WASHINGTON — If it’s Tuesday… The Ukrainian and Russian delegations are meeting in Istanbul for peace talks. … President Joe Biden welcomes the Prime Minister of Singapore to the White House. … Biden later pays tribute to the late Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who rests in state. … NBC’s Henry Gomez recaps last night’s GOP Ohio Senate debate. … NBC’s Benjy Sarlin weighs in on the latest Democratic proposal to tax billionaires… And Covid drops as the most important issue in the NBC News poll.

But first: There’s a reason Biden had to stick to his off-the-cuff ‘this man can’t stay in power’ remark about Vladimir Putin, despite Democrats’ best efforts to clarify and back.

Because the public already has low confidence in the president’s ability to handle the Russian-Ukrainian war, as our latest NBC News poll finds 28% say they have “a lot” or “somewhat” confidence, compared to 71% combined. with “just a little” or “very little” confidence.

“I wasn’t then — and I’m not now — articulating policy change,” Biden told NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell on Monday. “I was expressing the moral outrage I feel and I make no apologies for it.”

Biden’s “this man can’t stay in power” comment — and then the administration’s backtracking — was always going to have a bigger impact domestically (raising the question of who’s pulling the strings in the White House) only internationally (because Putin is going to hear what he wants to hear).

And that’s why Biden didn’t back down, but also made it clear that regime change is not a political goal.

Tweet of the day

Midterm review: looking for Trump’s nod

Most of the GOP Senate candidates in Ohio appeared to be seeking the endorsement of former President Donald Trump during last night’s debate, where “misinformation about the 2020 election dominatedthe discussion, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Trump has so far stayed out of the crowded and contentious primary, which is scheduled for May 3.

State Senator Matt Dolan was the only candidate to acknowledge that Biden was legitimately elected and he referenced the Trump-sized elephant in the roomsaying, “There are people on this stage who are literally fighting for a vote, and that person isn’t even voting in Ohio,” according to NBC’s Henry Gomez.

Yesterday was also a big day for ad bookings in the Senate race. Former Treasurer Josh Mandel reserved $500,000 in airtime, Dolan reserved $118,000, and Mike Gibbons reserved $47,000 for the GOP primary, while Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan reserved $87,000.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Missouri Senate: Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine, heiress to the Anheuser-Busch fortune, joined the Missouri Senate raceprompting Democratic Sen. Scott Sifton to drop out and endorse it, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Governor of Oregon: Oregon Republican Christine Drazan will air at the end of the month for the first time this cycle with an ad buy of $100,000.

Governor of Illinois: In what’s shaping up to be a big money fight, Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker has earmarked an additional $500,000 in television time, while Republican Richard Irvin has earmarked nearly $1 million.

Tennessee 05: Tennessee lawmakers approved a bill requiring congressional candidates to reside in the state for at least three years and in the country in which they are running for at least one year, by sending the bill to GOP Governor Bill Lee’s office. If passed, the bill would bar Trump-backed Morgan Ortagus from running in Tennessee’s new 5th District, but it could also be challenged in court, reports The Associated Press.

Redistricting of Maryland: After a court ordered Maryland lawmakers to draw a fairer map of the congressional district, saying the previous map disadvantaged Republicans and Democrats in the state on Monday night. unveiled a plan this would greatly improve Rep’s chances. Andy HarrisR-Md., to win re-election, reports the Baltimore Sun.

And NBC’s Shaquille Brewster reports from Delaware County, Ohioon how inflation affects voters.

Advertising watch: Boozman and Cotton

A familiar face appeared on the airwaves in Arkansas on Monday, when Republican Senator Tom Cotton endorsed the re-election of fellow Republican Senator from Arkansas John Boozman in a new ad.

Cotton points to his teamwork with Boozman in the Senate, saying, “In Washington, I depend on John Boozman. We work as a team and agree on almost every vote.

“John Boozman is fighting to secure our border. He fights to protect the unborn child. He’s fighting to stop Biden’s crushing inflation,” Cotton adds.

With an endorsement from Trump already secured, this is a second high profile endorsement for Boozman. Also in his second term, Cotton became a national figure in the Senate, sparking speculation whether he would consider running for president in 2024. Boozman has a main challenger – Jake Bequette, the former rookie New England Patriots.

Downloading data: the number of days is… 3%

It’s the portion of Americans surveyed who ranked the coronavirus as the most important issue facing the country in NBC News’ latest national poll, down 11 percentage points from January, when 14% of Americans listed it as their top problem.

And it’s now the eighth most important issue on their minds, up from the third in January.

You can read more about the change on the MTP blog.

Other numbers you need to know today:

$1.7 billion: Increasing funding for fighting violent crime between 2021 levels and Biden’s 2022 budget proposal.

8: The percentage point lead that Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul holds over former Governor Andrew Cuomo in a hypothetical Democratic primary game interviewed by Siena College.

80 197 141: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials.

982 839: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far.

*** Talking politics with Benjy: Biden has proposed a new tax on billionaires. Will this one stick? Biden on Monday unveiled his administration’s proposed budget, headlined by a new “billionaire minimum income tax” that Biden said would raise $360 billion over 10 years.

The White House’s latest proposal would target households with more than $100 million and create a new 20% “minimum income tax” that it defines by counting taxes on income and non-investment gains. made.

Biden’s new plan is just the latest Democratic proposal for disrupt the cycle low taxes, inflated stock market gains and generational privileges at the top. Because investments like stocks are only taxed when they are sold, it is currently possible for the ultra-rich to keep their assets for life and then pass them on to their heirs, in which case their value is reset and previous gains do not. are more taxable. In the meantime, they can fund a lavish lifestyle by taking out loans against assets, while paying lower effective taxes than many middle-class workers.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Memorably campaigned on a household wealth tax with more than $50 million in combined assets, ranging from stocks to houses and boats to paintings. During the “Build Back Better” talks, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., proposed requiring billionaires to pay an annual tax on unrealized capital gains. The White House has also pushed Congress to require heirs to pay taxes on inherited gains over $1 million for individuals.

What these earlier Democratic plans have in common (with, most likely, Biden’s latest entry) is that they were all ultimately scrapped by Democrats. While Democrats could still pass some sort of bill that raises taxes on the wealthy and corporations, the kinds of measures that most directly target the Jeff Bezos and Elon Musks of the world somehow continue. to die on the vine.

Warren’s plan raised various concerns, including that a conservative Supreme Court could overturn it; Wyden’s billionaire plan seemed to have legs for a while, but was pulled from the House Build Back Better bill amid skepticism from Democratic leaders; Biden’s proposal to block the wealthy from passing on huge stock gains was watered down in talks, before finally be killedlargely because of opposition from the farm lobby.

This poses a larger problem for Democrats who govern with a narrow trifecta: politically, they would like to underscore their support for 1% taxation of 1% and contrast it with Republicans like Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. , which proposed a minimum income tax for all Americans.

But any policy that doesn’t make it a party bill this year is absent because at least one Democratic senator opposed it. That means news in Congress has focused on their divisions at least as much as their differences with the other side.

ICYMI: What else is going on in the world?

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a controversial bill restricting LGBTQ classroom instruction.

The January 6 committee recommends that former Trump aides Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino be charged with contempt.

And the committee will receive a flurry of emails from former Trump adviser John Eastman after a federal judge ruled on Monday that they would be freed, noting that it is “more likely than not” that Trump committed crimes with the aim of canceling the 2020 elections.

‘Biggest fraud in a generation’: the looting of the Covid relief plan known as PPP.