Dems want Biden to start swinging at Republicans. Allies aren’t sure he can.

“The president is in an awkward position [because] to get things done outside of reconciliation will require Republicans,” said Robert Gibbs, who served as press secretary under former President Barack Obama. “But sooner or later, Joe Biden has to make this more than a referendum on himself and his presidency and instead make this a stark choice between two very different ideas and philosophies. Contrast with Republicans’ positions will be central to having a chance in the 2022 midterms.”

White House officials say they’re eager to make that contrast. In the coming weeks, Biden and administration officials will “make the case that Republicans are unanimously opposed” to the president’s social spending bill, said Kate Berner, deputy White House communications director. The administration also plans to label Republicans as being on the side of oil and gas companies that “are padding their profits” and a party “rooting” for price increases spurred by inflation “because [they] think it will help them politically,” Berner added…

But Biden has largely shied away from leveling broadsides at Republicans on Capitol Hill, though he’s been less sparing with his predecessor and GOP governors who’ve stood in the way of federal aid to combat the pandemic. Long-time Biden observers and confidants aren’t sure that the attack dog role suits him, or that he will commit to it.