Verification: White House corrects Biden’s misguided bragging about gas prices


Washington
CNN

In a campaign speech Friday at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, President Joe Biden boasted about a three-month drop in gas prices and the unemployment rate.

But in both cases he used the wrong figures.

Biden said: “Gas prices – I know I’ve been criticized for going into storage. But guess what? Gas prices are down to $1.30 a gallon. And in 41 states plus the District of Columbia, the average price of gas is less than $2.99.”

Facts First: Biden’s claim about average gas prices was false, the White House acknowledged correcting the official file After CNN asked about the claim Friday afternoon. In fact, zero states have a price of less than $2.99 ​​per gallon, the figures show GasBuddy and American Automobile Association show As the corrections note, Biden got a key figure wrong: 41 states and the District of Columbia have an average price of less than $3.99, not $2.99.

Biden has correctly used the $3.99 figure in previous remarks, and it’s good when a White House is willing to correct the inaccuracies. But the price of gas is one of the most important numbers in politics. Although the president made an inadvertent mistake this time, his incorrect remark was televised live on CNN and MSNBC.

The national average price of regular gasoline is $3,689, according to AAA.

Biden said: “We have an unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest in 50 years, more than 50 years.”

Facts First: The 3.7% unemployment rate it’s low by historical standards, but not the lowest in 50 years or more than 50 years. In fact, the monthly rate was lower than 3.7% – 3.6% or 3.5% -. nine times in 2019 and early 2020During the term of former President Donald Trump, plus five times during the presidency of Biden himself.

A White House official noted Friday that on at least five occasions this month, Biden has correctly said the current unemployment rate is “near” a 50-year low. (Before the Trump era, the rate had not been as low as 3.5% since 1969.) By claiming this time that the 3.7% rate is the lowest in more than 50 years, however, Biden has not only erased the recent increase of 3.5%. to 3.7%, but erased the economy’s pre-pandemic performance under his Republican predecessor.