64% of Americans Say President Obama's Handling of Foreign Policy Is Worse or the Same as George W. Bush's


As the country debates launching airstrikes on Syria, 64 percent of Americans, including 68 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats, say President Barack Obama's handling of foreign policy has been "worse" or the "same" as former President George W. Bush's handling of foreign policy.

Worse Than Bush

Thirty-two percent of Americans, including 55 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats, feel President Obama is handling foreign policy worse than former President Bush did. 

Same as Bush

Twenty-nine percent of Democrats, 34 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of independents believe President Obama is handling foreign policy the same as President Bush did.

Better Than Bush

Nearly one-third of Americans, 32 percent, think President Obama is handling foreign policy better than former President Bush did, including 56 percent of Democrats, 27 percent of independents, and 8 percent of Republicans. Non-whites are also considerably more likely (45 percent) than non-whites (26 percent) to say Obama is an improvement over Bush when it comes to foreign policy.

Last week at the G-20 summit, President Obamacontended it wasn't his, but the nation's, credibility on the line, "My credibility is not on the line. The international community's credibility is on the line. And America and Congress's credibility is on the line."

However, recent polls show it is becoming clear that Obama's push for military action in Syria is costing him credibility with the American public.

While Obama has enjoyed majority approval for his handling of foreign policy for most of his presidency,Reason-Rupe finds in recent weeks disapproval of his foreign policy has shot up to nearly 6 in 10 Americans. Today, only 35 percent approve of the president's handling of foreign policy. 


Nationwide telephone poll conducted September 4-8 2013 interviewed 1013 adults on both mobile (509) and landline (504) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found here. Full methodology can be found here.