Biden's biggest hurdles to re-election will be his age, handling of the economy

Posted at 10:51 AM, Dec 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-20 11:51:58-05

President Biden faces two big headwinds as he enters battleground Wisconsin Wednesday - concerns about his age and ongoing worries about his handling of the economy.

There's not much the oldest elected U.S. President can do to change the former — Biden turned 81 last month. But he still has time to change voters' perception about the economy as he seeks re-election in 2024.

President Biden will give a speech at the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce to tout 'Bidenonmics' and his ‘Investing in America' efforts for small businesses.

"One of the exciting things in this economy is that we have record small business applications these last three years,” said Gene Sperling, a senior advisor to the president. “Not only significantly better than in the years before President Biden took office, but the strongest new small business applications ever, and black small businesses growing at the strongest rate in over 30 years."

There have been 178,000 new business applications in Wisconsin under President Biden according to the White House.

"These types of policies that the President is proposing and talking about Wednesday can make all the difference in ensuring that people with a good idea can put it into action, create jobs, help their community, and help strengthen the generations that will come," said Sperling.

Biden last visited Milwaukee in August to talk about investing in clean energy and electric vehicles.

Signs promoting Bidenomics were prominently on display during that visit to Ingeteam. But in November, NBC News reported the president was not using the term in recent speeches.

Does the President still believe in Bidenomics?

"Absolutely," said Sperling during an interview with political reporter Charles Benson.

State Republicans see a problem with Bidenomics and plan to push back on his message while in Milwaukee.

"He should get out of his “bubble” and talk to people here who have suffered 17% + inflation ", said Wisconsin Republican Party Chair Brian Schimming in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Inflation and gas prices have fallen in 2023 — well off their highs from last year. The labor market also remains strong. Yet, small business owners still gave the president low marks in a recent CNBC survey.

Sperling says it's not about a slogan - Americans will see the metrics are improving, like the unemployment rate.

"It is below 4% for 22 months (about 2 years), the first time in over 50 years. They're focused on ensuring that the prices that got too high after the pandemic around the world are coming down," Sperling added. "I was just in Milwaukee, I was happy to see gas prices now around $2.60 a gallon. Those are the things people are focused on, not the slogan the President uses."