Politics 20 Years After 9/11 Attacks, How Joe Biden's Approval Rating Stacks Up to George W. Bush's
Fact Check: Has Joe Biden's Approval Rating Gone 'Underwater' Amid Afghanistan Criticism?
The president has faced scrutiny over the situation in Afghanistan with questions raised over the U.S. military withdrawal.The Claim
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the American people felt significantly more fondly about former Presidentthan they do about President 20 years later.
Just over seven months into their presidencies, Bush still enjoyed a majority approval rating, at about 52 percent, but Biden has seen his trend downward during the same time period. The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, bringing an end to a 20-year war that was sparked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is dragging Biden's approval rating down, with many agreeing it was right to leave but disagreeing with how it was handled.
After 9/11, No Americans Were Held to Account. Here's Why That's Dangerous
Even the 9/11 Commission soft-pedaled the failures of U.S. leaders and the intelligence community.The U.S. intelligence community had known some sort of terrorist attack was on the way but failed to focus or to act. After 9/11, there was finger-pointing at President George W. Bush and the White House, between the previous Bill Clinton and Bush administrations, at the CIA, NSA, FBI and even at the Pentagon. The government pledged to do better: to break down barriers to intelligence analysis and sharing, and to organize itself so that such a catastrophic event would never happen again.
Going from 52 percent approval at the end of July, Biden's approval rating dropped to 45.4 percent on September 7, a seven-point decline. At the same point in Bush's presidency, he had an approval rating of nearly 52 percent.
Biden defended his administration's timeline for leaving Afghanistan on the basis that troops would be endangered if he didn't because of an agreement signed under former President. However, Biden backed leaving Afghanistan regardless of whether Trump had an agreement with the because remaining in the country for another year or another five years wouldn't have made a difference after two decades of war.
While the majority of Americans backed the decision to leave Afghanistan, a Pew Research poll found 71 percent of American adults thought Biden did only a "fair" or "poor" job of handling the situation.were far less likely than to give Biden's performance on Afghanistan high regards and members of the GOP honed in on the crisis to lambast the Democratic president.
Don't 'misunderestimate' George W. Bush
The 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks provides an opportunity to reassess what followed and the Bush presidency.When Bush turned the Oval Office keys over to Barack Obama in 2009, however, with "endless wars" still raging in Afghanistan and Iraq, Osama bin Laden very much alive, and a financial crisis threatening another Great Depression, his approval score had plummeted to 34 percent. He seemed destined to inhabit the failed presidency category of FDR's successor, whose opponents branded him with the snarky aphorism, "To err is Truman.
Messages about Biden's failure in leading the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to follow the president to the 2022 midterms as Republicans look to win back control of both chambers of. Some have even called for the president to resign and Representative introduced articles of impeachment against Biden, an attempt that's likely to fail given Democratic control of the House of Representatives.
Support for the Afghanistan war waned over the years, but when Bush called for raising arms against terrorism after the 9/11 attacks, Americans were on board. The week after the attacks, Bush saw his approval rating jump from the low 50 percentile to 86 percent. Days later, that approval rating jumped to 90 percent, according to Gallup, the highest approval rating of any president since Gallup started tracking presidential approval ratings.
'Look to the skies and remember': Former President Bush reminds Americans of unity after 9/11
Former President George W. Bush on Saturday recalled the unity and strength Americans showed after the Sept. 11 attacks.“So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment," Bush said. “On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab their neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another.
In addressing Congress after the attacks, Bush announced that all evidence pointed to al Qaeda as the perpetrator of the attacks and demanded that the Taliban turn al Qaeda's leaders over to the United States. He also called nations around the world to join the fight against terrorism and for theto "be ready."
"Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail," Bush said.
Of the 88 percent of people who saw Bush's speech, about 90 percent gave him high remarks with 62 percent categorizing the speech as "excellent." Only 1 percent considered it to be "poor," according to Gallup.
As the war continued and Bush's presidency entered its second year, the former president's approval rating faced a steady decline, before reaching his presidential low at 43.8 percent in his second term, according to FiveThirtyEight. While Bush's popularity would wane over his time in office, eight months into his presidency, he had the support of America, while Biden faces falling polling numbers, although the challenges that faced both presidents during the beginning of their terms were different.
Biden's Approval Rating Plummets Below Most Recent Presidents on Day 240, Polling Shows .
The president's rating has dropped to 46 percent from 50.3 percent in August.FiveThirtyEight reported the president's approval rating as of Thursday, his 240th day in office. Though Biden's rating dropped from 50.3 percent in August, it is higher than Donald Trump's 38.8 percent at the same point during his presidency.