Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has compared it to the Iran Contra Scandal. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) thinks that it is bigger then Watergate and impeachment hearings should start immediately. But has the Republican Party successful attempt to get the whole mainstream media talking about the Benghazi attack brought the public around to their viewpoint that a cover-up occurred?
Not really says a recent poll from the polling firm Public Policy Polling on Monday. The firm conducted the poll over the weekend of May 10th to the 12th after the testimony by several State Department officials. In their latest release, they find that when given the choice between Hillary Clinton and Congressional Republicans over whom to trust regarding Benghazi they find that Clinton is trusted more and that Benghazi is a much smaller deal then other issues Congress could address.
The poll found that Clinton was trusted of Congressional Republicans 49% to 39% with 11% not sure. As expected the highest numbers who trusted Republicans were Republicans, with 71%. Democrats support Clinton 77%. And Independents are split 41% for Clinton to 43% for Congressional Republican, with 11% not sure.
Only 21% of Americans think that Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history. forty-one percent (41%) of Republicans think so compared to only 10% of Democrats and 20% of Independents.
Comprehensive immigration reform legislation scored higher among all voters then investigating Benghazi by 56% to 38%, with Democrats and Independents in favor. Similar numbers occur with expanded background checks for gun sales, 52% to 43%.
Hillary Clinton’s favorability has not taken a tumble as well compared to their last poll. She stands at 52% favorable to 44% unfavorable, nearly identical to the last poll released in April, where Clinton had 50%/42% favorable/unfavorable.
Still the amount of sheer noise being made about Bengazi forced President Barack Obama to respond. He responded forcefully to the idea that it there was a politically motivated cover up, calling the charges a "political circus."
At the Press Conference, the President addressed the accusations from republicans of a cover-up, saying the following,
“If this was some effort on our part to try to downplay what had happened or tamp it down — that would be a pretty odd thing that three days later, we end up putting out all the information that in fact has now served as the basis for everybody recognizing that this was a terrorist attack and that it may have included elements that were planned by extremists inside of Libya.
Who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down, for three days?”
The video can be seen below,
Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee responded to the president’s remarks on Fox News by saying that he took issue with the administration using the word “act of terror” rather then “terrorist attack.” Issa insists that term being used is evidence of a cover up. Video below,
Other ways that congressional Republicans attacked the administration’s handling of the Benghazi include urging that the administration could have had a quick military response. But a Sunday interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under Republican and Democratic administrations, saw him criticize this view, saying that some of the rhetoric he was seeing about the capacities of the military was "cartoonish."
Its unknown how the Benghazi scandal will play out in the long term. It could possibly broach out into something bigger. But right now it has stalled and not become larger then Watergate or Iran Contra. Every angle that the Republicans have tried has been meet by little more then feigned enthusiasm beyond their base. Republicans may be spewing lots of smoke from their mouths but voter are not crying fire just yet.