(NEW YORK) — Americans say that President Obama really has his work cut out for him during his second-term, largely because of scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department subpoena of Associated Press phone records and last year’s deadly attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
A new USA Today poll released Monday finds that 31 percent of respondents believe the controversies will make it much harder for the president to accomplish his agenda while 42 percent say they’ll at least make things a little harder for Obama.
Only 21 percent believe the scandals will have no effect on the president’s performance while 6 percent expressed no opinion.
In other findings, 53 percent think that politics was behind the IRS decision to scrutinize Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations despite White House denials. In addition, 50 percent contend that the president should shoulder at least a little or a lot of the blame while 44 percent say he had nothing to do with it.
As for the Sept. 11, 2012 siege in Libya that left four Americans dead, 40 percent claim the administration is covering up the facts about the attack and its aftermath but 45 percent assert there was no cover-up.
Meanwhile, the public seems overwhelmingly in the media’s corner when it comes to the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records after the AP published a story regarding the CIA foiling an al Qaeda bomb plot one year ago.
Sixty-two percent say the media should report stories that are in the national interest without government interference while 23 percent claim the government should censor news stories that potentially threaten national security.
Interestingly, there could be a partisan element involved in the response to that question. In 2006, when there was a Republican administration, 53 percent identifying themselves with the GOP said the government should be able to censor stories. Now, 53 percent believe the media should be able to report news as it sees fit.
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