President Joe Biden will eat his Thanksgiving feast amongst family at the Nantucket mansion of private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, a move that Republicans are critiquing as out of touch as American consumers face an all-time-high bill for their own dinners due to rampant inflation.
The White House confirmed Tuesday night that Biden and his family would spend the long weekend at Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein’s $30 million property. Rubenstein, who is worth $4.5 billion, will be traveling abroad and will not be at the dinner, according to his spokesperson.
An American Farm Bureau Federation survey found last week that the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people increased 14% since last year to an all-time high of $53.31. Data from the United States Department of Agriculture, however, showed a less drastic increase of 5%.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday about the optics of Biden traveling to finance billionaire’s property in the wake of the “most expensive Thanksgiving ever.”
Psaki said that while the president is concerned about “any increase in prices,” the price of a turkey has not increased drastically. She added that “you are President no matter where you are.”
That didn’t stop Republicans from seizing the opportunity to criticize the president’s choices. “Joe Biden is enjoying his Thanksgiving at a billionaire’s home in Nantucket. Regular America? Enjoy the expensive gas and groceries!” tweeted the GOP House Committee on the Judiciary.
“Biden is partying in a sprawling $30 million Nantucket estate this weekend, but he thinks Americans struggling to afford food need ‘perspective,’” wrote GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Progressives, angered by severe cuts to the president’s trillion-plus dollar Build Back Better budget plan were also critical of the move.
“President Biden is vacationing at the Nantucket home of a billionaire whose private equity firm is right now lobbying to shape Biden’s final Build Back Better bill,” wrote David Sirota, senior advisor and speechwriter on the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign. “It’s already very Let Them Eat Cake for a president to hang at a billionaire’s Nantucket pad — but it’s some real Gilded Age s— when the billionaire’s private equity firm has all sorts of interests before the government right now,” he added.
Private equity groups, like the one Rubenstein funded, are expected to receive a hefty payout from the finalized Build Back Better bill. The Carlyle Group in particular has spent a lot of time and money lobbying for their interests to be included in the plan.
While the president has very little control over inflation rates, the majority of Americans place the blame on him.
Only 39% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC survey—that’s despite his $1.2 trillion infrastructure package and the increasingly likely passage of his trillion-plus dollar social spending deal.
The poll results signal a dark reality for Democrats as they enter the 2022 midterm election season: Nearly half of Americans overall and political independents blame Biden for inflation.
Inflation rates are currently at a 31-year-high and have increased by about 6.2% year-over-year. That means more pain in the pocketbook for average Americans, who’ve already taken a financial hit due to rising costs. Although labor is scarce and wages are rising, real average earnings have declined 1.6% over the past year. Prices for gas, food, heating, and other household essentials are nearing record highs. And any savings people have are declining in value.
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