WH: Obama's approval rating 'sky high' compared to Congress

Anne Wernikoff

President Obama's poll numbers were "sky high" compared to members of Congress, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday after polls showed that the president's approval rating hit record lows.

Carney acknowledged that the president's poll numbers were low "for him," but credited the decline to a general frustration with the government.

"There is no question that the dysfunction in Washington is taking a toll on everyone," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed Obama's approval rating had dropped to 39 percent — the president's lowest ever. It also showed a majority, 54 percent, disapproved of Obama's handling of his job.

Meanwhile, a Gallup poll released on Tuesday showed that Congress's approval rating was a mere 9 percent, the lowest in the 39-year history of the poll.

Carney didn't rule out the rocky rollout of ObamaCare, along with criticism of the president's pledge that individuals could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them, as the cause of Obama's low numbers.

The White House spokesman said that he wouldn't "contest any analysis that is reasonable" when asked about those specifics.

But, he said, the president "doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about the ups or downs in the polls;" he is instead focused on delivering his legislative agenda.

Perhaps more troubling for the president was that for the first time a majority of those surveyed in the Quinnipiac poll, 52 percent, said they did not find Obama honest and trustworthy. Nearly half said the president “knowingly deceived” the nation when he promised repeatedly that individuals could keep their health care plans. Millions have been informed that is not the case.

"Like all new presidents, President Barack Obama had a honeymoon with American voters, with approval ratings in the high 50s. As the marriage wore on, he kept his job approval scores in the respectable, though not overwhelming, 40s. Today, for the first time it appears that 40 percent floor is cracking," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a statement.