President Joe Biden bristled at reporters who insisted “Bidenomics” was his own staff’s idea for “branding” his policies, pointing out the press coined the term.
On Wednesday morning, the president answered questions from reporters as he boarded Marine One to begin his trip to Chicago, where he would be giving a speech on Bidenomics. The White House schedule notes:
In the afternoon, the President will deliver a major address on “Bidenomics” — his vision for growing the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down. The President will highlight how, for too long, failed trickle-down economic policies that continue to be pushed by Congressional Republicans have hollowed out the middle class and sent jobs overseas. President Biden’s economic plan is a break from those failed policies — it is focused on growing the middle class and empowering workers, investing in America, and lowering costs. And, it is delivering results with more than 13 million jobs created and the strongest economic growth among any of the world’s leading economies since the pandemic began.
Among the questions Biden fielded was an exchange in which the president argued about the origin of the term, telling the reporters that he saw it in the Wall Street Journal long before his comms team adopted it. Biden also objected to the boastful nature of the suggestion he and his team thought up:
Q Is the worst of the inflation over?
THE PRESIDENT: Let me put it this way: I’ve been hearing every month there’s going to be a recession next month. The consensus is: Two thirds of the economists and the major leaders in the banks think we’re not going to have a recession. I don’t think we will either.
But I tell you one thing: In addition to the — the prices that — going to con- — what a recession constitutes — we’re bringing down prices across the board for people. That’s what I’m going to be talking about today.
Q A week ago, sir, you said you didn’t know “what the hell Bidenomics is.” Sir, can you tell us today what it is?
THE PRESIDENT: Sure I didn’t, because the first time I heard it used was by you guys in the press.
Q Can you comment on Sweden’s succession in NATO?
THE PRESIDENT: I’d rather not speak to (inaudible) right now.
Q Why no new policy announcement with the branding? Why no new policy announcements with the branding?
THE PRESIDENT: Wha- —
Q With the Bidenomics branding.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, you guys branded it. I didn’t. That’s — I never called it “Bidenomics.” And so, I was asked the question: Why did I —
Q Your economic team is calling it “Bidenomics.”
THE PRESIDENT: No, wait. Let’s get it straight! The first time it was used was in the Wall Street Journal. Okay? I don’t go around beating my chest, “Bidenomics.” So, the press started calling it “Bidenomics.”
Q Do you not like it, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I like it. It’s fine. Yeah, it’s fine, because it is my policy.
Biden referenced the paper’s coining of the term at a joint press conference several weeks ago — correctly noting the WSJ has been using the moniker “Bidenomics” for several years now.