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CNN anchor corners top Biden official with her own words on inflation crisis: 'You got it wrong, too'

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

CNN anchor Jake Tapper confronted Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sunday over why the Biden administration has been "caught flat-footed" in responding to several crises.

What about inflation?

Tapper began the interview by using Raimondo's own words to show that she was wrong about the trajectory of inflation.

After noting that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted last week that she was wrong about inflation, Tapper said, "As recently as six months ago, you were calling inflation a ‘short-term problem,’ not a long-term problem. So, you got it wrong too."

Raimondo, however, was unwilling to offer a mea culpa. Instead, she recycled the Biden administration's trite talking points that blame Russian President Vladimir Putin, supply chain problems, and COVID-19 for the inflation crisis.

But when she attempted to use Larry Summers — treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and a top adviser in the Obama administration — to bolster her case, Tapper quickly dispelled her claims.

"You heard Larry Summers, a top economist, just yesterday saying (sic) you're starting to see— you know, you're starting to see inflation come down," Raimondo said.

"Well, all due respect, Madam Secretary, Larry Summers, a year ago, more than a year ago, was saying that the Biden administration was putting too much money into the economy, flooding too much money into the economy, and he was concerned about inflation," Tapper corrected.

"And Biden administration officials said that Larry Summers was wrong. And it turned out Larry Summers was right," he added bluntly.

What about the baby formula crisis?

Noting that President Joe Biden admitted last week that he did not learn about the baby formula shortage until April, Tapper asked Raimondo when she learned of the crisis.

Raimondo, like the president, claimed she only learned about the problem in April. However, the White House released a statement on May 12 explaining the federal government, including Raimondo's department, had been working "diligently" for months to address the problem.

"We're talking about two critical issues here that directly affect the American people where they live where the Biden administration looks like it was caught flat-footed," Tapper responded. "Why does it seem the Biden administration is consistently playing clean-up on these problems that are playing out exactly as many experts forecast they would, instead of heading them off before they become a crisis?"

In response, Raimondo only saved face for Biden, claiming Americans are enjoying, "fundamentally ... a robust economic recovery," which she attributed to Biden's "leadership."

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