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Zero Hedge
ZeroHedge
21 Oct 2023


NextImg:As Biden Seeks Second Term, Some Voters Question His Record

Authored by Joe Gomez via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

President Joe Biden is running for a second term based on his accomplishments since stepping into office, but voters of all political stripes say there is still much left to be desired.

Among the top concerns for voters about President Biden returning for a second term are his health, his ability to work in a polarized Congress, and whether or not he can handle mounting foreign policy crises.

He’s getting us into a lot of wars, there was that mess when he pulled out of Afghanistan, and now we’re sending billions to Ukraine while I can't even keep up with my electricity bill,” Andrew Kinnison, an independent from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, told The Epoch Times. “Now we’re getting involved in the Middle East, he’s writing too many blank checks.”

There is also the concern about the Hunter Biden scandal.

“Biden is on a witch hunt against Trump; meanwhile, he’s involved in his own drug addict sons dealings in Ukraine,” Johnathan Ripley, a Republican from Annapolis, Maryland, told The Epoch Times. “I think he should be impeached.”

An average of recent polling by Real Clear Politics on Biden’s job approval rating shows nearly 55 percent disapprove of his handling of a variety of issues, including immigration, the economy, foreign policy, and the direction of the country.

The Epoch Times interviewed the voters above from different parties about their views on President Biden’s work on several of those issues.

Foreign Policy

In just two years, President Biden has presided over a variety of foreign policy transformations for the United States. The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan under his watch in 2021 ended in disaster when 13 U.S. troops and about 170 Afghans died in a suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport, though it did finally end a 20-year war.

The Biden administration also led a significant pushback against Russia after it invaded Ukraine, having to date sent more than $75 billion in assistance to the invaded country, including humanitarian, financial, and military support, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute.

He has also renewed alliances on global efforts on climate policy and other issues, such as how to contain China. And now the White House has become embroiled in a war in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, with plans to potentially send 2,000 U.S. troops overseas.

“It's sort of like Chinese water torture, drip, drip, drip; there’s always a new crisis Biden is putting us into overseas,” Mr. Kinnison said. “It seemed under Trump things were a lot calmer and we weren’t putting our nose in other people's business.”

Even some Democrats have been critical of President Biden’s interventionist actions.

“Except for what’s going on in Israel, I would have liked to see more focus on domestic spending,” Joanne Bailey, a Democrat from Springfield, Virginia, told The Epoch Times. “I understand the importance of fighting Russia; the billions we’re spending on Ukraine could be used—have you ever been to Baltimore?”

Former President Donald Trump and other Republicans have tried to lay blame on the Biden administration for the war between Israel and Hamas, particularly citing the release of nearly $6 billion in frozen assets to Iran, a supporter of Hamas on Sept. 11. Administration officials insist that money has not been spent.

Immigration

During President Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, he promised to undo such immigration policies under the Trump administration, such as family separation and efforts to end the DACA program that enables children brought to the United States by illegal immigrants to gain work authorization.

But recently, President Biden has taken a decidedly right turn on the immigration issue.

On Oct. 4, the Department of Homeland Security waived environmental and other reviews to construct new portions of a border wall in South Texas, despite President Biden pledging during his 2020 campaign that he would build “not another foot” of wall. And U.S. officials said they would resume deportations to Venezuela not long after the administration increased protected status for thousands of people from the country.

Between Jan. 20, 2021, and March 31, 2023, there were more than 5 million illegal alien encounters at the southern border. Over 2.4 million of these encounters had no confirmed departure from the United States, indicating a significant issue with deportation procedures. During the same period, the DHS released at least 2.1 million illlegal immigrants into the United States. Of these, only 5,993 illegal aliens were placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge and subsequently removed from the countr, a mere 6 percent of those released.

“I never thought I would agree with Biden on anything, but when he said he would start expanding Trump’s wall along the [U.S.-Mexico] border, I thought that was the best thing he’s done in his presidency so far,” Mr. Ripley said.

But that same move enraged some Democrat voters.

“I didn’t vote to reelect Trump in 2020 and I really wish he didn't do that,” Ms. Bailey said. “Then he’s actually increased deportations, I think we’re moving in the wrong direction.”

Upon taking office, President Biden paused border wall construction and canceled the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico ” program, but kept expelling many people under Title 42 until this past May.

Economy

While inflation remains a problem across the country, the president is campaigning for a second term claiming that “Bidenomics” is working.

“Our economy has added more than 13 million jobs—including nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs—and we’ve unleashed a manufacturing and clean energy boom. There were more than 10 million applications for new small businesses filed in 2021 and 2022—the strongest two years on record,” the White House said in a statement released in June 2023.

But some Americans argue their lives have not seen a noticeable improvement.

“There has been no difference between what I made when Trump was in office and what I am making now, the only difference is that the price of gas is higher and so is the price of food,” said Mr. Ripley, a Republican.

According to a Forbes report, the price of gas at one point nearly doubled under the Biden administration from the Trump administration.

“I think what [Biden] is doing to build more clean energy jobs is great,” said Ms. Bailey, a Democrat. “But I still don’t have as much money as I used to when I leave the grocery store.”

The White House maintains its “Inflation Reduction Act” has been working, claiming that it’s created over 170,000 jobs.

Maybe there are more jobs out there now, but they’re low-paying jobs,” said Mr. Kinnison.

Racial Divides

President Biden campaigned in 2020 on easing racial divisions in the United States and even earned the endorsement of the Black Lives Matter movement, which later took credit for his victory, stating: “Once again, Black people—especially Black women—have saved the United States.”

But after taking office, during his first State of the Union address, the president became at odds with activist groups like BLM when he called on Congress to “fund the police.”

"Let’s not abandon our streets. Or choose between safety and equal justice," President Biden said. "We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police. Fund them with resources and training they need to protect our communities."

I don't think that’s something Bernie would have done,” Ms. Bailey said. “When I voted for Biden I thought he was on board with fighting police violence, it was disappointing to hear him say that during his first SOTU.”

But some in the middle say they were reassured by his words.

“We [thought] that he was going to be another Democratic radical,” Mr. Kinnison said. “But it turns out he’s not too far left on social issues.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.