A leftover from Monday, which was Karine Jean-Pierre's first day on the job as White House Press Secretary. In her first briefing, my Fox colleague Peter Doocy asked a very straightforward but difficult question, based on the following tweet from the president:
You want to bring down inflation?— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 13, 2022
Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share.
This prompted a battle with Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who said Biden's talking point was tantamount to misinformation: "The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead. Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection," the billionaire tweeted. Doocy, picking up on the spat, asked the president's top spokesperson to explain how, exactly, raising taxes on corporations would bring prices down for consumers. Her answer was...well. Not good:
Watch what happens when Peter Doocy asks the new White House press secretary how raising taxes on the rich brings down inflation, as Biden tweeted last week.— John Cooper (@thejcoop) May 16, 2022
Big yikes. pic.twitter.com/UIsACtP8Hv
Look, it was day one in a big job and she probably had some butterflies, even though she'd served as Jen Psaki's deputy for some time and had briefed from the podium before. She'll ease into the job over time. But this was a brutal answer. She stalled for time, as she flipped through her briefing book, seemingly landing on the wrong page and awkwardly quoting from it verbatim – peppering in a barrage of "ums" and "you knows" – as she fumbled. Her initial response was downright unresponsive. When Doocy simply restated his simple inquiry, she tried again, ending up even farther afield. She mentioned climate change. She mentioned collective bargaining (?) policy. At one point, she seemed to remind herself out loud what she was even talking about. It was rough.
In fairness to Jean-Pierre, there is no good substantive answer to this question because Biden's premise is economically illiterate. Increasing businesses' cost of doing business would have the opposite effect on inflationary pressures, as added costs get passed down to consumers. This would be an especially unwelcome development in a period of painfully and historically high inflation. Biden just took two talking points, jammed them together incoherently, and hoped people might believe it. Everyone from Jeff Bezos to a rank-and-file hourly worker can pretty easily and immediately understand why it's literally unbelievable. Here's my radio monologue on Jean-Pierre's difficult exchange:
I'll leave you with someone who actually knows what he's talking about offering some real ideas, which he's been talking about for months, on reducing inflation:
More from me: https://t.co/msWm8qDXdx— Brian Riedl ?? ???? (@Brian_Riedl) May 13, 2022
Oh, and the reaction of the mindless, identity-obsessed left to painfully correct critiques of both Jean-Pierre's substance and style in the clip above was, shall we say, insipidly predictable:
Bad news, everyone. All criticisms of the top spokesperson for the President of the United States — no matter how obviously valid — shall be Melissplained away as racist and sexist, due to immutable characteristics. Innovative, persuasive stuff! https://t.co/NKfd1jU9Nx— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 17, 2022