White House not following 'ups and downs' of Obama's poll numbers
By MEGHASHYAM MALI | NOVEMBER 25, 2013 AT 2:34 PM
The White House on Monday downplayed a slew of polls showing the public losing confidence in President Obama amid the botched rollout of his health care reform law.
“We don’t follow the ups and downs of individual polls,” White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One, traveling with President Obama to San Francisco. “What we are looking at are the broader trends.”
A number of polls in recent weeks have shown Obama hitting new lows in his approval rating and with record numbers questioning his trustworthiness and managerial competence.
A CNN/ORC poll released Monday morning was the latest to show the toll the trouble-plagued healthcare.gov website and the millions of insurance plan cancellations are having on the president.
The poll found only 40 percent said Obama could manage the federal government effectively, down 12 points from the CNN/ORC’s June survey. A majority for the first time also doubted the president’s honesty, with 53 percent saying he was not trustworthy.
“The way that we take in news like this individual poll that you’ve cited is to go back to focusing on our priorities and making sure the American people truly understand what the president’s fighting for every day.” Earnest said in response to the CNN/ORC poll.
“We’re going to let the politics take care of themselves. We’re going to focus on what the best policy solutions are for the American public and the politics will come around,” he added.
Obama has vowed to fix the Obamacare insurance-exchange website and apologized to Americans who were being dropped by their insurers, despite his promises that consumers could keep their current plans even under new health law requirements.
The administration has also sought to pivot to other issues, with Obama to deliver an address in San Francisco Monday on immigration reform. In recent weeks, he has also delivered a number of speeches calling for Congress to take up jobs and infrastructure bills the president says will help bolster the middle class.
“The top domestic priority is expanding economic opportunity for the middle class,” Earnest said Monday.
Obama will also hold a number of high-profile fundraisers in California this week, meeting with top Democratic donors.
Earnest dismissed suggestions that donors have pressed Obama about his sliding numbers, saying that at closed door question-and-answer sessions the focus has been on the president’s policies.