Pelosi Reframes the Argument: 'The Fight Is Not About Inflation. It's About the Cost of Living'

Susan Jones | October 24, 2022 | 5:02am EDT
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People shop for bread at a supermarket in Monterey Park, California on October 19, 2022. Food prices in September rose 13% over last year, according to data released by the US government, as inflation remains at its highest level in decades. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
People shop for bread at a supermarket in Monterey Park, California on October 19, 2022. Food prices in September rose 13% over last year, according to data released by the US government, as inflation remains at its highest level in decades. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - With two weeks to go until election day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Americans shouldn't worry so much about the rising price of food and gasoline, because that's not the real issue.

"It's not -- the fight is not about inflation. It's about the cost of living," Pelosi told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"And if you look at what we have done to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, to bring down the cost of -- of energy and the rest in our legislation, you will see that that has been opposed every step of the way by the Republicans, and they have no plan for lowering the cost of living or helping with inflation."

Pelosi said when the talk turns to inflation, Democrats "have to change that subject."

She noted, as other Democrats have done, that inflation is a "global phenomenon." "The E.U., the European Union, the U.K., the British, have a higher inflation rate than we do here."

Here is what Pelosi told host Margaret Brennan, in context:

"Well, let's just say, first and foremost, good morning. It's Sunday morning, 15 days or so before the election -- vote -- people are already voting. We're very pleased with our early vote for our owning-the-ground initiative. I -- it's interesting to me, because, for a year-and-a-half, the media has been saying, oh, they've gone -- it's gone, the president's party always loses in the off-year.

“And now we're down to the stretch. And we're down to very close races. And we feel very confident. I've been in over 20 states since Congress adjourned in the last month or so. And I see very clearly that the ownership of the ground is with us.

“It's about getting out the vote. Everything else is a conversation compared to that. But in order to do that, you have to have inspiration. You can't run on empty. And the fact is, is that, when I hear people talk about inflation, as I heard him there, we have to change that subject. Inflation is a global phenomenon -- phenomenon.

“The E.U., the European Union, the U.K., the British, have a higher inflation rate than we do here.

“It's not -- the fight is not about inflation. It's about the cost of living. And if you look at what we have done to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, to bring down the cost of -- of energy and the rest in our legislation, you will see that that has been opposed every step of the way by the Republicans, and they have no plan for lowering the cost of living or helping with inflation."

Brennan told Pelosi that "spending" also enters the equation. She played a soundbite by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who said: "All of us are concerned about these rising costs. And all of us knew this would be the case when we put in place this recovery program. Any time you put more money into the economy, prices tend to rise."

Brennan asked Pelosi if she knew that congressional COVID-related spending could lead to inflation.

Pelosi said the various multi-trillion-dollar rescue/relief packages were "necessary for people to survive."

"But the point is, is that, when you reduce unemployment, it's inflationary. That is a fact,” she said:

“When I was a new member of Congress, I was told that unemployment was dangerously low in our hearings on inflation and unemployment. Unemployment is dangerously low for what it does to inflation.

“But the fact is, the point is, is that this is about helping America's working families meet their needs. And that was essential to them, less inflationary than a $2 trillion tax cut for the high end that the Republicans gave and we're still paying a price for, $2 trillion, 83 percent of the benefits going to the top 1 percent.

“So we feel proud of what we've done. We feel proud of the president to help America's working families to lower their cost, and, in doing so, to reduce the deficit.”

Pelosi said she's "optimistic" about the "close races" in this election cycle.

"It's like the Olympics," she said.

"And a half-a-second, you can be gold, silver, bronze, or honored to be an Olympian. So these are tough fights. But that's what they are. And it's a big change from what the media was -- media thread of, oh, they can't possibly win. No, we can possibly win."

Pelosi then repeated the familiar Democrat mantra that Republicans want to put Medicare, Social Security and health care "on the line," along with "the planet," "a woman's right to choose," and "issues that relate to prescription drugs."

Brennan asked Pelosi if it was a "miscalculation" for Democrats to focus on abortion, instead of the economy, as a motivation for voters:

"Well, I can just say this -- nobody ever -- elections are about the future," Pelosi said.

"They're about the economy. Everybody knows that. Nobody said we're doing abortion rather than economy, but it's about both. And I can tell you that that issue (abortion) is very, very provocative and encouraging people to vote across the country, having just been there, not sitting in Washington, but going around the country."

 

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