Buttigieg slams GOP as ‘going to war with Mickey Mouse’ while Dems ‘find solutions’ to inflation

Buttigieg says, 'There's a very clear difference in strategies here'

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tried to lay out the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties on Sunday, saying the former is trying to "find solutions" to the inflation crisis while the latter is busy "going to war with Mickey Mouse."

During an appearance on ABC News’ "This Week," Buttigieg was asked by host George Stephanopoulos to give advice to Democrats who are facing a tough midterm election due to the state of the economy.

"The bottom line is that there are two very clear and very different approaches here," Buttigieg responded. "There is our approach, which is to find solutions to invest in our supply chains like we're doing with the infrastructure money in certainly in my department and others to do everything we can to lower costs for American families, like the cost of insulin and prescription drugs."

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation of the United States of America, addresses a joint call for assistance to Ukraine at the International Transport Forum in Saxony, Leipzig on May 18, 2022. (Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"And then there's the other path that congressional conservatives have put forward, which doesn't really speak much to inflation," he continued. "It's raising taxes on lower and middle class families, making a lot of political hay out of the very real challenges that families are feeling and going to war with Mickey Mouse. So there's a very clear difference in strategies here against some very challenging economic problems."


Buttigieg went on to argue that President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan potentially saved the country from an economic depression. 

"Pretty much any mayor I talk to talks about the different investments that they're making in their community thanks to that," he said. "And along with that, extraordinary job growth, exceptionally low unemployment, increases in income for American families – that didn't just happen on its own. And the fact that unemployment is as low as it is right now would not have happened, I believe, if it were not for the actions that the president took and the actions that that Congress did move through and pass, like the Rescue Plan and what we're increasingly going to see in the benefits of this infrastructure law."

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (C) speaks during a news conference marking six months since the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan (L) and National Economic Council (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Buttigieg comments contradict what many prominent economists have argued since the American Rescue Plan was passed exclusively by Democrats in March 2021. Economists Steven Rattner and Larry Summers, who both served under President Obama and donated thousands to President Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, have both repeatedly criticized the Biden administration for overheating the economy with the legislation that sent $1,400 to most Americans.

Democrats like Buttigieg continue to argue that pumping more money into the government via legislation like Biden’s Build Back Better agenda will eventually bring down costs and temper inflation, which hit 8.3% in May.


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President Joe Biden and the White House COVID-19 Response Team participate in a virtual call with the National Governors Association from the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House Complex on Monday, Dec (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)

During his ABC appearance, Buttigieg also declined to lay any blame on the Biden administration for high gas prices, which hit a national average of $4.85 a gallon on Sunday. The transportation secretary claimed that Biden tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve twice during his presidency has "helped to stabilize global oil prices."


"We also know that the price of gasoline is not set by a dial in the Oval Office," Buttigieg said, "And when an oil company is deciding hour by hour how much to charge you for a gallon of gas, they're not calling the administration to ask what they should do. They're doing it based on their goal of maximizing their profits."

"It's been very striking right now to see these oil companies who have become almost ridiculously profitable," he continued. "And you hear these oil executives on the record talking about how they're not going to increase production. Why would they? They're doing great right now. It’s why the president has called for a ‘use it or lose it’ policy, where if you're sitting on these thousands of permits like these oil executives have been, and you're not doing anything with them, then you're going to be held accountable for that."