White House to Emphasize Biden Achievements Heading Toward Midterms: Report President Joe Biden. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 31 January 2022 10:01 AM
President Joe Biden's team believes focusing on the administration's achievements will overcome horrible poll numbers heading toward the midterm election, NBC News reported Monday.
White House counselor Steve Ricchetti told campaign donors last week that Biden will spend more time on the campaign trail promoting accomplishments — i.e. COVID stimulus, bipartisan infrastructure package — and less time in Washington negotiating with Congress, NBC News said.
In a Zoom call snippet shared with NBC News, Ricchetti described the pandemic relief package as "a bridge so that many, many people in this country could get by, sustained through this very, very tough economic time."
Ricchetti told donors that it would be a blunder not to remind people that the COVID stimulus gave a financial lifeline to struggling families and small businesses. He said such things are forgotten in "the kind of daily Twitter traffic of 'What have you done for me, not lately, but in the last 30 minutes?' " NBC News reported.
Biden's approval rating has dropped significantly amid rising inflation, a surge of migrants at the southern border and the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The White House also is girding for negative January job numbers later this week though the job market remained one of the few positives to which the administration could point.
A person on the Zoom call with donors told NBC News that Ricchetti's view was that "they really do have big accomplishments, so they have something to talk about."
"And he’s right. The attitude in Washington is 'Sure you cured cancer yesterday, but what about Lou Gehrig’s disease?' " the NBC News source said.
Reached for comment by NBC News, the White House did not dispute the account of the call.
Some major Democrat fundraisers, however, are concerned that it's too late to recover before the midterms, as the president and congressional leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have low poll numbers.
"I think they [Democrats] will lose the House and the Senate," one Democrat fundraiser told NBC News. "And the minute that happens, [former President Donald] Trump runs again."
Biden spent much of the last two months of 2021 focused on getting Build Back Better, a roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate bill, approved by Congress.
Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., however, refused to back the legislation. Their support was required for passage in a 50-50 Senate.
The two moderates also refused to agree to lift the Senate filibuster rule to pass Biden's federal voting legislation.