July 6th, 2007
03:17 PM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Majority disapprove of the Libby commutation

A majority of Americans disapprove of Libby's commutation, according to a new poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A majority of Americans and nearly half of all Republicans disapprove of President Bush’s commutation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby’s 30-month prison sentence, according to a new American Research Group poll out Friday.

Fully 64 percent of all Americans and 69 percent of voters said they disapproved of the commutation in the new poll. Broken down by party affiliation, 76 percent of Democrats, 47 percent of Republicans, and 80 percent of Independents said they disapproved.

Meanwhile, 84 percent of all adults and 84 percent of voters said they oppose a full presidential pardon for Libby. Broken down by party, 82 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Republicans, and 97 percent of Independents oppose a pardon.

Defending his decision to grant Libby clemency, Bush indicated on Tuesday he hasn't ruled out granting the former White House aide a full pardon.

"I made a judgment, a considered judgment, and I believe it's the right decision to make in this case. I stand by it," Bush said. "As to the future, I rule nothing in and nothing out," he said as he left a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center.

Libby's prison time was imposed after a federal court convicted Libby of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators in the probe of the leak of the name of a CIA operative.

A commutation is distinct from a pardon, which is a complete eradication of a conviction record and makes it the same as if the person has never been convicted.

The poll, conducted on July 3-5, interviewed 1,100 adults and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

– CNN Political Researcher Xuan Thai


Filed under: Scooter Libby
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Trevor, Chattanooga, Tennessee

    It's pretty immature to attack another person's position by using the whole "he did it too" tactic. Just because Clinton, Bush 1 and other presidents used or misused pardons doesn't make Libby's commutation any less right or wrong. Wrong is wrong. Libby repeatedly lied to a GRAND JURY and obstructed justice. A jury of his peers found him guilty. A judge, who, by the way, worked for Bush 1, sentenced him to jail time, citing the large amount of evidence against him. As for those arguing with the results of this poll, are all polls that don't support your position biased? And everyone please check your grammar and use spellcheck, esp. if you refer to the Constitution or the Federalist Papers.

    July 6, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  2. Ann Brunswick ME

    Who cares what the "majority" of whomever likes?

    July 6, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  3. Meredith, Brentwood, TN

    To answer Tom's question, the right constantly screams that Richard Armitage was the leaker. Well he wasn't the ONLY one, who was it that told Rich? This is why it is important that Libby be punished for lying under oath and covering up for his boss – like Fitzgerald said, when Libby lied to the Federal grand jury, it was like throwing sand in one's eyes – you can't get to the bottom of the issue because no one will TELL YOU THE TRUTH. And besides, if you lie to cover-up for your boss, well don't worry, your boss will pardon you and no one will ever have to pay for blowing the cover of a covert CIA officer in a time of war. A nice little Crime Syndicate we have in the white house.

    July 7, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Rayne Smith - Boston MA

    Clinton pardoned around 700 people, over one hundered his LAST DAY ALONE.

    Bush is well under 20 pardons.

    This is hypocracy at it’s finest, that Clinton can pardon people and get paid for it an bush hardly touches his pardoning power and is lynched.

    Globally popular Presidents rarely accomplish anything for the country that they serve.

    Posted By Josh, Lincoln, CA : July 6, 2007 2:45 pm

    Josh – Franklin Roosevelt was beloved throughout the world, except by our true enemies...facists.

    Also, Now that son-of-a-bush is pardoning friends... will he also have an affair with an intern.

    You're defending a criminal, in Skater Libby.

    July 7, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Seattle Sue Seattle, Wa.

    To all you people that say since Clinton pardons people, then it's OK for Bush to pardon Libby. The way you are thinking it should be Ok for Bush to have oral sex with a young woman in the Oval Office. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    July 7, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Brian H, Denver, CO

    Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican I think we can all agree on this: The power of the presidential pardon is out of control. Everyone needs to stop pointing fingers and admit that it was wrong for Clinton, Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Carter, Nixon or any modern president for that matter to issue controversial pardons. The federal government needs to take the necessary steps to see that this does not happen again. Understand that I am saying that ALL of these presidents were wrong to issue a vast majority of the pardons or commutations that they did. So why don’t we stop screaming at each other and work together to stop this foolishness.

