Political class sausage making, elections

Glenn Kessler:

“Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39 — down from over $5 when I took office.”

 remarks at a community college in Syracuse, N.Y., Oct. 27

Many readers complained about his comment, given that average gas prices were about $2.48the week Biden took office, according to the Energy Information Administration. Soaring gas prices over the course of Biden’s presidency have been a drag on his approval ratings. (The White House in fact has preferred to refer the “most common price,” which comes from the GasBuddy app and tends to be lower than the average price because California, with its super-high gas prices, raises the average.)

Biden was basically correct on the “most common price” at the time he made this comment but appears to have misspoken about the price when he took office. Generally, his speeches have referenced prices over the summer, not when he took office, as that tells a better story. For instance, a few days later, on Oct. 31, Biden said: “In June, the average price — not the most common price, but the average price — nationwide was — was over $5 a gallon. Today, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.76.”

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