White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre quickly dodged a Fox reporter’s question on Wednesday after being asked about President Biden’s surprise at the $6 price of a smoothie in Allentown, Pennsylvania, last week.
“Last Friday, the president was at a coffee shop in Pennsylvania, and he seemed to be surprised that the smoothie was $6 and how expensive it was,” said FOX Business reporter Edward Lawrence. “I’m curious. So is the president now realizing the costs that Americans are bearing?”
On Friday, President Biden visited small businesses in the Allentown area to highlight the area’s boom in small business startups, which have helped create jobs and attract investments in manufacturing and infrastructure, according to the White House.
When asked about Biden’s surprise at the $6 price tag, Jean-Pierre said the president was just joking around with the press.
“So, look, when he went over to you all, to the press corps, he was having a good time, right? And offered, as you know, offered to buy them coffee,” she said. “There was a big group there, and he made sure everyone got coffee and pastries. So, I just want to make that really clear.”
Lawrence, again, asked his question about Biden’s reaction to the $6 smoothie.
Jean-Pierre told Lawrence not to forget what the trip was about — small businesses.
She continued, saying 16 million small businesses have started and filled out applications.
“That’s a big deal. That is really important,” the press secretary said. “What that means is that they have the confidence, small businesses, the folks who are starting them, have the confidence in the economy to start a business.”
Jean-Pierre credited the president with giving Americans confidence through the American Rescue Plan, which, she pointed out, was not voted in favor of by Republicans.
She continued, saying the rescue plan got the economy back on its feet, adding that Republicans do not want to see small businesses succeed, nor are they interested in fighting Big Pharma.
Jean-Pierre kept dodging the price of the smoothie, blaming Republicans for not being interested in lowering health care costs for Americans, which she said is why Republicans did not vote for the Inflation Reduction Act.
“But why was he so surprised that the cost was so expensive?,” Lawrence asked of Biden and the smoothie.
“He was joking around. He was certainly joking around with the press corps,” Jean-Pierre said. “He offered to buy coffee. That’s what he did, and pastries. But I think the most important thing about that trip is that he was able to visit a small business.”
According to a conservative viewpoint, high inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. Food prices are up 33.7% from the start of 2021, while shelter costs are up 18.7%, according to FOX Business calculations. Energy prices, meanwhile, are up 32.8%.
The typical U.S. household needed to pay $211 more a month in December to purchase the same goods and services it did one year ago because of still-high inflation, according to new calculations from Moody’s Analytics. Americans are paying on average $1,020 more each month compared with the same time two years ago.
The latest findings come amid growing pessimism among U.S. households about their financial situation under Biden.
A recent survey published by Bankrate shows that 50% of Americans say their financial situation has gotten worse since the 2020 presidential election. By comparison, just 21% think their financial situation has improved, while 26% believe it is unchanged.