WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A majority of Americans (51 percent) blame the recent surge of violence in Iraq on former President George W. Bush, with only 27 percent placing blame with President Barack Obama.
A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday shows that American voters are far more likely to blame Bush for the recent violence in addition to opposing the Iraq war as a whole. Sixty-one percent of those polled said the 2003 war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, and less than one-third (32 percent) disagrees with the U.S. war in which troops were pulled out in 2011.
Republican and Democratic voters each have their own blame game: Democrats blame Bush for going to war in the first place while Republicans polled blame Obama for pulling out troops too early from Iraq in 2011.
“By 2-1, American voters believe the Iraq War was a mistake and most say it was the fault of President George W. Bush, but President Barack Obama isn’t exactly getting high marks for the way he has handled the two conflicts he inherited,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
But 55 percent of voters disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the current ISIS-led surge in violence and 52 percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling the situation in Afghanistan.
Only 35 percent of voters say President Obama is better than Bush in conducting foreign policy, with 39 percent saying he is worse than the former president.
Fifty-eight percent of voters polled say that Obama’s decision to withdraw all America’s military troops from Iraq in 2011 was the right thing to do, 37 percent said it was wrong action. A CBS/New York Times poll last week found that exactly half of those surveyed said the U.S. should have withdrawn when it did, 42 percent said it was a mistake.
A 56-39 percent margin of Americans polled say it’s not in the best U.S. interest to get involved in Iraq again, but 72 percent of voters say it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely.”