POLITICS: PennAve

Poll: Obama takes a hit on foreign affairs

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Afghanistan,National Security,Syria,PennAve,Veterans,Foreign Policy,Ukraine

Just 41 percent of voters approve of President Obama's handling of foreign affairs, according to a new poll showing the lowest marks ever for the president's approach to international issues.

The ABC News/Washington Post survey also showed that half of all respondents disapproved of the president's foreign policies, with those who strongly disapproved outnumbering those who strongly approved by nearly a 2-1 margin. Obama's overall approval on international affairs has dropped 13 percentage points since his re-election.

The findings are particularly troubling for a White House that has devoted extra political capital to better defining the so-called Obama doctrine. Obama gave a major foreign policy address at West Point last week, essentially arguing that his primary focus was on avoiding messy foreign entanglements in which American national security was not at stake.

Obama's responses to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the ongoing civil war in Syria were major drivers in the diminishing perceptions of his approach, the pollsters found.

And 58 percent of those surveyed said they believed the Obama administration was covering up what happened during the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist strike in Benghazi, Libya. More than half of respondents said they supported a new slate of congressional hearings on the attacks.

The White House has dismissed the GOP attention on Benghazi as a “phony scandal.”

Among the rare bits of good news for the White House, pollsters found, was that 77 percent supported Obama's decision to remove most U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

The negative opinions about Obama's foreign policies compound domestic problems for the White House, including the botched rollout of Obamacare and deadly lapses in medical treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

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