U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,911.74
    +116.01 (+3.06%)
     
  • Dow 30

    31,500.68
    +823.28 (+2.68%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    11,607.62
    +375.42 (+3.34%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,765.74
    +54.07 (+3.16%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    107.06
    +2.79 (+2.68%)
     
  • Gold

    1,828.10
    -1.70 (-0.09%)
     
  • Silver

    21.13
    +0.09 (+0.42%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0559
    +0.0034 (+0.3273%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    3.1250
    +0.0570 (+1.86%)
     
  • Vix

    27.23
    -1.82 (-6.27%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2270
    +0.0009 (+0.0736%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    135.2100
    +0.2770 (+0.2053%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    21,194.12
    +98.74 (+0.47%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    462.12
    +8.22 (+1.81%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,208.81
    +188.36 (+2.68%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    26,491.97
    +320.77 (+1.23%)
     
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

President Biden, Democrats grapple with inflation, gun legislation, abortion ahead of midterms

In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Yahoo Finance political columnist Rick Newman looks at how President Biden and Democratic lawmakers are planning to approach many headline topics, including abortion rights, responses to recent gun violence, and rising gas costs, during this midterm election year.

Video Transcript

- As consumers and markets grapple with sky high inflation, President Biden did his best to paint a rosy picture of the economy in remarks at the Port of Los Angeles today.

JOE BIDEN: America should also understand our economy has unique strengths that we can build on. The job market is the strongest it's been since World War II, notwithstanding the inflation. We added another 390,000 jobs last month, 8,700,000 new jobs since I took office, an all time record. Never that many jobs in that period of time.

- President Biden trying to paint a pretty optimistic picture there. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman. And Rick, taking a look at the data today. We had that CPI number inflation report. Obviously a huge headwind here for President Biden. The record low consumer sentiment, something that really matters for politicians. How much trouble is President Biden and the Democrats in heading into the midterms.

RICK NEWMAN: Deep trouble. Biden is right. Everything he says about the economy is true and it just doesn't matter right now. Inflation is the biggest issue on consumers' minds. It blots out all the other good news. And that's what this pretty remarkable consumer sentiment number today tells us.

So. This is the University of Michigan survey and as we've been saying all day, that hit a record low in May and this data goes back to 1978. So that means consumers are more gloomy now than they were during the financial crash in 2008. They're gloomier now than they were after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. And they're in an even worse mood than they were in the 1980s, when they were back-to-back recessions and interest rates almost hit 20%.

I mean, obviously things are not that bad right now. And we're not even-- we're not even in a recession. But people are just in a completely foul mood. I will point out that other confidence surveys are not nearly that bad. And that's because those other ones tend to focus more on job security and how do you feel about the job market. So those are better.

But Biden and the Democrats are just in a terrible position. I think this inflation report for me was the last chance they had to turn inflation around and get it heading down to something that would be meaningfully lower by the midterm elections in November. I think at this point, that is just not going to happen. And I think this means a shellacking for the Democrats in November.

- Rick James, Carville's words always echo at times like this, it's the economy, stupid. But on the other hand, the Democrats were handed two massive issues. And one was the Supreme Court leak, the fact that Republicans may turn to ban abortion nationwide and the other being what appears to be a lack of any action on gun control and protecting children in classrooms across the country.

Count me as one who is astounded at how little we hear about two visceral issues. Do you expect a pivot?

RICK NEWMAN: We're going to hear a lot more for sure if the Supreme Court does in fact overturn the nationwide abortion protections that are in "Roe v Wade" which is probably going to happen by the end of June. So that is going to be an explosive political issue. I just don't think it's going to be decisive. And it may not have any impact at all in the November, November midterm elections.

And I'll give you a couple of reasons why. First of all, Democrats control Congress now. And they could, in theory pass a law, I mean, this is what Congress could do at any moment in time is pass a law that codifies those nationwide abortion protections that are in "Roe" so the Supreme Court cannot overturn them just by a majority decision by conservatives but conservatives excuse me Democrats in Congress for now, they don't have the votes to do it.

So what is their pitch to voters then? We can't get it done now. But you should elect us again because maybe we'll get it be able to get it done next year? That doesn't really work. And it's the same with gun control or gun laws. Democrats have control now. And the fact is, they're not even close in the Senate, where they would need 60 votes because they can't use the reconciliation procedure there. So they just have a weak sell.

And this reflects the whole problem Democrats face going into the midterms is they just-- there's not much they can point to prove that they can get things done. I realize they have very, very slim majorities. But they do have majorities. And if they haven't gotten anything done lately, I don't think that's a great thing to run on for the 2023 year in Congress.

- And Rick, just quickly, between now and the midterms, the things that are within the Biden administration's control, what can they try and work on?

RICK NEWMAN: I'm scratching my head on that one, honestly, if you guys have ideas, send them to the White House. Because I mean, they are literally trying to do everything they can think of to get inflation under control. And it's going the opposite way.

Just I mean, so gas prices today, $4.99 is the national average guess what's going to happen any day now gas prices are going to go above $5. That's going to be huge news everywhere in the country because we've never had average gas prices above $5 a gallon. I'm telling you, the Biden Administration has been trying to think of anything possible.

I mean, putting more corn in your gasoline and whatever they can come up with and it's not working. So there's just not much left.

- Now we're talking about a quarter a week here. I mean $5.50 looks rather imminent as well. Rick Newman, good to see you, sir. Enjoy the weekend.