Republicans pummeled President Biden and his team for their economic policies Wednesday as new figures showed that the rate of inflation was still running at a 40-year high despite cooling slightly to 8.3% in April.
“This all-Democrat government has managed a unique kind of economic turnaround. They took an economy that was ready to soar last January, turned it around, and drove it into the ground,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Twitter about the inflation numbers.
His remark was also a clear dig at Biden’s comments a day earlier in which he once again tried to claim Democrats don’t control Congress despite having a deciding vote in the evenly split Senate and a slim majority in the House of Representatives.
Republican lawmakers said the rate of inflation, which backed off after reaching 8.5% in March but was still higher than expected, is sparking higher prices that are hitting American consumers in their pockets when they go to the grocery store or gas station.
“$4.37 gas 8.3% Inflation Only the rich can afford a Biden Presidency,” Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) posted on Twitter.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said the costs of inflation are being exacerbated by the shortages consumers are experiencing when they go to the store.
“Record-high inflation, skyrocketing gas prices, and a baby formula shortage,” Blackburn tweeted. “American families deserve better.”
The White House in a statement repeated President Biden’s comments from Tuesday that inflation is his “top economic priority” but continued to blame just about everyone and everything else — “global supply chain issues related to the pandemic and Putin’s price hike” — for the surging prices.
The statement also aimed to try to deflect blame to Republicans ahead of what is expected to be a bruising midterm election cycle for Democrats, with Biden repeating his claim from days earlier and previous comments in which he said the GOP wants to raise people’s taxes and called on them to present their plans for how to stem inflation to the White House.
“If they are serious about inflation, they should send me the bipartisan innovation bill to bolster our supply chains and make more in America, along with legislation that cuts costs and cuts the deficit, reducing families’ prescription drug and utility bills and restoring fairness to our tax code,” the White House said.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said inflationary costs have been “devastating” to his constituents.
“Since the moment President Biden took office, Texas families have watched the price of everything from gas to groceries soar to record highs,” Cornyn said on Twitter.
“Today’s announcement that Inflation has remained near a 40-year high is devastating to hard working Texans,” he said.
Over the past year, grocery prices have skyrocketed 10.8%, the largest year-to-year increase since 1980.
And gas prices hit a record $4.40 a gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA, compared to an average of $2.98 a gallon a year ago.
With the midterm elections fast approaching in November, Republicans hoping to regain control of Congress are planning to use runaway inflation as a hammer to pound Democratic candidates.
“Republicans certainly have an opening,” James Wallner, a senior fellow for governance at R Street Institute, told Fox News about inflation. “You can clearly see in the nature of their rhetoric and the emphasis they give to attacks on the Biden administration for … record inflation, at least the last four decades or so.”
The Republican State Leadership Committee has already rolled out a six-figure ad campaign in blue states attacking Biden and the Democrats for their inability to handle the economy.
“Inflation is Biden’s secret tax hike, and Democrats in your statehouse are playing along,” one 30-second spot obtained by The Hill said. “Stop the Biden tax. Elect state Republicans.”
“Record inflation is no laughing matter for the state Democrats continuing to stand by Biden, as Americans know that stopping the Biden Tax means voting them out of office and replacing them with state Republicans who can counteract the president’s disastrous agenda,” RSLC communications director Andrew Romeo told the outlet.
The ads are running in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Washington.
With Post wires