On Monday’s Good Morning America, ABC continued to voice its shock it first registered Sunday at latest poll showing voters believe they are worse off since President Biden took office than prior. Like with the Chinese spy balloon embarrassment, ABC sprung to Biden’s defense with a softball interview of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and suggesting the poll also had horrible news for Republicans.
Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos called the poll “red flags” and “problems” for Biden on the “lack of confidence in America’s leadership,” but insisted that was “across the board.”
Senior national correspondent Terry Moran conceded “[t]his is a tough poll for President Biden,” but added the qualifier that it was the case “for every other politician in Washington.”
The Biden part came first. Moran bemoaned the fact that Biden’s numbers should be higher since he’s “com[ing] into the State of the Union address after a pretty good election result for an incumbent president, with some legislative accomplishments to tout,” but that hasn’t been the case because of how Americans feel about the economy.
“We asked, are you better off financially, worse off, or about the same since Joe Biden became President? And 41 percent said they are worse off. Just 16 percent say they’re better off. The rest, about the same. People are struggling, and they are not happy with Joe Biden. His approval numbers remain stagnant,” he explained.
Before Moran’s fellow liberals could be totally crestfallen, he reassured them that their fellow Americans “don’t much like the Republican approach either” as “by a whopping margin, look at this, 65 percent of the people in America reject [the] Republican approach” to debt ceiling negotiations.
Saying the poll illustrated that “both sides [are] having trouble with the American people”, Stephanopoulos agreed: “Yes, they are.”
Moving to Stephanopoulos’s Yellen interview, he only fit in three questions. Citing the lack of public confidence in their economic standing despite record-low unemployment, Stephanopoulos asked: “How can you explain that? What can you do about it?”
Yellen droned on and on that blamed the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but argued the economy’s in remarkable shape with Biden’s list of supposed accomplishments taking root, so she didn’t really answer it.
Stephanopoulos didn’t follow up and instead lobbed another softball: “Those — those jobs numbers seem to defy predictions of a recession this year. Do you still think one is likely?”
After Yellen suggested a recession isn’t likely given the level of job creation and unemployment rates, Stephanopoulos allowed her to skate by and closed with another weak pitch of the plate: “Finally, are you confident we’re going to avoid default and have this debt limit showdown resolved?”
Afterward, Stephanopoulos asked chief economics correspondent and fill-in co-host Rebecca Jarvis how he did.
Jarvis was impressed: “A-plus, and I’m happy to hear her talk about a recession because a lot of people have really pulled back on that since the jobs report on Friday.”
ABC lamenting Americans aren’t giving Biden high marks on the economy as made possible thanks to advertisers such as Swiffer and Zales. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant ABC transcript from February 6, click “expand.”
ABC’s Good Morning America
February 6, 2023
7:01 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Poll; Trouble Ahead for President Biden?]
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Our new poll raises red flags for the White House as President Biden gets set to address the nation. Treasury Secretary Yellen joins us exclusively on the state of the economy and the critical debt ceiling showdown.
7:15 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New This Morning; Trouble Ahead for Biden?; New Poll Raising Red Flags as President Prepares for State of the Union]
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now to the State of the Union address. Our new poll points to problems for President Biden and lack of confidence in America’s leadership across the board. Senior national correspondent Terry Moran has the details. Good morning, Terry.
TERRY MORAN: Good morning, George. This is a tough poll for President Biden, and for every other politician in Washington. Joe Biden actually comes into the State of the Union address after a pretty good election result for an incumbent president, with some legislative accomplishments to tout — infrastructure, and green energy, and more, but the problem for Biden is the economy. Take a look at this number. We asked, are you better off financially, worse off, or about the same since Joe Biden became President? And 41 percent said they are worse off. Just 16 percent say they’re better off. The rest, about the same. People are struggling, and they are not happy with Joe Biden. His approval numbers remain stagnant, but they don’t much like the Republican approach either. Consider the debt ceiling crisis — the looming crisis over the debt ceiling with Republicans threatening to not raise the debt ceiling unless they get major spending cuts that threatens to plunge the country into default. But by a whopping margin, look at this, 65 percent of the people in America reject that Republican approach. They want the debt ceiling, repayment of debt and cutting spending handled separately. Just 26 percent of people agree with the GOP approach there, so both sides having trouble with the American people, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, they are. Okay, Terry, thanks so much. We’re going to have more of this in our next hour — an exclusive interview with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Robin?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Coming Up on GMA; One-on-One With Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; On State of the Economy & President Biden’s State of the Union Address]
ROBIN ROBERTS: Looking forward to your discussion with the secretary, George.
