December 7, 2023
Blaming the war in Ukraine for sky-high gas and food prices for Americans, President Joe Biden on Wednesday admitted his inability to do much about either. "There's a lot going...

Blaming the war in Ukraine for sky-high gas and food prices for Americans, President Joe Biden on Wednesday admitted his inability to do much about either.

“There’s a lot going on right now but the idea we’re going to be able to click a switch, bring down the cost of gasoline, is not likely in the near term. Nor is it with regard to food,” Biden said while speaking at the White House about the baby formula shortage, according to CNN.

In March, Biden ordered the release of 1 million barrels of oil a day from the nation’s strategic reserve, claiming his action would produce savings of “anything from 10 cents to 35 cents a gallon,” ABC News reported at the time.

Since then, gas prices have steadily risen. On Thursday, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline hit $4.715, according to AAA.

“We can’t take immediate action that I’m aware of yet to figure out how we’re bringing down the prices of gasoline back to $3 a gallon. And we can’t do that immediately with regard to food prices either,” Biden said.


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On May 11, Biden announced actions to support farmers he said would reduce food prices, according to a White House transcript.

But on Wednesday, he pointed the finger elsewhere.

“We’re in a situation where, because of a war in Ukraine, gas prices and food prices are extremely high,” he said, according to CNN.

“For example, we got millions of tons of wheat that is not able to get out and get to market. It’s causing everything from a loaf of bread to cost so much money, to food shortages all across the world,” he said.

“And so we’re trying to work through a war. We’re trying to work through how we can get that harbor opened. And get the, you know, tens of thousands of tons of grain that are there.”

“The same with gasoline,” he went on. “We have the issue that is occurring now. You have Europe deciding they’re going to further curtail the purchase of Russian oil and there’s a whole lot of consideration going on about what can be done to maybe even purchase the oil even at a limited price so that it has to be sold, overwhelming need for the Russians to sell it, and it would be sold at a significantly lower price than the market is generating now.”

Biden said that his approach to helping Americans cope with high food and gasoline prices would focus on drug prices and child care.

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“But we can compensate by providing for other necessary costs for families by bringing those down. That reduces the inflation for that family,” he said.

In an analysis piece for CNN, White House reporter Stephen Collinson wrote that the comments underscore a point critics are making about Biden and his trouble-plagued administration.

“Biden is bolstering perceptions that his crisis-submerged presidency is beleaguered and gave Republicans a vast opening Wednesday with several eye-opening statements about challenges weighing down his White House,” he wrote.

“Suggestions that Biden is a spectator as his own presidency loses momentum plays into GOP claims that he is out of his depth and has lost a step ahead of November’s elections, which could cost Democrats control of the Senate and the House,” Collinson wrote.


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“One rapid response email from the Republican National Committee portrayed Biden as ‘bored and bungling’ — previewing likely attacks on the President by the GOP’s candidates as campaign season heats up.”