Biden twice makes false claim that inflation was 9% when he took office

Alfred Lubrano, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Political News

President Joe Biden erroneously said twice in one week that inflation was at 9% when he took office in 2021.

In reality, inflation stood at 1.4% when Biden assumed the presidency in January of 2021.

Biden made the false statements in interviews with CNN on May 8, and with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.

“No president has had the run we’ve had in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation,” Biden told CNN. “It was 9% when I came to office, 9%.”

In the Yahoo interview, Biden was asked why Americans are not feeling “wealthy,” and he said, “I think inflation has gone slightly up. It was at 9% when I came in and it’s now down around 3%.”

Voter discontent over Biden’s performance with pocketbook issues was front of mind with Pennsylvanians in a new Philadelphia Inquirer/New York Times/Siena College poll, conducted April 28 to May 7.


Across the age spectrum, voters indicated they have deeply negative impressions of the president’s job performance and his ability to lead on issues such as the economy. Voters favored former President Donald Trump to handle the economy over Biden by a 12-point margin.

Explaining Biden’s errors, a White House official told The Associated Press that “the president was making the point that the factors that caused inflation were in place when he took office,” adding that “the pandemic caused inflation around the world by disrupting our economy and breaking our supply chains.”

The AP further reported that inflation fell from 2.5% in January 2020 to a low of 0.1% in May 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country. It was already rising when Biden entered the White House and continued to go up until June 2022, when it hit 9.1%, the largest 12-month increase in approximately 40 years.

“I don’t know Biden’s motivations for saying the same untrue thing twice,” said David Kahl Jr., professor of communication at Penn State-Behrend in Erie who is an expert on disinformation. “Repeating it could be designed to mislead the public.


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