- The Washington Times - Friday, August 13, 2021

Former President Donald Trump mocked Democrats on Friday over the country’s mounting domestic and international problems, even asking if voters were pining for the days of his administration.

Mr. Trump, who many believe is weighing another run for the White House in 2024, issued a statement lambasting President Biden, albeit not in name, for the current political situation.

“Tragic mess in Afghanistan, a completely open and broken border, crime at record levels, oil prices through the roof, inflation rising, and taken advantage of by the entire world,” Mr. Trump said. “DO YOU MISS ME YET?”

Mr. Trump’s statement came one day after the White House announced it was dispatching 3,000 troops to Kabul, Afghanistan to expedite the evacuation of U.S. citizens. The move came as the Taliban insurgency continued to gobble cities and provinces across Afghanistan ahead of Mr. Biden‘s withdrawal date of Sept. 11.

In a statement earlier this week, Mr. Trump argued the White House had badly botched the implementation of the U.S. troop withdrawal, which his administration initially negotiated, in the face of Taliban aggression and failure to keep its promises in the deal.

“I personally had discussions with top Taliban leaders whereby they understood what they are doing now would not have been acceptable,” Mr. Trump said. “It would have been a much different and much more successful withdrawal, and the Taliban understood that better than anyone.”

Mr. Trump also contended that Mr. Biden‘s eight-month-old administration is facing mounting domestic problems. Rising inflation, in particular, is proving to be a sore spot targeted by Mr. Trump and Republican critics.

Across the board, consumers and companies alike have seen prices rise substantially, while employment has yet to fully recover after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Biden administration argues the price jumps are temporary, reflecting pent-up demand and lagging supply from the COVID-19 economic shutdown. This week, the Department of Labor reported that consumer prices jumped 5.4% compared to the same time a year prior, the largest jump since August 2008.

At the same time that purchasing power is decreasing, the price of gasoline is hitting highs unseen since the Obama years.
Earlier this week, the national average for gasoline was around $3.20 a gallon — up from $2.20 a gallon at the same time last year. In May, gasoline prices climbed above $3 a gallon for the first time since 2014.

In response, Mr. Biden this week publicly urged OPEC and other oil-producing nations to ramp up production, arguing demand has rebounded since hitting all-time lows during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The production cuts made during the pandemic should be reversed as the global economy recovers in order to lower prices for consumers,” Mr. Biden said.

The calls have been met with a rebuke from Republicans, who argue that the administration is pushing foreign producers to step up while muzzling domestic energy production.

“Begging the Saudis to increase production while the White House ties one hand behind the backs of American energy companies is pathetic and embarrassing,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican.

On top of the economic concerns, America’s cities are also facing an exponential rise in violent crime. In the first three months of 2021 alone, the homicide rate in 20 of the nation’s leading cities rose by 28%, compared to the same time frame a year prior.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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