AOC Says if Trump Wins He Will ‘Price Gouge’ Gas Prices, But They Reached Record Levels Under Biden

By: Alex Trent | Published: May 24, 2024

In a recent Spectrum News NY1 interview, Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unloaded on former President Donald Trump, saying among other attacks that another Trump precedency would be bad for gas prices.

AOC levied this criticism against Trump, despite US gas prices reaching their highest level under Democrat Joe Biden, and still being higher on average than when he was sworn in.

AOC Interview

On Thursday, AOC gave an interview to Spectrum News NY 1 ahead of Trump’s rally in the Bronx. Representative AOC’s 14th district includes the eastern part of the Bronx located in New York City.

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AOC is photographed in a white shirt against a grey background.

Source: Source: Nrkbeta/Wikimedia

She had choice words for the former president, given that his rally would be held amongst her constituency.

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Tricking People

In the interview, AOC gave her opinion on Trump’s motivations for the rally, thinking he is trying to trick her local constituents.

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Former President Donald Trump speaking at an event, gesturing with his right hand, wearing a dark suit and blue tie

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“This is an attempt to, I think, trick some of our folks here,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “What we see here is that former President Trump has been in court, he has mounting legal fees, and a lot of this is about covering the increasingly precarious financial situation that he’s in.”

Crowd Dispute

While Trump often brags about the size of his crowds, AOC was critical of this support, thinking that the same people are following him around rather than him building authentic support in the places he holds his rallies.

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Donald Trump in front of an official presidential podium and speaking into a microphone with a crowd behind him.

Source: Jackson A. Lanier/Wikimedia Commons

“I think in terms of a crowd size, it’s less about the size and more about who is there for holding a rally in the Bronx,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “And if there are folks from different states that are traveling in—which tends to be common with the Trump campaign—then I think it kind of shows that he kind of has to travel around with folks instead of going into communities and actually building authentic support.”

Hitting on Gas Prices

As the conversation switched towards the economy, Ocasio-Cortez brought up a previous incident where Trump was accused of soliciting donations from big oil executives, warning of the consequences if he is elected.

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A close-up of a gas station pump and options.

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“But even on the economic point, we just saw that the former president met with oil executives last week saying, hey, you give me $1 billion, and I’ll make sure that you get the policies that are favorable to raising gas prices and making sure that a lot of these companies continue to price gouge without proper oversight or regulation,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Stay Focused On the Issues

Ocasio-Cortez thinks a better strategy for Democrats is to focus on issues that are immediately pressing, rather than slug it out with Trump on the economy.

The logos of Republicans and Democrats against a black background.

Source: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

“It’s important that we stay focused on the issues that are most important to us,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

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Gas Prices Not a Good Talking Point

Although AOC hoped her comments warning of higher gas prices would resonate and sway voters, she doesn’t mention how gas price trends have gone under the current Democrat President Joe Biden.

A close-up of the price of gas at a gas pump.

Source: Krzysztof Hepner/Unsplash

In June 2022, unleaded gas prices reached the highest recorded average in US history at $5.016 per gallon,

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Higher Average Prices

It’s not just that gas peaked at the highest point in US history under Biden that undercuts AOC’s argument, there is also the fact that gas prices in America are still up 50% since he was sworn in.

A Chevron gas station displaying a price for regular gas at $7.29 per gallon.

Source: @scottbudman/X

According to AAA, the national average for gas prices sits at $3.609 and was $2.39 when Biden was inaugurated on January 20, 2021.

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Downplaying the Numbers

The Biden White House has attempted to downplay these numbers, choosing to emphasize in statements a fall in recent high inflation that also reached historic levels. 

President Joe Biden is speaking at a lectern with microphones, giving a thumbs-up gesture, with the American flag in the background

Source: POTUS/X

“Inflation is down by two-thirds from its peak, and costs have fallen for everyday purchases from a gallon of gas to a gallon of milk,” a White House fact sheet said in March.

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Peaking Inflation

Under President Biden, inflation in the US economy also peaked. In June 2022, inflation reached 9.1%, which is astronomical considering it usually ends up being around 3%. The Federal Reserve considers a 2% inflation rate as the ideal goal.

A balloon that has crashed into the ground.

Sean Robertson/Unsplash

In 2024 so far, the inflation rate has leveled out between 3.1 and 3.5%, but prices on many goods and services still remain high.

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Inflations Effect on Prices

Despite the fact that inflation has fallen from peak levels, many Americans aren’t seeing it as much of a win. Prices are still over 20% higher than they were in February 2020 when the inflation period began.

A fully stocked grocery store aisle with food on two rows lining the aisle.

Source: Franki Chamaki/Unsplash

Another compounding factor is that people’s wages largely have not kept up with the inflation rate, meaning that the increased prices hit even harder.

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Gas Prices Still a Problem

Although AOC wants to scare people about Trump’s effect on gas prices, the record under Biden at the current moment is not stellar.

A gas station with people and cars seen in the evening.

Source: Erik Mclean/Pexels

According to a Fox News survey released this week, 8 in 10 Americans say gas prices are a problem for their family. 89% said grocery prices are also a problem.

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