Van Jones, a CNN commentator and former official in the Obama administration, recently advised President Biden to avoid public appearances, citing his lack of effectiveness as a communicator.
“If I were Biden, I would stay hidden,” Jones told CNN on Tuesday. “I will tell you why. He doesn’t inspire confidence. He is not a great messenger for himself.”
Jones critiqued the president’s campaign approach, acknowledging Biden’s positive impact on the economy but suggesting that others should be the face of his achievements.
“Union members, union leaders are racking up win after win,” he stated. “They should be put forward. There are clean energy executives in red states that are putting people to work.”
“There’s something wrong with this campaign where we are somehow expecting Joe Biden — frankly, he hid during the last campaign — to just somehow come out and be Flash Gordon and save his own campaign,” Jones continued. “The people who are benefiting from the Biden economy — and they exist — should be empowered to speak.”
Jones, who briefly served as a special adviser to former President Obama on green jobs, resigned from his position in 2009. David Axelrod, another former Obama official, also commented on Biden’s campaign during a CNN panel discussion. Axelrod predicted a challenging campaign if Biden faces former President Trump again, describing it as “trench warfare.”
“They will spend more time talking about Donald Trump than Joe Biden, and he will be spending a lot of time talking about Joe Biden,” Axelrod remarked.
Axelrod has been vocal about his concerns regarding the Biden campaign, dismissing critics who question his public advice. In an early January interview with Politico, Axelrod expressed his indifference to popularity within pro-Biden circles.
“I’m at a stage in my life where I don’t really give a sh-t,” Axelrod said. “I’m 68. You know, everybody in Washington sort of thinks that the most important thing is that the president likes you and that you get invited to parties and sh-t like that. I’ve been to plenty of parties. I worked in the White House. That’s not the thing.”
Amid these comments, Biden’s approval ratings have been a concern for his supporters in the media and the Democratic Party. A recent ABC News poll conducted by Langer Research Associates with fieldwork by Ipsos Public Affairs, revealed Biden’s approval rating at just 31%. This rating is lower than former President Trump’s lowest in office and marks the lowest for a U.S. president since the mid-2000s during George W. Bush’s administration.
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