Nov 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House confronts messaging problem

White House chief of staff Ron Klain is seen speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Screenshot: NBC News

Ron Klain's appearance on "Meet the Press" on Sunday underscored the messaging problem confronting the White House despite a week with good jobs numbers and a historic infrastructure agreement.

Why it matters: The election results from Tuesday show voters still see a lot of negativity: relentless inflation, Democratic infighting, an uncertain price tag for the party's big-spending social plans and political disconnect from parents still reeling with school issues.

What they're saying: As chief of staff, Klain is the biggest White House messaging gun next to President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and press secretary Jen Psaki.

He said he felt voters' pain.

  • It’s been a rough and tough year," Klain told NBC's Chuck Todd. "Americans are tired of how long it’s taken to get the economy moving, to get COVID under control. I feel the frustration personally myself. I think everyone does. And I think that frustration wears on people.”
  • “The voters sent a message on Tuesday. They wanted to see more action in Washington. They wanted to see things move more quickly."
  • Klain added: "Three days later, Congress responded, passing the president's infrastructure bill.”

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, a former governor of Virginia, conceded the party's self-inflicted wound during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."

  • "If we were having this show a week ago or two weeks ago ... if we could have had this bipartisan infrastructure bill ... if we could have been talking about that win and showing the kind of job creation that actually has been taking place, things might have been different," the senator said.
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