Despite efforts by the Democratic National Committee to limit the impact of President Joe Biden’s two primary rivals, it is clear from polling results that the incumbent candidate is not especially popular among Americans — including his party’s leftist base.
Recent averages show his disapproval rate is hovering around 54%, which is nearly 14 points higher than his approval rate.
Nevertheless, a number of prominent politicians and media figures are seeking to circle the wagons around the 80-year-old president in hopes of helping him secure a second term in office.
One such remark came from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) during a podcast interview over the weekend.
When asked if she would support Biden against Democratic rivals Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, she replied: “I believe, given that field, yes.”
The New York Democrat went on to give the president faint praise, saying that “he’s done quite well, given the limitations that we have,” acknowledging “ebbs and flows” along the way.
Her endorsement did not sit well with some of her fellow progressives, including Briahna Joy Gray, who served as press secretary for U.S. Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during his 2020 Democratic presidential primary bid.
Endorsing Joe Biden now is a betrayal of progressive interests. It was true of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement & its true of AOC.
*Most* Democrats don’t want Biden to run. Bernie and AOC are tragically out of step w/ the movement & the moment. https://t.co/WFC5MFUkcH
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) July 7, 2023
Leftist pundit Cenk Uygur also weighed in with a tweet declaring that “this primary hasn’t even begun, let alone ended,” accusing Ocasio-Cortez of “enabling a very mediocre record” with an endorsement “way, way too early” in the election season.
Of course, some on the left have sided with her, insisting that rallying behind Biden is the only way to prevent a Republican — most likely former President Donald Trump — from winning next year’s presidential election.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria seemed determined to help make Biden’s case to skeptical Democrats during a gushing interview with the president.
“I think a lot of people do watch you and are impressed and they think you’ve been a great president,” he claimed. “You’ve brought the economy back, you’ve restored relations with the world.”
Nevertheless, he acknowledged that a majority of Democrats seem to agree that Biden should not run for another term, giving Biden an opportunity to respond to the fact that some of his “hardened supporters” say “the next thing he should do is step aside and let another generation of Democrats take the baton.”