Poll: Majority back new Benghazi probe
Clinton testifies in January 2013 in front of a Senate committee hearing on Benghazi
June 3rd, 2014
08:56 AM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Majority back new Benghazi probe

Washington (CNN) - Around half the public says they support another congressional investigation into the Benghazi attack, according to a new national poll.

The reason?

The ABC News/Washington Post survey indicates that nearly six in ten say the Obama administration has tried to cover up the facts on the September 11, 2012 attack, which left U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

As for Hillary Clinton, half of those questioned in the poll, which was released Tuesday, say they disapprove of how then-secretary of state handled the attack.

What's behind stepped up Republican attacks on Clinton

Steven's death was the first time a U.S. ambassador had been killed on duty in more than 30 years. The Benghazi attack has become a partisan flashpoint around the Obama administration's conduct of foreign policy. Republicans have sharply criticized the administration's handling of the matter from security preparations beforehand, to its response during the attack, and its slow-to-evolve public explanation after-the-fact.

And they have targeted the State Department, and especially Clinton, who is seriously considering a second run for the White House. If Clinton decides to launch a campaign, she'd instantly become the overwhelming front runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

According to the poll, 51% say they support another congressional investigation, with 42% saying the incident's been investigated enough already. As you can imagine, the survey indicates a wide partisan divide. Seventy-two percent of Republicans questioned say they back the new investigation, but that number drops to 52% among independents and just 31% among Democrats.

Fifty-eight percent say the Obama administration has tried to cover up the facts, with 32% saying it has honestly disclosed what it knows about what happened in Benghazi. Again there's a large partisan gap, with 84% of Republicans, 65% of independents, but only 30% of Democrats saying the administration has tried to cover things up.

Half of those questioned say they disapprove of how Clinton handled the attack, with 37% saying the approve. Once again, there's a partisan divide, with 78% of Republicans, 58% of independents, but only 22% of Democrats giving the former secretary of state a thumbs down on how she handled the incident.

Clinton testified about the attack last year in front of House and Senate hearings. But Republicans say there are still questions left unanswered.

Clinton said earlier this year that Benghazi was her biggest regret during the four years she served as America's top diplomat.

"It was a terrible tragedy losing four Americans, two diplomats and now it is public so I can say two CIA operatives," Clinton said at a speech in New Orleans.

With the much anticipated release of "Hard Choices," Clinton's memoir of her years as American's top diplomat, just a week away, GOP attacks on her have increased.

Last week the chapter of the book that deals with Benghazi was leaked. As reported by Politico, the chapter highlights Clinton's defense of how she responded to the attack, as well as criticism of Republicans who Clinton says play politics with the deadly assault.

In the chapter, Clinton writes, "As Secretary I was the one ultimately responsible for my people's safety, and I never felt that responsibility more deeply than I did that day."

Clinton, writing in "Hard Choices," also appeared to suggest that she won't take part in the investigation or any of the committee's hearings.

"I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans," Clinton writes. "It's just plain wrong, and it's unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me," wrote Clinton.

CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story

 


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Poll
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Tom

    The reason? Because the majority of people who still have land lines and answer their phone when a polling company calls are old Republicans. It's the same reason Mitt Romney looked good in the polls, but lost the election. I'll bet if you remove the age/party affiliation skew from those poll numbers you'd be left with the usual party-line split.

    June 3, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. grain of salt

    Ricky Snyder is going to cure Michigan's ills with a 43 cents a gallon gas tax, funny, he told us in April we had billions in surplus,, then he was continually asked why we can't fix the roads with that money, then,, POOF, surplus gone, it was a mistake, never had any money, and then his campaign ads touting were leading the comeback, ugh, you've got to be mentally challenged to vote gop at this point.

    June 3, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Yes they do........because they KNOW the lies that were told, were absolutely lies, and those lies were unjustifiable.

    June 3, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Mike

    Just goes to show. If you throw enough Koch at a conspiracy theory and you own a News (?) channel that will lie 24 x 7 on your cause. Then you can make anything stick.

    June 3, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "But the gang keeps telling me that nobody cares about this."

    We also keep telling you that your constant stream of ad hominem is juvenile and offensive.

    June 3, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @smith
    The Dems just need to get the CIA person who gave them the bad intel and have him testify. Nowadays, you have to have your ducks in a row or your gonna get called on it. You would think the Obama admin. would have learned this by now.
    ---------------
    I think we all know it is never that simple in a conspiracy theory driven non-scandal.
    The tin foil hats would just mumble that the White house made the CIA say that they gave bad intel.
    And of course that would be a bigger imaginary cover up scandal.

    June 3, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. BLKvotingAmerican

    CLEARLY, jus sayen, something is really WRONG with this 'survey'. Just basis this on what was written above, not sure 51% of 'those asked' want another Congressional investigation, while 42% do not.............hum? The repuks (and I'm so sick of this) just refuse to remove themselfs from STUCK ON STUPID. Congress will 'investigate' and spend $$ to do so and then WHAT all of those who died will come back to life? Or will this 'investigation' yeld new information that will help this country in the future? I will wait and see!

    June 3, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Sniffit

    "But the gang keeps telling me that nobody cares about this."

    We also keep telling you that your constant stream of ad hominem is juvenile and offensive and does nothing but damage the conversation here.

