Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was put in the unenviable position of having to defend President Joe Biden’s performance after a recent poll showed that a significant number of Americans feel things have gotten worse during his time in office. An ABC/Washington Post survey revealed that 44 percent of respondents indicated they are worse off economically now than before Biden began his first term.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” the transportation secretary touted Biden’s approach to the economy while also acknowledging that many Americans are still facing serious economic woes. When asked about the poll’s results, he said:
“Well, look, we all know the economic pressure that Americans have felt. When the president took office, the economy was flat on its back. But we’re also getting extraordinary results, more than 13 million jobs created. That’s more than any presidential term in American history. And, yes, it takes a while for people to feel the full benefits of those results, just like it’s going to take a while to build all of the infrastructure that we’re now underway on with the president’s generational infrastructure build.
But he got the bill done after president after president, congress after congress couldn’t make it happen. He did. We’re getting the results on the economy.”
Buttigieg also argued that the American people “agree with us and not with congressional Republicans on what to do about [the economy]” and that the president’s objective “is to support families and support workers, not just with the job creation that’s going on, but lowering costs.”
He highlighted the lowering of the cost of insulin to $35 as an example of Biden easing economic pressure on Americans and accused Republicans of “blocking him.”
However, Martha Raddatz, co-anchor of “This Week,” pressed the secretary on the issue, noting the disconnect between the White House’s narrative and the public’s perception of reality. Buttigieg noted that “there’s a lot more work to do” and that the Biden administration “isn’t all about the polls.”
Buttigieg also discussed a series of other matters during the interview, including infrastructure and the possible government shutdown.
ABC News’ latest poll presents a formidable obstacle for Biden as he seeks to win another term in the White House. Currently, the president’s job approval rating is 19 points underwater, and perceptions of his handling of the economy and immigration have reached career lows. This, combined with the inconvenient reality that Americans believe he is too old to continue serving in office presents another challenge.
To make matters worse for the Biden campaign, the same poll also showed that former President Donald Trump is leading the president by nearly ten points, a significant increase over others showing the two potential candidates in a statistical dead heat. Currently, Trump is leading the Republican primaries by a healthy margin, meaning that he is the most likely to secure the nomination.
As the Biden administration moves forward, it will have to work some serious magic to win back his voting base, many of whom are having great difficulty making ends meet and putting food on the table.