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The 'Putin's Price Hike' Spin Falls Flatter Than Biden on a Bike

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

It’s been over three months since Joe Biden saw a tremendous political opportunity in the war in Ukraine. In addition to his rather shameless attempts to ride on the coattails of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s courage and resolve, he also started pushing his horrendously bad spin on inflation by calling it “Putin’s price hike.”

“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.” In an address to House Democrats, Biden even claimed “inflation is largely the fault of Putin.”

Related: Lyin’ Biden Tests Out a New Bogeyman for Inflation

But, week after week, as the Biden White House doubled down on this “Putin’s price hike” spin, polls consistently showed that Americans weren’t buying it. Why should they? Gas prices and inflation were going up well before Putin invaded Ukraine. The problem was that Biden kept trying to make excuses for it rather than address the causes. Over the past year and a half, the Biden administration has been in denial about inflation. Biden has gone from saying that “inflation will be transitory” to “inflation is a good thing” to “inflation started under Trump” to blaming COVID-19 to blaming Putin, Big Oil, and even his own staff.

Not even Biden’s cheerleaders in the media could deny that inflation was a problem before the war in Ukraine, and now, polls show that not even his party is buying into the blame-Putin rhetoric. According to a new TIPP/Issues & Insights poll, most Democrats blame Biden, not Putin, for inflation.

The poll found that 64% of Americans believe Biden is responsible for inflation — of which 38% said he was “very responsible” and 26% said he was “somewhat responsible.” Only 25% said he was not responsible, with 17% saying “not very responsible” and only 8% saying “not at all responsible.” Just 10% weren’t sure.

But the real shocker in the poll is that even most Democrats blame Biden for inflation. According to the poll, 53% of Democrats say Biden’s policies are to blame for inflation, compared to 39% who say they weren’t responsible.

“Of all the major demographic groupings followed by the I&I/TIPP Poll, just one was below 50% overall: self-described ‘liberals,'” reports Issues & Insights. “All the other groups, including blacks (61%), Hispanics (61%), men (68%), women (61%), along with every income group, every age group, and every education group, all felt Biden’s policies caused the current inflation mess.”

“It’s hard to imagine a more sweeping repudiation of a president’s economic policies,” Issues & Insights observed. How true. Despite the tremendous effort of the Biden White House to rebrand inflation as Putin’s price hike, they’ve not only failed to convince the public to buy into Biden’s blame game, but they’ve failed to convince their own party.

This poses a significant problem for Biden’s domestic agenda. According to the poll, Democrats, Republicans, and independents generally agreed that federal spending made inflation worse, “with 52% of Dems saying federal spending made inflation worse, compared to 86% of Republicans and 69% of independents.”

This is a devastating poll for Biden and his agenda.