Biden on economy: 'It's understandable why people are just down'

Last updated on February 26, 2023

President Joe Biden said in an interview that aired Sunday that he recognizes why Americans don’t have much confidence in the state of the economy.

“It’s understandable why people are just down,” he told David Muir on ABC’s “This Week.”

Biden said that while the United States is “better off than virtually any other major nation in the world, economically,” he could appreciate the unease that Americans are experiencing. Recent polling has consistently shown that despite very low unemployment, the majority of Americans feel they are worse off than they were when Biden’s term started.

“I don’t blame people for being down, you know,” Biden said, “when you had the year, two years of the pandemic, kids out of school, the mental health problems in the country are seriously increased, especially among young people.”

He added: “Inflation is still higher than it should be, and, you know, everything from gasoline prices to a war going on in Ukraine. I mean, so I can’t think of a time when there’s been greater uncertainty.”

Biden put some of the onus on the news media, including an allusion to recent reports about Fox News’ efforts after the 2020 presidential election to bolster conspiracy theories about the integrity of the voting even though its staff knew those theories were nonsense.

“Everything is in the negative,” Biden said of television news. “We’re also finding out now that one of the outlets has decided that they would put things on that they know to be false in order to increase their ratings.”

Host Martha Raddatz subsequently noted to panelist Donna Brazile, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, that Biden’s statement about economic unease didn’t seem like something he could run on in 2024.

“That’s not going to be a slogan if he decides to run for re-election,” Brazile acknowledged.