Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered a reality check Sunday on ABC News' "This Week" after anchor George Stephanopoulos tried to shield President Joe Biden from criticism.
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that 69% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse. The poll also found that Biden's job approval is under water by double digits, 62% disapproval to 37% approval.
During the panel portion of Sunday's show, Stephanopoulos tried to soften the reality of the brutal poll numbers after Christie explained that inflation and a contracting economy are realities the White House cannot easily explain away.
"But it is a tale of two economies," Stephanopoulos said. "You're right, the inflation rate is incredibly high, but look at those jobs numbers on Friday."
The jobs report released on Friday indeed revealed positive news: more than 500,000 jobs added in July. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics explained that job levels have only just recently returned to their pre-pandemic levels. But what does it matter if inflation is more than 9% and outpacing wage growth?
Christie told Stephanopoulos:
But people can't keep up with the costs of living their lives. So they say "OK, great, I've got a job, that's a good thing. But to get to that job, I've got to fill my car with gas, and it costs that much more. Then when I'm on my way home from work, I've got to go to the supermarket and I get absolutely tanked there from a dollar perspective. And then I look at what's going on with my kids, if I'm sending them to school, are they going to college?" All those expenses are going way, way up. And people say, "Yes, I have a job, but my life is worse now than it was two years ago." And we know from Ronald Reagan that that's an incredibly powerful question. Am I better off now than I was two years ago? And the American people don't feel it. And that's why Joe Biden is in the 30s.
Just moments later, ABC News anchor Jonathan Karl bemoaned how Biden is "on a roll" but "getting no credit for it."
"If you look at our new poll, I mean, he's getting credit for almost nothing. He's on a roll," Karl claimed. "I mean, there's no question that Joe Biden is on a roll legislatively, on the national security front, but he's getting no credit for it."
"And look, inflation is still a factor. Gas prices are actually coming down and have been coming down for almost two months. The unemployment numbers are remarkable. Not only the unemployment numbers, but wage growth continues to rise. It’s just not keeping pace —" he continued.
That is when Christie interjected, pointing out that the success of passing the so-called Inflation Reduction Act is an "inside Washington role."
"It’s an inside Washington roll," Christie pointed out. "Like, they won on the Inflation Reduction Act, which is a ridiculous name ... but they won on that. They got Democrats to actually vote for a Democrat bill. What are we going to do? Drop the confetti at the White House? I mean, this is ridiculous. It’s an inside Washington roll.
"The people in the rest of the country are saying, 'Wait a second, I’m still paying much more for gas than I should, I'm still paying much more to cool my house, I can’t keep groceries on the table, and I'm worried about the future,'" the former governor explained.