GOP Attacks on Biden’s Ukraine Response Aren’t Working

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

By Emily Singer

March 9, 2022

Recent polls show President Joe Biden’s approval rating is up, despite Republican criticism of his response to the Russian invasion.

Multiple polls over the last few days have shown President Joe Biden’s approval rating is on the rise, bolstered by approval of his response to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

A new poll of registered voters released Tuesday by Politico/Morning Consult found Biden with a 4-point jump since the last time the media organization polled in late February. Biden’s approval stood at 45% with 52% disapproving, up from a 41% approval and 56% disapproval rating a week earlier.

On Friday, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey of adults found Biden’s approval surging by 8 points. The poll found 47% approving of Biden’s job performance, up from 39% a week prior, while his disapproval rating is down from 55% to 50%.

Both polls found that most of those polled approve of Biden’s handling of the situation in Ukraine. Politico/Morning Consult found a plurality of 47% of those polled either “strongly” or “somewhat” support Biden’s Ukraine policy, up 4 points from previous polling, while the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey found a majority of 52% of those surveyed approve, an 18-point surge.

Biden’s approval rating is up despite GOP criticism of his response to Russia’s aggression, which has led to the deaths of more than 400 civilians and caused more than 2 million people to flee Ukraine for safety.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday said that “the United States should have supplied weapons to Ukraine sooner.”

However, McCarthy absolved former President Donald Trump for purposefully withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to secure dirt on Biden during the 2020 election. Trump was impeached on charges of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to announce an investigation into Biden in exchange for the military aid Congress had already approved. But McCarthy voted against impeaching Trump.

The loudest message coming from Republicans is an attempt to tie rising gasoline prices to Biden’s handling of the situation in Ukraine, blaming Biden for buying foreign oil and not increasing American output.

“Joe Biden is fueling Putin’s genocide in Ukraine with every barrel of Russian oil he purchases,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tweeted on Sunday.

“Gas wouldn’t be this expensive if Joe Biden opened up America’s oil pipelines. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted on Monday. 

The GOP claim that the United States can quickly ramp up oil production to lower the cost of gas is false, according to sources cited by Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell.

Rampell noted that it takes between 10 and 12 months to lower fuel prices through increased oil production.

What’s more, the GOP argument that Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline is to blame for rising gas prices is also false, Rampell points out: The pipeline was nowhere close to being finished when he took office, and would not be online now even if construction had continued.


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