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“I think it’s going to be very hard for him to make a case at the State of the Union that things are better today than they were when Donald Trump was president,” former White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp told Fox News Digital.
Biden has developed a reputation for blaming messaging, instead of his actions, when decisions from the admiration come under fire. A recent example occurred last week when he seemed to contradict prior White House talking points that emphasized the value of deterrence when he claimed that “no one expected” sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its incursions into Ukraine to “prevent anything from happening.”
The backpedaling irked conservatives, but Schlapp, who worked in the White House for two different presidential administrations in senior level communications positions, said Biden doesn’t simply have a messaging problem.
“Biden has a Biden problem, which is, he doesn’t project strength in any way. He doesn’t clearly explain the vision of his policies and does change positions constantly,” she said, noting that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has the difficult task of attempting to clean up after the president.
“I feel sorry for Jen Psaki. I think she has probably the toughest job in the White House trying to explain, to what I would call a very friendly press … President Biden’s position and why he’s not answering really difficult questions,” Schlapp continued. “It’s not only just a messaging problem. It is a policy problem, it is a presidential position problem, a commander-in-chief problem… the American people have lost confidence in this president.”
Schlapp said Biden has a clear inability to execute most things and the things he manages to accomplish do more harm than good.
“When he does execute the policies, they hurt Americans,” she said.
Mercedes’ husband, CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp, who joined her for a joint interview at the annual gathering of conservatives, was blunt with his criticism of the president.
“Joe Biden isn’t up to this job,” he said. “When they said Donald Trump wasn’t up to this job, they said he didn’t have the temperament to be president. When his doctor came out and said, ‘Donald Trump is one of the most healthy men at his age he had ever seen,’ everybody mocked it … where is Joe Biden’s doctor?”
Mercedes then pointed out that Biden’s staff regularly “sends him off to Delaware” or dispatches him to speak on unrelated issues when leadership is critical, which the longtime communications guru considers a sign that the people around the president aren’t doing him any favors.
“I think that they are trying to build an offense narrative, but it’s not working,” she said. “It’s not following where we are in terms of the current events happening across the globe.”
The spotlight will be firmly on Biden on Tuesday when he delivers his first State of the Union address, one of the most significant speeches of his career as inflation soars and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rocks Europe and the globe.
Matt Schlapp suggested that former President Donald Trump’s CPAC speech was the true State of the Union before his wife said Biden has failed to get the nation on the same page.
“Joe Biden promised to unite this country from day one. We are move divided today, we are in separate corners. He has not been able to find a way to unite this country,” she said. “I think there is so much uncertainty, we feel less safe, and the mere fact is that we’ve lost confidence in this president.”
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
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