Posts tagged with "George W. Bush"

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans are optimistic after Biden’s first 100 days

May 4, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden completed his first 100 days in office on Thursday, April 29—and the nation now is more optimistic about the coming year, according to findings of a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.

Indeed, nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) are optimistic about the direction of the country, the poll indicated. The research was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News, using Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel.

The last time the country came close to that level of optimism about the coming year was in December 2006 during the administration of President George W. Bush—when 61% said they were optimistic about the direction in which the country was headed, according to previous ABC News/Washington Post polls.

Shortly before the 2016 election catapulted Donald Trump into the Oval Office, only 42% of Americans were optimistic about the future; compared to 52% who were pessimistic.

But there are some warning lights flashing for the White House. Biden is betting on a lofty agenda to maintain momentum and set up Democrats for success in next year’s midterms, while the GOP is hoping that voters perceive an overreach and the president’s policies become an electoral anchor.

Only a slim majority (52%) think the federal government should spend to revitalize the economy, even if it raises taxes—including 80% of Democrats and 54% of Independents. The question of government spending and taxes largely divides Americans, with 47% saying taxes should stay at the same level, even at the expense of the economy—including 78% of Republicans.

After more than a year of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country, roughly one-third of Americans (36%) still remain pessimistic about the country’s future under Biden.

Only about one-quarter of Americans (23%) think the country has become more united since Biden took office. Among this group, an overwhelming 87% give Biden credit. Only 3% assigned credit to Republican leaders in Congress, and 10% said both in the poll.

Among the 28% who said the country is more divided, 6 in 10 think Biden is more responsible for the divisions, compared to 34% who say both Biden and Republicans are culpable for sowing division. Only 6% faulted Republicans.

Nearly half of the country (48%) doesn’t see movement on the question of unity since Biden took office—believing the country is neither more united nor more divided. Views on the polarization of the country during Biden’s early tenure fall along party lines—with 95% of Democrats saying the country is either more united (45%) or the same (50%), and 97% of Republicans saying the nation is more divided (65%) or the same (32%).

Biden, who developed a reputation as a moderate over decades in the Senate, has shifted his policy priorities leftward as president. In his address before a joint session of Congress this week, he outlined unprecedented investments for his core priorities, while standing undeterred by sharp Republican resistance. And the Democratic Party appears united behind him: 90% of Democrats approved of his job performance in the latest  poll.

But uncertainty looms over what will be his next legislative achievement, with Biden’s political capital split between his enormous infrastructure bill and plans for gun control, immigration, education and child care.

A slim majority of respondents (51%)to the new survey think Biden is compromising about the right amount with congressional Republican leaders on the most pressing issues. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans (39%) think Biden is doing too little, and only 9% say he is compromising too much.

Republican leaders are viewed more adversely, however. Two-thirds of Americans view GOP leaders in Congress as doing too little to compromise with Biden. Just over 1 in 5 Americans (22%) believe Republicans are doing about the right amount to compromise, and only 10% think they are doing too much.

Biden, for his part, is outperforming his predecessor on this measure. More than half of the country (56%) thought Trump was doing too little to compromise with Democrats in an ABC News/Washington Post poll from September 2017.

Meanwhile, current Republican leaders in Congress are slightly underperforming their Democratic counterparts in the Trump era, when 60% of Americans said the Democrats weren’t doing enough to compromise with Trump.

Research contact: @abcnews

Trump berates Bush for posting a message of unity

May 5, 2020

President Donald Trumpwho just two years ago said that former President George W. Bush was responsible for “the single worst decision ever made” when he invaded Iraq in 2003—is still angry at the 43rd president of the United States for not supporting him during the impeachment trial last December.

That rancor was evident last weekend, when Bush posted a three-minute video on Twitter, asking Americans to come together to defeat the danger posed by COVID-19.

In a the video—which was tweeted from @TheBushCenter at 11:33 a.m. on Saturday, May 2 and entitled @TheCalltoUnite— the former president urged Americans to remember “how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat,” The Hill reports.

“In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God,” Bush said. “We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.”

However, Trump could not condone a message of unity for Americans when he felt no solidarity with the sender.

