CNN panelist blasts Biden: Americans ‘have not had a sense of leadership’ since last summer

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A CNN panel blasted President Biden’s lack of leadership and cratering political support in an analysis of his poor approval numbers on Sunday’s “Inside Politics.”

CNN’s latest poll puts Biden at a 39% approval rating, while recent Quinnipiac University polling revealed 33% of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance compared to 54% who disapprove. 

“Inside Politics” panelists Jordan Fabian, Bloomberg White House correspondent, CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona, and Time Magazine National Political Correspondent Molly Ball weighed in on how Biden is hemorrhaging support from all political demographics. 

Republicans are largely unhappy with his lackluster economic efforts (inflation surged to 8.5% in March, marking a 40-year high), while environmental progressives are recently upset over the administration’s announcement it was going to resume the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land.


“It’s an environment of overall discontent,” host Abby Phillip said. 

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 16: U.S. President Joe Biden pauses while giving remarks on the worsening crisis in Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House August 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“People correctly perceive that he’s not in control of the situation,” Ball said of Biden. She argued that his public support began to wane after his botched handling of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan last August.

“And I think ever since that Afghanistan last summer, people have had – voters overall – have not had a sense of leadership from the White House, have not had a sense that there’s a president in control, who is strong and consistent and knows what he’s doing and can project a consistent message from one day or the next,” she said.


Even at a time when Americans may “agree” with his decisions, such as his moves during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ball said Biden continues to “step on his own messaging,” an apparent reference to the contradictory statements the president has made, and which have consistently planted the White House in damage control mode. 

In recent weeks, the administration has had to walk back Biden’s misleading comments, including debunking the suggestion that he was sending U.S. troops to Ukraine, and his off-the-cuff remark during a speech in Warsaw, Poland, that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.” White House officials were compelled to assure Americans the U.S. was not calling for regime change in response to uproar over the unscripted Warsaw comment.

The CNN panel segment was accompanied by the chyron, “Are Voters Tuning Biden Out?”

A gas pump displays current fuel prices, along with a sticker of President Joe Biden, at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia, on March 16, 2022.

A gas pump displays current fuel prices, along with a sticker of President Joe Biden, at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia, on March 16, 2022.
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

After Phillip played multiple clips of vulnerable Democrats in Congress distancing themselves from Biden, Ball added that should also ring some “alarm bells” for the president.

“It is a sign that they sense that there is nothing to be gained by continuing to be allies of the president,” Ball said.

Biden recently pledged to “do everything” in his power to bring down the price of inflation. Yet he and his administration have irked voters by continuing to blame the rise in gas prices, food, and other everyday items on the “Putin price hike,” arguing the Russian president’s war in Ukraine has directly impacted Americans’ wallets, as opposed to Biden’s policies.

As for why Biden is losing support among young voters, Fabian mused it’s because Biden “hasn’t delivered” on campaign pledges such as student loan forgiveness. Recent Gallup polling shows the president down 21% with Generation Z, and down 19% among Millennials.


“Those numbers are a tremendous failure for a Democratic president to have numbers like that among young voters,” Fabian said. 

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