As Joe Biden's Polling Flounders, Hillary Clinton Comes Out to Bat for Him

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has defended President Joe Biden's achievements as his approval ratings remain stubbornly low.

Clinton, who was first lady from 1993 to 2001 and the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday that "a lot of people" didn't appreciate what Biden had accomplished during his first 12 months in office.

She was referring to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed by the president in March and the recent $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal.

Clinton was responding to a question about the January 6 Capitol riot and the use of violence during a broader discussion about American democracy.

She began by talking about social media and "demagogues" before highlighting what she sees as Biden's key achievements.

"You know, democracy is messy," Clinton said. "You know, a lot of people got, oh, I think, kind of frustrated looking at the messy process of legislation, and they—they didn't really appreciate that within a year, the Biden administration has passed two major pieces of legislation through both the House and the Senate."

She added: "They passed another major piece through the House that will soon be in the Senate—a reference to the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act.

It remains to be seen whether the act will pass the Senate, however, as it has exposed serious divisions within the Democratic Party. The party is set to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the bill, which will require no Republican votes.

However, all Senate Democrats will have to vote in its favor and Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are seen as particular stumbling blocks.

Clinton praised the legislation that the Biden administration has passed so far.

"By any measure, those are extraordinary accomplishments, and they really will help many millions of Americans with health care and prescription drug prices, as well as climate change and so much else," she told Maddow.

Her comments come as the president faces consistently low poll ratings in a slew of polls released ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Poll tracker FiveThirtyEight, which monitors the president's approval based on analysis of a wide range of polls and its own system of pollster ratings, gave Biden 42.9 percent approval as of November 24.

By contrast, disapproval of the president stood at 51.8 percent. His approval rating has been in negative territory since August 30, according to FiveThirtyEight.

A Rasmussen Reports/Pulse Opinion Research poll conducted from November 22 to 23 found that former President Donald Trump would beat Biden in a hypothetical match-up, with Trump on 45 percent and Biden trailing with 32 percent.

The study had a three-point margin of error and the pollster has a B rating from FiveThirtyEight.

Earlier in her interview, the former secretary of state had criticized demagoguery and referred specifically to the Republican Party.

"I think we're really on the precipice, Rachel, of seeing people—particularly in the Republican Party, but not only there—who truly just want power, power to impose their views, power to exploit financial advantage, power to implement a religious point of view. We see all of that converging," Clinton said.

Photo Composite Shows Clinton and Biden
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden. Clinton has praised Biden for his administration's achievements so far. Getty Images