President Biden has spent months defending the economy, at times exaggerating inflation as he seeks to blame supply chain problems and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

But with less than three months to go until the midterm elections, political observers say he can turn his economic messaging problems around with a four-letter word: jobs.

“This is truly the largest job market in the history of our country,” said Tony Fratto, an economic policy consultant who served as deputy White House press secretary to George W. Bush. “It’s a booming job market.”

“They can’t win on inflation because it’s there and people are upset about it, so if you can’t win the argument, change the subject,” said Fratto, who also addressed to Twitter to blast advice at the White House. “It’s communications 101. … And it’s not that hard to do. These are alley-oop dunks.

A Democratic strategist agreed with Fratto’s assessment, saying Biden should lead every speech with that message.

“They slaughtered the narrative on this,” the strategist said. “Why not organize events around it ASAP? Run every speech with it. Put it on billboards. Shout it from the rooftops. Anything and everything.”

Biden has been working to finalize Congressional approval of a tax, health care and climate measure called the Inflation Reduction Act, which Democrats say will help in the long run.

The fact that the deal was reached and approved by the Senate on Sunday is part of something of a hot streak for the president, who has seen gas prices plummet while racking up a string of legislative victories.

A labor report on Wednesday showed that while inflation remains high on an annual basis, consumer prices were flat from June to July. Biden, in a speech at the White House, said it showed “some signs that inflation may be starting to moderate.”

“People were still suffering, but no inflation last month,” he said.

The developments are all positive news and fantastic timing for Democrats worried about the midterm elections. A Reuters-Ipsos poll even showed Biden’s approval rating rising two points to 40%.

Still, Biden acknowledged in his Wednesday remarks that there is still work to be done. And he struggled to win American support, especially on economic issues.

A CNN poll showed that 30% of respondents approve of Biden’s handling of the economy and only 25% approve of his handling of inflation. The poll showed that 75% of respondents said inflation and the cost of living were the most important economic issue for their families – an increase of more than 30% since last summer.

Republicans tried to dominate the narrative, seeking to blame Biden ahead of the midterm elections for the rising costs.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) issued a press release on Wednesday describing the president as an out-of-touch leader unconcerned about record inflation.

“Biden: Let ’em eat cake,” read a press release.

Emma Vaughn, spokesperson for the RNC, told The Hill that Biden and the Democrats “cannot back down from their failed agenda.”

“Democrats are raising taxes on families during a recession as gas prices soar and inflation hits historic highs,” Vaughn said. “Because of the failures of Biden and the Democrats, Americans are suffering and will vote for them in November.”

Democrats say the White House just needs to step up its messaging on the economy.

“I think the administration of government and politics has never been a problem for the administration,” said Democratic strategist Joel Payne. “The president and his team need to stick the landing on messaging. Tell a story that shows government working and improving lives during a difficult time.

Kenneth Baer, ​​a Democratic strategist who worked in the Obama White House Office of Management and Budget, warned that Biden should go light on jobs numbers.

“I would add that into the mix with care,” Baer said. “There is a challenge in that this economic indicator is very positive while others – inflation for one – are not.

“More importantly, the perception people have of the economy is that it’s bad and getting worse,” he said. “You have to fix this, not pretend that this perception is wrong.”

At the same time, Baer said, Biden and all Democrats should continue to reiterate the strengths of the Cut Inflation Act, including lowering the costs of prescription drugs, health insurance and Energy.

While Biden has touted the legislation, he also warned Wednesday that his administration could face headwinds that are beyond his control.

“Now I want to be clear, with the global challenges we face, from war in Europe to disrupted supply chains and pandemic shutdowns in Asia, we could face additional headwinds in the coming months. come,” Biden said. “Our work is far from over.

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