Democrats Call on Biden to Empathize With Voters’ Inflation Woes

(NEW) President of the United States Joe Biden delivers remarks on a possible default of the debt in a speech at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York. May 10, 2023. U.S. President Joe Biden discusses why Congress must avoid default immediately and without conditions, and how the House Republican Default on America Act will cut veterans’ health care visits, teachers and school support staffs, and Meals on Wheels for seniors. Credit: Kyle Mazza/TheNews2

Some Democrat strategists are suggesting that President Joe Biden needs to do more to show voters that he empathizes with their economic struggles if he hopes to win reelection in November.

Polling has consistently shown that voters disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, which remains the number one issue among voters. But rather than address voter concerns about the economy, the president and his campaign continue to boast about how strong the US economy has become under his leadership.

A May Gallup survey found that voter confidence in the president’s handling of the economy was among the lowest of any president since 2001, second only to George W. Bush toward the end of his presidency when the Great Recession began.

Strategist Brad Bannon told The Hill that the president had to address voter concerns head-on by acknowledging that they are struggling.

Another Democrat strategist criticized the White House and the Biden campaign for “cheerleading” to its base rather than addressing the concerns voters have about the economy.

The strategist suggested that until the Biden team admits that “inflation is a serious problem” that needs to be addressed, it won’t matter what kind of rosy picture the campaign paints.

Former Obama advisor David Axelrod told the Wall Street Journal last month that the president’s unwillingness to empathize with Americans on inflation has been a “constant problem.”

Axelrod suggested that Biden’s obsession with claiming credit for the economy has created a “huge obstacle” preventing him from “connecting with voters on this issue.”

Former Biden White House official Jamal Simmons told The Hill that one of the president’s “superpowers” was empathy and suggested that his position politically would be better off the more he showed it.

At the same time, Brad Bannon warned that Biden could fall into the same trap Hillary Clinton did in 2016 when she disregarded voter concerns about the economy and failed to see how it made them gravitate to Donald Trump’s populist message.

Bannon said the president had to acknowledge voter concerns about the economy but suggested that the Biden campaign had made little progress in that direction and time was running out.