Second man charged in U.S. embassy attack
Prepared to die
The Air Strikes
From the CIA
Most approve of bombing of suspected terrorist sitesBy Associated Press, 08/21/98
WASHINGTON - Most Americans approve of President Clinton's decision to bomb suspected terrorist sites overseas and reject the possibility that the military action was intended to turn public attention away from the Monica Lewinsky affair, polls suggest.
Support for the anti-terrorist strikes ran from 66 percent in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll to 80 percent in an ABC News poll. About half in an NBC News poll said the action was necessary; more than a third said they didn't know enough about it to have an opinion.
Two-thirds of those questioned by ABC say they trust Clinton to handle the U.S. response to terrorism. While most in the Gallup Poll approved of the bombing, a majority also thought it was legitimate for members of Congress to question the timing.
About 30 percent say they are suspicious about the timing of the attacks on sites in the Sudan and Afghanistan, according to the polls released today.
Those lingering doubts about the president's credibility come at a time when perceptions of his honesty and ethics are as low as they've ever been. His job approval ratings remain above 60 percent in most polls and a majority wants him to stay in office.
In two polls taken at midweek, a majority thought he obstructed justice in the Lewinsky investigation, and three-fourths of Americans in a midweek ABC News poll say they don't think he is trustworthy or has high moral standards.
A midweek CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll suggested the public was satisfied with the president's explanation of his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky Monday night, but thought he should have said, ``I'm sorry,'' and should not have criticized special prosecutor Kenneth Starr.
In several recent polls, those who viewed Clinton favorably slipped anywhere from 5 to 15 percentage points.
But the relationship between the perceptions of the public and private Clinton is unclear.
``What we haven't seen,'' said ABC News pollster Gary Langer,'' is a bridge between the two, that somehow this affects his work in office.''
A majority in the ABC News poll say Clinton understands the problems of average people and is a strong leader. Three-fourths of Americans say he has done a good job on the economy.
The ABC News phone survey of 510 adults taken Thursday night had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. The Thursday night Gallup poll of 628 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points. The NBC poll, based on 503 interviews, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 points.
The president's pollster, Mark Penn, said overall poll numbers for Clinton remain generally strong.
``I think in evaluating the president's image, you have to look at all the qualities that make up that image,'' Penn said, ``how he cares about them, how they feel he understands their problems.''
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