Poll: 54% Dissatisfied with Team Obama’s Handling of Benghazi

Daniel Doherty

11/27/2012 7:00:00 AM - Daniel Doherty

A new poll released Tuesday by CNN shows that more than half of those surveyed are disappointed with the way the Obama administration handled (and responded to) the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that claimed the lives of four American diplomats -- including a sitting US Ambassador -- on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11:

Americans are giving the White House low marks for how it's handled the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, according to a new national survey.

But according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday, a majority of the public doesn't believe the Obama administration intentionally tried to mislead Americans on the September attack that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead. And the survey also indicates a plurality have a positive opinion of Petraeus and are divided on whether the former top U.S. should have resigned as CIA director after acknowledging an extra-marital affair.

On Libya, 54% of the country is dissatisfied with the administration's response to the Benghazi attack, with only four in ten saying they're satisfied with the way the White House handled the matter.

"But that dissatisfaction is not because Americans see a cover-up," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only 40% believe that the inaccurate statements that administration officials initially made about the Benghazi attack were an attempt to deliberately mislead the public. Fifty-four percent think those inaccurate statements reflected what the White House believed to be true at the time."

Nearly half of those questioned (48%) say that the U.S. could have prevented the attack on its consulate in Benghazi, with 42% saying the U.S. could not have prevented the attack.

According to the poll, the public is split right down the middle on how the Obama administration's handled the Petraeus resignation, with 44% saying that officials handled it appropriately and 44% disagreeing with that view

Interestingly, according the same study, nearly half -- 48% -- were opposed to letting retired four-star General David Petraeus step down as CIA Director, even though he had (by his own admission) engaged in an extramarital affair. On the other hand, 48% said it was “the right thing to do.”