What Did Stephanie Ruhle Say? Why MSNBC Host's Inflation Comments Have Received Backlash

Stephanie Ruhle's assessment of the economy for the average American household has been slammed by viewers for being "tone deaf" and "out of touch."

The NBC senior business correspondent's "dirty little secret" about the economy on The Today Show has received backlash after she claimed people have more money to spend despite the rise in inflation.

The MSNBC host shared both good news and bad news about the state of the economy with viewers but she's been criticized for trying to put a positive spin on a tough situation.

What Did Stephanie Ruhle Say About the Economy?

Ruhle has made two recent appearances on NBC discussing the economy and both times claimed that the average American household has the savings to deal with the hike in interest rates.

While speaking to Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on The Today Show, Ruhle acknowledged the rise of inflation is out-pacing the rise in wages saying "that bigger pay check you're getting, that money's getting wiped out."

Trying to show that the situation wasn't all doom and gloom, Ruhle went on to point out that while prices of things like eggs, steak and gasoline are up, "people can afford to pay those prices."

She echoed these sentiments and expanded on her points while speaking to Willie Geist on The Today Show segment Sunday Focus.

Inflation (consumer price index) rose 6.2 percent year on year in October, the largest annual gain since November 1990 but Ruhle suggested this was due to the continued recovery after COVID-19.

She then went on to share her "dirty little secret" about the situation, revealing that "while nobody likes to pay more, we have the money to do so." Ruhle stated that household savings hit a record high during the pandemic. She suggested this is down to the stock markets hitting record highs, which "over half" of all American households have investments in.

She said she expected retail sales to hit record highs this holiday season as a result of household savings. Ruhle also linked the number of Americans who have been vaccinated, with an increased push for demand on products, which has led to a push on pricing.

What Stephanie Ruhle's Critics Have Said

Ruhle's comments have received heavy criticism from viewers, leading news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro to call her an "inflation airhead."

Fondacaro was scathing in his assessment of Ruhle's stance, retweeting a video of her contribution, he wrote: "NBC's Stephanie Ruhle says the 'dirty little secret' of people complaining about paying higher prices for food and fuel for their homes is they can afford it just fine. According to her, people should have been saving during the pandemic and stocks look good."

Inflation airhead: NBC's Stephanie Ruhle says the "dirty little secret" of people complaining about paying higher prices for food and fuel for their homes is they can afford it just fine. According to her, people should have been saving during the pandemic and stocks look good. pic.twitter.com/RQ90focIXJ

— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) November 14, 2021

He went on to slam her suggestion that Americans could afford more because their homes were worth more, writing, "So, should they sell their home or take out a loan on it to buy food?"

Republican Senate candidate in Ohio and author of the book Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance shared a video of Ruhle's appearance on The Today Show and gave his views. He said: "In other words, inflation is the fault of the middle class for not planning enough."

@andrewwagner also took umbrage with Ruhle's comments too, believing her assessment to be "next level out of touch stuff." Twitter users @Neoavatara and @bonchieredstate both also retweeted a video of Ruhle's comments and called her "tone-deaf."

Ruhle's take on the financial situation, and the backlash she has received, has sparked debate across social media with thousands of Twitter users both supporting and criticizing her assessment.

Stephanie Ruhle
MSNBC anchor, Stephanie Ruhle at the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Spring Studios in June 2021. Ruhle's assessment of the economy for the average American household has been slammed by viewers. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images