A new CNN/Opinion Research poll released today finds Republicans’ popularity badly bruised by the bitter debt ceiling debate, with the GOP’s unfavorable ratings climbing to an all-time high of 59 percent. The party’s favorable ratings, meanwhile, dropped eight points over the past month to just 33 percent. “The Democratic party, which had a favorable rating just a couple of points higher than the GOP in July, now has a 14-point advantage over the Republican party,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The network brought on RNC Chairman Reince Priebus this afternoon to respond to numbers. While saying he hadn’t studied poll in depth, Priebus embarked on stunningly brazen spin, blaming the drop in Republicans’ approval on President Obama. Despite host Brooke Baldwin’s repeated attempts to get Priebus to address the GOP’s unpopularity, the chairman kept going back to Obama:
BALDWIN: To what do we attribute this? Fallout from the debt ceiling debacle?
PRIEBUS: First of all, I haven’t really looked at it too deeply, other than the fact that I think it’s true that people are frustrated with a lot of what goes on in Washington. I think, most of all, people are frustrated with the president who continues not to lead during the most important in our country. But it’s not just a matter of leadership, Brooke, it’s a matter of what this president has put in place when he’s had the opportunity to lead. [...] He put in Obamcare.
BALDWIN: Hold on, Reince Priebus. [...] You see the numbers right there. Now versus July.
PRIEBUS: Okay, Brooke, and I told you, I think people are frustrated with politics in general. But the reality is we have a leader in Washington –
BALDWIN: Well, you mentioned the president, but I’m asking you specifically about your party.
PRIEBUS: I think people are frustrated with a lot of people in Washington. [...] And we have a president who is not a willing partner.
Party chairmen are expected to present news in the most favorable light for them and their party, but blaming his party’s unpopularity on the head of the other party is comical. And CNN’s poll is not the first to show that Republican congressional leaders’ intransigence and hostage on the debt ceiling hurt them politically. Americans overwhelmingly disproved of the GOP’s handling of the debt negotiations, and 74 percent of even Republicans thought revenue increases should have been part of the final deal.
Priebus’s comments once again show here’s nothing conservatives aren’t willing to blame Obama for.