    July 7, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Chaz, Nashville, TN

    GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-CO, told us that he is against illegal immigrants because they broke the law and people should be arrested, prosecuted and put in jail. I thought Rep. Tancredo was a law & order kind of guy but he fooled all of us when he agreed with President Bush that Scooter Libby should not go to prison. Scooter Libby should be going to prison just because he & other people of President Bush administration had fooled all of us to go to war in Iraq instead concentrating on fighting terrorists & Osama Bin Ladin in Afghanistan. American citizens have been locked up for longer periods of time by President Bush Administration for lesser crimes. Apparently law & order only applies to us, not to law breaker friends of President Bush.

    July 7, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Wake Up

    OK, let's out a CIA counter-terrorism agent because her husband calls your lies on something important - lets call it the Iraq War. Then, we'll have a press conference and show everyone how committed we are to fighting terrorism and promise to bring the person responsible for the leak to justice. Hmmmm. That was double-speak. So we're supposed to trust that terrorists attacked us here because we're free but we pass the Patriot Act which restricts most of our freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And we believe this administration is telling the truth about 9/11? What is wrong with us?

    July 8, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. C, skokie, il

    Oh, wait, whatever happened to the Iraq Civil War? Our more than 3,500 troops who gave their lives? The more than 25,000 injured? And, and, and.......

    July 9, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. DJH, Dallas TX

    BUFFOONS, ALL OF YOU!! Every single person here misses the bigger picture, thus misses the reason why we are torn apart as a nation. Every one of you believes that your "leader" is the chosen one and doesn't make mistakes. Who cares who did what when and to whom. The question remains, was it in the best interest of the country and the people they serve? All of you are so short sighted that you can't see beyond your own nose and want to point the finger at someone else. Those who support the president don't want to own up that he's made a quite a few bonehead mistakes, those who are against refuse to recognize any accomplishments he has made. You bicker like little children on a playground and instead of voting for the person in the best interest of the country, you vote for the one who serves your best interest. All of you disgust me because you have nothing better to do than point fingers and make comments. You offer nothing but blithe comments that serve only to shut out the person before you. Instead, why not pull your resources together and come up with better ideas on how to run the country the way it should be. Step up and be leaders yoursleves and quit succoming to the likes of those who wish to take advantage of your loyalty. Who really gives a damn as to who came up with the idea. If this nation pulls together as one entity, then we can create a better future and vision for ourselves in the long run.

    July 9, 2007 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  11. Michael, Des Moines, IA

    First I'd like to state that I'm a Conservative who wholeheartedly despises Bush... (Please don't forget though I am 100% Republican and I do not take sides with any Democratic or Liberal point of view)

    All pardoning and commutation for personal reasoning is wrong... The fact is those who recieve a pardon are convicted criminals and to pardon is to chip away at the foundation of our society, the legal system!

    Does anyone here wonder why Bush may have commuted Libby's sentence (and I guarantee he will pardon in the future) although it is wrong? It's very simple... he has nothing left to lose... he's hated by nearly everyone in this country because of his lack of morals and reasoning... The situation for him is going to be no worse... in fact it may even be better... This story has been completely blown out of proportion... It's not really an important topic yet we spend so much time conversing about it... You don't think that this has taken some of the media air-time off of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?? I think this may actually be what he wanted on many levels... That's why he hasn't pardoned him fully... He'll do that when the time is right.

    Lets get off this story because it's not important... Lets respect the power of the president, although I know two-thirds of us disapprove of him. Respect should still be given to our president because he is just that, our president, whether you like it or not!!

    I am personally tired of the media and the American people crucifying him every chance they get over things that do not need much attention. Isn't it obvious he does not care what the American people think about how he runs our country? So why not save your breath and energy until his time passes and put a little effort into researching the next presidential candidate before you blindly cast your vote! That's how we ended up where we are today... to many blind votes... So vote for anyone except Hillary!! She will be a horrible president as she is a horrible human being with no morals or respect for her fellow neighbor...

    July 9, 2007 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
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