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

Slight majority approves of Obama's handling of Iran

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/20/iran.obama/art.white.house.afp.gi.jpg caption=" 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. benton nelson

    i think if george w bush was still in the white house we would be in iran trying to clean up this mess. who knows if he was in office, we might already be at war with iran.

    June 22, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  2. No Hillary = No Obama

    Approve of what? The guy did and said nothing until criticism started to mount. Then he was forced to say something. What kind of "leader" is this? I am sick and tired of Obama being defended no matter what – people need to get real.

    June 22, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  3. steve raymond

    this whole change thing is just way, way out of control

    has anyone ever looked at who the opposition party leader is.....he is no better than the current president

    iran will not change..........get a job people............oooooohhhhhhhhh
    sorry..........too soon?

    June 22, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  4. Imarriedmy sister in TheOleSouth

    Defense contractors would have loved John McCain in there as President.He could could have started three more wars by now.

    June 22, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  5. Joane

    That is not a slight majority that is a 16 point difference, huge majority. Its almost criminal to encourage these young students with rocks to go up against police with guns so that we can pat ourselves on the back, or as McCain says to "be on the right side of history". ANd this is not similar to the wall in Germany, were not talking about dismantiling a wall were talking about people's lives.

    June 22, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  6. Republican Defector

    It is better to watch from the sideline and takes notes before running into a situation that will cost us on the back end....In the past Americans Presidents were to hasty to jump and come forward and meddle and make a situation worst not for helping, but for being American....Remember Bush made it very bad for America to be respected by many foreign leaders so Iran-Americans must understand the calculated move that respectfully must be taken. On the other hand it is time for countries like Iran to take care of themselves and stop running to US presidents for everything. It will complicated some international resentment as well as domestic issues.

    June 22, 2009 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  7. sandee in Portland

    President Obama's response to the Iran situation has been right on the mark as far as I'm concerned. For him to do as the Republicans want, he would again embroil our country in a fight that is not ours. The Iranian people are the ones that need to decide if they want an election do over, not the U.S. If he went the way of the Republicans, we would once again lose stature in the world and Iran would be able to put the blame on the US for the riots. Thank God, he thinks before he speaks.

    June 22, 2009 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. mike

    What has the uhbama done regarding the Iran crisis? Nothing. Just like his administration.

    June 23, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  9. Judy from PA

    Oh, I'm sorry, I thought humans were vertebrates, not invertebates. It's called a backbone, Barack, get one!

    June 23, 2009 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. Old White Guy

    McCain is just an old white guy living in the past, and has no clue about modern global politics. EMPTY SUIT.

    June 23, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  11. Accountability

    Unfortunately only a "slight majority" of Americans back Obama on this becasue only a "slight majority" paid attention in history class to the countless attempts of the U.S. to intervene and (yes McCain..."Meddle") in other countries' affairs, including over and over agin in Iran, in the 20th century.

    Before you hate...check out the book "Overthrow"....

    June 23, 2009 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  12. Benaiah

    CNN = State-Run Media

    June 23, 2009 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  13. Benaiah

    A majority of the Mullahs approve Obahmadinejihad's handling of Iran...

    June 23, 2009 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  14. Two for T.

    I can't believe that clear thinking people in this country wish to interfere in the lives and politics of Iran. Please folks, we have enough shameful things to deal with in this country. The murder of an abortionist, racial hatred, hate preaching talk show hosts on every 24/7. Drug use, prostitution, child abuse, rape. You name it we got it.
    The justice system is favored toward the rich and anglo saxon.
    Why don't other countries speak out against us?

    What a bunch of hypocritic idiots out there. This president is doing the correct and civilized thing. What the hell do you people want him to do. Start another unnessary war? Come on shut up and stop hating the best president this country could have hoped for.

    June 23, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  15. T Mckinley

    Will somebody please tell the warmongering neo-cons that Dick Cheney is no longer President, and that Cheney's cronies over at the "Project for a New American Century" are no longer in charge of U.S. foreign policy?

    Even Conservative stalwarts like Peggy Noonan, George Will, and Henry Kissinger are saying that President Obama is handling this situation correctly, and that it would be a mistake for our President to jump in the middle of this situation with the type of belicose retoric that the neo-cons are demanding to hear from him.

    After listening to John McCain's comments on the situation, and the type of retoric he wants to hear, I am very relieved that John McCain is not our President. The last thing we need is for the theocracy in Iran to use the U.S. as a foil, and blame us for the uprising.

    Dick Cheney's neo-con disciples are wrong about the way President Obama is handling this. Our President is doing exactly what he should be doing, allowing the Iranian people to decide the future of Iran.

    June 23, 2009 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
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