The White House is blaming the pandemic and Russia’s war with Ukraine as just some of the reasons as to why President Biden’s poll numbers are lagging in key swing states as he closes out the final year of his current term in office. 

White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre came up with the excuses at Tuesday’s White House press briefing when Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy quizzed her about Biden’s alarming numbers. 

A recent New York Times/Siena College/Philadelphia Inquirer poll found former President Trump ahead of Biden in Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. The poll also found Trump ahead by three points in Pennsylvania and by one point in Wisconsin, among likely voters. Biden leads Trump by one point in Michigan, according to the Times. 

The results of the poll were described as “an absolute disaster” by CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten. Biden narrowly won all six critical states in 2020. Should Trump win them in 2024 and hold other states he’d won from that year, he would take back the White House.


“Why do you think Americans are so down on President Biden?” Doocy asked. “I know you don’t like to talk about polls like the five of six swing states that he is losing right now to somebody who is a criminal defendant, but more broadly, it doesn’t seem like anything you guys are doing is making [Biden] more popular. Why do you think that is?”

Jean-Pierre responded, “We understand. We are sensitive enough and open-minded enough to understand that not just this country, but globally, people have had to deal with a pandemic and coming out of that pandemic. We understand that even you think about gas prices and because of Putin’s war… that led to gas prices increasing, and the president had a lot to deal with when he walked in. A lot, a lot of crises, and this is a president that took that very, very serious action.”

Jean-Pierre then went on to list some of Biden’s big wins as commander-in-chief, including the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed in 2021. 

“No Republicans voted for that, but we ended up trying to work to get an economy that’s fairer for all and make sure that we don’t leave people behind and creating 15 million jobs and an unemployment rate that’s under 4%,” she insisted. 


She went on to say that the administration accepts that some Americans are not feeling the benefits of Biden’s economic policies before saying that Biden has vowed to lower health care costs, expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and do away with junk fees.

Doocy then pressed Jean-Pierre, asking her, “Why is it that nothing you’re doing to address their concerns is working?”

The press secretary responded by saying that many of Biden’s policies are “incredibly popular” with Americans, including bailing out student loans and fighting Big Pharma. 

“We understand what the American people are feeling. We understand what they’re going through. So, look, we know it’s going to take a little bit of time. We get that,” Jean-Pierre. “It’s not going to stop us from talking about it and it’s also not going to stop us from talking about the contrasts that we see from GOP, Republican congressional members who want to do the opposite of what the president is trying to get done, cutting social security, Medicare, Medicaid.”

“Student debt, even though you have Republicans who stop the president from moving with his plan on student debt. That’s actually very popular with Americans. Fighting big pharma, that’s popular with Americans. Making sure that we lower the costs on health care, that’s popular with Americans,” Jean-Pierre added. 

She also lauded the new tariffs on China the administration announced on Tuesday, hiking tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“So what the president is actually doing is popular with what the majority of Americans want to do,” Jean-Pierre said. “Even in protecting reproductive rights, something that Republicans are not on the right side of history. You think about what extreme elected officials want to do. The president wants to protect and make sure that we actually are giving a woman a right to make really difficult decisions on their health care. So that part I certainly disagree with you.”

Fox News’ Hanna Panreck contributed to this report.