During CNN’s "The Lead with Jake Tapper" on Thursday, host Jake Tapper spoke with CNN senior political commentator and former senior Obama advisor David Axelrod, who echoed President Biden's critics, admitting that things in the country are "out of control" and that Biden is "not in command."

The discussion between the two centered on how Biden is handling many of the political setbacks that have befallen his party and other forces threatening the country under his watch, including 40-year-high inflation, especially amid criticism from his own party. 

Tapper brought up Biden’s recent declaration that he was pursuing legislation to end the Senate filibuster so that Democrats could codify Roe v. Wade into law. The Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade last week prompted the president’s urgency, though both Tapper and Axelrod acknowledged Biden has no power to make it happen.

Tapper stated, "Well he’s not going to be able to get it done. Manchin and Sinema aren’t going to do it and those are just the two taking it on the chin for it. There are lots of Democratic senators very concerned – less publicly so – about changing the filibuster rules for the reason I explained."

David Axelrod & Jake Tapper

CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod told Jake Tapper on Thursday that President Biden is in a "very fraught environment" politically. (Screenshot/CNN)


Axelrod acknowledged Tapper’s point. "Yes, yes," he said, adding, "and Manchin and Sinema provide a cover for them."

Axelrod claimed the impotence Biden has in ending the filibuster just reflects the unfortunate situation he is in as president right now. "I mean this is the lot that Biden finds himself in. There is this sense that things are kind of out of control and he’s not in command. And this lends to that."

The commentator mentioned how high inflation and high gas prices are making Biden look weak. "Inflation, no one president can control inflation, but it is a gale force wind right now. It's effecting politics," Axelrod explained, adding, "You heard him on gas prices today. He talks about the gas tax holiday, but he is not going to get the gas tax holiday and there are a lot of Americans who are skeptical about whether that would help."

"So, you know, this is a very, very fraught environment for him right now," Axelrod asserted.

David Axelrod

David Axelrod, former advisor to President Barack Obama, understands critics who claim that Biden is in over his head as leader of the country. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Later, Tapper brought up the recent AP-NORC poll which showed that 85% of Americans think that "things in this country are headed in the wrong direction." Tapper pressed Axelrod, saying, "That frankly points to disaster for Democrats in November."


Axelrod admitted, "If you were looking at the chart, you’d say the vitals are not good. The President’s approval rating’s at 38%. His economic ratings are low. Consumer confidence is down. The number that you mentioned."

Though Axelrod claimed that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade reversal might have thrown a wrench into the system. "The one thing that I don’t know is how this ruling by the Supreme Court last week is going to affect things." He mentioned hearing from polling teams and focus groups that the decision "does seem to have galvanized people, and not just about this issue, but concerns about Republicans and extremism."

"You know, If I were a Republican strategist, I’d be a little bit worried about that right now," he said. 

Abortion protests

Abortion-rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases.  ((AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana))