‘This Is Being Manipulated’: James Carville Says Biden Needs To Stop Blaming Putin And Tax Oil Companies More
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 26: James Carville speaks onstage during the 2019 Politicon at Music City Center on October 26, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon )
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon

Democratic strategist James Carville once coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid!” — but he told CNN’s Jim Acosta that President Joe Biden could alleviate some of his own economic woes if he would just tax oil companies more.

Carville — who previously served as an adviser to former President Bill Clinton — made an appearance on Acosta’s weekend show on Saturday afternoon, and the two discussed both the state of the economy and Biden’s insistence on continuing to claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin caused the massive spike in gas prices when he chose to send Russian forces to invade Ukraine.


Acosta began with a clip of Biden referring to skyrocketing prices at the pump as “Putin’s price hike,” and asked Carville to weigh in on whether or not the president’s strategy was effective.

“Is that explanation good enough, and are Democrats losing on some of these kitchen table issues?” Acosta asked. “Do you want to give them some tough talk here?”

“Yeah, I’m going to tell you who’s doing well: Exxon, Chevron, Shell — every oil company,” Carville replied. “If anybody doesn’t think that these oil companies are manipulating these prices to their advantage, I have no idea what to tell you because you’re strictly naive.”

Carville then argued that the solution was to tax the oil companies more, and then funnel that money back to consumers — particularly those who made less than $100,000 a year.

“There’s not a single person in the United States that doesn’t think that these prices are being manipulated by these oil companies,” Carville continued. “I’m sure Putin is somewhat to blame, but believe you me, they’re riding that and the Democrats have got to show they really understand what’s going on in this economy. A lot of this is being manipulated for the purpose of profit. That’s what’s really happening here.”

Acosta pushed back a bit, asking why the White House had not done more to address the problem if oil companies were engaged in manipulating the market.

“Why hasn’t the president been more aggressive on that in terms of going after the oil companies?” he asked, going on to suggest tax rebates and other relief programs that the White House could get behind in addition to going after the companies. “Why not do something like that to get people through these summer high gas prices?”

“Maybe we ought to push this thing a little bit harder,” Carville agreed. “I talked to people that do focus groups endlessly, and they all say the same thing that they’re being manipulated and the president needs to be strong and stand up to these oil companies, and I think that he will and I think this idea is a very good idea to tax these profits.”

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