A new report by NBC News reveals strife and frustration in the White House and administration of President Joe Biden as his approval rating sinks, with Democrat losses looming in the midterm elections.
"I don't know what's required here," Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., a key Biden supporter, told NBC News in its story Tuesday. "But I do know the poll numbers have been stuck where they are for far too long."
According to the report, Biden is frustrated with some staff for constantly "walking back" his comments when he sees them as shooting straight with the American people, such as the statement he made during a speech in Poland where he said Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power," only to have staff members quickly come out and say that he was not calling for a regime change and that policy has not changed regarding Russia.
The story, which purports to have interviewed more than two dozen current and former White House officials, lawmakers, aides, and other Democrats close to the president, paints a picture of an administration flailing to find a message that will counter the feeling of three out of four Americans that the country is on the "wrong track."
Newsweek reported Tuesday that Biden's approval rating in a new FiveThirtyEight poll is still near a record low of 40.7% compared to a 54.1% disapproval by voters as they continue to deal with record inflation, supply-chain issues, and a shortage of baby formula.
"He's now lower than Trump, and he's really twisted about it," another person close to the White House told NBC News.
With about six months to go until voters' head to the polls for the midterm elections, many Democrats fear massive losses, including control of the House and Senate, to a huge Republican wave.
"We're on a track — a losing track," Faiz Shakir, a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, told NBC.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., told NBC News that she doesn't feel the administration is putting together an "intellectually honest" plan to battle inflation as voters in her district complain about how much they are struggling under the higher prices.
"If I sound frustrated, it's because I hear from my constituents," Murphy said in the NBC story. "They're struggling. This is not a time for political games. It's not the time for finding bogeymen."
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