Sen. Ted Cruz pushed back hard on President Joe Biden’s claim Tuesday that Russia is responsible for the dramatic spikes in oil prices.
After he announced a ban on the importation of Russian oil into the U.S. in response to the invasion of Ukraine, a reporter asked Biden: “Do you have a message for the American people on gas prices?”
Biden replied, “They’re going to go up.”
Another reporter pressed, “What can you do about it?” to which Biden answered, “Can’t do much right now. Russia’s responsible.”
REPORTER: What can you do about skyrocketing gas prices?
BIDEN: "Can't do much right now. Russia's responsible." pic.twitter.com/UZrBUEsliQ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 8, 2022
“This is a flat-out lie,” Cruz railed on Twitter.
“Gas prices have increased 48% under Biden—BEFORE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE. Biden did that,” adding, “That’s bc Biden: — killed Keystone pipeline. — froze federal leases. — shut down ANWR All, while Biden waived sanctions on Putin’s pipeline.”
This is a flat-out lie.
Gas prices have increased 48% under Biden—BEFORE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE.
Biden did that.
That’s bc Biden:
– killed Keystone pipeline.
– froze federal leases.
– shut down ANWR
All, while Biden waived sanctions on Putin’s pipeline. https://t.co/RiBgpX1n9s
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 8, 2022
NBC News reported on Tuesday that the Biden White House made a purposeful decision to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for rising prices at the pump:
When President Joe Biden called the rising cost of gas in the U.S. “Putin’s price hike” Tuesday — laying the blame for pain at the pump squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin — it wasn’t a casual aside. And his warning to oil and gas companies against price gouging was no ad lib.
His comments while announcing a U.S. ban on Russian oil imports in response to Putin’s assault on Ukraine — which he repeated hours later as he arrived for a veterans event in to Fort Worth, Texas — were part of a deliberate shift by the White House in the president’s messaging strategy about gas prices ahead of the midterm elections, people familiar with the internal deliberations said.
Cruz also blamed Biden’s energy policies in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday.
“When Joe Biden came in the very first week in office, he shut down the Keystone Pipeline; he destroyed 11,000 high paying jobs, including 8,000 union jobs,’ Cruz said.
“He immediately froze new leases both on federal land onshore and on federal land off-shore. That’s had a dramatic effect; we’re seeing the prices skyrocketing at the pump,” he continued.
“It really is striking; in 2019 the United States became a net energy exporter,” Cruz noted. “We are an oil and gas superpower. And yet under Joe Biden, last year for the first time since then, America stopped being a net energy exporter as our production went down, and the result of Biden’s presidency has been that the enemies of America, countries like Russia, like Iran, like Venezuela, are all getting stronger, getting richer, getting more aggressive; getting more hostile because the president is simultaneously weakening our own ability to produce energy and strengthening their ability to produce energy.
“I gotta say: It’s backward on both fronts,” he added.
“It’s important to understand that the rhetoric of the far Left, they don’t actually believe it. It’s not actually about the environment. If the only thing you cared about was the environment, let’s say you didn’t care at all about jobs; you didn’t care about inflation; you didn’t care about gas prices at the pump skyrocketing; you just cared about the environment; on that metric, the Biden administration is a disaster,” Cruz went on.
“Why? When you shut down the Keystone Pipeline, it’s not like the Canadians just leave that gas in the tar sands; instead, they put it on trucks and trains and they ship it south or they put it on ships and they ship it west to China. Both pollute more, produce more CO2,” he noted.
“When you shut down production in the United States it’s not like the rest of the world suddenly ceases driving cars or flying jet airplanes; what happens instead is producers like Russia, producers like the Middle east produce more, and all of that production is dirtier; it pollutes more; and it’s more carbon emissions, more CO2.”
“So the effect of Joe Biden, the effect of the Greens in Germany has been more pollution and more CO2 emitted to the environment. Their rhetoric is not what they’re trying to do; what they’re really trying to do, it’s an irrational, emotional response. The Biden administration wants to destroy U.S. energy production,” Cruz charged.
“And I gotta say this past week has illustrated it powerfully; you’ve seen the Biden administration travel to Venezuela, go to Nicolas Maduro, a vicious dictator, an illegitimate government, someone who murders his own citizens, and beg them to produce oil. You’ve seen the Biden administration this week in Vienna with Iran trying to have the Ayatollah Khomeini produce more oil. And it is bizarre that this administration wants enemies of America like Russia and Iran and Venezuela to produce oil and at the same time to destroy jobs here in America,” Cruz concluded.