White House chief of staff Ron Klain desperately tried on Sunday to positively spin a new poll that was described as a “damning indictment” President Joe Biden’s presidency.
But his attempt completely fell flat.
What does the poll show?
The CBS News/YouGov poll shows that Biden’s approval is under water 12 points; just 44% of respondents said they approve of his job as president, while 56% of respondents said they disapprove.
But it gets worse: Nearly three-fourths of respondents (74%) said things in America are going badly, 69% said the economy is bad, and an overwhelming majority of respondents expressed pessimism over the direction of the economy over the next several months. A majority of respondents (65%) also said Biden is “slow to react” to important issues.
What did Klain say?
The White House chief of staff turned the spin cycle on high and claimed the poll is actually good for Biden.
“I hate to spoil the narrative but this poll shows @potus approval rating moving up, and solid public confidence on the two biggest problems he inherited: COVID and jobs,” Klain said.
How exactly Klain defines “solid public confidence” is unclear. However, the poll makes clear that only a slight majority of respondents (53% to 47%) gave Biden positive marks on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the poll found that only a narrow majority (52% to 48%) are optimistic about the trajectory of their local job market over the next several months. This difference, however, falls within the poll’s +/- 2.5% margin of error.
What was the reaction?
People were not buying what Klain was trying to sell.
- “He inherited low gas prices, no war in Ukraine and plenty of baby formula.
He is weak and feeble. Everyone around the world sees it,” Richard Grenell said.
- “I know we’re all worried about Biden’s mental competence, but this suggests that the guy presumed to be actually running the White House is also struggling with his hold on reality,” conservative writer Mollie Hemingway reacted.
- “That @WHCOS thinks this is a ‘narrative’ and not the result of @JoeBiden’s failed policies shows just how out of touch this Administration is to the struggles facing hardworking Americans,” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) said.
- “Baghdad Bob,” Meghan McCain mocked.
- “Just the the White House Chief of Staff spinning a poll that shows two-thirds of the country believe this president and administration is slow to react when issues arrive while almost 7-in-10 describe the economy as bad,” media reporter Joe Concha observed.
- “I love how presidents ‘inherit problems’ when in office even as they actively campaigned to take these problems head on and claimed they were uniquely positioned to solve them,” another person said.
- “Actually, it’s not a narrative. You all screwed up the country and now people are mad because you just keep making things worse. What’s more, your partisanship and cluelessness are nothing short of infuriating,” Republican politician Matt Dean said.
- “A big part of why the Biden admin is in such trouble is the belief at its highest levels that governance is essentially an exercise in ‘narrative’ creation & maintenance,” Noah Pollack observed.