Iin an early morning tweet on Sunday, May 3, the president called out Bush for his failure to support him as he faced an impeachment trial earlier this year over his alleged dealings with Ukraine. He cited apparent comments from Fox News anchor Pete Hegseth, who asked why Bush didn’t push for “putting partisanship aside” amid the trial.

“He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history,” Trump said. 

The House impeached Trump last December for allegedly pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation into his Democratic political rivals. The president was acquitted by the Senate in February.

While Bush never commented publicly on the allegations and the trial, he and other members of his family have voiced criticism of the president and his policies, The Hill noted.

The former president released the video as confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, continued to rise in parts of the U.S. The country has confirmed more than 1.1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 66,000 deaths from it.

Bush invoked the September. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in his message, noting that the U.S. has faced “times of testing before.” 

“Let’s remember that the suffering we experience as a nation does not fall evenly. In the days to come, it will be especially important to care in practical ways for the elderly, the ill and the unemployed,” he said.

Trump has faced continued scrutiny for his less-than-rapid response to the outbreak, The Hill says. The president in February suggested the virus would suddenly “disappear” and later predicted that everyone who needed a test would have access to one. He’s repeatedly pushed back against concerns from governors about testing and medical equipment shortages.

Research contact: @thehill

Karl Rove compares Trump to Stalin and advises him to ‘tone down’ anti-media rhetoric

August 8, 2018

Karl Rove, the Republican political consultant and policy advisor who is largely credited for the election of George W. Bush in 2000—and widely known for his proclivity for dirty tricks—advised President Donald Trump to cut out his “over the top” anti-media rhetoric during an appearance on Fox News on August 6, according to a same-day report by Mediaite.

Rove’s comments came after Trump took again to Twitter over the weekend, characterizing the news media as “the Enemy of the People,” and alleging, : “[They] purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

In short, Mediaite said, Rove told Trump to suck it up. “I think this is over the top,” he said, adding, “. Every president has problems with the media. I was in the White House for seven years, I didn’t like the coverage they gave George W. Bush, particularly the liberal New York Times.”

Rove said the president should criticize the media “on a case-by-case basis,” and “make a respectful disagreement.

“I think calling names is not helpful to our country from any side,” said Bush’s former chief of staff. ”

The former White House official then addressed Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to describe the press.

“That just grates on me,” he said. “I grew up during the time of the Cold War. That is a phrase that was used by [Communist leader] Stalin against the enemies of the communist regime. I think the president would be well advised to tone down the rhetoric.”

Rove went on to note that Trump’s disapproval ratings are high, and that he can’t simply appeal to his “hard-core” supporters at rallies.

According to Gallup, Trump currently has a 38% approval rating and a 57% disapproval rating.

Research contact: @aidnmclaughlin

McCain does not want Trump at funeral

May 9, 2018

In recognition of the continuing ill will between Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and President Donald Trump, the ailing legislator and war hero—age 81 and battling aggressive brain cancer—has let it be known to the White House that he does not want the POTUS to attend his funeral. Vice President Mike Pence has been invited in Trump’s place.

The beef between the two men began during Trump’s presidential campaign, when the candidate said of the former Navy pilot, who had been held as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese at the Hanoi Hilton, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

But the relationship became truly icy last summer, after the Senator cast a pivotal vote that defeated GOP attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act at 2 a.m. on Friday, July 27.

Following that vote, McCain’s  favorability rating rose to 58% among the American public, according to Gallup—with a surge in Democratic favorability more than making up for a decline among McCain’s fellow Republicans.

At the same time, President Donald Trump had a rating of 36%, after he made remarks questioning McCain’s military service at the Family Leadership  Summit on July 15.

He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump told moderator Frank Luntz—a remark that was followed by some boos from the nearly 2,000 attendees of the event on the campus of Iowa State University, ABC News reported.

McCain spent five and a half years as a P.O.W.; deferments enabled Trump to dodge service in Vietnam entirely.

Trump also did not attend the recent funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush in Houston, Texas—supposedly  in order “to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service,” the White House said last month. First lady Melania Trump attended the service instead, along with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton.

Now, NBC News reports, Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have been requested by McCain to be eulogists at his funeral service, which is to be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C..

Research contact: @RebeccaShabad