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Biden to shift campaign messaging away from Ukraine – Politico

Having signed a $61 billion aid bill for Kiev, the US president will focus on domestic issues in the run-up to the November election, aides say

US President Joe Biden is reportedly set to shift the focus of his re-election campaign to domestic issues rather than the Ukraine conflict, after he succeeded getting his multi-billion-dollar foreign aid bill through Congress, Politico reported on Thursday, citing White House officials.

Helping Kiev has been one of the Biden administration’s primary talking points for the past year as the president struggled to pass a $95 billion foreign aid package, which included $61 billion for Ukraine.

Since the package was passed by Congress and signed into law by Biden last week, the Ukraine conflict has become “naturally less of a salient issue” for the White House, according to one senior administration official who spoke with Politico. 

Other aides told the outlet that they “do not foresee a relentless public relations push to bolster support for the war in Ukraine in the months ahead.”

“The issues that are most important for the world are not necessarily urgent matters for voters,” Jennifer Palmieri, who served as communications director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, told Politico. 

“It’s extraordinarily important that we got the Ukraine funding. But in terms of what people are concerned about in their everyday lives, it’s not going to register,” she added.

At the same time, some in Washington are concerned that less focus on Ukraine could erode domestic support for Kiev and threaten any future funding. 

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“It’s important for the Biden administration not to cede public messaging on Ukraine to the people who are skeptical of US support,” Rachel Rizzo, a senior fellow at the pro-NATO Atlantic Council think tank, told the outlet. “By not talking about it, he runs that risk, especially given that it’s already an election talking point for those who are anti-Ukraine aid,” she added.

Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz insisted that the president does not have to choose between domestic and foreign issues and can “navigate doing two things at once.”

According to a recent CBS News/YouGov poll, a total of 53% of American voters support sending weapons and funds to Ukraine, with opinions split along party lines. 

Among Democrats and independent voters, aid to Kiev is supported by 74% and 50% respectively. The majority of Republican voters (61%) believe the US should not provide military support to Ukraine, while 69% of Trump supporters believe no assistance should be given to Kiev at all.

 

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