59% Blame Obama For Flood Of Child Border Crossings
By JOHN MERLINE, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 06/30/2014 06:55 PM ET
The public largely blames President Obama for the flood of children who have poured over the border in recent weeks, creating a growing humanitarian crisis, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll released Monday.
The late June survey found that the public largely blames Obama policies for the crisis in Iraq and believes the lost IRS emails are an administration effort to cover up wrongdoing at the agency.
The poll found that 59% of those closely following the immigration crisis agree that "current administration policies and lack of focus on securing the border" are behind the human tide of illegal crossings. Six in 10 say that the children should be ordered to leave the country. (The survey found that 73% of Americans are following this story closely.)
Hoping to quell public outrage, Obama formally asked Congress on Monday for $2 billion in emergency funds to improve border security, provide more detention space and return children to their native countries.
He also promised to take executive action on immigration reform, blaming House Republicans for not passing legislation. He directed staff to recommend initiatives this summer that he can act on "without delay."
House Speaker John Boehner fired back, saying that Obama had helped to trigger the latest crisis by "giving false hope" to illegal immigrants and that his penchant for unilateral action makes it hard for GOP members to believe that he will enforce border-security measures.
Most See IRS Cover-Up
Obama is taking hits from the public on the IRS scandal as well.
The IBD/TIPP poll found that 65% believe that the lost IRS emails are an attempt by the administration to "hide evidence that the IRS deliberately targeted conservative groups" prior to the 2012 presidential election.
The lost emails are the latest twist in a more than year-long saga that erupted when an inspector general report detailed how the IRS held up Tea Party groups' applications for tax-exempt status before the 2012 elections.
Several saw their applications in limbo for years while they were being asked overly intrusive questions. The delays limited their ability to raise money for voter drives, education campaigns and the like.
The IRS initially blamed "rogue agents" in its Cincinnati office, a claim that later fell apart as evidence of coordination with officials in Washington emerged.
GOP lawmakers had long been pressing for emails sent to and from Lois Lerner, an official at the heart of the controversy who refused to testify before Congress about the case. Just weeks ago, the IRS claimed that her 2009-2011 emails disappeared when her hard drive crashed.
Obama dismissed the IRS scandal earlier this year, saying there was not "even a smidgen of corruption." Congressional Democrats argue that the IRS wasn't singling out right-wing groups.
Those defenses aren't flying with most Americans who've been tracking this story. Among independents, 66% think the lost emails were an attempt to cover up wrongdoing. Even 36% of Democrats say it was a cover-up.
Iraq Policy Criticized
On Iraq, 56% of Americans following events there say that Obama's decision to remove all American troops from the country in 2011 "set the stage for the current unrest," which has seen an Islamic militant group — the ISIL — overtake several Iraqi cities. Half of Democrats also blame the troop withdrawal.
What's more, 55% say that Obama wasn't being honest when he claimed that Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was entirely responsible for the decision to bring the troops home.
Meanwhile, 55% say that the administration's failure to contain the Syria conflict contributed to the rise of the militant forces in Iraq. Just 27% give Obama high marks for his handling of the Iraq situation.
But while a majority believes that ISIL militants pose a direct threat to U.S. security, the public is hesitant to endorse any military response. Only 49% support airstrikes, and just 27% back the use of ground troops.
Obama said Monday he would send 200 personnel "equipped for combat" to Iraq in addition to 300 military advisers sent earlier.
Despite the recent events, Obama's popularity has not deteriorated significantly. The IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index fell just 0.1 point to 44.9. That's still the 16th straight month below the neutral 50 level.