Voters Don’t Think Hillary Clinton or Chris Christie Is Telling the Truth

Poll: Americans don’t trust Clinton’s comments on Benghazi or Christie’s comments on his traffic scandal.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage at the Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2013 at Philadelphia Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
National Journal
Emma Roller
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Emma Roller
March 13, 2014, 7:32 a.m.

A new poll from Bloomberg has sup­plied grist for op­er­at­ives from both parties: Turns out, people don’t be­lieve what Gov. Chris Christie or Hil­lary Clin­ton is say­ing about the re­spect­ive scan­dals that con­tin­ue to haunt them.

Sixty-three per­cent of the Bloomberg poll re­spond­ents said they don’t be­lieve Christie’s as­ser­tion that he knew noth­ing of the un­ne­ces­sary traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., that Christie’s staff may have planned as polit­ic­al pay­back against Fort Lee’s may­or.

And more than half of re­spond­ents said they don’t be­lieve Clin­ton, who says she nev­er saw re­quests for in­creased se­cur­ity at the U.S. Em­bassy in Benghazi, Libya, be­fore the 2012 at­tack that left four Amer­ic­ans dead.

Re­pub­lic­an law­makers, led by House Over­sight Com­mit­tee Chair­man Dar­rell Issa, con­tin­ue to pur­sue Clin­ton’s in­volve­ment in Benghazi like a dog with a bone. But even left-lean­ing voters doubt Clin­ton’s story.

“I don’t be­lieve that she did any­thing reck­lessly, but I tend to be­lieve that there was something, and it just wasn’t real­ized at the time that it was sig­ni­fic­ant,” said Lee Proc­tor, 49, a Demo­crat­ic-lean­ing au­thor and on­line con­sult­ant in Phil­adelphia who wants to see Clin­ton run. “I don’t think we’ve got­ten the whole, true story.”

The Bloomberg poll also found that Clin­ton’s fa­vor­ab­il­ity has de­clined from 70 per­cent in Decem­ber 2012 to 56 per­cent this month. That num­ber still dwarfs Pres­id­ent Obama’s cur­rent ap­prov­al rat­ing — 43 per­cent. And the cred­ib­il­ity num­bers could prove more dam­aging to Christie than to Clin­ton, who has built up an al­most bul­let­proof na­tion­al fan base and who is crush­ing her Re­pub­lic­an com­pet­i­tion in oth­er spec­u­lat­ive polls about 2016.

Non­ethe­less, Demo­crat or Re­pub­lic­an, at least most Amer­ic­ans agree on one thing: The more politi­cians try to dis­tance them­selves from scan­dal, the less we’re in­clined to be­lieve a damn thing they say.

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