White House officials on Sunday defended President Joe Biden’s demanding gas stations “bring down the price” for a gallon amid widespread criticism.
“I think anybody that knows President Biden knows he’s plain-spoken and he tells exactly what he’s thinking in terms that everybody can understand,” former Pentagon spokesman and now National Security Council coordinator for the White House John Kirby told “Fox News Sunday” after he was shown a Twitter post from Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, who asserted that Biden was engaging in “misdirection” or has a “deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”
On Saturday, Biden wrote that “my message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.” From the president’s post, it’s not clear how gas stations would be able to bring down the price without taking significant losses.
Kirby told Fox News that he rejected Bezos’s criticism of the Twitter post.
“The American people are facing pain at the pump, clearly now, we are at $5 a gallon. The president is working very, very hard across many fronts, Mike, to try to bring that price down,” Kirby remarked before citing Biden’s meetings with Group of Seven leaders in Europe as well as the release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Reserve.
“If everybody cooperates on this, we can bring the price down at least by about a dollar a gallon,” Kirby said, “so he’s working very, very hard to do this because he knows the impact that high gas prices have on the American household.”
Like Biden, Kirby did not provide an example of how companies could cooperate together to bring down the price. According to auto club AAA, the average price currently stands at about $4.81 per gallon of regular unleaded gas.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also issued a Twitter response to Bezos’s post: “It’s not surprising that you think oil and gas companies using market power to reap record profits at the expense of the American people is the way our economy is supposed to work.” She did not elaborate on how petroleum companies manipulate markets.
The Biden administration in recent weeks has shifted from blaming the high gas prices on Russia to blaming oil companies and gas stations, claiming that companies are engaging in price-gouging. In one instance last month, Biden issued a letter to top oil firms, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, demanding they lower gas prices.
Biden, meanwhile, is planning to visit top oil producer Saudi Arabia as part of a broader trip to the Middle East that includes Israel later this month.
When asked about whether Biden will press the Saudis on raising oil production, Kirby declined to comment.
From The Epoch Times