Joe Biden’s west coast campaigning trip took another odd turn in Portland on Saturday when he proclaimed the American economy is “strong as hell” while munching on ice cream. That came one day after he drew criticism for creepily providing unrequested dating advice to a young teenage girl in California.
The Saturday claim about the economy came during a discussion with a reporter in a Portland Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop. Biden was asked if he was concerned at all about the strength of the U.S. dollar as the nation received another report of ever-rising inflation earlier in the week.
Biden, while munching on ice cream says, "Our economy is strong as hell."pic.twitter.com/NJHR1KHh4R
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) October 16, 2022
Biden casually ate his chocolate chip ice cream cone and responded: “I’m not concerned about the strength of the dollar. I’m concerned about the rest of the world. Our economy is strong as hell.”
The president went on to say that inflation is “worldwide” and places outside of the U.S. are “worse off.” He claimed that inflation is due to a “lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries not so much ours.”
In fact, an analysis in June from the Pew Research Center indicated that America’s price inflation was worse at the time than in many countries, including Mexico, China, and Canada.
Biden pondered his ice cream and added, “It’s consequential.”
Earlier on Saturday, Biden described new U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss’s economic plan for her country as a “mistake.” He said that cutting taxes on the “super-wealthy” was something he disagreed with, but said it’s “up to Great Britain to make that judgment.”
Biden was in Oregon as part of a tour of three western states to stump for Democratic candidates in advance of the midterm elections coming up next month. He had visited California on Friday and was set to stop in Colorado before returning to the White House.
His stop in Portland was considered especially important to Democrats as there is a real chance of a Republican taking the Oregon governorship for the first time since the 1980s. Two Democrats, Betsy Johnson and Tina Kotek, are currently splitting the vote which is giving Republican Christine Drazan an inside track in the race.
The current RealClearPolitics polling average has Drazen holding a three percentage point lead over Kotek, 37.3% to 34.3%. Johnson is polling third at 16.0%.
On Friday, Biden drew more unwanted attention in Irvine, California, after a speech at Irvine Valley College. He approached a teenage girl from behind and put his hand on her shoulder before telling her: “Now a very important thing I told my daughters and granddaughters — no serious guys until you’re 30.”
As Biden loomed just inches from her face, the girl uncomfortably said, “OK, I’ll keep that in mind.”
One reporter said that members of Biden’s Secret Service detail attempted to prevent him from filming the odd exchange.