The persistence of the coronavirus, rising inflation and congressional gridlock have exacted a bitter toll on Biden’s approval rating and threaten a midterm routing for his party, but the president sees no need for a major shift in direction.
Instead, Biden told Democratic National Committee members during a virtual grassroots event Thursday that Democrats broadly have to offer a clearer contrast with Republicans going forward. He said the contrast he hopes to paint is between Democrats' agenda and the lack thereof from the Republican Party, which he said was “completely controlled by one man, that’s focused on relitigating the past” — a veiled reference to former President Donald Trump and his continued false claims that he won the 2020 election.
“That’s the choice we have to present before voters: Between the plans we have to improve the lives of the American people, and no plan, none at all,” Biden said.
White House aides have also previewed subtler changes to how Biden devotes his time, with a greater emphasis on speaking directly to Americans and less time in the weeds with lawmakers crafting legislation.
“He wants to spend more time out in the country and less time behind closed doors negotiating,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday. She said Biden would rely on his aides more to engage in legislative negotiations, aiming to free up more of his own time to travel and sell his policies.