A reporter aboard Air Force One asked National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan if a “dive” in President Joe Biden’s approval ratings is “undermining” his ability to rally allies against Russia.
President Biden’s approval experienced a surge following his State of the Union address, and perhaps buoyed by public sentiment about the war in Ukraine, but has stabilized in the low forties in the major polling averages — where it has been for about six months.
Sulllivan briefed reporters en route to Warsaw, where the president will cap off a European trip designed to shore up the allied response to Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine. A reporter asserted that “the President’s approval ratings have taken a dive,” and asked if that’s affecting alliances:
Q (Inaudible) a lot of political issues. You know, the President’s approval ratings have taken a dive. There’s challenge with preserving democracy at home. Is the administration concerned that some of these things are undermining his ability to work with allies on these issues and, you know, marshaling support if people are concerned about the political backing that he has domestically?
MR. SULLIVAN: You know, it’s interesting: We have not seen that at all. And, of course, I would say that in any event, but I actually really mean it today. (Laughter.)
They’re just — this — the fact that the President a week ago could say, “Let’s get the 30 Allies together. Let me go sit with the 27 leaders of the European Union. Let’s get the G7, including Prime Minister Kishida coming over from Tokyo. Let’s all get in one set of rooms on one day and have this out, and have everyone there energized, listening first and foremost to the President, and then rallying together” — the story of the unity on this throughout has been a story of the President’s personal leadership, of American leadership, and of the deep credibility that he has with these leaders. And that has been, from my perspective, unqualified.
I would just make one comment that the President said yesterday that I think is really important for you all to think about as we go forward, which is: Part of the reason that he decided that we needed to do this is because, the early weeks, unity can be carried forward by momentum and inertia and adrenaline, but this could go on for quite some time. And to sustain that unity as costs rise, as the tragedy unfolds, that’s hard work. And the President wanted to get everyone together to say, “We’ve got to do that work.”
So I’m not saying that the unity has been built and it’ll just be there for good. But the rate limiter on that unity is not anything to do with the President’s, you know, domestic circumstances. The rate limiter is just: This is a tough situation, and it takes an American President coming over to really try to drive this forward to keep the ball rolling and keep us all very tightly aligned and united.
Watch above via The White House.
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