July 6th, 2007
03:17 PM ET
7 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. al kraatz, skokie, IL

    G.W.Bullsh is a national disaster and he still thinks he's right!

    July 6, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Larry, New York

    How disgusting it is that there are no morals to our president.
    He is the worst president we have had since Jimmy Carter.
    He is a loser as a human being.
    I see very clearly why he is hated around the world. He cannot be trusted as a leader.

    July 6, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |


    July 6, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. ReadBtwthlins


    Is there anything more meaningless that we could be discussing??

    Only a leftist controled media would deem this a topic of unimportance in a political setting.

    July 6, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Theo M

    I'm sure Mr.Libby lied about something between the he said she said mentality of DC politics but the point is there was no cover broken since the 5 year period had expired on Ms. Plame's covert position. Once again politics at its best and the President was correct in commuting his sentence and I hope he gets a full pardon because this whole process has been a waste of time......

    July 6, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Joe, Frederick MD

    Nobody cares about the Libby situation excpet those who already hate Bush. Move on dot nuts!

    July 6, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Kim, Midland Michigan

    To all the conversatives, who keep repeating that a crime was never committed in the first place:

    Isn't it wrong to lie to a grand jury, and isn't it the biggest lie of all when you are lying about things in the 2nd most important office in the entire government!!!

    Yes, maybe liberal thinkers who don't see the world as just black and white do think there is a hierarchy when it comes to lies. Lies by important people at the top of our government, yeah, that's kind of a big one.

    Because this man was not elected, the public has no way to hold anyone accountable, but you can pretty much gaurantee that the current administration is writing the ad for democratic campaign commercials in 2007.

    July 6, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Matt, Austin, Texas

    Of course a Cons. would look at these stats - 64% total, 47% Repubs, 76% Dems and 80% independents - and think that they polled more liberals than Cons. DO THE MATH! They had to have polled alot more Repubs than Dems and independents because the only of those three percentages that is lower than the total is the Repub number. In order to bring numbers like 76% and 80% down to the low or mid 60s, you have to poll alot of Repubs.

    But wait, I forgot, all media that isn't Faux News is liberally biased.

    Maybe if all you dubya lovers out there attended a few classes, you wouldn't be such idiots.

    July 6, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. DJ , Los Angeles

    You WISH that this story would go away, but it won't.

    Even 1/2 of Republicans polled felt this was wrong.

    July 6, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Don Hornbeck, Port St. Lucie, FL

    How many people did Clinton pardon? Once again the media show their bias against Bush by blowing this Libby story out of proportion. MOVE ON – there's more important news to cover than this.

    July 6, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Marty

    No wonder they call him Scooter.

    July 6, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. A.B. DC

    The issue is not comparing it to Clinton or Carter or the importance of the story. Pardoning Libby was wrong regardless of your party affiliation.

    July 6, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. mike beyer colorado

    Personally I think President Bush should be tried for war crimes & should be impeached.

    July 6, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Josh, Lincoln, CA

    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.

    We've also got a lot of posts about how Bush is hated around the world. Good. Who are these shallow idoits that want the world to like us, not realizing that the world is in competiion with us. Globally popular Presidents rarely accomplish anything for the country that they serve.

    July 6, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Luis, Miami Florida

    A majority of Americans disapproved sir...can you understand the concept? You are now a part of a minority and that is why you do not like it.
    The fact remains that most of us see thru the Whitehouse shenanigans. We had Enough!!!

    July 6, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Ger Dublin Ireland

    Lol some of the comments are laughable . Libby LIED LIED

    July 6, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. JC Austin, TX

    Why does anyone give a rat's a** what Paul Simon has to say???

    July 6, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Gary, Portland Ore.

    I always love the "Clinton did almost the same thing it so that makes it OK" rationale. Yes Clinton pardened 392 people, some very controversial during his presidency, inclusding 140 on the last day. That is a standard pracice for a president. Bush #1 pardened 389 (in 4 years, not 8), Ford pardened over 300 including Richard Nixon, which cost him the election against Carter (don't have the figures on Carter). Nixon pardoned over 800 people.
    The point that most thinking Americans are upset about is that this action is that the "Law and Order" president who is known for enforcing some of the harshest sentences and lowest level of amnesty ever towards normal people is blatantly thumbing his nose one more time at the rest of America with this action. Favoritism and political priviledge.

    July 6, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. Jeanne Westphal, Litchfield Mn

    Outting a spy is treason and should be charged as such. This man betrayed his own government only to get a slap on the wrist and will get a full pardon.

    July 6, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Hey Mike, they never asked me either and I fully support Libby going to jail for his own crimes. No one FORCED Libby to lie under oath. Let me explain it to you like this:

    Bush pardoned/commuted the sentence of a man whose crime was lying to defend the president. This is tantamount to the president pardoning himself. For future reference, the methodology of presidential lawbreaking goes like this: a) Commit crime. b) Compel underling to lie under oath defending you. c) If need be, pardon the underling. This is very different from other “pardons”. This is a systematic means by which the President can operate outside of the law.

    Of course this would make me a foaming "liberal" in your eyes. I wonder what happened in the past 6 years that made the concept of adhering to the law a strictly liberal concept.

    Also, for all you people talking about Clinton's pardon of Mark Rich, that can be debated on it's own merits if you want. Rich was not a member of Clinton's white house who got busted for covering up for Clinton. A conflict of interest, yes – a continued obstruction of justice? No way.

    As long as we're talking about pardons, want to explain why Bush's pappy pardoned the those involved in the Iran Contra scandal?

    July 6, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Pete, Tarpon Springs, FL

    It is amazing to me that people still support "W" no matter what! When will they awake and admit that our country is in distress. It is not a partisan issue it is an American issue.


    July 6, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Julie, Palo Alto, CA

    It is just simply tragic that the president can override a thoughtful jury's decision. I will look for a grass roots organization to join to work to limit the president's veto in the face of overwhelming objection to it. That office needs "checks and balances" too, not final authority.

    July 6, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I think it is an injustice whena person that has obviously broken the law (politician) and does not have to pay for it. If he were a common person, he would have to spend all of his time. What makes him SO SPECIAL that he gets away with his crime? Is this the justice system that we have come to know?

    July 6, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Joe M. Austin, Tx

    Hmmm.. Clinton pardoned three people with the same conviction. Where was all the screaming then?

    July 6, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Robert Field Springfield, Ohio

    A majority disapproved of Pres. Clintons lying too but it didn't change anything

    July 6, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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