NBC is reporting that White House advisors are scrambling as they say that Joe Biden is “rattled” by his approval ratings sinking below that of Donald Trump’s and that Biden has been begging his aides for a new strategy.
“Faced with a worsening political predicament, President Joe Biden is pressing aides for a more compelling message and a sharper strategy while bristling at how they’ve tried to stifle the plain-speaking persona that has long been one of his most potent assets,” the report said.
“I don’t know what’s required here,” said Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, whose support helped Biden win the Democratic presidential nomination. “But I do know the poll numbers have been stuck where they are for far too long.”
NBC News described the president as “rattled” by his low approval numbers. Polls show he is now less popular than former President Donald Trump, and that rankles Biden, according to the report, which was based on multiple sources who were not named.
“He’s now lower than Trump, and he’s really twisted about it,” NBC News quoted an “unnamed person close to the White House” as saying.
Contrary to Biden’s public claims that he “never looks at the polls,” the report said, he has weekly meetings specifically about polls and is angry as he has been surprised to see his standing tumble – particularly among suburban women.
Americans have been unhappy with the president on a range of issues, including skyrocketing prices for gas and other necessities, a surge in illegal immigration since he took office, and the botched US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
But it’s the pain at the pump and the high cost of groceries thanks to his inability to tame inflation that is accounting for his continued plunge.
Unnamed aides say he is struggling to find a new brand and a new strategy that could reverse the trend. The 79-year-old Democrat has tried to craft a winning message but has failed. Biden himself reportedly thought of denigrating Trump supporters as “Ultra MAGA,” only to find out that the name-calling was embraced as a slogan.
“He shares the view that we haven’t landed on a winning midterm message,” NBC News quoted that same “person close to the White House” as saying. “And he’s putting a lot of pressure on people to figure out what that is.”
As issues pile up, such as the recent shortage of infant formula, the president is angry that he always seems a day late and a dollar short.
“Biden is frustrated. If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” a White House insider said.
A staff change is rumored, with speculation that Chief of Staff Ron Klain will leave after the November midterm elections, possibly to be replaced by Biden loyalist Anita Dunn, currently a White House adviser, according to NBC News.
The report also said that Biden gets very annoyed by the way his aides edit and revise his public comments.
“The so-called clean-up campaign, he has told advisers, undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise. Worse, it feeds a Republican talking point that he’s not fully in command,” NBC News reported.
The anonymous staffer said that after the president spoke about the need to remove Russian leader Vladimir Putin from power, only to have his staff amend his comments, “…he [Biden] was furious that his remarks were being seen as unreliable, arguing that he speaks genuinely and reminding his staff that he’s the one who is president.”