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The hosts of ABC’s “The View” spent nearly half of Thursday’s broadcast lobbing mostly softballs at White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Jean-Pierre joined the midday talk show for two full segments, and despite the fact that the economy — particularly inflation and gas prices — is top of mind for many Americans, the hosts chose to focus the majority of their attention on other topics.
The first question focused on the Supreme Court’s ruling — released Thursday morning — striking down New York’s restrictions on carrying a concealed firearm outside the home. “We’re all concerned about potential ramifications. What’s the administration’s thoughts about this ruling thus far today?” Whoopi Goldberg asked.
Jean-Pierre deflected, saying, “I can’t speak specifically to this ruling just quite yet, but here’s what I can say: This is a president that has done more executive action on gun violence, on stopping gun violence, on gun reform than any other president in their first year, and so he’s going to continue to do the work.”
Co-host Ana Navarro picked up where Goldberg left off, asking Jean-Pierre to weight in on the gun control legislation that was moving through Congress.
“It’s the first major gun safety legislation in over 30 years, and it has some Republican support, but many feel it doesn’t go far enough to stop shootings like those in Uvalde and Buffalo, and it falls far short of what the president himself as you mentioned had called for. He stayed out of the Senate negotiations. Tell me, do you think that was the right move, and is he satisfied with where they’ve ended up?” she asked.
Jean-Pierre agreed that the legislation was what the White House was calling an “encouraging” development, but she made it clear that it was only a “first step” in getting to where they really wanted to go.
“For so many time – for so long, I should say, Congress has been – has been saying, has been offering after a mass shooting, you know, thoughts and prayers. Now there is an opportunity to do something,” she said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin turned the topic to the still-pending Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, asking how the White House was preparing to handle the possibility that the decision could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade.
Jean-Pierre made it clear that the White House was considering action should that come to pass.
“As it’s been anticipated, as you just mentioned, Sunny, this ruling that will take away women’s rights, a woman’s rights to choose what she can do with her body, and how she wants to grow her own family, or how she wants to see her life, and so this is something that the president and the vice president have spoken to against the potential of overturning Roe, and so we are looking at all options right now,” she said.
Sara Haines asked one of the only questions related to inflation, focusing on the gas prices and what the Biden administration planned to do to ease the pain at the pump. Haines noted that even some experts have said that the proposed 3-month pause in the federal gas tax will not have much of an impact on prices, but Jean-Pierre touted them anyway.
White House Press Sec brags about proposed gas tax holiday that could save working families $0.18 per gallon — that's $2.70 off a 15-gallon fill-up that costs around $75. pic.twitter.com/Dnb8xDLaUN
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) June 23, 2022
After explaining that the federal gas tax holiday would save families $0.18 per gallon, she went on to push for states and gas companies to do the real heavy lifting — arguing that if they did “their part,” Americans could see gas prices lowered by up to $1 per gallon. She then immediately pivoted back to the White House’s boilerplate response, blaming the high gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Co-host Joy Behar followed that up by asking about Biden’s economic policies.
Behar also asked about the ongoing January 6th hearings, asking whether Biden’s Justice Department planned to act on any of the findings — and Jean-Pierre made a point to distance the White House from anything that Attorney General Merrick Garland might take from those hearings.
The toughest question of the day came from Hostin, who asked about detained basketball player Brittney Griner, who has been held in Russia since February, and the fact that she has repeatedly asked to speak with the White House in order to resolve her situation.
“Her wife now says she has zero trust in our government to ensure Griner’s release,” Hostin added.
Jean-Pierre insisted that the Biden administration was working to get her released and back to the United States, and that a botched call with the Embassy was being rescheduled.
Behar rounded out the interview by praising Jean-Pierre and her predecessor, former Press Secretary Jen Psaki, for helping to “restore credibility” to the briefing room after the last administration.
“I noticed how Peter Doocy from Fox News gave Jen a hard time, you know, he asked questions that are directly given to him from Fox,” Behar claimed — despite repeated statements that Doocy writes his own questions. “Have you had to swat him down much yet? How do you – how are you handling the disingenuous and ridiculous takes when you are up there trying to do your job and inform the public?”
Jean-Pierre did not take the bait, and instead of swiping at Doocy or Fox News, simply voiced how grateful she was to have a chance to speak for the White House every day.