President Joe Biden was taken to task over a recent tweet where he blamed gas stations for sky-high fuel prices. While Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was critical of President Biden's latest scapegoat for record gas prices, Chinese state media applauded Biden for realizing "that capitalism is all about exploitation."
President Biden demands gas companies lower prices
Less than two weeks ago, President Biden demanded oil companies lower their gas prices.
"To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump, this is a time of war, global peril, Ukraine. These are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump. Do it now," Biden commanded.
President Biden doubled down on his directive for gas companies to lower prices with a tweet on Saturday.
"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," the tweet said. "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 industry experts tell a different story
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, "Only about 0.1% of the fueling outlets in the country are owned by a major oil company." NACS stated that 62% of U.S. gas stations are owned by an individual or family who only operates a single retail gas location.
NACS also noted that gas stations make a "10- to 15-cent profit" on a gallon of gas.
NBC News reported, "Station owners make most of their profits in their stores, on sales of food and drinks, as well as alcohol where sales are legal."
Twitter Reactions to President Biden blaming gas stations
Commentators quickly called out the president for not taking responsibility for record gas prices while assigning guilt to gas stations, Vladimir Putin, former President Donald Trump, and the COVID pandemic.
Congressional candidate Robby Starbuck:
Entrepreneur Patrick Bet-David: "First the White House blamed Trump. Then COVID. Then Putin. Then Oil companies. Now gas station owners. What’s next, blaming car owners for driving too much?"
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): "My message to the guy running your teleprompter: It’s YOUR fault. Reverse the dozens of executive orders, regulations & agency actions targeting American energy, and gas prices will fall…FAST."
Journalist Erielle Davidson: "The market sets the price at the pump, not the gas stations. How are you this economically illiterate. How."
"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade: "Maybe if u met with the oil executives last week instead of the Wind theorists u would know they are not at fault, your policies are- and here’s the best news, you can still change them & help the country."
Novelist Walter Kirn: "I grew up working in gas stations. They aren’t predatory money machines. Can’t afford to be due to intense competition, because there’s usually another one just down the block — whose prices are posted on a big sign for all to see. What silly amateur condescending bulls**t."
Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai:
Jeff Bezos slams the Biden administration
Bezos – the owner of the Washington Post – denigrated the Biden administration for pointing the finger at energy companies for high gas prices.
"Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this," Bezos wrote on Twitter. "It's either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics."
Commentators note that Bezos has 'buyer's remorse'
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden simply said, "Buyer's remorse."
Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell bashed Bezos, "Tell this to your own newsroom! YOU are part of the problem. Republicans should never help you….or your work ways."
Columnist Derek Hunter also mocked Bezos, "You should try reading the Washington Post, Jeff. There isn't anyone there who understands or respects how markets work either. Know anyone who could change that?"
Actor Rob Schneider: "When you lose liberal billionaire/Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, you have lost the ideological war. If the Biden administration is out of touch with Billionaires, imagine how the average American worker feels…"
Biden garners support from Chinese state media
Chen Weihua – EU bureau chief of the state-owned China Daily newspaper – wrote on Twitter, "Now US President finally realized that capitalism is all about exploitation. He didn't believe this before."
Biden previous said record gas prices were part of an 'incredible transition'
In May, President Biden proclaimed that record-high gas prices are part of an "incredible transition" that will make America less dependent on fossil fuels.
“When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden declared during a joint press conference with Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.