Not even a CNN panel is buying what the Biden administration is trying to sell on the possibility of a recession.
What is the background?
Beginning last week, the Biden administration has repeatedly claimed the definition of a recession — generally defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth — is not actually the definition of a recession.
On Monday, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked President Joe Biden how worried Americans should be over the possibility of a recession. Biden's response jettisoned objectivity altogether.
"We’re not going to be in a recession, in my view," Biden said.
On CNN's "The Lead," a panel of commentators knocked the Biden administration for doing pre-emptive damage control ahead of a potentially negative economic report.
"The Biden administration is trying to point out the definition of a recession is nuanced. But I got to tell you, I struggle with this. I get why they want to do it from a political perspective, but you can't fake this!" host Kasie Hunt exclaimed.
CNN editor at large Chris Cillizza then mocked what Biden told Doocy.
"I was laughing to myself with the 'in my view' thing. Like in my view, I should be drafted to the NBA," Cillizza mocked.
"It doesn't really matter what you think," he continued. "There is a technical definition, two straight quarters of negative economic growth. They clearly believe that is likely to come to pass later this week. They're trying to prebut it."
Cillizza agreed that everyone understands why the Biden administration would want to change the definition of a recession, but condemned them for doing so.
"We have these terms for a reason. You don't have to like it. Of course, they don't like it because the economy — you know, Joe Biden's handling of the economy was 25% or 30% in our most recent poll. It's a problem for them; this adds to the problem," Cillizza explained. "But you don't get to change the nomenclature in the middle of a campaign because it doesn't work for you."
After the U.S. economy shrank 1.6% in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, economists remain split over what the BEA's first second-quarter estimate will say. The estimate will be published on Thursday.
Economists with Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs, for example, predict meager growths of under 1%, but the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's GDPNow is predicting another GDP contraction of 1.6%.