Using his power of executive privilege to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from congressional subpoenas overstepped the bounds of Barack Obama's office. That's the message from the latest poll on the issue, with a clear majority giving Obama negative marks for the move:
The Hill Poll found that likely voters disapproved by an almost 2-to-1 margin of Obama’s assertion of presidential power in the case. Overall, 56 percent of voters disapproved of his action, while only 29 percent approved.
Democrats have accused [GOP Rep. Darrell] Issa of waging a partisan campaign that has no real purpose save for embarrassing Obama and Holder.
Issa has always denied his pursuit of Holder is politically driven.
“Our purpose has never been to hold the attorney general in contempt,” he said last week. “Our purpose has always been to get the information the committee needs to complete its work — that it is not only entitled to do, but obligated to do.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that “the assertion of privilege has to do with the absolute necessity of retaining the executive branch’s independence.”
The defense is not proving an easy sell with voters, particularly independents.
Sixty-one percent of independents said they disapproved of the president’s actions, and just 25 percent approved. Among Republicans, opposition to the president’s use of executive privilege was more entrenched at 78 percent.