On the 2020 campaign trail, Donald Trump boasted about having presided over a booming pre-COVID economy.
While President Joe Biden had promised to deliver similar prosperity post-pandemic, his record has been less than impressive. Now, it seems even those on the left are starting to panic.
A new report from Politico alleges that the Biden White House is “struggling to find a clear message” on the economy as Americans and their businesses struggle to recover from coronavirus-related shutdowns and a recent surge in inflation.
“Everything is tied together”
Of particular concern to experts is a disappointing employment report that showed just 266,000 new jobs were added in April, a figure that fell far below many analysts’ predictions, according to Fox News.
Also of concern are rising prices for consumers, including on things like gasoline. But the White House is shrugging it off, with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm blaming the coronavirus for the price increases.
“Why have gas prices gone up?” Granholm told CNN contributor Jake Tapper earlier this month, according to Fox. “Could that be because of the virus itself as well? Everything is tied together.”
Politico’s report also recalls how Biden “Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spooked markets this month when she said interest rates could rise if the economy heated up too much — then clarified a few hours later that it wasn’t a prediction.”
“Get a hold of the narrative”
According to former Federal Reserve economist and current Jain Family Institute senior fellow Claudia Sahm, the lack of clarity from the White House on economic matters has become a problem in and of itself.
“When you have a messaging campaign where you’re reacting to the latest data point, that sows confusion and it makes it look like they don’t really have a plan,” Sahm told Politico.
“This is exactly the moment where you’ve got to really get a hold of the narrative and hang on,” Sahm added.
For their part, Republicans have not been shy about criticizing Biden’s performance in the area of the economy, particularly amid soaring inflation. In a statement, Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) complained that the president’s “lack of leadership in the face of this serious threat is hurting people every day”
“It’s time for Biden to step [up],” he said. “He can’t keep hiding while American families suffer.”