NBC's Yamiche Alcindor: WH has 'messaging issue' when poll shows voters blame Biden, not Putin, for inflation

Marc Thiessen: Why isn’t Biden talking about Ukraine winning?

‘Special Report’ All-Star panel discusses the president’s mixed messaging on a number of Ukraine issues.

NBC News correspondent Yamiche Alcindor offered a warning to the Biden White House following her network released devastating polling data for the president. 

MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell began the discussion by citing the “catastrophic” poll from NBC News that showed President Biden reaching his all-time low from the network at only 40% job approval.

The poll also showed that 38% of Americans blame President Biden and his policies for inflation while only 6% blame Russian President Vladimir Putin, who the Biden administration attempted to pin America’s economic woes and soaring gas prices on in the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

President Joe Biden introduces his budget request for fiscal year 2023 in the State Dining Room of the White House on March 28, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Mitchell asked Alcindor how Biden can “focus on the economy,” which remains a high-priority issue with voters. 

“What this poll essentially tells the president and Democrats is that they have to be messaging better, that they have to be talking about the things that Americans are listing as their priority,” Alcindor said. “Ukraine, of course, is something that the president didn’t pick to be talking about, but he had to deal with that. And when I talk to White House officials, they understand that there is this this this real messaging issue that has to happen, especially when you look at this poll, the number that jumped out to me was the fact that 38% of Americans are blaming Biden’s policies for inflation and gas prices and only 6% are blaming Russia.”

“Remember that President Biden wanted to call this Putin’s price hike. Remember, that was the sort of White House messaging. So this really goes to the idea that the president- and the White House says that they were always been focused on cost of living and the economy, but this really needs to be in some ways a re-centering of that while also having to deal with what’s going on abroad.”

NBC News correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. (Getty Images)

Coincidentally, Alcindor sounded the alarm of the Biden administration’s ineffective messaging to Andrea Mitchell, who previously touted the White House’s “Putin’s Price Hike” campaign when speaking about the “potent” issue of rising gas prices.

“I really do think—in talking to members of Congress—that they now see the politics right now, and it may not last, that the American people are behind this,” Mitchell told MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd earlier this month. “And more likely, are willing to take a hit at the pump. I don’t think it’s been sold adequately.”

“Well, if it means not bringing war here, right? Like, that’s another way to message it, I might argue,” Todd said. 

“Yeah,” Mitchell responded. And ‘Putin’s price hike’ is a great way to message it.” 

MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell. (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Mitchell, NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent, argued that when the American people see the “devastating” pictures coming out of Ukraine, particularly the images of civilians being attacked at hospitals, voters are “willing to put up with” the surging prices at the pump, “at least the Democrats in Congress think.”

“I really thought that the Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was maybe premature in his new messaging that people aren’t blaming President Biden for this- yet,” Mitchell said. “And at least for the State of the Union, he managed to make the case.”

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