8:00 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: State of the Economy; Treasury Secretary Yellen Exclusive]
STEPHANOPOULOS: State of the economy. With President Biden set to address the nation this week, the concern for many Americans in our new poll. Plus, the fight against inflation and the debt ceiling showdown. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joins us live only on GMA this morning.
8:02 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
REBECCA JARVIS: Also ahead, we have Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. She will speak with George about President Biden’s big challenge: the economy. Unemployment is at historic lows, but in our new poll, 41 percent of Americans say they are worse off.
8:04 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: ABC News Exclusive; One-on-One With Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; On State of Economy & President Biden’s State of the Union Address]
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Biden set to give his State of the Union address tomorrow night. The heart of the speech certain to be the state of the economy and how it’s recovering three years after the pandemic hit. Joining us now with a preview, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Ms. Madame Secretary, thank you for joining us this morning. I want to begin with what seems to be a paradox. We’ve got this lowest unemployment numbers [sic] out on Friday, 3.4 percent, lowest number since 1969, yet our new poll shows and I want to put it up there — Rebecca just mentioned it — 41 percent of Americans think they’re worse off now than when President Biden took office. Only 16 percent think they’re better off. How can you explain that? What can you do about it?
TREASURY SECRETARY JANET YELLEN: Well, the country has been through a lot, George, with the COVID pandemic and all the stress that placed on the economy, and then Russia’s war in Ukraine that boosted food and energy prices. Americans are concerned about inflation, and it’s been President Biden’s top priority to bring it down, but really we have a strong and resilient economy. I know President Biden will talk about that. As you mentioned, the unemployment rate is at a 53-year low of 3.4 percent. Last month, we created over 500,000 jobs, more than 12 million since the President took office, and inflation is coming down. It remains too high, but it’s been falling for the last six months, and while the Fed has primary responsibility here, legislation that has been passed in some cases on a bipartisan basis is strengthening our economy, and lowering costs for Americans. The Inflation Reduction Act lowers the cost of prescription drugs, health care costs. President Biden has taken steps to lower gas prices. They’re down more than $1.50 since their peaks last summer. We’ve put in place a price cap on Russian oil to maintain global energy supplies, and to reduce Russia’s revenues, and importantly a trifecta of legislation, the Chips, the bipartisan infrastructure act, the Inflation Reduction Act. We’re investing in America again, rebuilding roads and bridges, making sure that every American family has access to the internet, and creating good jobs in advanced manufacturing, clean energy, semiconductors, factories are opening all across America, and not just on the coast, but throughout the country in areas that haven’t seen the investment that they need.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Those — those jobs numbers seem to defy predictions of a recession this year. Do you still think one is likely?
YELLEN: Well, look, you don’t have a recession when you have 500,000 jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in more than 50 years, so what I see is a path in which inflation is declining significantly, and the economy is remaining strong, and really, that’s a path I believe is possible, and it’s — it’s what I’m hoping we will be able to achieve.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, are you confident we’re going to avoid default and have this debt limit showdown resolved?
YELLEN: America has paid all of its bills on time since 1789, and not to do so would produce an economic and financial catastrophe, and every responsible member of Congress must agree to raise the debt ceiling. It’s something that simply can’t be negotiable, and while it — sometimes we’ve gone up to the wire it’s something that Congress has always recognized their responsibility needs to do again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Madame Secretary, thanks for your time this morning.
YELLEN: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And ABC News will have live coverage of the State of the Union starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow night.
ROBIN ROBERTS: I saw our economics correspondent watching very closely.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How did I do, Rebecca?
JARVIS: A-plus, and I’m happy to hear her talk about a recession because a lot of people have really pulled back on that since the jobs report —
JARVIS: — on Friday.