'Quit underestimating' him: Newt Gingrich fears Biden has a good shot at being reelected
In the 2022 midterms, President Joe Biden escaped something that plagued the United States’ last two Democratic presidents, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton: a major red wave. The red wave that countless right-wing pundits on Fox News and Fox Business were predicting in the weeks leading up to the November 8 election never materialized. Democrats narrowly lost the U.S House of Representatives but kept their majority in the U.S. Senate and enjoyed gubernatorial victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and other swing states.
The 80-year-old Biden still doesn’t have great approval ratings; a Reuters/Ipsos poll released in late November found approval for Biden at 40 percent, which was an improvement from 36 percent or 37 percent in previous Reuters/Ipsos polls. But then, Obama and President Ronald Reagan also had less-than-stellar approval ratings during their second terms in office. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is warning fellow Republicans to “quit underestimating President Joe Biden.”
In an opinion column published on his Gingrich360 website, Gingrich argued that Biden has a good shot at being reelected in 2024 — an assertion he reiterated during an interview with Axios.
On Gingrich360, he wrote, “Republicans must learn to quit underestimating President Joe Biden…. Our aversion to him and his policies makes us underestimate him and the Democrats. But remember: Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan both preferred to be underestimated. Both wanted people to think of them as pleasant — but not dangerous. They found being underestimated was a major asset. While people laughed at them, they were busy achieving their goals and getting their programs implemented.”
Gingrich added, “Biden has achieved something similar. He has spent 50 years in public life, elected to the U.S. Senate at 29 and only eligible to be sworn in after the election in 1972. Biden genially bumbled into becoming a major force in the Senate.”
The former House speaker also argued that Republican “hostility to the Biden Administration…. tends to blind us to just how effective Biden has been on his terms.”
Similarly, Gingrich told Axios, “I was thinking about football and the clarity of winning and losing. It hit me that, measured by his goals, Biden has been much more successful than we have been willing to credit.”
Gingrich wasn’t saying that he agrees with Biden’s policies. Rather, his point was that by Democratic standards, Biden has “successful” as president.
Axios’ Mike Allen, who interviewed Gingrich, predicts that if Biden seeks reelection, Democrats will “sell his record” along these lines: “The most significant economic recovery package since Roosevelt.... The largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower.... The most sweeping gun reform bill since Clinton.... Landmark China competitiveness legislation that's already bringing manufacturing jobs back from overseas.... The largest climate change bill in history.”
Biden still hasn’t said whether or not he will seek a second term in 2024, but according to Allen, a decision may come soon.
Allen reports, “Advisers tell me he hasn't made a formal decision about running again — that'll come over Christmas, ultimately made by him and the first lady. But his friends tell me they think only two things could stop him: health or Jill.”
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