PRESIDENT Biden has been slammed as a "puppet of the far left and Nancy Pelosi" by Republicans who want a more conservative Covid bill.
Republicans have suggested Joe Biden is ignoring his instinct to broker a cross-party coronavirus relief deal and appease the GOP – due to "pressure" from the House Speaker, and Dem Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The Washington Examiner reports how the same attack line worked before the 2020 presidential election.
Republicans called Biden an "empty vessel" and "Trojan horse," – particularly after he picked Kamala Harris as his running mate.
But even though the tactic worked for Donald Trump, who received the second most highest amount of votes ever behind Biden – some members of the GOP are warning against the move.
Republican strategist Evan Siegfried warned the "puppet" tactic resonated more with the Republican Party's base during the campaign rather than with the general electorate at the beginning of a new administration.
He told the website: "The hostage to the Left argument does not seem to be moving the needle much with the broader public, as Biden’s COVID relief bill enjoys strong support from the country."
Siegfried said the rhetoric is based on the idea that the president, 78, "is suffering from cognitive decline".
And for Siegfried, it also pegs Biden as "weak," which "no president wants to be seen as."
This iteration started this week after Biden met with a group of 10 Senate Republicans, who had proposed a $618 billion counteroffer to his $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan."
The meeting was arranged after the senators wrote to Biden, quoting his "important call" for unity.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the group's leader, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki both described the meeting as "productive."
But Psaki has repeated that Biden is willing to press ahead using the fast-track budgetary procedure known as reconciliation.
It means he won't need Republican votes if the two sides can't agree on a "bold" framework.
"He will not slow down work on this urgent crisis response and will not settle for a package that fails to meet the moment," Psaki added.
Lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are blaming administration aides for what he claims is Biden's refusal to compromise.
The president, a 36-year veteran of the Senate and two-term vice president, has long prided himself on being a deal-maker.
McConnell said: “Our members who were in the meeting felt that the president seemed to be more interested in [bipartisanship] than his staff did, or it seems like the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate,”
A poll from Quinnipiac University found that almost 70% of respondents supported Biden's plan.
Almost 80% of those surveyed backed his $1,400 direct payments, while 60% endorsed raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The saqme poll also found Biden is popular during the early stages of his administration.
It found Biden had a positive approval rating, 49 per cent to 36 per cent.
That can be compared to Pelosi's and Schumer's negative approval ratings of 45 per cent to 47 per cent and 37 per cent to 42 per cent, respectively.
But Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy said Biden had "only been in office for two weeks" – and that "events yet to come will shape his job performance.”
“Whether one supports Joe Biden or not, it's hard to make the argument that people don’t know him or don’t understand where he comes from on issues. He has been navigating the turgid waters of government for decades," Malloy told the Washington Examiner.
The White House is determined to refute the Republican's line of Cognitive decline, with Psaki dimissing the claims as "ludicrous – and that Biden was still aiming for an ambitious stimulus package.
Psaki added: "There is no one who's going to tell him what to do or hold him back from his commitment to delivering relief to the American people."
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