President Joe Biden took some heat for laughing at jokes highlighting the fact that, since he took office, the American people are having a hard time affording a decent quality of life. The man who promised to restore “decency” to the Oval Office was filmed laughing at comedian Trevor Noah’s joke about inflation at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner.
Saturday featured the first WHCA Dinner in two years — and the first one in six years to be attended by a sitting president. The event featured D.C. media elite and celebrities like Kim Kardashian, who arrived alongside her new beau Pete Davidson. Roughly 2,600 people crammed into a Washington hotel basement and chuckled along to various quips about the presidency and current state of politics. Outside the ballroom and beyond the tuxedos, wine glasses, and multi-course meal, Noah’s joke about inflation fell a little flat while critics slammed the president for his out-of-touch laughter.
“Since you’ve come into office, things are really looking up,” Noah, the emcee of the dinner said while addressing Biden,”Gas is up, rent is up, food is up! Everything.”
During the bit, the camera panned to Biden, who could be seen clapping his hands and laughing.
The interaction can be seen here:
“Since you’ve come into office, things are really looking up. Gas is up, rent is up, food is up! Everything!”
BIDEN: *laughs* pic.twitter.com/Chtdwotnrs
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 1, 2022
If you fail to see what’s so funny about high prices, you are not alone.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted, “Here’s regular Joe from Scranton laughing uproariously at the inflation he’s inflicted on Americans while surrounded by cheering journalists.”
“What a model of empathy,” he added. “You can’t make this up.”
Here's regular Joe from Scranton laughing uproariously at the inflation he's inflicted on Americans while surrounded by cheering journalists.
What a model of empathy. You can't make this up. pic.twitter.com/QW1ucFdEyT
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 1, 2022
Paris Dennard, a spokesman for the GOP, added, “Joe Biden thinks it is really funny that millions of Americans are suffering right now because of rising costs & inflation caused by his policies!”
“This isn’t empathy or leadership it’s shameful!” Dennard stated. “Tell Biden your life isn’t a joke!”
Biden, of course, knows that not many Americans are in a jovial mood right now. In late February, he blamed that pessimism on the “psychological impact of COVID-19.” In Biden’s mind, the reason why U.S. citizens were unable to appreciate the economy was because they were too worried about whether or not they would get sick from the virus.
The president said in an interview at the time, “Almost a million Americans have died of COVID and so I think it’s hard for people to get their arms around the fact that we have the fastest growing economy in 40 years, wages are actually up — not down, unemployment is the lowest it’s been….You know it’s just incredibly low, and it’s around the in the three-point range,” he claimed.”
“We find ourselves in a position where it’s hard to fully appreciate that when you wake up in the morning and wondering whether or not your uncle, aunt, mother, father, son, daughter who has COVID are going to be okay,” Biden added.
If the comment was out of touch then, based on recent economic numbers, it seems to be even more out of touch now.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that inflation rose 8.5% year-over-year in March, according to the Consumer Price Index.
The Daily Wire also reported that based on the BLS’ Producer Price Index, which measures inflation from wholesale producers, rose 11.2% annually between March 2021 and March 2022, the highest that figure has been since 2010. Wholesale food prices also jumped 16.2% annually, 2.4% monthly while wholesale energy prices rose 36.7% annually, headlined by liquefied natural gas, which saw a massive 91.4% increase, nearly doubling in price between 2021 and 2022.
In the first quarter of the year, America’s economy shrank 1.4%. The president blamed that downturn on COVID-19 and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine causing a rise in prices. Various polls show that the American people blame the president — of the U.S., not of Russia — for inflation.
As all of it adds up, the economy is quickly becoming a top concern for voters, too.
“Americans’ confidence in the economy remains very low, and mentions of economic issues as the most important problem in the U.S. are at their highest point since 2016,” a recent poll from Gallup said. “Inflation, which registered as the top economic problem last month and continues to be, was previously at this level in 1984.”
Without any economic reprieve predicted, it is evident that voters’ concern about the economy will continue through the 2022 midterms.
While the president may have found Noah’s remarks hilarious Saturday night, it’s unlikely he will be laughing if that clip is used as a GOP advertisement down the line.
Just like excuses, jokes have a tendency to get a little old after you hear them more than a few times. The American people will only be able to tolerate Biden blaming Putin and outside factors for the state of the economy — while appearing to laugh at their misery — for so long before they take out their frustrations at the ballot box.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.