Liberal CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina congressman, sharply criticized President Joe Biden Friday over his response to growing inflation and economic woes in a recent interview.
What is the background?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday the consumer price index rose to an annual rate of 7.5% in January, the highest rate in 40 years.
During an interview with "NBC Nightly News," anchor Lester Holt confronted Biden over the growing economic problem. Biden claimed last July that inflation would be "temporary," so Holt asked Biden what his "definition of temporary is."
"Well, you're being a wise guy with me a little bit, and I understand that's your job," Biden shot back.
The president then blamed inflation on the supply chain. Biden also cited advice from "Nobel laureates" and "corporate leaders," who have allegedly told Biden that inflation "ought to be able to start to taper off as we go through this year."
What did Sellers say?
Speaking on CNN's "New Day," Sellers described Biden's response as "terrible" and flatly said Biden is solely responsible for solving the economy crisis.
"Yeah, it was a terrible answer. And I would tell them that if they were looking me in the face. The fact is that nobody that Scott [Jennings, fellow analys] and I are talking about want to hear what Nobel laureates actually say about the problem," Sellers said. "In fact, in that answer, we would care more about the solutions, or maybe if there are no– look, inflation ain’t caused by Joe Biden."
“We know why we have inflation. Inflation is because we were home for a year. Inflation is because we went through this COVID period. But the problem is yours to fix now," he said toward Biden.
"So, we’d rather get solutions, or simply ‘I feel your pain,’ which is a better answer than whatever economists from Wharton decided to tell whoever," Sellers added.
What is driving inflation?
The Biden administration has attempted to paint inflation as a positive signal of economic recovery, claiming skyrocketing demand, which the supply chain cannot support, is driving inflation.
However, other experts disagree.
For example, economists with the Federal Reserve attribute inflation, at least in part, to Biden's COVID relief bill. Larry Summers, a Democratic economist who served as treasury secretary for Bill Clinton and a top adviser to Barack Obama, agrees that Biden's policies have worsened inflation.
Economists, unfortunately, forecast that inflation will remain a significant economic problem through the year.