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The economy has taken a massive tumble in recent months and some political experts are questioning just how much it will impact the upcoming midterm elections in November as inflation soars to its highest rate in four decades and gas prices reach record highs.
The U.S. inflation rate of 8.3% was among the highest in the developed world in April and May, far out-pacing Japan, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Canada. President Biden’s administration has scrambled to find an answer to inflation and spiking gas prices, which remain near $5 per gallon nationally.
To better understand how the economy will impact the elections, or whether it will at all, Fox News Digital contacted four political experts to get their assessment.
Frome left to right: Kellyanne Conway, former White House counselor to President Trump; Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News contributor; and Tulsi Gabbard, former Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii. (Lou Rocco/ABC, Amy Sussman, Anna Moneymaker – Getty Images)
Tulsi Gabbard, former U.S. Congresswoman from Hawaii and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate:
“I think the most important thing is that Americans across the country are looking for solutions. People are already struggling right now, tremendously, because of inflation, because of rising gas prices. People don’t feel safe in their own communities. You know, the value of the dollar is dropping as things get more and more expensive and people are having a hard time making ends meet. I think what they’re looking for, regardless of political party, are leaders who are going to bring solutions and actually take action to start to address these problems.
“I’m sitting here in Washington, D.C., right now and very cognizant of the reality about how disconnected most of our political leaders are from that struggle and that frustration reality that Americans across the country are already facing. … When people hear messages coming from the White House like ‘We may be entering a recession, but it’s really not gonna be that bad,’ things are already bad. Things are already difficult for a lot of people and it just further increases their lack of faith and confidence that people in Washington even know what they’re going through when they hear statements like that. People want solutions, so that is what they’ll be looking for now, and as we go forward.
“There is way too much focus on quote-unquote messaging, or changing the messaging, or improving the messaging, or the narrative. What does that have to do with reality? You can say things are gonna be different or better, but unless people are actually seeing action, unless people are actually seeing steps forward towards progress and solving these challenges, all they will continue to hear is a lot of lip service…”
Tulsi Gabbard, former Representative from Hawaii, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Kellyanne Conway, former presidential campaign manager and former White House counselor to President Trump:
“When it comes to the economy, Democrats want you to believe not what you see, but what they say. You see skyrocketing prices; they say ‘I really doubt that we’re going to see an inflationary cycle’; it’s ‘transitory’ and a ‘high class problem’ that is ‘caused by’ COVID and ‘has everything to do with the supply chain.’
“Inflation and fears of recession have battered household finances and threatened overall stability and personal savings. U.S. consumer sentiment plunged in early June and fell to the lowest level on record, matched by the highest inflation numbers in 40 years. Recent polls from Fox News and CNN tell the same tale of woe: well over three-quarters of Americans rate the economy as somewhat or very poor; that includes 81% of Independents and 76% of women. Biden blames Putin for American inflation; Americans blame Biden.
“The contrast of the Trump economy and Biden economy couldn’t be more stark. Inflation was low, wages were high, infant formula was on the grocery store shelves and gas was cheap. There is a way out. A growing number of nervous voters know it was much better not that long ago and they want that back.
“Republican leaders and candidates and other influencers must articulate and present policies that benefit the job creator, the job seeker and the job holder. These include unleashing energy independence, lowering tax burdens, ending the regulatory assault on American businesses and workers, enforcing fair and reciprocal trade deals, and building supply chains that put Americans to work-and put America first.”
Kellyanne Conway, a White House senior advisor to former President Trump speaks during an event on education at the America First Policy Institute on January 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Brandon Arnold, executive vice president at the National Taxpayers Union (NTU):
“Regardless of what Secretary Yellen claims, we are heading toward a recession. The real question is not if it will happen but how severe it will be. It’s a similar situation for Democrats in the upcoming election. It’s not a question of whether or not they are going to lose, it’s a question of how severe their losses will be.
“Obviously, these situations are highly interrelated. Bad economic policies from Congressional Democrats and President Biden have turned tough economic circumstances into an absolute disaster that will manifest itself at the ballot box in November. If Democrats are able to salvage any positives – like holding onto the Senate – they are going to need unforced errors by GOP candidates and a very shallow recession.
“Meanwhile, Republicans only need to keep the focus on economic issues while avoiding any major gaffes.”
Brandon Arnold, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union (National Taxpayers Union)
Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for George W. Bush & Fox News contributor:
“The Democrats are in big trouble, with or without a recession. But if there is a recession, many Democrats in safe seats will lose. Recessions are devastating to the public, but they’re even more devastating to politicians, especially those in the party in power.”
Ari Fleischer, media consultant and former White House press secretary at the Centurion Club, Hertfordshire ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. (Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
The comments provided to Fox News Digital in this article are part of a new weekend series where strategists from across the political spectrum are asked the same questions related to political hot topics and are provided with an opportunity to offer their perspective.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this article.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. On Twitter: @RealKyleMorris.