Things are looking up! (ap photo)
Two new network news polls delivered grim tidings for President Obama. ABC News/Washington Post learned that nearly 60 percent of Americans lack faith in the president, while CBS News found that 54 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy.
Robert Gibbs, while saying "we're way too busy to sit around looking at polls," nevertheless came to the briefing armed with visuals. It all boils down to the economy, apparently.
"Again, I think there is a very big frustration out there about where we are in the economy. The President is one of those that’s frustrated, and we’ll continue to work on where we are in this recovery to strengthen it," he said.
Well, yes. The economy is definitely the biggest problem right now. But there's other stuff -- the oil spill, immigration, health care reform, Haiti (remember Haiti?), the stimulus, direction of the country -- oh, just loads of things Obama is not polling well on.
Jake Tapper of ABC News tried gamely to get Gibbs to speculate on why, other than the economy, nearly 60 percent of Americans have lost faith in Obama's leadership. Gibbs wasn't biting. Ed Henry of CNN tried to jump in -- also no luck. Gibbs kept pointing at a largely unreadable graphic having to do with historical recessions.
Q: Do you think that’s the only reason, is the economic reason?
MR. GIBBS: Looking at your poll, I think almost all of -- judging from what I read from the poll, I think that most of this frustration is from the economy, yes. That was my reading.
Q: If I can follow on that, Robert, why then is the same poll saying that six in 10 Americans have little or no faith in the President to make the right decisions? That doesn’t seem to have anything to do with maybe the economy or even Republicans. It’s about him --
MR. GIBBS: Well, no, actually Republicans they think less of. So it probably -- that number doesn’t probably have a lot to do with Republicans. I think -- Ed, I think, again, I think -- have my chart here. Let me go through my -- I think it’s that. That’s what I think it is.