June 16th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. Ponder

    Must be the same pollsters who were convinced Mitch Romney was going to be president.

    June 17, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  2. williamhazlitt

    The Middle East is in utter chaos,thanks to Obama and the ship of fools who make up his administration. Their ideology is a nasty mix of socialism, fascism, and racism. They are seeking to harm this country in every way they can. So far they are succeeding.

    June 17, 2014 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  3. Mark

    I remember several years back when Mrs. Clinton recalled getting off an airplane I believe in the Bosnia area and was recalling how she was dodging bullets. I've never been shot at and if I would have been it surely would have made a lasting impression. Mrs. Clinton withdrew that statement but I believe she will be dishonest as necessary to advance her own goals.

    June 17, 2014 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  4. Bobloblaw

    Obama ordered US forces to stand down and then blamed the whole thing on a video.

    June 17, 2014 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  5. Marie MD

    Enough of Benghazi and these polls are probably of people who are home every day watching faux news or listening to the oxycodone fat radio boy and their hate, lies and innuendos.
    Embassy personnel know that there lives can be in jeopardy in seconds. It's a shame that these folks died but . . . . . again . . . . . . how many died under the shrub #43 administration?
    The village idiot even knew that the terrorists were going to use planes and fly them into buildings. He was too busy reading (didn't know mr. nucular could read) to children.

    June 17, 2014 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  6. John

    If you all would recall, it was the Republicans who cut the security budget for overseas Embassies. So really who is to blame?. I personally blame them all for being so callous and uncaring for those who serve this country in foreign lands.

    June 17, 2014 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  7. Sarge

    I'm glad the investigation will continue. I still have questions and I think the families of the murdered do, too. I want to know what so many CIA people were doing there on the ground. I want to know why the President was not in the situation room or making calls to our military and our allies. I want to know why the next day, when all the truth was known internally, the President went with "acts of terror" instead of "deliberate and coordinated attack". I want to know who briefed Susan Rice and why she several days later when the truth was known internally was still blaming a video.

    Our assets abroad deserve to be secure to prevent attacks. During attacks, our military should be running towards the gunfire, not deciding that they can't get there in time. Afterwards, our country deserves honest answers, not politically convenient stories.

    Godspeed to the Select Committee and God bless the families and souls of the Benghazi 4.

    June 17, 2014 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
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