CNBC’s Joe Kernen Grills Rep. Gottheimer Over ‘Bidenomics’ Dodge as President’s Approval Hits Near-Low

In a tense exchange on Monday, CNBC’s Joe Kernen firmly challenged Democratic New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer as he evaded a difficult question regarding “Bidenomics.”

This comes at a time when President Biden’s approval rating reached a near-low of 41% in late June, as revealed by a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

Respondents expressed growing unease about the state of the economy and rising inflation rates, reflecting their top concerns.

“There’s a piece in The Journal today that says ‘Bidenomics throws free trade and free market capitalism under the bus in favor of centralized government controls.’ You saw the budget that the president wasn’t going to get anywhere, but you saw it it was almost — I mean a lot of tax hikes. Do you have any problems with any of this, with what you’re watching are you allowed to say if you do as a Democrat? Do you think — why do you think the country —” Kernen asked.

“It’s always good to see you on a Monday,” Gottheimer began before Kernen cut in to ask him to repeat what he said.

“It’s always what?”

“Good to see you on a Monday, you’ve gone right in, I like that. The –” Gottheimer began to say before Kernen once again interjected.

“It’s a simple question. You know, you say that you’re a blue dog, you say that you’re a problem solver, are you fully behind Bidenomics and what we’ve seen?”

“I think if you look at where the economy is right now in terms of getting out of Covid, getting out of a supply chain strain and look at the numbers that have been produced, those are positive. Inflation is slowing, we still have challenges there but it’s down 11 months in a row, two year low. You’ve got 13 million new jobs under this administration. 200,000 new jobs in the jobs report in June, unemployment remains around 3.6%, so the bottom line is there’s been good progress, the Inflation Reduction Act and obviously the debt deal we just did in a bipartisan way, which will reduce the deficit by 1.5 trillion over 10. Those are all good, positive steps. As you know, Joe, I’m not for higher taxes,” Gottheimer said. “I think we need to make life more affordable for folks, especially in the northeast and Jersey.”

“Do you see any issues with, you know, the free market sort of being displaced by the government picking winners and losers and a lot more regulation any of that, do you raise an eyebrow?” Kernen pressed. 

“That’s a big question. The bottom line is I believe we need guardrails but obviously less red tape and bureaucracy. I think we need to make things more affordable. So if your question is should we have lower taxes rather than higher taxes of course we should have lower taxes. I believe deeply in a free market, and I’m a capitalist. So the bottom line is I think we live in the greatest country in the world where there’s a huge opportunity,” Gottheimer said.

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