By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that President Joe Biden will run for re-election in 2024, but critics have been quick to point out economic difficulties during his presidency.
Ms. Psaki addressed reporters’ questions Monday about previous reporting that President Biden would run for the White House again in 2024, saying, “That’s his intention.” Mr. Biden would be 82 years old at the start of his second term.
“The only thing I’ve heard him say is he’s planning on running again,” former Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told the Washington Post, which first reported the news. “And I’m glad he is.”
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this month showed that President Biden’s approval rating has decreased to about 41%. Meanwhile, 53% disapprove of his job as president, putting his approval figures at the lowest since he took office.
Behind this fall in approval has been rising inflation, gas prices and the supply chain shortage, all of which have become major economic concerns for many Americans.
The Post/ABC poll reports that President Biden’s approval rating on the economy has dropped to 39%, which is worse than former President Donald Trump’s numbers.
A Gallup poll released Monday reports that 26% of Americans list an economic issue as the nation’s most important problem while only 13% say COVID-19 is the most important problem. Inflation and unemployment lead those economic concerns.
“It has been more than 20 years (April 2001) since inflation was named as the most important problem by at least 7% of Americans,” Gallup said. “The last time mentions of inflation were significantly higher than now was in May 1985 when it registered 11%.”
The Gallup poll also found that 70% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse. All these economic concerns provide fodder for President Biden’s critics as he looks to the next election.
“President Biden’s economic policies have resulted in this Thanksgiving being the most expensive on record,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
So far, Mr. Biden has argued his Build Back Better plan would address these economic concerns, including inflation, though that claim has been disputed.
“Leading economists and independent experts on Wall Street have confirmed that it will not add to inflationary pressures,” President Biden said. “Instead, it will boost the capacity of our economy and reduce costs for millions of families.”
Some Republicans have already begun angling to place Trump as Mr. Biden’s opponent in the general election.
“People are living with the debacle of the Biden presidency and as a result, view the Trump presidency as better times,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Twitter. “President Trump is well-positioned for a great American comeback but he has to play his cards well.”
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.