House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday the Democrats’ battle “isn’t about inflation,” as the midterm elections are looming in just over two weeks.
Voters consistently rate the economy and rising costs as one of their top issues in the race.
It has also become a political cudgel for Republicans tying opponents across the country to President Joe Biden’s handling of the U.S. economy.
But Pelosi, who said he was optimistic about Democrats’ chances despite the huge range of bleak election forecasts, seemed to urge her party members to focus their campaigns on something other than rising inflation.
“I see very clearly that the ownership of the land is with us. It’s about getting the mood out. Everything else is a conversation compared to that,” the California Democrat told CBS News’ Face The Nation.
‘But for that you have to have inspiration. You can’t run out on empty.’
She added, and the fact is that when I hear people talking about inflation… we need to change the subject. Inflation is a worldwide phenomenon.’
Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who consults with Democrats, suggested he was concerned that so few left-wing voters came early.
“Well, I’m concerned about the turnout among young people and working people who are going to vote democratically,” Sanders told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a sit-down interview with CBS News that the Democrats’ struggle is “not about inflation,” but rather “the cost of living”
And I think, again, what the Democrats need to do is pit their economic plan against the Republicans.
‘What are the Republicans talking about? They want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid at a time when millions of seniors are struggling to pay their bills. Do you think we should? Democrats should do that for them.”
With a potential recession on the horizon, the economy will likely be a powerful motivator for Republicans to win back one or both chambers of Congress.
And a new ABC News poll released Sunday indicates that while they aren’t thrilled about it, voters prefer Republicans over Democrats when it comes to dealing with the economy.
Of the voting-age adults surveyed, 36 percent said they prefer GOP-led stewardship of the overall economy, compared with 22 percent who put their trust in Democrats.
But on Sunday, Pelosi tried to parse words about what Americans are suffering from, as Democrats try to distance themselves from blame for rising costs.
“The EU, the European Union, the UK, the British have higher inflation than we do here,” she explained.
Despite Pelosi’s optimism, Senator Bernie Sanders said he was “concerned” about Democratic turnout so far in the election
“It’s not… the battle isn’t about inflation. It’s about the cost of living.’
She praised the Democrats’ legislative victories in regulating drug prices and claimed that the Republicans, despite hammering the Democrats on it, have “no plan” to fight inflation.
“If you look at what we’ve done to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, to bring down the cost of energy and everything else in our legislation, you’ll see that it’s being opposed at every step by Republicans.” , and they have no plan to lower the cost of living or help with inflation,” Pelosi said.
While overall inflation has fallen since it hit 9.1 percent in June, the most recent data suggests the breakneck pace of rising costs could plague Americans for a while.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was the largest increase since 1982.
It is up 6.6 percent in September from 12 months earlier, according to the latest Labor Department data. Total inflation is 8.2 percent higher than a year earlier.
But Pelosi remained defiant when asked if Biden’s COVID-19 pandemic spending package contributed to skyrocketing costs, telling host Margaret Brennan: “No, absolutely not.”
She also defended the approval of those bills by Congress.
“We need to take a step forward to solve the pandemic problem, but we have done it in a way that would reduce the national deficit. And that cannot be ignored,” Pelosi said.
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