NBC News, historian on CNN, others excuse Biden, highlight ‘difficult job’ as crises pile up

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Left-leaning pundits and reporters have repeatedly tried to excuse President Biden for an avalanche of concerning political predicaments as his approval rating continues to languish.

A Tuesday NBC News piece offered a detailed look inside a White House continuously marred by political troubles. But, according to the authors of the article, “any assessment” of the president’s job performance needs to account for the “epic challenges he faced from the start.”

The piece also detailed a laundry list of grievances Biden has conveyed, lamenting the idea that he has not gotten enough “credit” from Americans or the media, and the fact that he is frequently blamed for congressional gridlocks.

“Biden has vented to aides about not getting credit from Americans or the news media for actions he believes have helped the country, particularly on the economy. Unemployment rates have dropped to below 4 percent — pre-pandemic levels — but polling indicates most Americans believe the economy is in bad shape,” the NBC authors wrote in part. 

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President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 30, 2022, after returning from Wilmington, Del.

President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 30, 2022, after returning from Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A day earlier, CNN’s Brianna Keilar touted an interview she conducted with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin, at the time, told Keilar that Biden “certainly has not had an easy time as president” thus far.

“There’s a cascading series of crises that President Biden has had to face that makes it almost unprecedented,” Goodwin told Keilar.

That same day, CNN business correspondent Rachel Solomon attempted to downplay Biden’s culpability with regard to skyrocketing gas prices, an issue that has likely exacerbated the public’s subpar outlook on the president. 

Host John Berman asked Solomon if there was “anything” Biden could do to lower gasoline prices and help ease the minds of Americans. Solomon acknowledged “pain is widespread” and that it was “understandable” why the American people have called on the president to combat those issues. 

“There is very little any sitting U.S. president can do in the short term to try to lower prices,” Solomon added. 

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U.S. President Joe Biden attends the Japan-U.S. summit meeting at Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2022.

U.S. President Joe Biden attends the Japan-U.S. summit meeting at Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2022. ( David Mareuil/Pool via Reuters)

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” senior contributor Mike Barnicle gushed over the president when he asked civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton if he was “worried” about his “friend” Biden following the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting. 

“Do you worry at all about him? The presidency is an enormously, enormously difficult job,” Barnicle asked, citing the recent anniversary of the death of Biden’s son. Beau.

Sharpton replied that he senses a “determination” by the president to combat gun violence in America. He added that Biden couldn’t do anything for his late son, but “he can do something” about other American “sons and daughters.”

Last week, both The New York Times and The Washington Post attempted to explain away one of Biden’s recent gaffes, in which the president asserted the U.S. would intervene should China invade Taiwan. Biden’s comments were not reflective of the official military position on China-Tawain foreign policy, which calls for “strategic ambiguity.”

The Times article written by Peter Baker said that Biden’s comment is representative of his “offhand remarks,” which Baker said were “a feature, not a bug” of the veteran politician. 

“Since reaching the White House, Mr. Biden has largely avoided some of the cringe-inducing comments that got him in trouble in the past,” Baker claimed. 

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Gas prices remain at record highs over Memorial Day weekend, and CNN business correspondent Rachel Solomon said there was not much Biden can do about the increased prices in the short term. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Gas prices remain at record highs over Memorial Day weekend, and CNN business correspondent Rachel Solomon said there was not much Biden can do about the increased prices in the short term. REUTERS/Mike Blake (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

A separate Times piece described Biden as a “famously imprecise speaker” that sometimes makes comments that “convey his emotions” rather than a direct policy stance. The piece’s author, senior writer David Leonhart even hypothesized that it may not have been a gaffe, but rather a new “hawkish” strategy.

A Washington Post analysis piece written by Adam Taylor offered up several theories behind the meaning of Biden’s “understandable” gaffe. The analysis reiterated the Times’ theory that the president’s blunder could be part of a new policy. 

Despite the media’s defense of the president, a recent poll, published by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public research, shows that only 39% of adults in the United States approve of Biden’s performance as president.

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Overall, only about 2 in 10 adults say the U.S. is heading in the right direction or the economy is good, both down from about 3 in 10 a month earlier.

As inflation has climbed, Biden’s approval rating has fallen. Inflation hit 8.3% in April, and is one of the top issues potential voters have cited heading into the midterm elections. Earlier in May, Biden said earlier inflation was his “top domestic priority” and he was taking it “very seriously.”

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller and Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.