Cotton, who campaigned last week for Republicans in Iowa ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, told Breitbart News in a phone interview between events that he believes the high gas prices are on purpose.
“Most notably, more and more people tell me that they’re not even able to fill their pickup truck tank up for the entire week,” Cotton said. “They’ve got to fill up half a tank and hope that the price comes down by the end of the week. That, in particular, is the intended effect of Joe Biden’s energy policy. It’s not unintended or some accident. They want gas to cost $4 a gallon because they want all of us to get out of pickup trucks and SUVs and get into small electric compacts or bicycles or scooters or whatever else Pete Buttigieg takes to work.”
This is a significant development that sitting GOP U.S. senators are calling out Biden and his administration for, alleging that they are causing this phenomenon on purpose to push their agenda. Biden last week expressed shock about gas price hikes while selling his “infrastructure” plan after the U.S. House passed the so-called “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework,” 87 days after the U.S. Senate passed the bill. The president is expected to sign the plan, which contains billions of dollars in spending on a push toward electric vehicles away from cars and trucks that run on gasoline.
Cotton argues that the Democrats’ high-spending agenda–which was even backed by some Republicans in both the House and Senate–is only going to cause more inflation across the board.
“You cannot print trillions of dollars in money on the one hand and also pay people not to work and not to produce the stuff that we need to buy and on the other hand not expect the price to increase as fast as it has in 30 years,” Cotton said. “At this rate, people are losing a penny on every dollar of their savings every month. So in three months, if you had $100 in your savings account, it’ll be worth only $97 in just three months. That is going to continue to worsen as long as the Democrats pursue their reckless inflationary policies. I heard it today; I hear it all across Arkansas. People can’t find the turkeys and the fixings for Thanksgiving. If they can, they can barely afford it. They can’t find Christmas gifts for the kids. If they can, they have to cut back the number of presents they buy.”
Cotton said, “yes,” when asked if the inflation and energy price crises will get worse before they get better.
Cotton also said that the Democrats took “the exact wrong message” away from last Tuesday’s elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and elsewhere across America where Republicans won nearly everywhere and Democrats were roundly rejected at the polls in the biggest election since the November 2020 vote and before the upcoming 2022 congressional midterm elections.
“The message that voters sent all across the country–not just in Virginia, but all across the country–was: stop the madness,” Cotton said. “Stop it with the shutdowns and the lockdowns, stop indoctrination of kids, stop the madness at the border, and stop the trillion-dollar spending plans that are just going to make inflation and supply chain problems even worse. The Democrats are doing the exact opposite. They are going for broke. Perhaps they know that it’s too far gone for them, and they’re going to lose power next year no matter what. So as Nancy Pelosi has long said about Obamacare, she was willing to lose the House to pass this. Maybe she’s willing to lose the House to pass this big spending bill as well. But I think that it’s a lot easier for the Nancy Pelosis of the world to say that than it is for these vulnerable Democrats who don’t want to walk the plank on it.”
Cotton is hopeful that the Republicans will retake the U.S. House and U.S. Senate next year in the midterm elections. To retake the House, the GOP needs to win at least a net five seats back from Democrats, and to retake the Senate, Republicans need to win one net seat back. The map on the Senate side is tougher, as Republicans are defending a number of battleground state seats and only have a handful of target pickup opportunities. The House, though, is looking a lot stronger with wide-scale Democrat retirements and rising energetic Republican challengers.
“I think the simple act of winning back Congress will help deter the radical left in charge of the Biden administration and a lot of their interest groups from their dumbest and most dangerous idea,” Cotton said. “Look, for instance, how quickly you had the National School Board Association climb down from their efforts to sic the feds on parents going to school boards. Now, unfortunately, Merrick Garland still refuses to do so. But the prospect of subpoenas from a Republican-led committee in January of 2023 might concentrate his mind and the minds of a lot of other bureaucrats in the administration before they take these wholehearted steps.”
Iowa, where Cotton was campaigning for Republicans last week, will have a U.S. Senate race where longtime Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will run for reelection. It will also have several battleground U.S. House races, with Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA)–the state’s lone remaining Democrat in nationally elected office–trying to hold back a red wave and Reps. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) trying to defend the seats they won in November 2020.
“We’re doing these things to continue the momentum that you saw in last week’s election. Iowa is obviously going to be ground zero again next year with the Senate race and three competitive House races that will go a long way to determine control of the House,” Cotton said. “I wanted to make sure that we’re building on the momentum we had this week. It’s interesting that the issues and the perspectives I hear here, where it’s just historically been very Democratic–farm country and manufacturing counties that went strongly for Trump in both elections.”
More from Cotton’s latest exclusive interview is forthcoming.