on common principles and values. Sometimes it’s difficult. Often it ain’t easy. But that’s what the friendship is about based on shared values. So that’s what we’re doing,” she concluded.
Inflation soared to another four-decade record Thursday with the Consumer Price Index reaching 0.8% in February, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 7.9%. Gas prices exceeded $4 per gallon on Saturday, the highest ever-recorded costs in U.S. history.