Biden Faces Criticism For Repeating False Claim About Inflation Disaster

President Joe Biden has come under fire for falsely claiming twice in the past week that the inflation rate was 9% when he became president in January 2021. In reality the year-over-year inflation rate at the time of Biden’s inauguration was about 1.4%, according to fact-checkers.

Biden made the erroneous claim during a CNN town hall last Wednesday and repeated it in a slightly vaguer form during an interview with Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “It was at 9% when I came in and it’s now down around 3%,” he said.

However, the Biden-era inflation rate peaked at about 9.1% in June 2022, more than 16 months into his presidency. The March 2024 inflation rate, the most recent available at the time of Biden’s comments, was about 3.5%, up from 3.2% the previous month.

Biden’s claims make it seem like inflation is much lower now than when he took office, but it is actually higher despite a steep decline since the June 2022 peak. They also suggest that the end of the Trump presidency was plagued by high inflation, when, in fact, inflation was unusually low during Trump’s final months amid the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The White House said Biden was making the point that the factors causing inflation were in place when he took office. But journalists and political rivals, including former President Donald Trump, have called out Biden’s repeated misstatements on the issue.