The Biden administration is doubling down on having Americans suffer through high gas prices in order to hit back at Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Americans across the country continue to struggle with high gas prices, with the national average sitting at over $4.80 a gallon as of Friday morning, according to AAA. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and top officials within the administration have tried to fully skirt blame for the prices, dubbing the high costs “Putin’s Price Hike.”
Although Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back in February – and Biden’s subsequent decision to ban Russian oil imports – have played a role in skyrocketing prices, the cost of gas had been rising long before the war. Now, as the midterm elections loom and questions swirl around whether Biden is the best man for the job in 2024, the administration is continuing to argue that the price Americans are paying is necessary.
During a press conference Thursday in Spain, Biden was asked point-blank how long would be “fair to expect American drivers” to pay an extra cost at the pump because of Russia’s war. The president offered up no hint of remorse for the situation, declaring that Americans will have to suffer for “as long as it takes so that Russia cannot … defeat Ukraine.”
“As long as it takes so Russia cannot, in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine,” Biden said. “This is a critical, critical position for the world … I think there’s a lot of things we can do and we will do, but the bottom line is: Ultimately, the reason why gas prices are up is because of Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia.”
REPORTER: How long is it fair to expect American drivers and drivers around the world to pay that [gas price] premium for this war?
BIDEN: As long as it takes so Russia cannot, in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine. This is a critical, critical position for the world. pic.twitter.com/VqrRpuLXsc
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) June 30, 2022
Biden’s comments were swiftly backed up by White House economic advisor Brian Deese when CNN’s Victor Blackwell pressed him on what the administration has to say to families who can’t afford to pay these high gas prices “for months, if not years” to come.
“This is about the future of the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm,” Deese said in response. “You have a presidential administration that is going to do everything in its power to blunt those price increases and bring those gas prices down.”
“The good news is that in the last two weeks we’ve seen gas prices at the pump go down about 20 cents but still unacceptably high,” Deese added.
Thursday’s comments coming out of the administration come as officials also continue to say that fighting inflation and lowering costs for Americans is a “top economic priority.” In June, Biden tried to calm fears of a recession, arguing during a speech that “there’s every reason for the American people to feel confident that we’ll meet these challenges.”
Still, the Biden administration’s latest comments indicate that, even as voters grow increasingly concerned about inflation and high gas prices, there’s no plan as of now to draw down U.S. support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
John Kirby, the National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communications, suggested as much during a press briefing June 23. The Daily Caller pressed Kirby during that briefing on how much the administration is weighing its aid to Ukraine with the ongoing economic hardships in the U.S., and also asked whether there’s a point at which the administration plans to curb support for Ukraine.
“President Biden has made it clear we’re going to continue to support Ukraine as much as we can, as fast as we can. And we’re doing that. And we’ll see where this goes going forward,” Kirby said.
Daily Caller’s @ShelbyTalcott asks John Kirby how much the administration is weighing its continued aid to Ukraine with the economic hardships Americans are seeing at home, and whether there’s a point at which the US plans to curb its support: pic.twitter.com/huAkTS6wIr
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 23, 2022
Kirby noted that Biden “is not insensitive” to pressures surrounding the cost of gas and food and declared it a balancing act of sorts. At the same time, Kirby reiterated what the administration has long told the American people: sacrifices must be made to fight back against Russia.
“When he made clear that we were going to support Ukraine in this fight, literally, for their lives, let alone their democracy, that there were going to be costs incurred by that,” Kirby said. “And we’re starting to see – we are seeing that – that happen right now. The president was nothing but honest with the American people about that.”