Jean-Pierre Struggles to Defend Biden with Pressure from Don Lemon

“[We’re] in a place where we can actually put us in a place where the American people feel — can actually — we can take on inflation,” stated White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a train wreck interview on Monday’s CNNDon Lemon tonight. Welcomed by Lemon Jean-Pierre struggled to defend President Biden in his work for the country, placing blame for the economy on other outside factors and even explicitly stating that the country needs to be “in a good historic economic place, which is where we are right now.”

Lemon, probing further questions about the economy, asked if President Biden was was “being realistic about just how much this is impacting Americans and their pocketbooks?”

Jean-Pierre stated that Biden considers inflation his number one priority. He also made clear the source of high gas prices. Praising the American Rescue Plan passed by Biden and pushing unemployment statistics, she reminded Lemon, “We got to remember, we’re thinking about gas prices and food. This is coming from Putin’s war against Ukraine.”

Surprisingly, Lemon actually called her out by noting we have rising inflation and gas prices “before the war.” “They also say that last year’s stimulus package, which you mentioned, contributed to inflation,” he added.

Fumbling for words to convince Lemon about the President’s win for gun legislation, the Press Secretary stated the following: “So, the President has – has done everything that he –he can from – from — from the White House to take — to call – to call on Congress to act. This represents a small step towards the goal, isn’t it? We haven’t seen anything like this, a bipartisanship agreement on gun reform in decades, in a generation even.”

Lemon was criticized for suggesting the President might not be fit to lead. Jean-Pierre asked Jean-Pierre how he would mentally and physically feel if he ran again in 2024. A valid question, one that Jean-Pierre answered, “that is – I’ve – that is not a question we should be even asking. Look at all the great work he does. Look how he’s delivering for the American public.”

A recent touch on New York Times article with the headline: “Should Biden Run in 2024? Democratic Whispers of ‘No’ Start to Rise,” Press Secretary Jean-Pierre quickly discredited the work stating that the article “is hearsay, it’s salacious.” But what about from the words of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Referencing that interview between AOC with CNN host Dana Bash to ease Lemon and the public watching, Jean-Pierre grasped at straws, noting, “the congresswoman did say the President is doing a good job, so that’s good, right?”

For the entire transcript click on “expand”.

CNN Don Lemon Tonight


Eastern, 10:40:40

DON LEMON – Wall Street’s bad day, with stocks falling into bear markets. Concerns that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates to combat raging inflation sent the Dow down 876 points. This is something it has not done since 1994.

Stocks are experiencing a rough day following more negative economic news. National average gas prices reached a record high of $5 per gallon. Inflation data from the last year show that both food and energy have increased in the past year. Energy prices rose by more 34 percent, while food has increased by more 10 percent.

Despite all of this, the White House claiming that American consumers are, quote, “well-positioned to face these economic challenges,” and reiterating that president Biden’s plan — plans to run for election in 2024.

Karine Jean Pierre (White House press secretary) will be joining me for this discussion. Karine Jean-Pierre, we thank you. This was an enormous buildup. It’s not great news when it comes down to the economy. Thank you for your support.


KARINE JEANPIIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I know it was an up-grade but thanks for having us.

LEMON: Hello, it’s good to see you. Yes, the economy. It is clearly in trouble. Do you think the President is being real about how big this will impact Americans’ pocketbooks and wallets?

JEAN-PIERRE : The President knows how this affects Americans and their pockets. The President understands the importance of what goes on around the dinner table. As a Scranton native, he understands how families feel when their prices increase. He can understand the panic that many people are feeling right now.

This is his number one economic priority. We’re not talking about inflation here, but the economy. We have to be able to look back at where we are today a year after he came into office. It was not in the best of health. Schools were not open. Businesses closed. The COVID Strategy was not comprehensive.

What he did was pass the American Rescue Plan. That plan was only passed by Democrats. It was his plan. This was his plan. Now we see an economy rebounding. Eight million jobs, 8.7 million jobs created. Low unemployment. Because of this, we feel we can take action against inflation.

Yes, we do understand what people are feeling. Remember, gas prices are a factor. Food is another. These are the results of Putin’s war on Ukraine. Since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2014, gas has seen an average $2 per gallon increase.


JEAN PIERRE: This is also a large part because Don has to explain where it all comes from.

LEMON: OK. That is what I get.


LEMON: BUT, LISTEN, before Putin, you know — the war began, and I recall — when the first bombs fell. Matthew Chance reported live from the broadcast. And even though


JEAN-PIERRE You were there.

LEMON: – The war in Ukraine is cited by economists. That was before the war. Supply chain problems were also a problem. You also mentioned that the stimulus package last year contributed to inflation, Karine. Do you think the Biden administration is responsible?


I’m referring to the fact that there has been growth. I have already mentioned over eight million jobs. We are now transitioning towards steady, stable growth. To discuss this, the President wrote an opinion piece in which he laid out his plans for bringing down inflation. This is very important. We need to have a strong economic history in order to carry this forward. That’s where we are at the moment.

