Most Americans feel President George W. Bush intentionally lied to the public to justify his invasion of Iraq and an overwhelming majority now disapprove of his handling of the war, a new poll shows.
But the public not yet demanding an immediate withdrawal, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll published on Monday.
For the first time, a majority of Americans said the administration “intentionally misled” the public in going to war and nearly 75 percent said it underestimated the challenges involved, the poll of 1,004 adults found.
On Iraq specifically, 56 percent said they disapproved of Bush’s work and 62 percent said they thought the United States had gotten bogged down in Iraq.
The poll results are the latest in a recent series that show growing public dissatisfaction with the war and the administration’s role in it.
A majority also rejected Vice President Dick Cheney’s claim that he Iraqi insurgency is “in its last throes.” Fifty-three percent said they thought they insurgency was holding steady in strength and 24 percent believed it was getting stronger.
Amid sinking public support for the war, Bush is scheduled to address the issue on Tuesday evening in a televised speech at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The White House said he would be “very specific about the way forward in Iraq.”
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that a record 57 percent also now say the administration intentionally exaggerated its prewar evidence that Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
Despite growing criticism of the administration’s performance, nearly 60 percent of those polled said they believe U.S. forces should remain in place until civil order is restored in Iraq.
Fifty-two percent said they think the war has contributed to the long-term security of the United States, up five points from early June.
A small bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has called for a deadline to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, but Bush has rejected setting a withdrawal date, saying it would send the wrong message to insurgents.
The poll was taken by telephone June 23-26 and has a three-point margin of error.