House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that it is “troubling” that “half the American people don’t think the President is trustworthy and honest,” responding to a new poll showing President Barack Obama’s approval rating had dropped eight points since May.
Appearing on the premier of CNN’s “New Day” Monday, Cantor suggested that the poll numbers were justified in light of consistent “abuses of power” in Washington that have overshadowed focus on the nation’s most pressing problem: unemployment.
“What they’re witnessing is a Washington and a government that has abused its power and, frankly, has lost focus on the issue that most Americans care about, which is getting people back to work,” Cantor said.
According to the CNN poll, Obama’s approval rating dipped 8 points in just one month — from 53 per cent to 45 per cent. Less than half of respondents (49 per cent) considered Obama to be honest and trustworthy, amid a month of controversies surrounding the administration.
He went on to say that House Republicans were tasked with the dual duty of inspiring American faith in government and the economy.
Cantor was also asked about any knowledge he may have had on NSA surveillance programs before the information went public.
He didn’t answer the question directly, beyond the groundbreaking fact that the surveillance programs were put into place after 9/11. He claimed that the programs had been helpful with the government’s pursuit of terrorists, but argued a “priority on national security” had to be balanced with “a priority on the protection of civil liberties.”
“That’s what makes America who we are,” Cantor said.
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