MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle has come under fire for saying it’s a “dirty little secret” that Americans can afford expensive groceries amid a 30-year high in inflation — because households saved money by not going out during the COVID pandemic.
Ruhle told NBC’s “Sunday Today” that the high inflation rate and rising cost of food across the country had been predicted and should be put “in perspective.”
“The dirty little secret here, Willie, while nobody likes to pay more, on average, we have the money to do so,” she told host Willie Geist.
“Household savings hit a record high over the pandemic, we didn’t really have anywhere to go out and spend.”
Inflation continued to surge last month with the Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods and services as well as energy and food costs, jumping 6.2 percent in October from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Friday.
It marks the fifth straight month inflation has surged more than 5 percent, year over year, under President Biden — with prices rising more than expected.
“Nobody knows when exactly [prices] are going down, but you have to put this on perspective. This inflation is not an isolation and the government predicted it is going to be a challenging recovery — recovery all tied to COVID,” Rahul said.
“We need to put all of this in perspective. This time last year … nobody had a vaccine, now 200 million Americans do and we’re seeing this push of demand, and that’s pushing up pricing.”
Adding to her argument, Ruhle said the US was expecting record retail sales this year, home values were up and the stock market was experiencing record highs.
“While the stock market isn’t the economy, you’ve got over half American households with some investments in the market,” she said.
Ruhle faced immediate backlash online, with some referring to as “Stephanie Antoinette” — a nod to the notorious Marie Antoinette’s extravagant and luxurious lifestyle.
Others accused her of being “tone-deaf” and “out of touch.”
Conservative media commentator Nicholas Fondacaro slammed Ruhle as an “inflation airhead.”
“NBC’s Stephanie Ruhle says the ‘dirty little secret’ of people complaining about paying higher prices for food and fuel for their homes is they can afford it just fine. According to her, people should have been saving during the pandemic and stocks look good,” he tweeted.
Ohio Senate candidate and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance also weighed in, tweeting: “In other words, inflation is the fault of the middle class for not planning enough.”
“Your winner for the most tone-deaf, elitist comment of the month has emerged,” another person tweeted.
Radio host Erik Erikson added: “Now we know where the White House gets their news and it explains so much. This is the sort of stuff that will cause the Democrats to really lose and I’m okay with that.”