Nearly two-thirds of Americans say President Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy is either equal to or worse than that of predecessor George W. Bush, a new poll reveals.
The results of a recent Reason-Rupe poll published on Tuesday this week suggest that a majority of Americans — 64 percent — consider the current commander-in-chief’s job performance with regards to international affairs to be no better than Pres. Bush, who kick-started wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq during his eight years in the White House.
According to the results of the poll, 32 percent of Americans polled said Obama’s handling of foreign policy is worse than that of his predecessor, with 32 percent also saying it was “about the same.”
Thirty-two percent of the 1,013 adults polled said they consider Obama’s handling of foreign policy better than that of Pres. Bush.
And as a potential United States-led military strike against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime remains a very real possibility in the days to come, Reason’s Emily Ekins wrote that Obama — who famously said he opposes “dumb wars” — could launch the US into a situation that wouldn’t be supported by a majority of Americans.
“Nearly three-quarters of Americans, 74 percent, say it would be ‘unwise’ for the United States to launch airstrikes on Syria without the support of the United Nations or Great Britain,” Ekins wrote of the results.
Additionally, only 17 percent of those polled said it would be a wise move to attack Assad’s regime to reprimand the Syrian leader for the alleged use of chemical weapons last month outside of Damascus. The White House said previously that Assad’s army deployed chemical warheads on August 21 and in turn eradicated more than 1,400 people.
The same proportion of Americans who put Bush’s foreign policy record at-or-above that of Pres. Obama — 64 percent — told pollsters that US airstrikes against Syria are not necessary to protect America’s credibility and national security, despite the administration arguing otherwise.
Pres. Obama had been considering a unilateral military strike against Assad without approaching Congress for authorization, but has in recent days formalized his request with the House and Senate and has since postponed voting while diplomatic options are considered by the UN and international community.
Foreign policy aside, however, the Obama administration isn’t winning much support among the Americans polled by Reason and Rupe. According to their questioning, 61 percent said they believe the US is heading in the “wrong direction,” compared to 28 percent who say America is, “generally speaking,” on the right path.
Forty-three percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of Obama’s overall job performance. Before the US ramped-up its interest in the Syrian civil war, a similar poll conducted in May found that exactly half of Americans polled approved of the president’s job, signaling a 7 percentage point drop in a matter of months.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney acknowledge the president’s reluctance to use military force in Syria after more than a decade of wars started under the Bush administration.
“He knew and knows and understands that the American people are extremely reluctant to get the United States involved again militarily in the Middle East — not just in the Middle East, but anywhere,” Carney told reporters. “But as someone who deeply understands that, and who has spent four and a half years as president getting us out of wars, he believes in the case that he made last night, and I think he understands why there’s reluctance and why there’s anxiety about potentially striking Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons. “