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Biden Chooses Blame Game Over Reducing Gas Prices

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Well, it looks like Joe Biden is finally conceding defeat and is moving on from his “Putin’s price hike” talking point and has selected a new bogeyman that he hopes voters will blame: gas stations.

“My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril,” Biden tweeted Saturday. “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”

Gas stations are just the latest scapegoat in a long line of scapegoats. Over the past year and a half, Biden went from being in denial about inflation, saying originally that “inflation would be ‘transitory’” to even arguing that “inflation is a good thing.” Of course, I can’t think of anything worse than people who are paying more at the supermarket and at the gas pump, so I don’t know how it’s a good thing.

Once Biden finally admitted that inflation was a real problem, rather than doing something about it, he just wanted people to not blame it on him, so he falsely claimed that “inflation started under Trump” and then blamed COVID-19, Big Oil, and even his own staff. None of his excuses resonated with the public, yet blaming Putin was clearly something Biden had hoped would last, which is why it’s been roughly four months since Joe Biden first started with the “Putin’s price hike” line.

Related: U.S. Oil & Gas Association Savagely Burns Biden for His ‘Bring Down Gas Prices’ Tweet

“Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump. Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders — just since then — the price of gas at pumps in America went up 75 cents,” Biden said back in March. “And with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.”

I’m sure the White House thought that blaming Putin would be a surefire way to siphon the blame for rising gas prices away from Biden, but, week after week, polls consistently showed that Americans weren’t buying the “Putin’s price hike” spin. Not even Biden’s cheerleaders in the media could deny that inflation was a problem and that gas prices were going up well before the war in Ukraine.

So, instead of seeing an administration that appeared to care about fixing the problem, the voters saw an administration than didn’t want to fix it and merely blamed anyone and everyone else for it.

And it’s not working either. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos blasted Biden’s feeble blame game. “Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this,” Bezos tweeted. “It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”

The U.S. Oil & Gas Association also mocked Biden’s tweet, suggesting that the White House intern responsible for the tweet take basic economics.

“Working on it Mr. President. In the meantime – have a Happy 4th and please make sure the WH intern who posted this tweet registers for Econ 101 for the fall semester.”

In short, I don’t think Biden should be confident that his latest effort to deflect blame away from himself will work. Nor should they be confident that Biden really has any desire to do anything about gas prices.

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