A new Gallup poll came out this week showing that President Obama’s approval rating had dropped to 47 percent. In response on Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the finding and its “meaninglessness.” “I tell you, if I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I’d visit my doctor,” Gibbs said. “If you look back, I think five days ago, there was an 11-point spread, now there’s a 1-point spread. I mean, I’m sure a 6-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that.”
Fox and Friends brought on former Bush adviser Karl Rove this morning to attack Gibbs and tout the poll number. Instead of his usual whiteboard, Rove had crayon-drawings of Gibbs. Host Steve Doocy mocked Gibbs for pretending to ignore polls, and Rove advised Gibbs to explain to the public that although the public may now hate what the President is doing, they’ll appreciate it later. Host Gretchen Carlson then chimed in with her own advice: Obama should imitate Bush:
CARLSON: Karl, he should have done what your former boss did, George W. Bush — where he said he didn’t look at the polls. And, whether or not that was true, at least he said that from the beginning, and that was the end of the story with regard to polls.
Bush officials didn’t just ignore polls; they looked at them and then decided that what the American people think doesn’t matter (largely because so many of the administration’s decisions were contrary to what the public wanted). Bush stated that he didn’t “give a darn” what the public thought about him. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that “perceptions” of the U.S. abroad didn’t matter, and Vice President Cheney said that he just didn’t care what the American public thinks at all.
Of course, even Bush’s press secretaries would cite polls when they were favorable and then ignore them when they weren’t — which was totally fine with Fox News at the time.