President focuses on ‘Bidenomics’ as 2024 re-election campaign gathers pace

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As Joe Biden launches his 2024 re-election campaign, the White House hopes to revamp the president’s economic performance message with a series of speeches, memos and the term “Bidenomics.”

On Wednesday, Biden delivered what was billed as a major economics-focused speech as he told an audience in Chicago that Republican “trickle down economics” policy had “failed America.” In his place, Biden pledged to create policies that would prioritize middle-class growth, touted post-pandemic economic recovery and announced “Bidenomics works” — one of 15 times he has used the word during his speech.

Earlier in the week, a White House memo from two of Biden’s top advisers was sent to reporters and laid out a series of talking points. He touted the president’s various achievements in post-Covid economic recovery and job creation, while reiterating the theme that “Bidenomics works”.

“In the weeks and months ahead, the President, members of his cabinet and senior administration officials will continue to fan out across the country to champion the case for Bidenomics and the President’s investment program in America. directly to the American people,” the memo said. .

The administration’s campaign appears to be targeting one of the president’s key vulnerabilities for the election, with polls showing voters having a low assessment of his handling of the economy. A Pew Research Center survey this month found that inflation is the top concern for Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, while support for Democratic economic policies lags support for Democratic policies by 12 points. of the GOP. An AP/NORC poll last month showed that only 33% of Americans supported Biden’s handling of the economy.

Perceptions of Biden’s handling of the economy are at odds with a series of positive economic indicators that the White House is keen to point out. Inflation has fallen to the lowest levels since 2021, while the administration has repeatedly touted months of steady job growth and low unemployment. The US economy has generally exceeded the forecasts of economic experts and has so far avoided a recession that seemed inevitable.

But those gains didn’t seem to resonate with voters, who repeatedly gave Biden low marks on the economy as workers struggled with rising prices that have often outpaced wage growth. In the meantime, Republicans have been keen to capitalize on inflation problems, calling the spike “bidenflation” and making it a frequent point of attack.

Biden’s team has tried to defend the president’s economic achievements in the past, including devoting a significant portion of his State of the Union address in February to highlighting his record on growing the economy. employment and unemployment. The White House even handed out small “calling cards” to Democratic lawmakers with a list of talking points on the economy. But as the presidential election begins to take shape, it appears those efforts are intensifying, attempting to go on the offensive with a positive message about the administration’s economic agenda.

Some Democratic politicians embraced the talking points, earning them favorable positions as surrogates for the president. California Governor Gavin Newsom reportedly received praise from administration officials this month after an appearance on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show, in which Newsom forcefully disputed claims that Biden’s economic plans were in trouble and touted the president’s job creation.

The “Bidenomics” memo sent to reporters earlier this week was the work of two longtime Biden advisers, Anita Dunn and Mike Donilon. Dunn is Biden’s top communications adviser and played a key role in turning around his bid for the 2020 presidential election. Donilon has worked with Biden for decades and, as chief strategist in the 2020 election , he played a key role in developing the campaign’s message.

Biden first joked about the term “Bidenomics” at a June 17 rally organized by union members in Philadelphia, where he said it was “time to end the theory of economics by runoff” which was commonly associated with former President Ronald Reagan’s plan of ‘Reaganomics’.

“We decided to replace that theory with what the press now calls ‘Bidenomics’,” the president said. ” I do not know what it is. But it works. »

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