Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on an overwhelming majority of Americans believing the country is heading down the “wrong track.”
“Why do you think it is that 88% of people in this country polled by Monmouth believe the country is on the wrong track?” Doocy asked at a Thursday press briefing.
“I’ll say this, the president understands what the American people are going through,” Jean-Pierre responded. “He understands that gas prices are high because of Putin’s tax hike, because of the brutal war that Putin has taken on in Ukraine and their brave fight to fight for their democracy. That’s what we’re seeing here. And also the food security, the food cost has skyrocketed.”
She said President Joe Biden has attempted to ease costs by tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to release an average of 1 million oil barrels per day for 180 consecutive days and issuing an emergency waiver to allow gas stations to sell gasoline with 15% ethanol.
“We understand what the American people are feeling. We are doing everything that we can,” she said. “We have a plan, that’s the thing. We have a plan. Republicans do not have a plan. What they want to do is take away rights from the American people.”
Doocy cited a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday finding that 88% of respondents believe the country has gotten off the “wrong track.” The poll surveyed 978 adults from June 23 to 27 with a 3.1% margin of error.
He then suggested the administration’s plan to resolve high prices is unpopular with the American population. The press secretary argued that although gas prices are high, the nation is in a historically strong position economically. (RELATED: Doocy Presses Jean-Pierre On Biden Allegedly Leaving Voicemail To His Son About His Business Dealings)
“I don’t think it’s that our plan is unpopular with the American people,” she replied. “We know that the American people are feeling the high costs. We understand what they are feeling because when you look at inflation, when you look at where we are economically and we are stronger economically than we have been in history, when you look at the unemployment numbers at 3.6%, when you look at the jobs numbers, more than 8.7 million new jobs created. That is important.”
Doocy questioned whether White House communications director Kate Bedingfield is departing due to their plan not being thoroughly communicated to the American people.
“That’s where you were going with this question. That’s very slick of you, Peter,” she said.
“An historic number of people believe the country is on the wrong track. Somebody who has been a part of Biden world for as long as anybody here says that she is leaving,” he said.
Jean-Pierre said Bedingfield’s departure will not disrupt the administration’s efforts to ease issues hitting the country since she is leaving behind a “talented team.” She cited a study from the Brooking Institute that turnover in the administration is at its lowest rate since former President Ronald Reagan’s administration.
The White House announced Wednesday that Bedingfield is departing her position to spend more time with her husband and children.