    June 3, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. rs

    By all means investigate away- as long as Mr. Issa et al aren't legislating they can likely do little harm, although they also aren't working for the citizens they represent either. They'll have to own this- committee investigation #13, with $60 million already expended.
    The one question I have is: what will they do when this committee (like the last dozen) finds nothing? What are they going to say then?

    June 3, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Silence DoGood

    @tom l
    But the gang keeps telling me that nobody cares about this.
    -----------–
    My take has always been that it is a non-issue conspiracy theory whipped up by conservative desperation.
    People care about this even though it is misguided.
    Lots of people believe in Bigfoot.
    Last I saw 1/4 of Americans believe the sun goes around the Earth.
    I am embarrassed by America's stupidity but so it goes.

    June 3, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. rs

    smith

    The Dems just need to get the CIA person who gave them the bad intel and have him testify. Nowadays, you have to have your ducks in a row or your gonna get called on it. You would think the Obama admin. would have learned this by now.
    ________________________
    You are right of course. It probably depends on just how much the CIA wishes to reveal about the particular mission Stevens and crew were on so far from the embassy. It will be interesting to see who this committee calls to testify- or if they will simply retread that last go-round.

    June 3, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Lizzie

    Gurgyl, right Benghazi never happened, it's all made up, no one died, they are alive and well somewhere.

    June 3, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. S.B. Stein

    I think a previous report about this came out with blame to go around. There is blame for not having military support staff in place close enough. I think the greater problem is that the ambassador went there despite warnings that Americans were targets and the facility he went to was incomplete and unsecured.

    June 3, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. ED1

    Four Americans were killed due to the lack of leadership in the White House and SOUS shame on both of them.

    Glad the see Obama let 5 American killers go for one Army deserter in return what a deal.

    I didn't think we could get any lower with the no leader in charge wrong again.

    June 3, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Marie MD

    Oh please. They polled the old people who spend all day at home watching faux news?
    I can't find one single person who is NOT sick and tired about the rehash of Benghazi.

    June 3, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Lizzie

    Gurgy " I tell that idiot, Berrasso that Economy is excellent, stocks are live proof."
    Never thought you are for those evil corporations to make money

    June 3, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "The one question I have is: what will they do when this committee (like the last dozen) finds nothing? What are they going to say then?"

    They will say "cover up." There are elephants hiding in the strawberry patch. Do you see them? No? That's how we know they're hiding there. The lack of evidence to prove the accusations is actually evidence that there's a "cover up." It's a logic fail as old as time itself.

    June 3, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. DC Observer

    Obama had to distract folks away from the disaster that is the VA scandal.
    He failed to do his homework, and as a result Obama has made us less safe

    Hillary believes in the age old tradition of not leaving anyone on the battlefield -- unless, of course, they are guarding a US Embassy. In that case, "what difference does it make"

    June 3, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Gurgyl

    How many died in Iraq, Afghanistan while Bin Laden was happily sleeping in Pakistan????? Trillions looted by Bush vengeance–I mean sheer vengeance!!!! Just analyze. This Benghazi never works for republican trash. Wake up.

    June 3, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. rs

    When people doubt that the GOP really is motivated by the power of personal destruction, I give you exhibit A- the ongoing Benghazi insanity. Bad enough that the GOP relishes the scandal of the deaths of just these 4 Americans (and not say the 26 school children in Connecticut)-or the thousands more they are responsible for but that they pursue the assault on Ms. Clinton using the Koch cash drawer. See what $100 million can buy?

    June 3, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Larry of Massachusetts

    The Taliban have scored a great victory with the return of their top 5 Commanders, one of whom has committed war crimes according to the United nations.

    The US has returned a deserter.

    And every soldier or diplomat overseas now has a price on their heads....

    As for Hillary, "what difference does it make"

    June 3, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Silence DoGood

    @ED1
    Four Americans were killed due to the lack of leadership in the White House and SOUS shame on both of them.

    Glad the see Obama let 5 American killers go for one Army deserter in return what a deal.

    I didn't think we could get any lower with the no leader in charge wrong again.
    -----------
    I thought a commander-in-chief invading the wrong country and sending 4000 US soldiers to their death based on lies was lower but perhaps you think differently. (and having way more embassy deaths)

    June 3, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Silence DoGood

    @Lizzie
    Gurgyl, right Benghazi never happened, it's all made up, no one died, they are alive and well somewhere.
    -----------
    Who said it never happened?
    Speaking of made up......

    June 3, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Silence DoGood

    @Larry of Massachusetts
    As for Hillary, "what difference does it make"
    --------------
    I will correct this lie as often as I see it: Ms.Clinton said the "what difference" quote in response to hounding in the hearings over the motivation of the attackers. She was making a point that it was more important that four Americans died and future prevention than what was in the minds of the attackers. She was placing the deaths as top priority as opposed to what her Inquisitors were finding important. The transcripts are easy to find online.

    June 3, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "I thought a commander-in-chief invading the wrong country and sending 4000 US soldiers to their death based on lies was lower but perhaps you think differently. (and having way more embassy deaths)"

    Not to mention 100K+ innocent Iraqi civilians killed, the country's infrastructure massively damaged and a red carpet rolled out for Al Qaeda to gain a foothold in the country.

    June 3, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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