NBC, CNN and ABC panelists said Sunday that the OPEC+ announcement was “bad news for Democrats” as the midterm elections get closer and gas prices are expected to increase.
During ABC’s “This Week,” host Martha Raddatz said the Democrats were “hopeful” about their midterm chances and asked ABC’s Terry Moran if they were still feeling confident.
“The Democrats were feeling pretty hopeful about their chances. Do you still get that sense?,” Raddatz asked.
“Nope, I think the air went out of that balloon. In part because, look, the economy is so tough for so many people, food prices, rent spiking, if they’ve got retirement funds, those are evaporating and even the issue of abortion, which did drive several special elections in that remarkable referendum result in Kansas, while there are millions for whom that will be the number one issue, I think the economic headwinds are so tough, and Biden just doesn’t have the oomph as a candidate anymore. People don’t really want him around,” ABC’s Terry Moran said.
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The New York Times’ Jane Coaston, host of “The Argument,” said the OPEC+ announcement would have a “big impact” on voters but suggested the GOP has had no answer for inflation. OPEC+ ministers announced on Oct. 5 that they would be cutting oil production by 2 million barrels per day. President Biden announced he would release 10 million more barrels of oil in response to the move by OPEC+.
“What’s their fix on inflation? Their fix on inflation is ‘let’s scream some more about books in schools?’ And so I think that for a lot of American voters you can see why there’s increased interest in libertarian party candidates and third party candidates because you see the two sides who offer very few actual solutions, and you have Republicans seemingly rooting for a recession,” she said.
She added that it boils down to that “politics doesn’t offer a lot of answers.”
Raddatz described the OPEC+ decision as a “huge disappointment for the White House.”
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Brendan Buck, who worked for former Speaker Paul Ryan, told an NBC News “Meet the Press” panel that OPEC+ was cutting production “at the worst possible time for Democrats.”
“If you want to figure out the direction of politics, watch gas prices. And Democrats did better during the summer when they started to tick down, and it’s very likely they’re about to start going back up and that’s very bad news for Democrats,” Buck said.
During CNN’s “Inside Politics,” Axios Managing editor Margaret Talev said the image of President Biden fist-bumping Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would “haunt” him.
“To your point, yes, I think there’s an obvious difference politically between $1.50 increase or 25 cents, but it’s going in the wrong direction. It is not politically anywhere where the White House would like to be 30 days out and that presents a huge headache. As Margaret was noting the message, and you heard the Joe Biden piece of sound that you played Abby, I don’t know that American voters are going to buy his argument about this being about Russia and Saudis when they go to the pump and feel the pain of increased prices. The president, the buck stops here, it tends to take on a lot of the responsibility for that,” CNN’s David Chalian said.
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Astead Herndon, a New York Times political reporter, said that Biden’s approval rating was at his lowest when gas prices were at their highest and that he will definitely shoulder some blame for it.
“I think the White House is right to be deeply scared about this. The numbers you were just showing with inflation at the highest, gas prices are usually what triggers consumers feeling worse about the economy, even going past where experts are in terms of the economic conditions. I think the White House is very right to be worried about this, because on their worst issue, to David’s point, is moving in the wrong direction,” he said.
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The Washington Post editorial board wrote Biden’s foreign policy with Saudi Arabia failed “badly.”
“There could be no more troubling evidence of how badly Mr. Biden’s efforts earlier this year to mend fences with the de facto Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have failed,” the editorial board wrote.
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