Governors from across the country have given President Biden a “failing” grade when asked to review his performance in the White House – citing a lack of communication, inflation, and the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I think this is a failing administration, and I think it’s a real shame,” Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey said.
Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte, gave Biden’s performance a blunt “F” grade, while New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu gave the president a “D” and said he was being “generous.”
“I’m going to give the Biden administration a solid D,” Sununu said. “And I’m trying to be generous there.”
Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he would not give Biden a letter grade, but “in terms of effectiveness, it’s been poor on effectiveness.”
“Whether you talk about border security, whether you talk about Afghanistan withdrawal, whether you talk about the inflation challenges we have, all of those areas the grade is poor,” Hutchinson said.
The governor’s comments came at a time where the president’s approval sits just barely above 40% as voters grapple with concerns over rising inflation, foreign policy disasters, and a wide range of other issues.
Several governors cited Biden’s lack of communication with state executives as part of the reason for their low grades.
“Their communication is just terrible,” Sununu said. “And from a leadership perspective, communication is everything. Communication builds public confidence and builds transparency.”
“I sure as heck did not vote in support of President Biden when he was running for office, but there was an expectation with a lot of those independents in America that said, ‘well, I’m hoping he will use his relationships, reach across the aisle, build consensus, find some way to get Republicans’ voice in there … not come in with an authoritarian approach … make it a one-size-fits-all,” Sununu continued.
“We look for effectiveness and we look for some measure of bipartisanship, and we really haven’t seen that yet,” Hutchinson said.
Gianforte said governors “have not seen the engagement” they had hoped for. “Twenty-six governors sent the president a letter in September asking for a meeting. We have not gotten a response,” he said.
The letter Gianforte referenced was sent by more than two dozen Republican governors, who demanded a meeting with Biden to address the crisis at the southern border, saying the illegal immigration surge created an “international humanitarian crisis.”
Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little said that in the last administration, he and other governors had a weekly call, often with the vice president, president and secretary of Health and Human Services.
“Now the call is with somebody much lower down,” Little said. “This administration said they’re going to work with Congress to get their initiatives done, at the expense of working with us, the governors, who have to get things done.”
Little said he was not alone in this assessment of the Biden administration.
“Even my Democratic colleagues say they got better service form the Trump White House than they are from the Biden White House,” Little said. “That was just a difference in style, that was the biggest part of it.”
Little said the difference in approach has led the Biden administration to implement policies without providing states the flexibility to implement them. “We’d love the flexibility to address it because all 50 states are vastly different, and what works in Idaho doesn’t work in Virginia or Maryland,” he said.
Some governors said that change needs to happen – but they’re not holding their breath in anticipation that it will. “Hopefully there’s a pivot and a change, but nobody’s seeing it right now, and that’s why they’re sitting at 38% approval,” Sununu said.
Author: Chris Strome