Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and Fox News have been engaged in an all out attack campaign against U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and other Obama administration officials to try to convince Americans that the White House was trying to execute a Watergate-style cover up of the U.S. response to the Benghazi attacks. But the CNN poll has found that it failed:
On Libya, 54% of the country is dissatisfied with the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack, with only four in ten saying they’re satisfied with the way the White House handled the matter.
“But that dissatisfaction is not because Americans see a cover-up,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Only 40% believe that the inaccurate statements that administration officials initially made about the Benghazi attack were an attempt to deliberately mislead the public. Fifty-four percent think those inaccurate statements reflected what the White House believed to be true at the time.”
News of the CNN poll comes as Rice will meet today with McCain and two other Republican senators who have been most vocal in attacking the U.N. ambassador on Libya, Lindsey Graham (SC) and Kelly Ayotte (NH).
McCain vowed to block Rice’s potential nomination as the next Secretary of State but has since backed away from that pledge after facts emerged to undermine his claim that Rice and Obama administration officials lied about Benghazi. McCain said on Sunday that he would give Rice the “benefit” of explaining her position. But the Washington Post reports that Ayotte is still holding out . “I would hold the [Rice] nomination until I got sufficient answers,” Ayotte said.