During the November 29th press briefing, one which Karine Jean Pierre began with a long speech about the US needing to funnel ever more arms and weapons to the Ukrainians, KJP was asked about an issue on the minds of many Americans: the price of fuel.
Specifically, a reporter asked Jean Pierre about the potential of another OPEC oil cut, asking “Karine, we’ve heard from multiple sources within OPEC that they’re looking at another oil output cut. This is just a couple of days after I think you guys helped them thwart another missile attack from an Iranian-linked group. Do they not care about this alliance as much as the United States does?”
Responding, KJP tried to but some time to think, asking “Who are you talking about? ” even though the question was obviously about Saudi Arabia.
The reporter confirmed the question was about “the Saudis” and KJP then stumbled over an attempt at a dismissive answer, saying “Well, look — I mean, look, I’m not going to get ahead of what potential announcement OPEC Plus is going to make. As you know, we are not members of OPEC Plus, so not — certainly not going to get ahead of that.”
So either Team Biden has no idea what the Saudis are planning, or no influence over them and doesn’t want to delve into bad news ahead of time. Either way, it’s not looking great on that front.
Pressing further, the reporter asked “Would you pursue an output cut?” And that’s when things went particularly badly for KJP and her answer, as her answer almost completely avoided answering the question, meaning that the answer is “no” but that the administration can’t control the Saudis. Here’s what KJP said:
I mean, look, what I will say is the President has done the work this past several months to make sure that we bring down prices at the pump — gas prices at the pump for the American family and — and the American people just across — across communities, across the country.
And we have seen that effort pay — pay forward, right? We have seen prices go down because of the str- — because of the historic actions that the President talk — took when it came to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
And that is what matters. That is what the President is going to focus on. He’s always going to look at ways to bring down costs for the American people. He has said many times — we have said, when it comes to our economic plan, inflation — focusing on inflation is a priority, lowering costs for American people is a priority.
That’s why the Inflation Reduction Act was so important — right? — making sure that went through and signing that into — into law. And only Democrats voted for that. And that’s going to bring down costs, healthcare costs for American people. That’s going to make a real investment in climate change to — an historic investment. And that’s going to be the focus of the President.
I’m just not going to get ahead of a potential announcement by OPEC Plus.