President Biden appeared to get defensive during an interview Thursday when asked if his energy policies were to blame for inflation.
In his first interview with The Associated Press, the president – running contrary to what many economists are forecasting after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates – said a recession was "not inevitable."
"We’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation," Biden said, pointing to 3.6% unemployment rate and America’s relatively strong standing in the world.
At the notion that his administration’s policies were responsible for the worst inflation in 40 years and record-high gas prices, the president reportedly bristled.
"If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher? You ask yourself that? I’m not being a wise guy."
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later Thursday to explain Biden’s inflation comments, noting that the U.S. has higher inflation than Germany, France, Japan, Canada, India, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
The latest figures on inflation for these countries indicate the following: Germany at 7.9%, France at 5.2%, Japan at 2.5%, India at 7.04%, Canada and Italy at 6.8%, and Saudi Arabia at 2.2%. Meanwhile, data released last week showed that U.S. inflation rose in May to a four-decade high of 8.6%.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.