The White House objection that a new House select committee on Benghazi is a partisan witch hunt and that every question has already been answered is not resonating with voters, with a majority saying they believe the Obama administration is deceiving the public about the 2012 attacks.
A Fox News poll released Thursday reflects poorly not only on the administration, but also on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will likely have to answer more questions if she runs for president in 2016. However, congressional Republicans are also viewed as politicizing the matter.
The poll found that a slim majority of 51 percent think the White House knowingly lied about Benghazi in the lead-up to the 2012 election to help President Barack Obama get re-elected.
But, when a motivation was not included in the question, a larger majority of 54 percent said the Obama administration has been deceptive in explaining the attack and reasons for it. Another 50 percent think Clinton has been deceptive in speaking about Benghazi.
The poll was conducted among 1,025 registered voters across the nation on May 10, 12 and 13.
The 12-member select committee to explore the unanswered question about the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, was established by House Speaker John Boehner. Boehner’s decision came after new documents surfaced showing the White House had helped prepare talking points for then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who said on Sunday news shows the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an Internet video.
While just a quarter of Democrats surveyed said they believe the Obama administration was deceptive on the matter, 55 percent of Democrats said they support a select committee to get to the bottom of the matter. Among all voters, an overwhelming 67 percent said they support a select committee probing Benghazi, while 28 percent oppose. The committee is chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former federal prosecutor.
However, nearly as many voters — 63 percent — said they believe congressional Republicans are investigating for political gain, while just 30 percent think they are after the truth. Even among Republicans, a sizable minority of 38 percent believe their party is politicizing the issue.