RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said a potential US debt default “bodes very well for the Republican field in 2024.”
McDaniel’s statement, in context, was that the poll numbers on President Joe Biden’s allegedly unfavorable jobs endorsement bode well for the Republican field.
On May 25, 2023, a tweet from US President Biden’s personal Twitter account paraphrased statements by Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, suggesting that a “possible US default” bodes very well. “for the Republican field” in 2024.”
Defaulting on debt, including the trillions incurred under Donald Trump, could mean seniors miss Social Security checks and millions of jobs are lost.
Looks like the leader of the Republican Party thinks it’s a price to pay for electing Republicans. pic.twitter.com/fHbRqviI9j
—Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 25, 2023
This is a misleading characterization of statements made by McDaniel during an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. During that interview, which was mostly about the growing 2024 GOP presidential field, MacCallum asked McDaniel to respond to a poll showing a strong preference for former President Donald Trump among Republicans:
In a characteristic fulcrum of the neutrality most party chairmen publicly hold before a candidate is selected, McDaniel suggested that the most important numbers were “Biden’s numbers” and that “his low approval” was not not that of a president “whom the American people feel is doing a good job on their behalf.”
At the time of his statements, Biden’s public approval rating was hovering around 40% – near the lowest of his presidency, according to Reuters. About 60% of Americans, at the same time, thought the country was on the wrong track, according to an average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics. Those numbers were virtually identical to Trump’s at this point in his presidency.
After the pivot to Biden’s numbers, McDaniel listed several possible explanations for Biden’s poll – one of which was the inability to reach, at the time of this report, a compromise to raise the US government’s spending limit. . Her closing statement was a reminder of the original question and the pivotal answer she provided, as is clear from the full context (emphasis ours):
Ronna, what would you say to voters watching Numbers on screen right now?
You know, I think it’s early. I think we have to watch Biden’s numbers and that’s where I think Republicans should pay attention — his low approval rating. This is not a president who the American people believe is doing a good job on their behalf. The vast majority of Americans feel that we are going the wrong way.
And then you look at this debt crisis, the debt ceiling, you look at us about to default and you see the president took 90 days to negotiate. He refused to come to the table with the Republicans. The Republicans have put a plan on the table, and it’s an MIA chair when it comes to the issues facing the American people.
Whether it’s energy independence, fentanyl, a broken border, crime sweeping our streets, this is a president who is failing the American people. So I think that bodes very well for the Republican field.
The “it” in the last sentence above refers to numbers that McDaniel interprets as indicating that “the vast majority of Americans feel that we are not going in the right direction”, not a direct suggestion that a defaulting on debt would benefit Republicans.
The interview came amid ongoing negotiations to raise the US debt limit. On May 1, 2023, Treasury Secretary Janet Yelin suggested that the United States may not be able to meet its payment obligations “by June 1” unless there is a resolution to increase this imposed spending limit. by Congress is adopted.
House Republicans had already passed a bill that, as NBC News reported, would raise the debt ceiling but “cut spending and roll back key items on President Joe Biden’s agenda.” Biden opposed this legislation, describing it as “a reckless attempt to obtain extreme concessions as a condition for the United States to simply pay the bills it has already incurred.”
Because McDaniel’s statement was about ‘Biden numbers’ — that is, jobs approval poll data — and not a default on the national debt, we’re rating the president’s claim on Twitter. about McDaniel as “false”.
“Tracking Biden Approval Polls.” Reuters, May 10, 2023. www.Reuters.com, https://www.Reuters.com/graphics/USA-BIDEN/POLL/nmopagnqapa/.
“GOP-Led House Passes Bill to Raise Debt Limit, Cut Spending.” NBC News, April 26, 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-republicans-eye-wednesday-vote-debt-limit-bill-making-changes-rcna81326.
Lawder, David, et al. “US Can Default June 1 Without Raising Debt Ceiling; Biden, McCarthy To Meet.” Reuters, May 2, 2023. www.Reuters.com, https://www.Reuters.com/markets/us/us-may-run-short-cash-after-june-1-without-debt-limit-hike- cash-2023-05-01/.
RealClearPolitics – Election Other – Country Leadership. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html. Accessed May 26, 2023.
“Ronna McDaniel: We Need to Focus on Beating Democrats, Biden’s Extreme Agenda | Fox News Video.” Fox News, May 24, 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/video/6328166365112.
Silver, Nate. “How popular is Joe Biden?” FiveThirtyEight, January 28, 2021, https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/biden-approval-rating/.
ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY STATEMENT: Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023. Executive Office of the President, April 25, 2023, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/LSGA-2023-SAP.pdf .