A new public opinion poll indicates American public support for President Bush declining further, to reach an all time low. These results come at the end of what politicians from both parties acknowledge was a bad week for the White House.
The ABC News - Washington Post poll results find only 39 percent of 600 people surveyed think President Bush is doing a good job.
And, by a three to one ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, the respondents said they believe the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined under President Bush.
On a specific issue, a majority of the Americans polled indicate they believe the indictment of senior White House aide Lewis Libby signals broader ethical problems in the Bush Administration.
Mr. Libby, who has resigned as the Vice President's chief of staff, was indicted Friday in connection with the ongoing investigation into who publicly revealed the identity of a covert CIA officer, two years ago.
Speaking on the ABC television program This Week, Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid said instead of praising Mr. Libby, President Bush should issue an apology to the nation.
"He [Bush] should apologize. The vice president should apologize. They should come clean with the American public," said Senator Reid.
Senator Reid also urged the president to pledge not to pardon Mr. Libby, if Mr. Libby is found guilty.
On the same program, Republican Senator John Cornyn said it is premature to discuss pardons because Mr. Libby has not yet been convicted of anything. Senator Cornyn added that the case does not point to wider White House involvement.
"You know, a lot of speculation, conjecture, people who actually were trying to use this to the president's political disadvantage," added Senator Cornyn. "I think they are going to be disappointed to the fact that this appears to be limited to a single individual."
Senator Cornyn's comments were echoed by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who emphasized on CBS's Face the Nation that the indictment only names Mr. Libby. At the same time, though, Senator Graham urged the Bush administration to, in his words, "make some adjustments," along the lines of accepting responsibility for the bungled federal response to Hurricane Katrina.
"This has been a bad week. The nominee for the Supreme Court withdrew. He [Bush] had an indictment of the chief of staff of the vice-president. He had the 2,000 milestone mark in deaths in Iraq. But to be honest with you, politically, this is not anything that cannot be overcome," said. Senator Graham.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree that the White House is at a critical juncture. Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said he is pessimistic, that improvements will come out of the current environment.
"They [White House] are at a real turning point," he said. "Thus far, they have admitted no mistakes at all. That is not a good sign or a good attitude."
Senator Schumer urged President Bush to take a lesson from former President Ronald Reagan, who is widely believed to have salvaged his presidency by talking publicly about the Iran-Contra scandal.
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