Advocating on Behalf of the American Military and Defense on the War on Terror

Voters are divided over how the White House is handling the September 11,  2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed a U.S.  ambassador and three other Americans.  

On President Obama’s role, however, voters are clear:  he should have  been more involved.

A Fox News poll asked voters about their reaction to former Defense Secretary  Leon Panetta’s testimony to Congress in February on the Benghazi attack.   Panetta testified that after the initial 5:00 PM briefing with the  president, he didn’t hear from the President Obama or anyone at the White House  again that night.  


While almost a third of voters (29 percent) think there was “probably a good  reason” for the president not to be personally involved, most voters -- 61  percent -- say Obama should have been directly involved “no matter what.”

Most Republicans (82 percent) and over half of independents (57 percent) feel  the president should have been more engaged in responding to the assault.   Among Democrats views are split: 43 percent say Obama had a good reason  not to be involved, while 45 percent say there’s no excuse.

The new poll, released Wednesday, also asked voters to react to former  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony that she hadn’t seen a cable from  the consulate asking for additional security and warning the administration  about the dangerous situation diplomats were facing.  

Some 39 percent of voters say it is “troubling” Clinton didn’t see the cable,  while an equal number don’t believe her testimony and actually think she was  aware of it (39 percent).  Few -- 11 percent -- say it’s no big deal that  she didn’t see the ambassador’s request for help.  

Voters have mixed views about how the White House is handling the situation:   46 percent say the administration is covering up what happened.   Almost as many -- 43 percent -- say there’s no cover up.

Republicans (72 percent) are almost three times as likely as Democrats (24  percent) to think there is a cover up.  Among independents, 46 percent feel  the White House is hiding what happened, while 39 percent do not.  

The administration eventually acknowledged the attack in Benghazi was a  planned terrorist attack.  Early on it pointed to a controversial online  video sparking spontaneous violence.  

Although Panetta and Clinton have testified, so far Congress hasn’t heard  from the U.S. government personnel who survived the attack.  By a 67-26  percent margin, voters think lawmakers should subpoena them if the State  Department and CIA don’t volunteer to let the witnesses be interviewed by  Congressional investigators.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,009  randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint  direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R)  from April 20 to April 22.  The full poll has a margin of sampling error of  plus or minus three percentage points.

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