The day before President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich gave the media their thoughts on the state of the country under Biden.
In a word: Terrible.
The two pointed to polls showing Biden’s approval rating below 40 percent. And they touched on the issues Republican candidates will be running on in this fall’s midterm elections: Inflation, the economy, foreign policy, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the mismanaged withdrawal from Afghanistan where Americans were left behind.
McDaniel said Republicans will offer upbeat, positive solutions in contrast to what will “not be a unifying speech and will not focus on the issues that the American people really need and are looking to address.”
McDaniel predicted the midterms this November will be “a wake-up call for Democrats.”
Biden ran as a centrist but has shifted to the left, she said.
In addition to the economy and foreign policy, people are concerned about the open border and confusing messaging on COVID.
People “are being slammed with consumer prices rising at the fastest rate in 40 years,” said McDaniel.
She cited a recent RNC poll that found 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Biden is doing with 41 percent approval. Biden’s approval among independent voters drops to 37 percent with 55 percent disapproving. On the economy, 49 percent of independents favor the GOP versus 32 percent for Democrats. On crime, 50 percent of independents back Republicans versus 28 percent for Democrats.
Gingrich touted Emerson College’s ‘generic ballot’ poll showing Republicans with a 9 point lead over Democrats in congressional races. He said it reminded him of when former President Bill Clinton decided in 1996 that staying on the left “would not work” and came to the middle in his State of the Union speech and announced the era of big government was over.
“Have they figured out anything from these polling numbers, or are they where Clinton was before the ’94 election when his team just couldn’t believe it?” he asked.
“You have to look at Ukraine in terms of 10 months ago in April of last year, Biden commented on Putin possibly going into Ukraine. So the failure wasn’t this week or last week,” said Gingrich. The administration “had 10 months to help Ukraine prepare so that attacking (it) would have been crazy.
“Had he been willing to build on the things that Trump was already doing — Trump was already sending javelins, for example, which is a very sophisticated anti-tank weapon — we could have created a porcupine in Ukraine that Putin would have decided he couldn’t attack. But for 10 months, the Biden administration dithered and dathered and kept talking about negotiations, etc. and failed to use that time in a productive way.”
On inflation, Biden “has to say something, because inflation is just too big of an issue not to do something,” Gingrich said. “On oil and gas, this administration is moving in the wrong direction. They just had the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission come out with rules that make it virtually impossible to create liquefied natural gas ports, yet that’s exactly what we need to help wean Western Europe off of Russian gas.”
On education, “When 70 percent of the people in San Francisco vote to recall three members of the school board, clearly there is an issue here that the president should be addressing,” said Gingrich.
“On crime, with every passing week, we learn the damage George Soros has done in electing people who are deeply committed to putting violent criminals back on the street and putting the rest of us in danger.”
In response to a question from the Delaware Valley Journal about whether the GOP plans to call out Democrat’s long-standing opposition to expanding domestic energy production in the U.S., McDaniel said, “Absolutely.
“We’re seeing it in our pockets every day with the cost of gas and that’s directly correlated to Joe Biden shutting down drilling on federal lands, on shutting down the Keystone pipeline. And we’re importing Russian oil when we could be exporting our oil and gas. And so those are things that I think are critical to the American people. They understand it. One anecdote, I have a family member who called me this week and said, ‘I’m about as liberal, Green New Deal Democrat as I can be…I don’t know why we’re funding Russia’s war, and allowing them do to this.’ I think that’s where a lot of Americans are and that will be a big issue for the campaign going forward.”
In response to another press question, Gingrich said he’s optimistic about the Republican’s chances to take not only Congress but to win at the local levels, but said GOP candidates need to run.
“Fill up the slate,” he said. He noted that last year, an unknown truck driver beat the president of the New Jersey Senate with a campaign budget of $2,300, you look just this week we had a dramatic 17 point swing in Jacksonville, Fla. where we picked up a Democratic city council seat and we had an even bigger swing, I think it was 45 points, where we kept a Republican seat with a much greater margin, I look around, I think there are very few genuinely safe Democratic seats this year.”
The governors will also contribute “a ton of success stories” to show “why we will be better,” he said.
In fact, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Speech.