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Gun violence, economy, energy: What Biden can do about America's problems

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Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman details Democrats' frustrations with President Biden's inaction on various issues, including gas prices, green energy infrastructure, and slowness in working out bipartisan legislation.

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Welcome back. Whether it's the Supreme Court striking down Roe versus Wade, the cost of living, or the seemingly unending gun violence in America, Democrats are growing increasingly frustrated with President Biden's inaction. Joining us now with more is Yahoo Finance's very own Rick Newman. Rick, a lot of frustration out there.

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, this caught my eye. I mean, people who did not vote for Biden, of course, are not happy with his presidency. But now you're hearing a lot of griping among Democrats that Biden's too timid. He's not showing a sense of urgency on things like the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe versus Wade. And of course, voters are very unhappy with the state of the economy.

So what can he do here? I think one prescription for Biden might be to move back to the center on the economy. Remember, that's how he got elected president as a moderate, not as a progressive or a liberal Democrat. So why not move to the center on the economy, and then maybe move back to the left on social issues? And I'll just go through a couple of examples of things he could do here.

So on gasoline prices and on energy supplies, Biden, of course, wants US energy companies to produce more oil and gas, while the American Petroleum Institute did send the White House a 10-point plan and said, if you really want more oil and gas production, why don't you do these 10 things? So why doesn't Biden do a couple of them? He could-- it's things like speed up approval-- permitting approval for pipelines and for natural gas infrastructure and things like that. Biden can certainly do a couple of those things. Tell the oil and gas industry he's doing this in good faith. Now it's their turn. They need to produce more oil and gas.

He worries, of course, this will undermine his green energy agenda. But, you know, he can actually do two things at once. He could still say, I support green energy. I want Congress to pass those green energy investments. But we need to produce more oil and gas for the here and now. There are a couple of other areas where he could do stuff like that. I have no idea if he feels a need to do stuff like that. But he has to realize his president-- his approval rating, at 39%, is one of the lowest of any presidents at this point in his term.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And obviously, you're mentioning that approval rating there. Why do you think Biden isn't doing more? Why do you think now he's choosing to stay silent, when he has so much on his plate and people really do want some answers?

RICK NEWMAN: I mean, it's hard to get inside his head. But I mean, look, Biden is an incrementalist. He's an establishmentarian. He's used to working within the system. He has patience, way more patience than anybody else in America has, with the slow pace of getting things through Congress. So he probably thinks that this is what got him to the White House. And he does have a plan. He has a plan for everything. I think the problem is just that his plans are so incremental.

And this is-- with gas and energy prices, in particular, we've gotten to a point where I don't know if you'd say it's a crisis, but it certainly is a giant political problem for Biden. And it's a financial problem for tons of Americans, who can't afford $4.80 for a gallon of gasoline. So the criticism seems legit. There does seem to be a lack of a sense of urgency in the White House. It's not too late. Biden could change his story. And one can imagine that that's what he is, in fact, contemplating.