As Inflation Skyrockets, MSNBC Frets About Possible Doom for Dems in Midterms

The disastrous inflation numbers released on Thursday have even penetrated the liberal cocoon of MSNBC. One MSNBC host late late last year told viewers “the dirty little secret” of inflation is that Americans can afford it just fine. But now the network is worried about a looming nightmare for Democrats in the 2022 midterms. 

CNBC economics reporter Steve Liesman did not try and sugarcoat the news that inflation soared 7.5 percent in January, telling host Chris Jansing: “I think you should take this exactly as it appears, which is it’s a bad number. Inflation is high…. So I’m afraid this number is bad and could get worse before at least the forecasts are it gets better towards the end of the year.” 

Jansing, however, eased in to the terrible ramifications for the Democrats: “There’s obviously a political question, Kristen, whether it will get better in time for the November elections. But having said that, the White House finally got some good news. They had a fantastic January jobs report. The President has been touting the best jobs growth in 40 years. What are they saying now?” 

Kristen Welker began by calling it a mixed bad, quoting talking points from the White House. 

Well, this is the mixed bag when it comes to the economy right now. And Press Secretary Jen Psaki about what they were anticipating in these numbers during yesterday’s briefing. She said, “Look, we are bracing for a report where inflation is going to be above seven percent.” So that’s what they got.

She is stressing that outside forecasters predict that, eventually, over time, it will start to decrease and moderate. To your point, Chris, the window for that to happen politically in order for the administration, for Democrats to be emboldened heading into the midterms needs to happen quite soon. So, will that happen? 

Welker conceded, however, that time was running short: “They make the case at the White House, if you lower the cost on things like child care, prescription drugs, health care costs, that these prices will start to come down overall. It will start to really get at the heart of what is driving this inflation. But, again, all of this taking place against the backdrop of the 2020 midterms so the time line is quite urgent, Chris.” 

A few minutes earlier, Jansing showed a list of skyrocketing prices, from chicken, to snacks, to soda, to televisions. 

Back on November 14, 2021, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle appeared on the Saturday Today and tried happy talk: “And the dirty little secret here, Willie [Geist], while nobody likes to pay more, on average we have the money to do so.” She emphasized that it was important to “put this in perspective.” 

Perspective can only go so far, even for MSNBC hosts, apparently. 

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A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more: 

Stephanie Ruhle Reports 
2/10/2022

STEVE LIESMAN (CNBC senior economics reporter):  I don’t see anything inside the report, like we often have, that says take it with a grain of salt. I think you should take this exactly as it appears, which is it’s a bad number. Inflation is high. And the trouble is I don’t see much relief, at least in the next several months, and the reason is because there may be some things that are yet to catch up or be caught by this consumer price index report today. What we had was higher energy prices, higher food prices, higher used cars. 

LIESMAN: So I’m afraid this number is bad and could get worse before at least the forecasts are it gets better towards the end of the year. 

CHRIS JANSING: There’s obviously a political question, Kristen, whether it will get better in time for the November elections. But having said that, the White House finally got some good news. They had a fantastic January jobs report. The President has been touting the best jobs growth in 40 years. What are they saying now? 

WELKER: Well, this is the mixed bag when it comes to the economy right now. And Press Secretary Jen Psaki about what they were anticipating in these numbers during yesterday’s briefing. She said, “Look, we are bracing for a report where inflation is going to be above seven percent.” So that’s what they got. She is stressing that outside forecasters predict that, eventually, over time, it will start to decrease and moderate. To your point, Chris, the window for that to happen politically in order for the administration, for Democrats to be emboldened heading into the midterms needs to happen quite soon. So, will that happen? 

That is the question mark. Back in July, president Biden said he expected these inflationary figures would be temporary, and now the fact we are getting yet another very difficult report suggests that that prediction just was not right. For his part, the President is going to be in Culpepper county, Virginia, later today. He’s going to appear with representative Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat up for re-election. They’ll tout a plan to bring down the price of prescription drugs and health care costs. I also anticipate we’ll hear from this President a renewed push to pass parts of his Build Back Better plan. They make the case at the White House, if you lower the cost on things like child care, prescription drugs, health care costs, that these prices will start to come down overall. It will start to really get at the heart of what is driving this inflation. But, again, all of this taking place against the backdrop of the 2020 midterms so the time line is quite urgent, Chris. 

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