White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said President Biden gets frustrated when the media “invents” panic on issues like the supply chain crisis when there isn’t a “real panic” to report, according to a new book.
In Chris Whipple’s forthcoming book, “The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House,” Klain is quoted as saying Biden sometimes feels as if he was dealt a worse hand than President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was president during the Great Depression.
“I think there are times when he feels that God dealt him a terrible hand—worse than FDR’s,” Klain reportedly told Whipple, who said he was given access to Biden’s inner circle while writing the book.
While Biden’s approval rating peaked at the beginning of his presidency, it took a dramatic 6-point drop, according to Gallup, in the weeks following the Afghanistan withdrawal on Aug. 30, 2021, which critics have often compared to the fall of Saigon. The president’s approval rating cratered to 38% in July of this year, the lowest of any president in Gallup’s history, amid record inflation.
President Biden shakes hands with White House chief of staff Ron Klain alongside Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm as he arrives for a briefing on wildfires ahead of the wildfire season with cabinet members, government officials, as well as governors of several western states, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, June 30, 2021.
(SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
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During an interview with Whipple on Dec. 18, 2021, Klain reportedly said Biden had “the most successful first year of any president ever” but that the media “invents” panic to detract from it.
“What frustrates him is the media going into a frenzy about whether or not anyone will be able to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving and whether everyone’s Christmas presents will show up,” Klain was quoted as saying.
“Everyone did get a turkey, and all the Christmas presents did arrive on time,” he said. “If there isn’t a real panic, it seems like the media invents the panic.”
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain attends an event with governors of western states and members of the Biden administration cabinet June 30, 2021, in Washington, D.C. U.S.
Fox News Digital obtained an advance copy of the book, which is set to go on sale on Jan. 17, 2023, nearly two years after Biden took office.
At the time of Klain’s reported comments, the consumer price index was up 6.8%, and a Thanksgiving dinner had cost U.S. consumers an average of 14% more than it did in 2020. This year, a Thanksgiving meal rose an additional 20% since 2021.
Just weeks before Klain’s comments, Biden himself warned that only Santa Claus could guarantee the presents would arrive on time that Christmas.
“The CEOs I met with this week reported that their inventories are up, shelves are well-stocked, and they’re ready to meet the consumer demand for the holidays,” the president said Dec. 1, 2021. “Now, I can’t promise that every person will get every gift they want on time. Only Santa Claus can keep that promise.”
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White House chief of staff Ron Klain’s comments were recorded in the forthcoming book “The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House” by author Chris Whipple.
(Scribner/Simon & Schuster)
Earlier in Whipple’s book, Klain reportedly expressed annoyance that Americans were more concerned about high gasoline and food prices than free pre-K and building new infrastructure.
“The most frustrating part is that we are in this morass on Capitol Hill, no margin for error, and it sucks up so much of our time and so much energy and so much political drama,” Klain said during an Oct. 30, 2021 interview with Whipple, according to the book.
“And it’s a very important agenda,” he added. “It’s an agenda we have to fight for, an agenda we believe in. And in the long run it matters a lot. But right now, people wish we were more focused on gas prices and hamburger prices than whether or not we’re going to build bridges or have free pre-K.”
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A couple of weeks before the interview, Klain was ripped on Twitter for endorsing a tweet that claimed inflation and supply chain issues affecting the country were “high class problems.”
A White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that “As Ron made clear, fighting inflation is the President’s top economic priority.”
Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.
Jessica Chasmar is a digital writer on the politics team for Fox News and Fox Business. Story tips can be sent to Jessica.Chasmar@fox.com.