Fact Check: Pete Buttigieg Didn’t Say ‘High Gas Prices Are Forcing People to Electric Vehicles’
A viral tweet provides a misleading summary of the transportation secretary’s comments during an interview.
RNC Research, a Twitter account managed by the Republican National Committee, claimed that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg bragged in a recent interview that “high gas prices are forcing people to electric vehicles”:
The clip in question comes from Buttigieg’s July 14 interview (you can watch the whole thing here) with radio host Big Boy. At no point in the clip or in the interview it comes from did Buttigieg say high gas prices are “forcing people to buy electric cars.”
In the clip the RNC tweeted, Buttigieg says: “We’re for cutting the cost of electric vehicles, because when you have an electric vehicle then you’re also going to be able to save on gas. But you got to be able to afford it in the first place. Now we’re actually starting to see on some models the cost come to where, even if your car payment is a little higher, your gas payment will be a little lower and you come out ahead. But the prices still need to come down for most Americans to be able to get an EV.”
The quote comes within broader comments Buttigieg was making about inflation and what the government would like to do in response, bringing up President Joe Biden’s call for a gas tax holiday, “things we could do to cut the cost of childcare,” and “cutting the cost of electric vehicles.”
“We could do that with legislation in Congress, so there’s a number of things that you could do that would help lower inflation, lower costs on those things,” said Buttigieg.
Importantly, these are prescriptive comments, not descriptive; Buttigieg is not saying that Americans are being driven to buy electric cars because of high gas prices, but that if the government took action to lower the price of electric cars he believes it would help alleviate the financial stress of inflation.
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