President Joe Biden was confronted about his cratering poll numbers in a new interview Monday, and the commander in chief was able to find blame in everything but his own administration.
What is the background?
A new USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, taken last Wednesday through Friday, found that Biden's approval rating has cratered to just 38%, while his disapproval rating has skyrocketed to 59%. Most significantly, the poll found that 67% of independents disapprove of Biden's job performance.
Biden has been hemorrhaging approval since August, when his administration facilitated the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. In the days after the disaster, Biden's disapproval rating topped his approval rating for the first time in his presidency. Now, his average disapproval rating is nearly 9% higher than his average approval rating.
By comparison, Biden's approval rating at the end of January was 20 points greater than his disapproval rating. That means in just nine months' time, Biden has experienced a nearly 30-point drop in net approval.
What did Biden say?
During an interview with Cincinnati-based WKRC-TV, network anchor Kyle Inskeep asked Biden whether he should "recalibrate" his administration's priorities in light of bad polling and election losses last week.
Fortunately for Republicans, Biden was adamant that he does not need to.
Before laying blame for his hemorrhaging poll numbers at the feet of everyone but himself, Biden challenged the idea that his polling is bad, claiming it compares to other former presidents, citing Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
Biden was beginning to say that he should not care about polling, then went on a lengthy rant excusing his poor numbers.
"I don't think presidents should be deciding what to do about… look — a lot of people are worried. Think about this: Look, what, 750,000 people have died because of COVID, 750,000 people. The psychological scars that has put on so many people," Biden said.
"Schools have not been opened because of COVID, and they're just getting open again," he continued. "Were in a situation where there's a lot, a lot, of anxiety. Gas prices are up, exceedingly high...that's why I have the attorney general taking a look at whether or not these gas companies are gouging people."
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Biden went on to attribute his bad polling numbers to people who "don't feel it right now," trying to bolster his performance by claiming he has created 6 million jobs; most of those jobs, of course, are not new, but stem from COVID-19 recovery.
"Even though we've created almost 6 million jobs since I came into office, we're in a situation where people don't, I mean they don't feel it right now. They don't feel it," Biden said.