President Joe Biden is reportedly “frustrated” with the way his administration is being run and perceived, according to an article citing more than two dozen Democrats and officials
President Joe Biden is furious that his aides are constantly retracting his “off the cuff” comments, the rolling negative media coverage and the lack of Democrats rushing to defend him, according to a scathing report from his administration, which was released on Tuesday.
Biden believes his credibility will be damaged by staffers correcting his so-called “gaffes,” which reached a boiling point in March when he said Vladimir Putin “can’t stay in power,” NBC News reported.
He’s also “twisted” and “mystified” by the fact that he’s trailing Donald Trump in the polls — as his approval ratings struggle to get past 40 percent — and needs to remind those in his inner circle that he’s president .
Biden was also only briefed this month on the current baby food shortage, though economists claimed it had built up to the point of crisis for up to a year, according to the expansive report.
It’s the recent supply crisis that Republicans and other Biden critics blew him away for not acting faster.
It also suggests that the Biden administration is headed for another personnel shakeup, with Chief of Staff Ron Klain — known for vocally defending his boss on Twitter — likely to leave after November’s midterm elections.
Biden’s quest for an effective midterm strategy to help Democrats maintain their razor-thin control of Congress is also reportedly gaining urgency, even as the president continues to grow unpopular in the polls.
“He shares the view that we haven’t landed on a successful midterm message … and he’s putting a lot of pressure on people to find out what that is,” an unnamed White House aide told NBC.
Even James Clyburn, representative of the House Majority Whip of South Carolina, a close Biden ally whose support helped the president win his 2020 feature race, acknowledged the president’s struggles.
“I don’t know what’s required here,” Clyburn said. “But I know the poll numbers have stayed where they are for far too long.”
One author writing a book on the current administration, Chris Whipple, acknowledged that Biden had come into office with “arguably the most daunting challenges since Franklin D. Roosevelt,” only to be hit by a perfect crisis storm from Ukraine to to become inflation through the supply chain to baby food.’
It comes as his approval rating of 40.7 is now lower than Donald Trump’s at this point in his tenure — by about 1 percent
But Tuesday’s report still paints a picture of a commander in chief who apparently thought his decades of Senate experience had given him an advantage, only to have to deal with back-to-back PR crises.
The president also reportedly complained to aides about the amount of negative coverage he received and the lack of Democrats on television defending him.
But he has also complained about the way aides were treating his public statements, the report claims, particularly fictitious statements that grabbed the headlines and forced them to backtrack.
He reportedly believes repeated corrections are eroding his reputation. Notable is a recent case in which an impassioned Biden, after meeting Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”
Senior government officials right down to Secretary of State Antony Blinken immediately jumped to say the president was not calling for regime change in Russia.
“Furious that his remarks were deemed unreliable, Biden argued that he was speaking sincerely and reminded his staff that he is the one who is president,” NBC’s report said.
The president was also reportedly upset that he was only informed about the baby formula shortage this month – despite economists having previously warned of the looming threat
His staff, too, could soon face another shock following the departure of press secretary Jen Psaki, with chief of staff Ron Klain reportedly set to leave after the November election
A White House official told the outlet, “We don’t say anything that the President doesn’t want us to say.”
And Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates also chimed in Tuesday morning, noting on Twitter that “no comments will be made on POTUS remarks without his express consent.”
Biden is also particularly sensitive about his low approval rating, which has fallen below his disapproval numbers since the American military evacuated Afghanistan in August 2021.
“He’s lower than Trump now, and he’s really twisted,” said someone close to the government.
The president is backed by 40.7 percent of Americans Tuesday, while 54.1 percent oppose him, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average of several recent polls.
That is now fewer than any of his predecessors at this point in their tenure since the end of World War II.
Trump, long an exception to this standard, now appears to have surpassed his Democratic rival. At this point in his term of office, the ex-president’s approval rating was 41.6 percent, slightly higher than that of Biden.
And despite declaring late last year, “I don’t look at the polls,” one person mentioned in Tuesday’s report claimed that the president does indeed get weekly briefings on where he stands on “key demographics” — and another said he was reportedly stumped falling behind with a suburban woman who was crucial to his 2020 win.
A White House official dismissed Biden’s irritation at the polls, instead claiming that “he’s pushing to make a tougher case for everything we’ve accomplished so far.”
But among the biggest changes Biden could face next is the search for a new chief of staff – with Klain’s reportedly planned departure window coming weeks after press secretary Jen Psaki quit her role and joined left-wing network MSNBC.
A person quoted in the report claims to have heard Klain discuss the exit, but senior White House communications adviser Remi Yamamoto said on record: “As Ron has said publicly, he has not set a timeframe, and this is not a discussion about it on everyone’s lips here.”
Possible successors could be Biden confidante Anita Dunn, White House adviser Steve Ricchetti or domestic policy director Susan Rice.
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who lost his re-election bid to Republican Glenn Youngkin last year, reportedly spoke to the White House about a senior role in the government after his defeat last fall.