June 22nd, 2009
07:20 PM ET
3 years ago

Slight majority approves of Obama's handling of Iran

 Iranian women demonstrate Saturday in front of the White House.
Iranian women demonstrate Saturday in front of the White House.

(CNN) - As the aftermath of the Iranian election continues to unfold, a new national survey out Monday shows a slim majority of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling the situation there.

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 52 percent give the president high marks for his response to the crisis in Iran while 36 percent disapprove. The poll is the first survey to come out in the wake of the country's disputed election just over a week ago.

The president wins stronger marks when it comes to his handling of foreign affairs in general. There, 61 percent approve while 32 percent disapprove.

Top Republicans - including Arizona Sen. John McCain - have criticized Obama for appearing to refrain from direct criticism of the disputed election result and the treatment of protesters over the last week.

Obama has called such attacks 'unjust,' but has also said he does not want to appear as if he is "meddling in Iranian elections."

"The last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States," Obama told CBS in an airing Monday.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Monday also defended the president's ongoing response to the situation in Iran.

"The president continued to watch the situation evolve in Iran and speak out forcefully on behalf of justice and to warn the government against the use of violence," Gibbs said.

Obama is also expected to address the situation at a press conference Tuesday.

The poll, conducted from June 18-21, surveyed 1,001 adult Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. alvino

    By now, if McCain had been elected last November, we would be fighting wars on 4 fronts. We are indeed lucky to have avoided more cowboy diplomacy.

    June 22, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Jim from Rochester MI

    OK Republicans.... you lost the election............
    Be quiet & let the President run the country. I do not want my
    President to be bombastic, crude and foolish like the last President.

    Speak softly & carry a Big Stick. Do not be fooled by the war
    mongers at Fox News

    Mr. President continue to do a great job.

    Jim from Rochester MI ( a Republican turned Democrat the day
    the Iraq war started )

    June 22, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. I need amusement

    CNN – What a terrible choice of headline (and it clearly was a choice!).

    "Slim majority approves of Obama's handling of Iran".

    While your headline was technically correct (52% is a slim majority), your choice of phrase implied that 48% opposed, not the 36% shown in the detail of your story. A more accurate headline would have been

    "Majority favors Obama's handling of Iran by 16%".

    June 22, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  4. Carole

    CNN you had an Iranian on your show Saturday that is in contact with the resistance. He said 'The Iranian people see through the Rethug cheap political antics.'.

    These 32 percent that disapprove? Hello! Antother war? WE have the nerve to tell people about rigged elections, 2000 comes to mind.

    June 22, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. Michele

    He is doing exactly the right thing.

    June 22, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Joe Terrogano

    I am sure that the repressive Iranian regime would immediately stop the suppression of protesters as soon as Pres. Obama expressed his disapproval. They also wouldn't think of using that as a reason for fighting the "Great Satan" and justifying the suppression. However history indicates otherwise. Get over the war-mongering. Who are you going to send to straighten them out and demand democracy? the Eagle Scouts? Another Iran? When are you myopic people going to wake up?

    June 22, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    "52 percent give the president high marks for his response to the crisis "................ WHAT response??????????? He has done NOTHING. This country is certainly going insane.

    June 22, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. Kay

    I would hope that our President continues his same format with the Iran situation..so disappointed that there are individuals that want us to take sides that is what the govt. of Iran wants...the US to get involved and then to be blamed.

    June 22, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  9. George Washington

    Iranian women demonstrate and should be held up as angels ! They seem to be the brave ones! Their men should be ashame for not standing up - I'm amazed that the government building aren't burning.

    June 22, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Elizabeth

    52%to 36% is not a 'slim majority', it is a clear statement that Obama is making a thoughtful and intelligent response in contrast to the knee jerk reaction we would have seen with the previous administration, and Americans support it. Once again the Republicans are out of step with the world as it is today and as well as the clear majority of the Americans. Like Joe Klein sai, they just need to shut up.

    June 22, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. Family values party

    There's no question that President Obama is handling this crisis correctly. We've had eight years of Bush acting without thinking. McCain and the rest of the misfits would have us in another war. It's so interesting how the Republican's are suddenly so concerned about human rights and of all things voting rights. I just can't seem to remember them protesting against Bush stealing the election. I also don't remember old man McCain joining the Civil Rights movement or his fight against Apartheid.

    June 22, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  12. Nija

    Only the republicans will rate him low mark. When we have our problems no other country interferes so why should we interfere with a sovereign country. Everyone should mind his or her business.

    June 22, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  13. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    Notice how CNN allows no comments for socialist-in waiting FLOTUS. She may have "well toned arms", but she also has a HUGE well-fed bunda!! Bunda grande!

    But the state-controlled media only talks about what terrific shape these two are in – pure Barbra Streisand!

