CNN anchor Dana Bash appeared to try and bait Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchison into giving President Joe Biden some credit for the “good parts” of the U.S. economy, but on both occasions, all she got was pushback.
During a Sunday morning appearance on the network’s “State of the Union” program, Hutchison said that Biden really only deserved credit for inflation and the supply chain bottleneck, both of which are raising costs on American consumers.
“Inflation is justifiably getting a lot of attention,” Bash said after beginning the segment questioning Hutchison about Arkansas being the 8th lowest in vaccination rates.
“People feel it every day in their lives but if you look at the broader economic picture, there are some really positive indicators: new jobless claims are at their lowest level in 52 years, wages, retail sales, overall GDP — that’s all up. Doesn’t Biden deserve some credit for that?” she asked.
.@DanaBashCNN on Arkansas having 8th lowest vaccination rate in the country: "Is it time to acknowledge that your approach isn't working?"
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): "Not at all … In Arkansas, that information-based education is what is working …" pic.twitter.com/fV2UatfmUC
— The Recount (@therecount) November 28, 2021
“Well the inflationary pressures are at his feet and that is the challenge. Much of the supply challenges are at his feet in terms of reducing production domestically and relying more upon international energy for the United States,” Hutchinson said.
“We have to be energy independent and so, yes, I think that is a challenge,” he added.
The governor went on to note that, even though the statewide unemployment rate in Arkansas was just 3.7% — lower than it was before the pandemic began — there were still several hurdles that are preventing the overall economy from working the way that it ought to be.
“We do have to increase our supply chain. We have to increase our worker engagement, and those are critical needs that we have,” he said.
“And does Joe Biden get some credit for the positive parts of the economy that even you say are happening in your state?” Bash continued to press.
“Whenever you’re at the top and you’re in a leadership position and something good happens you can try to take credit for it,” Hutchinson replied, prompting a laugh from Bash.
“I don’t have any problem with that but pressures on inflation and on the supply chain particularly energy is something that he needs to correct, and so there’s problems that he needs to address, and we all want to come out of this,” he added.
“He puts it all on COVID and I don’t believe that is the biggest – well, it is a challenge, but there are other things you could address, such as the inflationary pressures that he can control.”
In recent surveys, most Americans are blaming Biden for the country’s worsening economy, i.e. inflation.
In fact, a record number of Americans say they won’t be purchasing gifts for the holidays this year amid ongoing inflation concerns and supply chain disruptions, a survey shows.
Roughly 11% of Americans said they expected to spend no money at all on gifts during the holiday season, according to a holiday retail survey by Deloitte. The number is the highest since Deloitte began its holiday retail survey in the 1980s and more than double the share of shoppers in 2020 who said they wouldn’t be buying presents.
Almost two-thirds of those not buying gifts earned less than $50,000 per year. Those earning over $100,000 said they expected to spend $2,624 on gifts, a 15% increase from last year, while those earning less than $50,000 expected to spend $536 on gifts, a 22% decrease from last year.
“This tale of two holidays is a pretty good reflection of the tale of two pandemics, right?,” Stephen Rogers, managing director of Deloitte’s consumer industry center, told CNBC in an interview. “What starts off as a health crisis turns into a financial crisis if you’re in the lower-income.”