CNBC host Joe Kernen called out Biden economic adviser Jared Bernstein on Monday for continuing to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for rising gas prices.
Kernen pressed Bernstein on inflation and overstimulation by the Federal Reserve and the American Rescue Plan resulting in the worst financial opening to a calendar year since 1970. He pointed to Biden’s low approval ratings and said that he is surprised 70% of Democrats still approve of his job performance.
Bernstein said the nation has the “strongest labor market in generations” with 375,000 job openings per month and high wages. He credited the American Rescue Plan with the rising benefits in the job market and argued that inflation is caused by “strong demand and supply” and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The Putin Price Hike is very much in the mix and that remains a strong constraint weighing on both the real economy and the markets,” he said. (RELATED: ‘I’m Talking About Underlying Trends’: CNN Host Cuts Off WH Adviser As He Tries To Spin Inflation Numbers’)
“You guys gotta patent that,” Kernen said. “Trademark it, that ‘Putin Price Hike.’ You guys all use it again and again and again, and you’re at 33% approval at this point, Jared, so I don’t know.”
Bernstein cited a Morning Consult/CNBC poll saying that 66% of respondents making $100,000 or more are either “about the same” or “better off” than they were a year ago. A total of 42% of people say they are about the same, 24% are better off and 34% said they are “worse off.”
Kernen credited the nation coming out of a global pandemic as reasoning for many feeling “better off.”
“I’ll feel a little better off about that than anything,” Kernen said.
“I think that’s one of the more positive aspects of the economy that has persisted to this day,” Bernstein added.
A New York Times/Siena poll found Biden’s overall approval rating standing at 33%, with 20% somewhat approving and 13% strongly approving of his job performance. The president holds a 55% total disapproval rating among the respondents. The poll surveyed 849 respondents between July 5-8 with a 4.1% margin of error.
Kernen has previously been critical of the Biden administration for dubbing rising gas prices as “Putin’s Price Hike,” calling the label “pure demagoguery.”
“This is pure demagoguery, it’s not going to help the issue,” Kernen said in June. “It’s getting your eye off the real problems of the ruble. I lived through the Carter years. Everyday, I get a stronger sense of deja vu.”
The White House first pinned Putin for rising prices in March while announcing a ban on Russian imports of oil following the invasion of Ukraine. The term has since been echoed by members of the administration, including White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
The average cost of gasoline surged to their highest levels since 2014 in mid-November, months before the war in Ukraine.