A reporter confronted Jared Bernstein, a senior economic adviser to President Joe Biden, on Monday for engaging in a double standard when addressing the gas price crisis.
Bernstein told reporters at the White House daily press briefing that he was not taking a "victory lap" for improve gas prices. But he also celebrated falling prices, attributing them, in part, to "historic actions taken by President Biden."
But James Rosen, a veteran White House reporter, quickly called out Bernstein for an apparent double standard.
After all, Biden spent months blaming record-high gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the oil industry, repeatedly accusing oil and gas companies of profiteering. But now that gas prices are decreasing, Biden gets to take credit for it?
"Aren’t you having it both ways, Jared?" Rosen asked. "Because when the gas prices go up, it’s got nothing to do with the president; when we see some decline, you want him to get the credit."
Bernstein denied that he was engaging in a double standard, but still praised Biden for doing "everything" in his power to lower gas prices. Rosen, however, was not buying the explanation.
"So when [gas prices] rose, it was Putin’s fault. When they’re coming down, [Biden] gets the credit," Rosen pushed back.
After disputing the "framing" of Rosen's pushback, Bernstein tripled-down on Biden "working tirelessly" to produce "real results" for Americans.
"I very much disagree with that framing," Bernstein told Rosen.
"I think what’s happening here is a president who is working tirelessly to address the largest constraint — probably the toughest constraint — facing American households right now: the budgetary impacts of these elevated prices," he added. "And we’re showing you here today some real results that partially derived from concrete efforts he’s taken."
07/18/22: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre youtu.be
Gas prices are dropping, analysts say, because of a decrease in demand and falling oil prices. There is no evidence, in fact, that action taken by the White House has helped ease pain at the pump.
Unfortunately, experts say Americans are not in the clear.
"We’re not completely out of the woods yet — we could also see a sharp reversal in the decline," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, last week.
"There remains the risk of a spike in prices that could send us to new record levels in August, should any disruptions occur," he explained. "It could be a wild ride, but for now, the plummet at the pump shall continue."