Biden Reportedly Irked With Aides' 'Cleaning Up' of His Statements
17:56 GMT 31.05.2022 (Updated: 18:23 GMT 31.05.2022)
White House aides frequently find themselves needing to clarifying the US president’s statements for the public and the press, especially when they are rich in gaffes and slip-ups.
US President Joe Biden is reportedly frustrated with his White House aides for launching a "clean-up campaign" in efforts to "rush and explain" something that he says or does, according to NBC News.
The report shed light on the presidential grievances such as low poll numbers that seem to be petrified around 40%, and managerial breakdowns. Besides the fact that Biden is frustrated with how he "cannot catch a break" as it is "one thing after another", it seems that the commander-in-chief is angry at West Wing aides for attempting to walk back his statements.
"The so-called clean-up campaign," Biden is reported to have told advisers, "undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise. Worse, it feeds a Republican talking point that he’s not fully in command."
In March, Biden infamously claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power" in an ad-libbed remark during his speech in Poland. His statement prompted several aides to quickly walk the statement back and assure the public that the United States does not seek regime change in Russia.
"Biden was furious that his remarks were being seen as unreliable, arguing that he speaks genuinely and reminding his staff that he’s the one who is president," NBC reported.
Another recent example was when Biden said that Washington would defend Taiwan "if it comes to that" during a QUAD meeting in Japan in May. At the time, a White House spokesperson clarified that US policy towards Taiwan remains unchanged, and the president continues to be committed to a "one China" policy.
But the rush of his aides to explain or walk back his statement is not the only thing that Biden is irritated and unsettled about, the report continued. Additionally, he is triggered by low polling figures, particularly as they are lower than his predecessor Donald Trump.
“He’s now lower than Trump [in the polls], and he’s really twisted about it,” a source close to the White House told NBC News.
Biden believes he does not get enough credit for things that, in his view, have been positive for the country, especially for the economy. However, polling numbers indicate that US citizens appear unimpressed by reaching pre-pandemic unemployment levels when inflation is breaking historic records and gas prices are soaring.
Under pressure of the "worsening political predicament" and a possible poor performance in the midterms, the president is reported to be pressing aides for sharper strategy and a more compelling message.