LEMON: Hello, I’d like to introduce — Let’s talk about this bipartisan gun control agreement. The agreement includes a simplified review for purchasers under 21 years old and the resources to allow states to pass red flag laws. It’s missing many of the things the Administration wanted. This includes an assault weapon ban, and raising the purchase age for assault weapons to 21. Is President Biden still a fan of this win?

JEAN-PIERRE It’s clear that President Biden is sensitive to the fact that this country doesn’t possess everything he requested. When he visited Uvalde last week to speak with parents and to gather with the community — some victims’ families as well as the vic — they asked him to do something.

So, the President has – has done everything that he –he can from – from — from the White House to take — to call – to call on Congress to act. It’s one step closer, isn’t it? This bipartisanship agreement regarding gun reform is something we haven’t seen in decades. Not even in a generation.

We have now seen that the two sides came together and they negotiate. This is how negotiations look like.

The President will fight to keep our country safe by calling on other items, such as banning assault weapons and national red flag laws.


JEAN-PIERRE This is all about saving lives. The text should be written by Congress, passed and sent to him immediately.

[Cuts to live]

LEMON: Let’s talk more about 2024. That’s next.

[Commercial break]

LEMON: Democrats and President Biden face many challenges as they prepare for this year’s midterm elections. This raises concerns about whether the White House and the party should be looking ahead to the 2024 election.

Continue reading with Karine Jean Pierre, White House Press Secretary.

[Cuts back to video]

The midterm elections are only a few weeks away, but presidents have a finite time to campaign again or run for office again.

President Biden: I don’t think I know — I’m certain you’ve seen, but there was an a New York TimesThis article discusses the fact that whispers in the Democratic Party are becoming louder. Listen. When asked by CNN if she would vote for Biden in 2024, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said this. It’s here.

[Cuts to clip]

REP. ALEXANDRIAOCASIO-CORTEZ, D-NY: It’s a bridge we will cross when it’s ready. But I believe if the president is able to see, that would be a sign that we are all open to discussing and examining when that time arrives.



OCASIO CORTEZ: The president has done a great job thus far. You know what, if he runs again, I believe that it is – it will be — we’ll have a look at it.

[End clip]

LEMON: Okay. LEMON: Okay.



JEAN-PIERRE Take a look —


LEMON: He will run for office in 2024.

JEAN PIERRE: There’s one — let’s just say that there are two — the Hatch Act is what I need to pay attention to. The President repeatedly stated that he intends to run for president in 2024, and I will have to let it be.

LEMON: OK. OK. However, are you worried? Is the administration concerned about Democrats not supporting President Trump in 2024 even though it is impossible to know for certain if they are.


JEAN-PIERRE Only I know what the President wants to do. Don, let’s face it, the American people are our priority. This is the work we have done with the economy and that’s what we did with COVID since he arrived.

Let’s not forget that when the man walked into COVID as he was looking for it, there wasn’t a comprehensive plan in place to get everyone vaccinated. More than 200 million people have been vaccinated.

However, I will say that we have two sides to the story. One, while we are working to lower inflation and reduce gas prices. Two, you have Republicans. You have Republicans and what they’re doing is they’re putting out a plan, Rick Scott, Senator Rick Scott put out a plan on how he wants to raise taxes on people making less than $100,000 and so –


LEMON: Karine, listen, that’s what I get.

JEAN-PIERRE — Social Security, Medicare, and sunset Medicare. These are important things


LEMON: These are crucial policy issues.

JEAN PIERRE: — for communities throughout the country.

LEMON: These are very important issues that need to be addressed. They are discussed at every Presidential election.

However, the problem is:


LEMON: The President doesn’t appear to respond to questions in direct or succinctly during interview. There is also his approval rating. Gallup’s latest poll shows that 40% of Americans like Biden as President.


LEMON: What do you plan, as the White House spokesperson, to convince voters that Donald Trump is still the greatest candidate? Are he, are he his best at the moment?

JEAN-PIERRE He’s a straight shooter, and he puts it in the best possible light. That is why people feel he’s authentic, genuine, and real.

It’s something I can see when we visit Philly. It will be there. Our family just returned from New Mexico. As a travel companion, I’ve seen how the people react to this president and how they value his efforts. That is what I believe matters.

Our focus is again on delivering for American citizens, according to polls. Inflation is our top economic priority. The President must deal with other problems. That’s what he will focus on.


LEMON: Is there any concern in the Administration about President Trump’s polling results?

JEAN-PIERRE : This is not the topic we are referring to. We are focused, we truly focus on getting the job done for the American people.

LEMON: Do you believe the President will be able to keep going after 2024?

JEAN-PIERRE He’s President of the United States. He — I cannot even keep up with him. He just returned from New Mexico. We have just come back from California. It is — That’s not something we need to be asking. Look at all the great work he does. Take a look at the results he is able to deliver for American citizens.

This is what we meant — the article you were talking about was hearsay. We don’t care about that. What are our plans for the American people’s lives? What are you doing to improve their lives? This is what President Obama talks about. It is what the President talks about and we will keep it that way.

LEMON: Karine Jean-Pierre. Thank you. It is a great pleasure to have you here. Thank you for coming back.

JEAN PIERRE: Thank you, Don. I appreciate your time.

LEMON: I am very grateful.


LEMON: I am very thankful.


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