More Americans blame Bush than Clinton for failure to capture Osama bin Laden

Published: Wednesday September 27, 2006

Print This  Email This

According to the latest Gallup Poll, more Americans blame President Bush than former President Clinton for the failure to capture Osama bin Laden, RAW STORY has learned.

"According to a recent Gallup Panel survey, the American public puts the primary blame on Bush rather than Clinton for the fact that bin Laden has not been captured," writes Lydia Saad for the Gallup News Service.

In the telephone survey based on interviews with 1,010 national adults, aged 18 and older, which was conducted from September 21 to 24, before and after Clinton's "heated" interview on Fox News Channel aired on Sunday, 53 percent blame Bush, while only 36 percent blame Clinton.

"Clinton's reputation in this matter is far from unblemished, however," notes Saad. "Forty-two percent of Americans believe Clinton deserves either a great deal or a fair amount of blame, while only 32% say he deserves no blame."

Excerpts from Gallup News Service report:


It is hard to know whether the ongoing war of words -- including a highly publicized outburst by Clinton over the weekend in an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace -- is changing any minds, or merely inciting partisan loyalties. Republicans and Democrats are largely divided into opposing camps on the question of who is more to blame for bin Laden's ability to evade capture: 71% of Republicans say Clinton is more to blame while 83% of Democrats hold Bush more responsible. While a small minority in both cases, Republicans are more than twice as likely to blame Bush as Democrats are to blame Clinton (18% vs. 7%).

Clinton's strong advantage among the general public on this question comes more from the fact that political independents are closer to the Democratic side in their attitudes, with a solid majority blaming Bush more than Clinton (58% vs. 31%).


Perceptions of the degree to which each president deserves some blame for bin Laden's whereabouts are similarly partisan. The overwhelming majority of Republicans assign a great deal or fair amount of blame to Clinton, while only 24% assign this much blame to Bush. Conversely, 77% of Democrats assign high blame to Bush, versus only 23% blaming Clinton. Again, independents align more closely with the Democrats.