President Biden criticized media coverage of the U.S. economy during a brief statement on Saturday, expressing confidence in the country's economic trajectory and urging reporters to portray it accurately.
As he prepared to board the presidential helicopter, Biden responded to a question about his economic outlook for 2024 by saying, "All good. Take a look. Start reporting it the right way," as per a transcript released by the White House on Sunday.
President Biden rips media for economy coverage: "Start reporting it the right way" https://t.co/0PeeqN66ik
— The Hill (@thehill) December 24, 2023
This critique comes amid mounting dissatisfaction from voters over Biden's handling of inflation, contributing to a decline in his approval ratings.
Despite the robust recovery of the economy from the COVID-19 recession under Biden's leadership, with low unemployment rates and declining inflation, public sentiment has shifted negatively.
Biden's approval rating reached a record low of 34 percent in a recent Monmouth University poll, with nearly 70 percent of respondents disapproving of his handling of inflation. Even with positive economic indicators, voters have expressed frustration, and over half of voters disapproved of Biden's job performance.
The Biden administration and Democratic allies have attributed this discontent to media coverage and Republican criticisms, accusing them of exaggerating recession fears and downplaying job growth achievements.
Biden has previously criticized reporters for concentrating on inflation concerns after a robust September jobs report.
While Biden aims to emphasize the economy's resilience and draw a contrast with former President Trump, who oversaw a period of low unemployment and inflation before the pandemic, economic experts caution that the administration must acknowledge lingering challenges faced by Americans due to the pandemic's economic impact.
These challenges include ongoing inflation affecting the cost of goods and services, a housing crisis exacerbated by the surge in home prices, and the long-term effects of COVID-19 on jobs and industries, coupled with the expiration of economic relief programs that temporarily alleviated poverty for millions.
Biden's frustration with media coverage reflects the broader tension between positive economic indicators and the lived experiences of many Americans facing continued challenges. Inflation, although slowing, still contributes to rising costs for goods and services that experienced significant price hikes over the past three years.
The pandemic-induced economic upheaval has also led to increased home prices and rents, exacerbating an ongoing affordable housing crisis.