Then-Senator Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 largely against what he and much of the public considered the failed foreign policy of President George W. Bush. Today, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe President Obama is doing no better than his predecessor, according to a new poll released on the day Obama is set to give a national address on possible military action in Syria.
President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush walk to meet with family members of the U.S. embassy victims during a wreath laying ceremony to honor the victims of the U.S. Embassy bombing on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. (AP)
The new Reason-Rupe poll found that 64 percent of Americans believe Obama's handling of foreign policy is worse than or the same as Bush's handling of international affairs. That includes 68 percent of independents and a significantly high 41 percent of Democrats. Just 32 percent said Obama is handling foreign policy better than Bush, according to the poll.
Additionally, 58 percent of respondents disapproved of Obama's overall handling of foreign policy, while just 35 percent approve.
Reflecting other polls released since the Syria situation began, 74 percent said it would be “unwise” for the United States to launch air strikes on Syria, while 17 percent said it would be wise. Meanwhile, 64 percent did not believe striking Syria is necessary to protect America's credibility, despite Obama's pronouncement about President Bashar Assad's regime crossing a “red line” if it used chemical weapons in the civil war there, while 26 percent said they believe a strike is necessary to protect American credibility.
The U.S. has said it has evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons to kill nearly 1,500 Syrians last month.
Reason, which helped sponsor the poll, is a libertarian publication.
The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associations International, surveyed 509 adults on mobile phones and 504 adults on a landline from Sept. 4-8. The poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percent, with a sampling of 38 independents, 29 percent Democrats and 23 percent Republicans.