Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) slammed President Joe Biden and Democrats on Sunday for trying to deflect blame over rising gas prices and skyrocketing inflation.
Barrasso made the remarks during an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, firing back when Stephanopoulos brought up the fact that Democrats are trying to pin blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Well, Joe Biden can’t hide from the fact that he is the president of high gas prices,” Barrasso said. “And they’re looking for anyone to blame, whether it’s Putin, whether it’s Republicans, whether it’s the energy companies, whether it’s COVID.”
“The Democrats have a very big problem with 40-year high inflation, highest gas prices ever,” he continued. “When Joe Biden came into office, it was $2.38 a gallon for gasoline. Americans paid $1,000 more for energy last year than the year before. And on polling last week, 70 percent of Americans say more American oil and gas and less emphasis on climate.”
.@POTUS can't hide from the fact that he is the president of high gas prices. Democrats are looking for anyone to blame, whether it's Putin, Republicans, energy companies, or Covid. They have a very big problem with 40-year high inflation and the highest gas prices ever. pic.twitter.com/oBqKsBN7yv
— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) March 20, 2022
FULL TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA ABC NEWS:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Let’s bring in Senator John Barrasso right now.
Senator Barrasso, I do want to begin where Senator Durbin just left off in those attacks from Senator Hawley this week. You met with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson earlier this week. And you said — you didn’t say — suggest how you’re going to vote, but you said this should not be a process of character assassination. Is that what Senator Hawley was doing?
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): Well, these hearings are going to — and the whole process is going to be fair, respectful and thorough.
I did meet with her. Clearly, very intelligent. We talked about judicial philosophy. I talked about Justice Scalia, that the — is Constitution, a legal document, not a living document. We had a very good meeting.
I’m less concerned about her statements than I am about Chuck Schumer’s statements. He said she’s going to rule with empathy. A judge ought to be making decisions based on the law as written, not the way they feel about it.
So, he also said check her record. And going through the record, there are some concerns that people have about her being perceived as soft on crime. That’s all going to come out with the hearings but they’re going to be respectful, they’re going to be thorough and they’re going to be fair, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah. But do you think Senator Hawley’s attacks were fair?
BARRASSO: Well, he’s going to have his opportunity to question the judge as will all the members of the committee.
The last time we had a hearing with Kavanaugh, he was accused of being a serial rapist with no evidence whatsoever. So, I think we’re going to have a fair process and a respectful process, unlike what the Democrats did to Justice Kavanaugh.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You also heard Senator Durbin on gas prices and inflation, where he said it’s clearly — President Putin has to bear some of the blame. And he took on your comment about climate elitists saying we have to take climate change seriously. Is he wrong about that?
BARRASSO: Well, Joe Biden can’t hide from the fact that he is the president of high gas prices. And they’re looking for anyone to blame, whether it’s Putin, whether it’s Republicans, whether it’s the energy companies, whether it’s COVID.
The Democrats have a very big problem with 40-year high inflation, highest gas prices ever. When Joe Biden came into office, it was $2.38 a gallon for gasoline. Americans paid $1,000 more for energy last year than the year before. And on polling last week, 70 percent of Americans say more American oil and gas and less emphasis on climate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the war in Ukraine. What should the United States be doing right now that it’s not doing?
BARRASSO: Well, first, you just had Senator Durbin on. He and I were in Ukraine together in 2014, the day that Russia took Crimea.
There’s a bipartisan group of senators right now at the border between Poland and Ukraine. There is a bipartisan, committed group in Washington committed to helping the heroic people of Ukraine. So proud of President Zelenskyy and the courage that he has shown. And, in Congress, we are trying to get the administration on board to a level that we feel we’ve filled the void in a bipartisan way.
The president has had to be pushed and pulled to where he is today. It was Congress that brought about sanctions, that brought about the ban on Russian oil, that brought about weapons and all of this big aid package that I voted for a week or two ago, $13 billion. So far the administration has only released $1 billion of that. And if — as President — I think if they’d done more in sanctions, we might not have been in this situation if they had done punishing sanctions before the tanks began to roll.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, one —
BARRASSO: President Biden is going to NATO this week. He’s — he’s going to — he’s going to NATO this week. And if he wants to lead from the front and America lead from the front rather than leading from behind, there are three specific things he needs to do, in my opinion, at NATO this week.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What are the three specific things?
BARRASSO: Well, number one is, he needs to tell NATO that we collectively are going to supply the people of Ukraine things that they know how to use, whether it’s drones, planes, missile systems. Number two, he has to say that he is going to go from Brussels to the eastern front of NATO to show the resolve of NATO and the United States’ commitment as well. And, third, he needs to say to the people of Europe who are really in a tough situation with regard to energy and the dependence that they have on Russian energy, that we are going to increase the exporting of liquified natural gas from America to them.
Even Germany has come up to the fact that they said, look, energy security, George, is much more important than climate zealotry. The president needs to lead by saying, we are going to increase production of oil and natural gas in the United States, we’re going to send it to you and we — that’s what — what leadership is all about. I have legislation, in a bipartisan way, to make that possible.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Barrasso, thanks very much for your time this morning.
BARRASSO: Thank you, George.
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