A CNN panel agreed that the Democrats have “hurt themselves” with the constant bickering over and inaction on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan and infrastructure package, the latter of which Congress passed Friday night only after months of deadlock.
“This is problematic…I don’t know how the average voter understands any of this and can pay attention to this,” the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman said on “AC360” on Friday. “All they can see is something is not getting done.”
The results of the Virginia gubernatorial election last Tuesday, when Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Haberman said, “made clear that the fact that nothing has gotten done is having a competency message for this White House.”
The Democrats, she continued, have “hurt themselves” by not at least getting something passed a month ago, even if that meant a “scaled down” version of the president’s ask.
Moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., told the president that his price tag has prevented them from giving him their support. And in a direct message on Capitol Hill last week, Manchin told his progressive colleagues who had been trying to hold the infrastructure bill “hostage” that they were acting in vain.
“This is not a good look for the party in power,” David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama, agreed. He suggested the Democrats stop “haggling” and start telling Americans what’s actually in the bills.
Axelrod added it was “stunning” that Biden had reached out to members of the House for the vote and to place their trust in him but some were “unwilling” to do that.
“It’s incredibly damaging for the president – not only for, you know, political capital – but just that members of his own party are kind of ignoring him,” host Anderson Cooper said.
“It looks ineffective,” Haberman concurred.
Biden mused in a news conference last week that “maybe” McAuliffe would have squeaked out a win if he had managed to get his plan passed.