Former Democratic North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp pushed back against criticism of President Joe Biden as gas prices soared across the U.S. on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday.
“You always blame the party in power, and the administration isn’t aggressive enough in my opinion of pushing back on the red herrings,” Heitkamp said. “The red herrings like ‘it’s because you didn’t build the Keystone XL Pipeline’ and I remind them the first things Donald Trump did was give the permit and in four years the pipeline didn’t get built because it wasn’t economical to build that pipeline in those price points,” she began.
“Who drove up inflation? We saw the CBO numbers this week, it was the Trump administration that overspent and drove up inflation, so if inflation in prices, in housing, and in gas is because of deficit spending, that’s Trump’s fault. And so the administration has not been nearly aggressive enough to explain what’s actually going on.”
ABC’s senior political correspondent Jon Karl argued inflation began immediately going up exactly when Biden took office. He showed the “shocking increase” in gas prices since February, which jumped from $3.46 on Feb. 10 t0 $4.35 as of March 12.
“That is an artificially low price that you’re starting from,” Heitkamp said. “And when you do inflation adjustment, this isn’t the highest price we’ve had in the last 20 years … we’re shocked because we got used to $2 gas and that’s the problem.” (RELATED: ‘Simply Not True’: Biden Says Inflation Is Not Going Up From Increased Government Spending)
She concluded it is the party in power that always bears the responsibility for economic crises since they are always into “political issues.”
Inflation soared to a four-decade record-high level Thursday with the Consumer Price Index rising 0.8% in February, bringing the inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 7.9%. An ABC/Ipsos poll found that 70% of Americans disapprove of the president over gas prices after the average price for gas exceeded $4 per gallon. The poll surveyed 622 adults between March 11-12 with a 4.4% margin-of-error.
Prices jumped after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late-February, but they had been on the rise over the past year. The president previously tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in November to combat record-high gas price increases.