    June 22, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. Randall in Torrance - Desert Storm Veteran - Welcome to the end of the era of dumb ass Republicans and Stoopid Retards like Cheney and Bush in power

    Republicans need to get back in their corner of the ring. They have ZERO credibility when it comes to advocating ANY U.S. foreign policy. They wholeheartedly followed thier dimwitted retarded leader Gee Dubya Double Bushed for 8 unforgivable years and look where that led us – down a ditch into a bottomless hole where the sun will never shine again. Let Iran's pro-democracy rioters settle this their own way. We know that President Oh-My-Did-It-Jab? of Iran is a dictator and backed by a religious zealot and hates Israel and America. The revolution will come to Iran. The signs are there now. Protesters are fed up with this Ringo look alike smiling idiot. They want change just like America wanted change. Look how long it took Americans to get rid of the Republicans and the left over Bush regime! We waited 8 hard, long, discouraging years to see the light of day and a far better America begin to unfold. Iranians – have some patience your dumb retarded leader's day will end. Too bad that Iran is blocking coverage of your struggle and the abuses you are enduring from the rule-BY-Law. It will be a great day when you elect someone who wants to help you achieve your aspirations.

    June 22, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Judy from PA

    Obama is talking out of both sides of his mouth again. I want a President with a backbone. I disagreed with alot of what George Bush did, but I must admit, the guy had a backbone. Obama is a lawyer, trying to please everyone all the time. That is not what America needs right now. People are dying in the streets and he doesn't think that is wrong??!! That troubles me.

    June 22, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. charles

    If the Iranian government is showing no mercy to there own people what will happen when they inquire the nuclear weapon. I can tell you this that they will show no mercy to our allied israel.

    June 22, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. Ted:Canada

    WOW – CNN – you have missed the main story

    Iranian women are extremely courageous – they are bright – they are independent and have a classical beauty about them – young and old

    I wonder if Obama’a love for his wife and his love for his girls is a key factor?

    Obama’s family have sent a profound message – not simply with words but with action.

    The current dictators in Iran are dead in the water – if they can’t read what is headed in their direction

    the real question is not "if" but "when"

    June 22, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. Paula

    They approve of the weak sister? Who are you polling CNN? Look at it this way, would any of our former Presidents be weary of offending Chavez, Castro, or Little Kim?
    Weak mind, weak sister, empty suit.

    June 22, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. UNHAPPY DEM

    Stand up for Freedom.

    June 22, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. Barbara CA

    Haven't any of the republican politicians heard of the old saying "Loose Lips Sink Ships"? It helped to win World War II for the American people. No one had to explain to Americans at that time that our strength and safety would come from speaking with one voice and speaking only when necessary.

    Republican politicians should not reduce the loss of life in Iran to their own political photo ops here in America. Not one of these “fired up” politicians is out there risking or losing their lives in Iran.

    It seems that the more the republican politicians speak the more the violence toward the young people in Iran builds. What they are doing is dangerous for the young people of Iran. Politicians, if what you are saying is not helping then STOP TALKING.

    June 22, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  21. aware

    Obama has embarrassed himself and the USA with his arrogant, audacious, misinformed and extremely unwise speech in Cairo followed by his choice of a failed political agenda over morality and principle in his cowardly, narcissistic response to Iran's brave protestors.

    Hillary would have been by far the better choice for Leader of the Free World. Obama doesn’t get it!

    June 22, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. Mberwa, N.Y

    I am wondering what the 36% of the ppl disapproving the president want him to do in Iran... any ideas?

    June 22, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. catmomtx

    Most pople realize that if you want something bad enough you have to work fo it. President Obama realizes what the stakes are and realize what impact his words have. We have seen what happens when you stick your nose in where it doesn't belong. Funny though how Republicans have been whining that President Obama is doing to much when it comes to domestic matters but yet they want him to do something about a country that seems to be taking care of their own business. I wonder how these whiners would feel if Iran had inserted themselves in our elections?

    June 22, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. Rob in NC

    Obama is doing the right thing. As we have seen during the miserable Bush years, we can't go around telling other countries what to do unless they pose a direct threat to the U.S. Iran's election problems are Iran's problems. And besides, its still the Supreme Leader, Khameni who runs the show in Iran anyway. Ahmadajinaded or Mousavi would still be puppets of Khameni.

    These Republicans have a one track mind – war, war, and more war. We have to accept the fact that not every country in the world subscribes to the American way and that its not our business to make every country a copy of the U.S. no matter how appealing that might be to some people.

    Obama is 100% right in saying that the extremists over there want us to get involved so they can turn this into an Iran vs. America thing – and we don't need that.

    The Iranian people need to take control of their government if they don't like it – but its not our place to intercede. We wouldn't like it if Canada told us to pick someone else...or else....

    June 22, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  25. Lauren

    If they want my opinion, I think Obama is doing the right thing. He has stated his support for the rights of the protestors several times, but the republicans keep saying he is not doing enough.

    Are they suggesting Obama go to war with Iran over this? Or that we send in our troops to help out? I am really tired of the republicans criticizing.

    June 22, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
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