Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott on Sunday criticized President Joe Biden for being “slow to respond” to several crises, including a southern border crisis, skyrocketing inflation and a baby food shortage that has already sent several children to the hospital.
A new poll suggests Americans are still cautious about Democrats’ handling of the economy — while nearly seven in 10 voters believe the US financial system is in dire straits.
“I think these numbers are consistent with what we’ve seen that inflation is still the number one problem in the country and the president has been slow to respond, is it the limit, is it inflation, is it the Gas prices is, even Ukraine. Scott told CBS News Face The Nation host Margaret Brennan.
The senator predicted that consumer prices – which rose 8.5 percent in April according to the latest available data – would be the focus of the November midterm elections, which will decide which party will win Congress for Biden’s second half tenure controlled.
“I think this fall’s election will be about inflation. It’s going to be about the effectiveness of the Biden administration,” said Scott, who oversees the Republican campaign arm in the Senate.
He added, “And I think it bodes well for Republicans.”
If his prediction comes true, Republicans have a lot to look forward to. Among a list of issues facing the country, respondents to the latest CBS News/YouGov poll said they trust Republicans more than Democrats on the economy and inflation.
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott predicted that this fall’s election will be about inflation.
Senator Rick Scott says Pres. Biden has been “slow to respond” to the country’s top issues.
“I think this fall’s election is going to be about inflation, it’s going to be about the effectiveness of the Biden administration, and I think it bodes well for Republicans.” pic.twitter.com/CxakuJOYzO
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 22, 2022
However, the margins are narrow. Both issues are split 51 percent in favor of Republicans, with 49 percent of people supporting Democrats’ handling of tax matters.
Democrats have the edge on issues like immigration, gun policy, and education.
But overall, 69 percent of Americans say the economy is either very or fairly bad — compared to just 26 percent who think it’s in good shape.
A majority also said they were “pessimistic” about the stock market, the cost of goods and services, maintaining their personal freedoms and plans for retirement.
When asked how Republicans can increase their lead over Democrats on financial issues, Scott said, “I think it’s important that we talk about what we’re going to do. And we — you know, we’re explaining the problem that the Biden administration has.
“But we’re also telling people what we’re going to do to bring inflation down. We will balance the budget. We’re going to start watching the dollars very closely. We’ll keep an eye on our expenses,” Scott said.
Earlier this year, the senator unveiled an 11-point economic proposal that would include a mandatory federal minimum income tax that would largely hit low-income families.
The plan was so controversial that even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell distanced himself from it, with Biden calling it “extreme, like most MAGA things.”
Scott said Sunday, “If you look at racing across the country, Biden’s numbers are really, really bad. And he’s the face of the Democratic Party right now.”
Biden’s overall job approval in the latest poll is 12 points behind his disapproval rating, with a 44 percent to 56 percent spread.
And in a swipe at his relatable, empathetic image, more than 50 percent of respondents said Biden doesn’t think much or at all about their needs.
A majority of voters, 34 percent, answered “not at all” when asked how much the president cares. 44 percent believe Biden cares “somewhat” or “very” about the people he leads.
A 65 percent majority also agrees with Scott that Biden is “slow to respond” to national issues.
Given a list of adjectives to describe the president, more than half of responding voters said he was “distracted” and “incompetent.”
More than half also said Biden was not unified or focused.
Sunday’s poll shows Americans are wary of both major parties in Congress — given a list of words and asked which two sides of the aisle are most similar, a majority of voters complained that the Democratic Party was “weak” was, while the GOP was described as “extreme”. ‘
Almost half of Republican voters also said hearing their leaders condemn white nationalism was “not very important” or not important at all — less than a quarter said it was “very important.”
Conversely, 75 percent of Democrats said it was “very important” for leaders to denounce white extremism.
The statistic is particularly stark while the city of Buffalo, New York, is still reeling from last weekend’s mass shooting, in which a white gunman targeted a mostly black supermarket, killing 10 people.
When asked about the partisan divide, Scott was quick to reply that “we should all condemn all hatred.”
“We should condemn any white supremacy. We have to figure out how to come together,” the senator said.
He then aimed at “racial politics” in general.
“We should judge people by their character, not the color of their skin. So we have to figure out how to bring people together,” Scott said.
However, the Florida Republican was reluctant to say he would advise GOP candidates running for the Senate to condemn white nationalism.
“Well, I tell people what I believe. And you know, every Senate candidate on both sides is going to decide what’s important to them and what’s important to the citizens of their state,” Scott explained.
The host squeezed, “So, the answer is yes?”
“Oh, if you were to ask me I’d say be clear. Be clear. I mean, we don’t believe – none of us – I don’t think any American should believe in white supremacy or hatred of any kind,” Scott said.