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John Minchillo / AP

The majority of Americans (61%) say Donald Trump is the least helpful spokesperson for his own brand, according to a new Monmouth University poll. Most notably, 53% of Americans say Vice President Mike Pence helps the administration's cause when he speaks, while the majority of Americans have no opinion of Sarah Huckabee Sanders at all.

Here's a full breakdown of how Americans think certain White House officials hurt vs. help the Administration's causes when they speak to the public:

  • Donald Trump: 61% vs. 33% (hurts vs. helps)
  • Sean Spicer: 42% vs. 28%
  • Kellyanne Conway: 40% vs. 28%
  • Mike Pence: 29% vs. 53%
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders: 22% vs. 23%

Why it matters: It's no surprise that the results also show a typical partisan split, with Republicans being more likely to see these officials as doing a good job as a mouthpiece for the administration than Democrats. But it's interesting to note that both parties feel most confident in Pence's ability to speak on behalf of the administration than anyone else surveyed, with 87% of Republicans saying he helps and 32% of Democrats saying the same.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
58 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.