CNN host admits he's puzzled by Biden's unpopularity, claims low approval rating is not his fault

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Liberal CNN host and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria admitted Thursday he was puzzled by President Biden’s unpopularity.

In a Post piece headlined, “The puzzle of Joe Biden’s unpopularity,” Zakaria claimed Biden’s low approval rating wasn’t actually his fault, but that he was instead “paying the price” for being president during “complicated times.”

“I find President Biden’s unpopularity puzzling. He is rounding out his first year in the White House with the lowest end of first-year approval ratings of any elected president in modern times with the exception of Donald Trump. Why?” Zakaria wrote. 

He described Biden as “a genial, likable person,” and noted that some of his policies were popular amongst Americans with even some Republican support, but also claimed that the country was doing “reasonably well” economically, despite record inflation, nationwide supply chain challenges and a labor shortage.

President Joe Biden and CNN host Fareed Zakaria

He suggested Biden’s massive approval rating drop from the start of his presidency to now was because of his “lack of political capital,” but also because of other factors like the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the rise of the delta variant of the coronavirus, and the massive increase in inflation.

President Biden speaks about the COVID-19 variant named omicron, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in Washington. as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases listens. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“The best summary of the current situation would be ‘it’s complicated,'” Zakaria wrote, appearing to excuse Biden’s performance by suggesting Americans were upset that the U.S. was “no longer the sole superpower,” as well as over the “huge logjams and hiccups” that came with restarting the global economy following pandemic-induced shutdowns.

He did, however, admit that Biden did have some blame for the country experiencing more inflation, and added that violent crime was up across the country.

“Presidents often get rewarded for being around in good times, whether they caused them or not. In Joe Biden’s case, he has mostly handled his job with intelligence and decency. But he is paying the price for the complicated times that we are living through,” Zakaria wrote. 

Moderator Chuck Todd attends "Meet the Press Film Festival" event during AFI FEST at TCL Chinese 6 theater in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu REFILE- CORRECTING EVENT

Zakaria’s bemoaning of Biden’s unpopularity followed a number of other liberal media figures who also made excuses for his low marks with Americans.

Liberal MSNBC host Chuck Todd defended Biden over his low approval earlier this week, suggesting the poor numbers were due to situations outside the White House’s control rather than the president’s policies. 

In November, multiple pundits and guests on left-leaning CNN and MSNBC suggested Biden wasn’t faring well in the polls partly because Americans weren’t engaged enough in politics. 

Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report. 

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