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Biden dusts off Clinton and Obama to battle House Republicans

Biden dusts off Clinton and Obama to battle House Republicans

Republicans risk being caricatured by the White House as President Joe Biden and his aides deploy strategies from the post-midterm election playbook of former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

From advancing abortion legislation to speculation about cutting Social Security and Medicare, House Republicans are top targets for Biden and Democrats ahead of next year’s election. But while House Republican lawmakers are being urged to better balance their grassroots strategy with their new responsibilities now that they are in the majority, the White House is also being warned not to be too partisan during negotiations to raise the ceiling debt


Clinton and Obama were infamously “flabbergasted,” as Obama described it, in their first midterm elections. However, the pair were able to bounce back before their respective presidential cycles two years later, securing second terms in part by campaigning against alleged Republican missteps.

Decades later, the White House has adopted the same strategy. For example, Biden and his aides have expanded Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) proposal that would require Social Security and Medicare to be reauthorized every five years. That criticism continues after last year’s midterm elections and Scott’s tenure as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee amid the launch of the senator’s re-election campaign, speculation about his presidential aspirations, and More broadly, House Republican lawmakers are backing entitlement reform as part of the debt ceiling negotiations.

“They want to cut your Social [Security] and Medicare. No, this is God’s truth. It’s almost unbelievable,” Biden said in Virginia this week. “On top of that, they’re actually threatening to foreclose on the American debt. … [Why] in God’s name, would Americans give up the progress we’ve made for the chaos they suggest?”

“Why would anyone think House Republicans plan to cut Social Security and Medicare?” White House spokesman Andrew Bates added in an email hours later. “Could it be because for many months and years they have said so explicitly?”

The White House has similarly portrayed House Republicans passing anti-abortion legislation and a separate messaging bill that, if passed by the Senate, would repeal $80 billion in IRS funding allocated through the Democrats-Only Inflation Reduction Act. The first measure has been criticized as another instance of House Republican lawmakers being “extreme,” while the second has been scrutinized as a tax break for the wealthy and for exacerbating rising consumer prices.

The White House first focused on Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), George Santos (R-NY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R- ). GA) during House Speaker impasse and committee assignment announcements. However, the debt ceiling negotiations have created another opportunity for Biden and his aides to paint House Republicans, such as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), as “extremists.” Bates called Biggs’ opposition to raising the debt ceiling “stunning and unacceptable.”

“Republicans themselves have admitted in the past that default would cause an economic collapse, killing millions of jobs and decimating 401(k) plans,” he said. “That’s why they voted three times to raise the debt ceiling without limits [former President Donald Trump’s] administration, with strong bipartisan support from his Democratic colleagues.”

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has repeated to reporters that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) privately conveyed to him his preference not to cut Social Security and Medicare spending despite the changes ‘have incorporated into the spokesperson agreement with which he got hard. – linings

“I don’t think anybody wants to destroy our economy, but you have to talk, you have to have a conversation with all the people up here, on all sides with different opinions,” Manchin told CNN on Friday.

“This is a moment, it looks like the high theatrics can continue, but 2011 didn’t work out well for anyone, and a lot of people were hurt, and we shouldn’t have to go through that again,” he said. . “I understand, from the Democratic Party, where they would come [from] and saying that is something that scares people.”

Simultaneously, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has sought to distance his conference from his House counterpart ahead of 2024, when Republicans are favored to win most scheduled Senate races. McConnell even appeared alongside Biden this month to promote his bipartisan $550 billion infrastructure bill.

Democrats have distorted some Republican positions, including Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) stance against an Advanced Placement African-American history class when he’s only against the draft curriculum, professor says in history, journalism and media studies from Rutgers University David Greenberg.

“Both sides like to portray the other as extreme,” the Republic of Spin author told the Washington Examiner. “Republicans Call Democrats ‘Socialists’ [though] only a few elected democrats, com [Sen. Bernie] Sanders [I-VT] i [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] [D-NY], they actually are, and Democrats are calling Trump’s Republicans “fascists.” It’s an old game.”

“But when you have people like the aforementioned House Republicans dominating the media coverage, there’s no need for Democrats to overdo it,” he said. “The reason these things stick is because they come out of the mouths of Republicans.”

Under Biden, Democrats last year only lost a net of nine seats in the House and gained one in the Senate. By comparison, Clinton oversaw the loss of 54 in the House and eight in the Senate in 1994 and Obama 63 in the House and six in the Senate in 2010.


Biden’s average approval and disapproval rating is 42% to 53%, according to FiveThirtyEight. At the corresponding point in their presidencies, Clinton’s approval rating was 49% and Obama’s was 50%. By the end of his fourth year in office, they were at 59% and 51% each.

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