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Fewer Americans vacationed this summer because of inflation. But WH defends Biden's extensive vacations.

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Fewer Americans were able to take a vacation this summer because of sky-high inflation.

But on Thursday, the White House defended President Joe Biden's having taken numerous vacations this summer, which included half a dozen trips to Delaware and vacations in North Carolina and South Carolina.

What is the background?

A new Gallup survey found that a majority of Americans (56%) are experiencing financial hardship because of the inflation crisis.

Among those experiencing financial hardship, 24% said they are buying only essential items or have drastically cut their spending, while 17% said they canceled vacations or traveled less. Another 17% told Gallup they are responding to the hardship by driving less and using less gas.

What did the WH say?

President Joe Biden has spent a significant percentage of his presidency on weekend getaways and vacations, including being on vacation for two-thirds of August. A reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday why Biden is not cutting back on vacation when tens of millions of Americans are having to make that choice.

"The president has been to his beach house six times. He went on vacation in North and South Carolina," the reporter noted. "Is he considering any spending cuts for the administration or for himself personally because of inflation?"

Instead of sympathizing with common Americans who cannot afford lavish back-to-back vacations, Jean-Pierre bluntly defended Biden's trips.

"I’ll say this: The times that the president has gone to Delaware, not including — and we were very clear that when he went to South Carolina in August and Rehoboth, he was going to go spend time with his family, which every president does. That is not unusual. That is not uncommon to do," she said.

"The president has a right to spend time with his family, just like every other American across the country," she added.

09/08/22: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre youtu.be

On the issue of inflation, Jean-Pierre claimed Biden has brought gas prices down (despite Biden for months blaming the record-high prices on Russia) and claimed the Inflation Reduction Act "is going to change people’s lives," although she did not say how.

And of course, she also attacked Republicans for not supporting the Inflation Reduction Act. They did not support the bill because it has nothing to do with inflation, but instead is a pared-down version of Build Back Better.

"I’m going to move on," Jean-Pierre said abruptly after rehearsing her talking points.

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