CNN Grills Biden Commerce Secretary For ‘Consistently Playing Clean-Up’ On Issues Experts Warned About
Gina Raimondo, U.S. commerce secretary, speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. The hearing is titled "Department of Commerce Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Priorities."
Samuel Corum / Bloomberg via Getty Images

CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed Biden Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Sunday over the administration’s seemingly slow response in dealing with various issues that he noted experts had forecasted would become problematic.

“So, you heard Secretary [Janet] Yellen this week said she got it wrong about inflation. In July, you told Bloomberg that inflation would be temporary, about a year ago,” Tapper said on the network’s Sunday morning show, “State of the Union.”

“As recently as six months ago, you were calling inflation a ‘short-term problem,’ not a long-term problem,” he said. “So, you got it wrong too.”

“So, clearly, we are and Americans are struggling with inflation, but I don’t think anyone predicted Putin’s war in Ukraine or various other things that have happened that have been unexpected,” Raimondo said. “I still think we will get inflation under control. We just have to stick with it and see it through.”

“Well, all due respect, Madam Secretary, [economist] Larry Summers, a year ago, more than a year ago, was saying that the Biden administration was putting too much money into the economy, flooding too much money into the economy, and he was concerned about inflation,” Tapper countered. “And Biden administration officials said that Larry Summers was wrong. And it turned out Larry Summers was right.”

“I don’t really agree with that characterization,” she responded. “Look, the reality is, I was just in Europe a couple of weeks ago. Gas there in France is $10 a gallon. and — right? And they didn’t have an American Rescue Plan like we did.”

Tapper then switched his focus to the administration’s response to the baby formula shortage that has hit the U.S. over the last several months.

“President Biden this week said he didn’t learn about the severity of the infant formula shortage until April,” Tapper said. “But problems first emerged back at the Abbott plant back in October of 2021. An industry executive said they knew how bad this could get when the plant closed in February.”

“When did you first learn of this problem?” he asked.

“I first learned about it a couple of months ago,” Raimondo claimed, later adding, “probably April.”

“I’m not involved in the administration’s response here, I should say,” she said. “But I think they’re doing a very good job.”

Tapper then pressed Raimondo on why the Biden administration has repeatedly been “caught flat-footed” in responding to problems, including inflation, the baby formula shortage, and record-high gas prices.

“Why does it seem the Biden administration is consistently playing clean-up on these problems that are playing out exactly as many experts forecast they would, instead of heading them off before they become a crisis?” he asked.

“So, again, I mean, that’s one way to look at it,” she responded.

Raimondo did not answer the question related to the specific issues Tapper mentioned.

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