Before the bodies of the four Americans killed in the attack in Benghazi were even removed from Libya, the Republican National Committee was exploiting the issue for political gain, using the deaths of the Americans for fundraising. Congressional Republicans were politicizing the event accusing Obama of a cover-up.
Mitt Romney brought it up in the Presidential Debate, but he got shot down by the Debate Moderator who told Romney his statement was not factual.
Since September 12, 2012, Congressional Republicans have been obsessed with tuning Benghazi into a “scandal” that is bigger than Watergate. A U.S. Senator says it is time to start talking “impeachment.”
During President Bill Clinton’s second term, Republicans in Congress were obsessed with scandals as well. They went so far as to Impeach President Clinton, but the Senate failed to remove him from office.
During that impeachment fiasco, the public generally did not support the Republican efforts. In fact, in the mid terms, Democrats bucked the trend and picked up seats.
President Obama was asked about the latest hysteria over e-mails during a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron Monday. He said “There is no “there” there.” He said the e-mails that are now consuming the news were given by his administration months ago, and Congressional Republicans found no evidence of “anything foul” in how the administration was dealing with the crisis, but all the sudden the e-mails are being brought up like they were just uncovered.
So where is the public on the Benghazi scandal?
A new PPP poll released Monday indicates the public thinks Congress should be more focused on other issues rather than Benghazi. By a 56% to 38% margin they say passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill is more important than Benghazi, and by a 52% to 43% spread they think passing a bill requiring background checks for all gun sales should be a higher priority.
The poll was conducted between May 10 and May 12, after ABC released e-mails that indicated the “talking points” on Banghazi were changed 12 times before the Sunday Morning talk shows following the attack. Those were the e-mail the president said he gave Congress “months ago.”
PPP said in its news release that the national poll finds that Republicans aren’t getting much traction with their focus on Benghazi over the last week. It found voters trust Hillary Clinton over Congressional Republicans on the issue of Benghazi by a 49/39 margin. Clinton’s net favorability rating (52 positive) is identical to what it was on PPP’s last national poll in late March. Meanwhile Congressional Republicans remain very unpopular with only 36 favorable versus 57 unfavorable.
Republican talking points only working on Republicans
The poll shows there is a huge divide in opinion between Republican voters and the rest of the nation.
PPP said 41% of Republicans say this is the biggest political scandal in American history compared to only 43% who disagree with that sentiment. Only 10% of Democrats and 20% of independents share that feeling.
A whopping 79% of Republican voters think Benghazi is a worse scandal than Watergate; 74% think it is worse than Teapot Dome; and 70% believe it is worse than Iran Contra. Those three scandals involved Republican presidents—Nixon, Harding, and Reagan respectively, and evidence led to the Oval Office.
Among the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history– 39% of them don’t actually know where Benghazi is, with 10% thinking it’s in Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.
PPP surveyed 576 voters nationwide from May 10th to 12th. The margin of error inn the poll is +/-4.1%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP said.
Despite the fact voters do not want Congress to waste time and money on the Benghazi investigation, House Republicans are moving ahead. They are absolutely giddy over the latest IRS and AP stories. So the dance card for Congressional Republicans is filled up with investigations and impeachment, so expect nothing else to happen the next two years.
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