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Politics

Christie lets Fed off the hook for inflation, blames Trump and Biden for overspending

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Kevin Breuninger@KevinWilliamB

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Key Points
  • Cooling inflation is no thanks to President Joe Biden, Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie told CNBC.
  • The Federal Reserve “may have waited too long to do what they were doing on rates, and therefore had to raise them much more quickly,” Christie said.
  • Biden and former President Donald Trump both deserve the lion’s share of the blame for inflation due to their profligate spending, the former New Jersey governor argued.

Fmr. NJ Gov. Chris Christie: The problem with both Trump and Biden is they don't control spending

VIDEO4:1004:10
Fmr. NJ Gov. Chris Christie: The problem with both Trump and Biden is they don’t control spending
Last Call

Americans dogged by persistently high prices are finally getting signs of relief as inflation has slowly but steadily cooled over the past year — but that’s no thanks to President Joe Biden, according to Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie.

“Inflation has started to retreat, I think almost exclusively because of [U.S. Federal Reserve] policy,” Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Last Call.”

“We’re certainly not seeing any reduction in spending by the Biden administration, and they’re still printing lots of free money,” Christie said.

The Fed is not entirely faultless, he said. “They may have waited too long to do what they were doing on rates, and therefore had to raise them much more quickly,” said Christie, “and I would be critical of that.”

But Biden and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, both deserve the lion’s share of the blame due to their profligate spending, the former governor argued.

“In the end, the cause of this is Joe Biden and his spending and Donald Trump and his spending during his time in the White House,” said Christie, whose presidential primary campaign has been more aggressively critical of Trump than most of his GOP rivals combined.

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The Biden administration has put his inflation-fighting efforts front and center in his first term in office. He championed a sweeping spending bill in 2022 dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act and has taken credit for the inflation rate shrinking in the year since its passage.

But recent polls show majorities of registered voters disapprove of how Biden has handled the economy and inflation in particular, exposing a major weakness as he seeks reelection in 2024.

Christie, making a pitch for himself on CNBC, vowed to rein in federal spending, which he argues is at the root of U.S. inflation woes.

The Fed, in turn, will start to lower rates when they see that the executive branch is not burning through trillions of dollars in deficit spending every year, he said.

“I am willing to say no to more federal spending,” Christie said.

But he would not say if he would reappoint Fed Chair Jerome Powell, whose current term expires in May 2026.

“It depends on how he does from here out,” Christie said.

Watch CNBC's full interview with GOP Presidential Candidate Chris Christie

VIDEO18:0218:02
Watch CNBC’s full interview with GOP Presidential Candidate Chris Christie
Last Call