President Barack Obama’s approval rating has matched its lowest ever recorded
in a new NBC News poll.
And huge drops in his foreign policy approval combined with poor marks for handling the situation in Syria are to blame.
Obama’s overall approval rating stands at 44%. The only other time it has been that low in the NBC survey came at the end of 2011, after a bruising debt ceiling fight with Congress that ended in a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.
This time, the drop is largely due to foreign policy concerns. Only 41% approve of the way Obama is handling foreign policy, the lowest ever. Consider that just last December, 52% approved of the way he was handling foreign policy.
The drop in satisfaction in foreign policy comes as Obama has ramped up talk for military action in Syria. According to the poll, Americans aren’t very satisfied with the way he has approached U.S. involvement in that conflict, either. Only 35% approve, and 44% disapprove.
The poll also showed the quagmire facing Obama as he decides how to proceed in Syria. Almost four in five Americans think that Obama should seek Congressional approval before moving forward with any strikes in Syria.
Overall, 50% think that the U.S. should not intervene in Syria, even in the wake of suspected chemical weapons attacks by the Assad regime last week. But a majority of Americans — 52% — do support intervention if it is limited to launching cruise missiles from naval ships.
Both Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for intervention on Friday, as Obama said in a brief statement that the chemical-weapons attack is a “challenge to the world.” His comments came after Kerry’s blistering statement earlier this afternoon, during which he called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “thug” and “murderer” and said he must be held accountable for a chemical-weapons attack earlier this month.
The White House also released a declassified report detailing with “high confidence” the assessment that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its people. According to the report, the chemical-weapons attack killed 1,429 people, including 426 children.
“We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale,” Obama said Friday.
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