Attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi
June 16th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
5 months ago

CNN/ORC Poll: Majority dissatisfied with handling of Benghazi

What do you want to ask Hillary Clinton? Send your questions here and CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour might ask it during CNN's town hall meeting with Clinton at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington.

(CNN) – Six in 10 Americans are dissatisfied with the way the Obama administration has handled the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a new poll shows.

The CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday indicates only 37% are satisfied with the administration’s response to the September 2012 assault that killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya.

Republicans have been strident in their criticism of the slow-to-evolve explanation of what happened in Benghazi, first said to be linked to demonstrations over an anti-Muslim film produced in the United States. That proved untrue.

The administration also has come under scrutiny over security arrangements at the consulate before the attack and its response to the armed assault by militants as it was happening.

Poll: Clinton tops Obama on every issue

The issue has been a major point of attack against Hillary Clinton, who oversaw the State Department at the time and ultimately took responsibility for the safety of diplomatic personnel.

As she weighs another presidential bid, she faces continued questions and criticism from her political opponents about Benghazi.

Despite the political offense mounted against her, Clinton still fares slightly better than the administration in terms of public opinion, according to the survey. Forty-three percent are satisfied with her role in the matter, while 55% have a negative view.

Poll: Clinton 2016 victory a sure thing?

Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed think the administration has generally been dishonest in providing information about Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack.

“That may be one reason why overall dissatisfaction with the White House has gone from 50% in 2012 to 60% now,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Congress has launched multiple investigations to review the matter, and Clinton appeared for hearings on Capitol Hill last year.

In her new book, “Hard Choices,” Clinton bashed her critics for trying to launch a “political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans."

She also casts doubt about her participation in the latest congressional investigation, which involves the formation of a new House Republican select committee focused on the issue.

"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,” she writes.

How enthusiastic are Democrats about Clinton as nominee?

According to the poll, the public is divided on whether Republicans have been too aggressive in their probe. Forty-eight percent say the hearings have been handled appropriately, while 44% say the GOP has gone too far.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International May 29-June 1, before the rollout of Clinton's new memoir. In the survey, 1,003 adults nationwide were questioned by telephone. The poll's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN’s Ashley Killough and Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • CNN/ORC International poll • Hillary Clinton • Libya • Polls
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. James

    Bengazhi is the least of what this President has messed up. But what has more of an impact on me is the massive influx of these illegal aliens and kids pouring in and the President unwilling to enforce our immigration laws. Most of the country has not idea what this does to a city since they have not experienced what Los Angeles has. You have schools failing, hispanic males commiting crimes on a daily basis and the jails are filled to the max. You have government resources wiped out since poor people naturally require food stamps, housing, free medical care. You have Spanish spoken everywhere, you have street vendors opening up sidewalk business and the police refusing to enforce any laws against them. You have politicians mostly hispanic passing laws to protect them. The President has really messed this one up badly.

    June 16, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. BorisRoberts

    Oh, it most certainly is politics. 4 killed. More little kids get killed in this country EVERY DAY. To say this isn't political and that the truth is all you want is disingenuous. It's all about the next election, gonna lay it on every day. If it was the Republicans had been at the helm, the Democrats would be crying "We just want the truth". We know the truth. 4 people are dead. The administrations response was weak and wrong. Other than that, what do you expect them to do? Think they'll put Hillary in prison? Not gonna happen, no matter how much you "NON-POLITICAL" guys want it. Impeach the President? NOPE, not going to happen. Fire someone? Who, the janitor? The White House people are insulated. The guys that Hate Obama, are still going to hate him. The guys that love him, are still going to love him. Keep crying about the truth. Because that is all that is going to happen. NOTHING.

    June 16, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. fhc1983reunion

    You have to admit, the Clintons are experts in trying to distract from the facts. "Shame on politicians for trying to open a slugfest on 4 dead Americans." Really Hillary? Shame on YOU for allow those 4 Americans to be ambushed and killed! Shame on YOU for trying to blame others who want you to be held accountable. Of course, Bill Clinton forever changed America when we simply accepted his lies about his affairs. He should have been impeached, and Americans should have laid the foundation that the President of the United States should have the highest standards. Instead, Americans made the presidents lies acceptable behavior, like celebrities. So they have affairs, so they lie, so they don't pay their taxes....who cares! America is gone. Please don't vote another Clinton in office

    June 16, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  4. Nomad1375

    I would just like to know why they lied and continue lie about the video and who exactly started the lie. Is that too much to ask?

