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'We Are Reagan': Top Biden Confidant Compares Where President Is to Reagan's 1st Term

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A “top Biden confidant” reportedly described President Joe Biden’s current political standing as akin to Ronald Reagan’s during his first term in 1982.

“We are Reagan,” the Biden associate told Axios. “We had a big plan. We are getting it in place.”

The main parallel Axios co-founder Mike Allen noted is that both presidents were very unpopular at this point in their first term, due primarily to a struggling economy.

“Biden allies point to a Washington Post-ABC News poll from August 1982, with the headline: ‘Reagan Should Not Seek Second Term, Majority Believes.’ Fifty-eight percent of those polled said he shouldn’t run again,” Allen wrote.

Biden is in a worse position with 65 percent not wanting him to seek re-election, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released last week.

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That finding was on top of Harvard CAPS-Harris survey published early last month showing that 71 percent of respondents did not think Biden should run again.

In 1982, Republicans ended up losing 26 U.S. House of Representatives seats in the 1982 midterms, meaning the Democrats increased their majority to 269 seats to the GOP’s 166.

Historically, the party holding the White House loses seats in midterm elections.

Allen highlighted in his Axios piece that Reagan’s approval with the American people bounced back strongly as the economy did, evidenced by his 1984 landslide reelection victory — 49 states to one — over Democrat Walter Mondale.

Do you think Biden's policies have hurt the economy?

Appearing on Fox News Monday, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel dismissed the comparison of Biden to Reagan.

“Let’s go look at our history books. Ronald Reagan inherited a recession from Jimmy Carter and took us out of it. Joe Biden inherited a recovery under Donald Trump and took us into a recession,” she said.

“We know that that happened because of the [Democrats’] stimulus package,” McDaniel added. “They cut the Keystone Pipeline. They increased energy prices. We are all suffering from it. The American people know we’re under a recession, and Joe Biden is absolutely at the helm of that.”

In January 1981 when Reagan took office, the nation was in the midst of a recession, during which unemployment would peak at 10.8 percent.

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By way of comparison, the top unemployment rate reached in the Great Recession in the late 2000s was 10 percent.

Adding to the challenge Reagan faced, inflation stood at double-digits.

Having peaked at over 13 percent in 1979, it remained nearly that high in 1980 during the last year of Carter’s presidency.

By 1982, two years into Reagan’s first term, inflation was down to 3.8 percent, and it remained relatively low for the rest of his time in office.

Further after negative Gross Domestic Product growth in 1982, the economy turned around in 1983 experiencing rapid expansion throughout the rest of Reagan’s first term and strong growth in the second.

During Reagan’s eight years as president, over 18 million new jobs were created, according to CNN and the unemployment rate fell in half to 5.3 percent.

As McDaniel highlighted, the nation was experiencing a strong economic growth when Biden took office in January 2021.

In the third quarter of 2020 under Trump, the GDP shot up 33.4 percent as the economy reopened from the COVID shutdowns. The fourth quarter came in at 4.1 percent growth.

Additionally, inflation was 1.4 percent.

In June of this year, the inflation rate hit 9.1 percent, CNBC reported, which is the highest annual jump since November 1981 — Reagan’s first year in office.

During the last two quarters under Biden, the GDP has shrunk.

In a recent Fox News interview, former Reagan and Trump administration economist Larry Kudlow explained that Biden has taken the exact opposite approach Reagan took to tackle inflation and ignite economic growth.

“What would Reagan do? Good question,” Kudlow said if faced with the current economic challenges.

“He cut tax rates. That creates incentives to produce more goods. That would reduce inflation,” Kudlow recounted.

“He deregulated. By the way, he decontrolled energy so oil prices fell. That would help a lot now. Get rid of all these anti-fossil fuel regulations. That would help now. We need to produce more oil and gas,” the Fox Business Network personality added.

Kudlow also advised Democrats not to pass its now pared-down version of Build Back Better which would raise taxes on businesses and increase government spending.

“That would be the worst thing in the world,” he said.

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