Florida elected officials' war of words with Biden escalates

(The Center Square) – Florida’s war of words with President Joe Biden continues after its former governor and now junior senator, Republican Sen. Rick Scott, called on the president to resign.

Biden blamed Republicans for record-high inflation Tuesday, also claiming they want to raise taxes, taking aim at Scott.

“They don’t want to solve inflation by lowering your costs,” Biden said. “They want to solve it by raising your taxes and lowering your income. I happen to think it’s a good thing when American families have a little more money in their pockets at the end of the month but Republicans in Congress don’t seem to think so.”

Since Biden took office, inflation has hit 40-year highs, gas prices reached all-time highs, and housing costs are up by 40% in some residential markets throughout the country. Under the Trump administration, Republicans passed tax reform legislation that cut federal taxes for most Americans, and the year-over-year inflation rate in 2020 was 1.36%.

The average cost of gasoline in 40 states on May 11, 2020, was $2 a gallon or less. On May 11, 2022, the average was $4.40 a gallon, the highest recorded by AAA.

“The most effective thing Joe Biden can do to solve the inflation crisis he created is resign," Scott said. "He’s the problem. Getting him out of office is a quick and easy solution.”

In a statement released by Scott's office, he also spoke to Biden’s state of mind.

“Let’s be honest here,” he added. “Joe Biden is unwell. He’s unfit for office. He’s incoherent, incapacitated and confused. ... He’s incapable of leading and he’s incapable of carrying out his duties. Period.

“Everyone knows it. No one is willing to say it. But we have to, for the sake of the country. Joe Biden can’t do the job.”

During his Tuesday remarks, Biden criticized Scott specifically, mistakenly referring to him as the senator from Wisconsin.

The White House put out a statement claiming Biden’s plan for inflation “would contrast with the approach with Congressional Republicans’ ultra-MAGA plan to raise taxes on 75 million American families and threaten to sunset programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” referring to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” policies and Scott’s “11-point Plan to Rescue America.”

Scott said these claims were just the latest “in a series of speeches and statements from the White House attacking” him “with lies.” He points to a Washington Post fact-checker that rated the White House claims with “‘Three Pinocchios’ (barely missing Four),” with four being the most blatant.

Biden also claimed that Scott’s plan would cause American families to pay $1,500 more in taxes.

“Bidenflation,” as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls it, effectively taxes every American, Scott and others argue, because Americans are spending more for the same products or aren’t purchasing the same products because they are too expensive. The average U.S. household is spending an extra $5,200 a year compared to last year, according to a Bloomberg Economic estimate.

After Biden’s remarks, Scott invited Biden to Florida to debate him on inflation and other issues.

“We know that Joe Biden can be rolled up to the podium and give a speech from a teleprompter – albeit with a notable amount of rambling incoherence. But I believe the American people deserve a real debate on this issue,” he said. “I’d welcome President Biden to Florida to debate inflation, the supply chain and Biden’s economy that’s hurting hard-working families. I’m sure one of the many small businesses in Florida that’s struggling to keep its doors open with prices rising and supply shortages caused by the Democrats’ economic policies would be happy to host. I’ll even let President Biden use some notes.”

In response to criticism directed at him, he said, “Joe Biden can blame me all he wants. Here’s the truth: he’s the President of the United States, Democrats control the House of Representatives and the Senate. Democrats’ agenda is hurting American families and no amount of spin can change that.”

Florida'd Republican elected officials have battled Biden since the beginning of his administration. DeSantis has rejected Biden administration mask and vaccine mandates, shutdown and health policies, open border policies, attack on parental rights, and regressive economic policies. Attorney General Ashley Moody has increasingly sued the president.

DeSantis, who just signed the largest tax relief bill in Florida history, argues inflation under Biden will likely “plunge the United States into a recession.” Florida will be able to withstand it because of the state's free market policies, he said, and continue to lead the nation as the most economically free state.

Florida, a state with no personal income tax and a low business tax, remains one of the top destinations for residents fleeing higher-tax states.

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