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Biden campaign fact-checks new RNC chair over economy gaffe

The Biden campaign has fact-checked a gaffe by the new Republican National Committee chair as the president’s team tries to shift voters’ views on the economy.

Michael Whatley appeared on Fox News on Friday morning, where he discussed the shake-up at the RNC and the upcoming presidential election. Mr Whatley recently replaced Ronna McDaniel as chair while former president Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump was brought in as co-chair.

“At the end of the day, this comes down to a very simple contrast between President Trump and President Biden. Were you better off four years ago than you are today? The answer for this entire country is no,” Mr Whatley said.

In March 2020, the Trump administration was still in charge – which Mr Biden’s team was quick to point out.

The Biden campaign re-shared a video of Mr Whatley’s appearance on Fox with an image of Mr Biden in his aviator sunglasses.

“This post was fact-checked by real American patriots – TRUE,” the image said on X/Twitter.

Even though the economy has rebounded far better than expected from the pandemic, polling shows that Americans aren’t giving Mr Biden much credit. In fact, most believe that Mr Trump handled the economy better, according to surveys.

Earlier this month, a CBS News/YouGov poll found that 59 per cent of voters thought the economy was bad under President Biden while only 28 per cent said the same about the economy under Mr Trump.

During his State of the Union speech last Thursday, Mr Biden laid out the case for why he should be re-elected, and focused on how he had revived the economy from the Trump era.

“Folks, I inherited an economy that was on the brink,” he said. “Now, our economy is literally the envy of the world. Fifteen million new jobs in just three years. A record. Unemployment at 50-year lows.”

The remarks may have made an impact if this week’s polling is anything to go by.

A poll by USA Today/Suffolk University revealed that 33 per cent of voters held a positive view of the economy compared to only 9 per cent in July 2022.

In the same poll, Mr Biden’s approval rating was 41 per cent up from 39 per cent late last year.

“If the trend continues, more voters could connect the economic recovery to President Biden, especially if the economy continues to dominate other issues as we get closer to November,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University Political Research Center.

Mr Trump still held a narrow lead in the poll when participants were asked who they would vote for. Mr Trump received 40 per cent and Mr Biden got 38 per cent.