House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said Sunday that President Biden’s plummeting approval ratings have little to do with his performance and more to do with the country being “in a bad place,” largely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During a bipartisan sit-down interview on “Fox News Sunday” with Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Clyburn was asked by host Chris Wallace to weigh in on what’s gone “wrong” with Biden, citing his poor approval ratings, which are the lowest of his presidency at 43%.
“I don’t know that anything is going wrong,” Clyburn explained. “The country’s in a bad place. We have a pandemic. I happen to chair the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus [Crisis], and I can tell you you’d be surprised at how much went wrong with trying to combat this virus. And that put everybody in a pretty bad way.
“Education is being called into question because kids were out of school and couldn’t go to school, people were out of work,” he continued. “And now we’re trying to bring the economy back, and you’ve got all of these other things happening. So the country’s in a bad place. It was a real tough time to become president of the United States. It’s just that simple.”
Clyburn also said the political climate is more polarized now because of the prevalence of social media.
“It’s a little worse now, and I think it’s because of the advent of social media,” he said. “People tend to try to answer everything in sound bites, and that can be very disconcerting. And so, I think that that’s what’s caused the problem more than anything else.”
Clyburn’s comments, which were pre-taped Friday, came hours before the House passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which Biden hailed as a “monumental step forward for the nation.” The bill now heads to Biden’s desk for approval, clearing the path for Democrats to work on passing their $1.75 trillion social spending package.
Clyburn, Cheney and Wallace were all honored at the 2021 Panetta Institute for Public Policy Jefferson-Lincoln Awards in California on Saturday.