    June 16, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. Peter Gerdeman

    I am sorry for the loss of our four (4) Americans. But not enough to continue to drag this through yet more drama in another Congressional investigation. Americans didn't seem to care for the loss of five thousand (5,000) Americans in the lies that took us into Iraq. So, why should we care about Benghazi? Congress needs to do its job, and less posturing. Job programs (like road repairs, and other infrastructure), immigration reform (too bad, VA), education, help for the poor (20% budget), less on Defense & Intel (40% budget), and less interference into women's rights.

    June 16, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. gthog61

    If you have any family in the Embassy in Iraq try to get them to leave. This admin will leave them to die and the press will try to bury the story.

    June 16, 2014 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Name Paladin

    The problem is it wasn't the Embassy that was attacked. It was a CIA safe house where they were running guns. People do such little research. I read these comments about the "Embassy" and have to wonder where they got brainwashed. Or taking Clinton out of context.

    Oh yeah, Fox News.

    June 16, 2014 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Robert N. constant

    In the absence of having any issues of merit to campaign on the Republican Party has manufactured issues to attack the President. Benghazi is one such issue. It is being spun on Republican hate radio, and the Republican "talking points" are of cookie cutter similarity.
    The Republicans have offered no solutions and no plan. Their only gambit is to frivolously attack the President no matter the issue, from Immigration Reform, to Minimum wage, to the Affordable Care Act, to not sending troops to Iraq.

    June 16, 2014 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. cbp

    I never seem to know anyone who has been asked to respond to these polls. BEnghazi was a terrible tragedy and we lost four brave Americans. However, to keep investigating does not help. What would help would be to learn from the incident. We all seem to forget that our people in the area felt safe in the company of Libyans. Our Congress cut the money for troops to protect embassies but no one in Congress is willing to say that it was a mistake.

    Can we move on now knowing that we cannot allow this to happen again.

    June 16, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. Pat in IL

    I am tired of the haters just using the sound bites to make a point. It is appalling that they just want to blame and not learn for improvement that might be needed. We need either better educated people in Washington or oeople who actually use their brains and education for progress.

    June 16, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Name

    The majority don't know the facts of Benghazi. They know the rhetoric pushed by GOP and fox. They have been good at pushing misinformation. But misinformation doesn't help prevent a future incident like this. Sad that CNN doesn't point out facts actual known facts to people being polled before you ask a generic question to sadly uneducated American voters/citizens. 24 hour "news" has made this country look and behave stupidly..

    June 16, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Ryan

    Who pushed the video?

    June 16, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. TomNPitt

    A complete Republican witch hunt. Those believing they don't know the complete truth are the ones who want to know more than they ever will. Some of this will never be discosed because of security reasons. The republicans know this, but they'll keep demanding more than they will be able to get, and blame the President for withholding the iinfo.

    June 16, 2014 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Obama Defense Force

    Obama never does anything wrong. If you disagree you are racist and hate the country.

    June 16, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Kuron

    Let's be clear here, just because the people don't like how he handled Benghazi doesn't mean they want a Republican to take his place.

    June 16, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Anonymouse

    Cry a river for me, I'm sure 300 people died in this city alone last night, yet their lives aren't even a footnote in your universe.

    June 16, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Get_over_it

    Will there ever be a time idiots will drop the subject ? Pathetic !!

    June 16, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. Sandra

    *yawn* Until the neglect and the MYRIAD equivalent republican gaffes are faced and dealt with, I don't wanna hear about it.

    June 16, 2014 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. amercon

    Benghazi summary – Hillary lied, men died. Hillary doesn't care. Obama lied, refused to help, and fired generals who wanted to help. Obama and Hillary covered it up and demoted those who spoke up. Obama and Hillary can not be trusted.

    June 16, 2014 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Ken

    Unfortunately Americans will forget the incident and probably elect her President – SAD! Her and Bill are intelligent but lack common sense.

    June 16, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. Mike

    If you call lying being mishandled. DUH!

    June 16, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. Badfinger

    Nice to see that 60% of Americans still have values and don't appreciate being lied to constantly by the Obama machine.

    June 16, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Name. willard

    Keep out of hillary clinton

    June 16, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. dnokc

    Barack falling on the sword for Hillary?

    June 16, 2014 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. petroskies

    Where was the efficient Secretary of State Hilary Clinton ?

    June 16, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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