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Independents gave Biden an ‘F’ for ‘the buck stops with me’ line in real time poll of Afghan speech


A new poll taken in real time during President Joe Biden‘s Afghanistan speech Monday showed Republican and Independent voters turned off by his address, filled with defiant deflections and finger-pointing over the crisis in the war-torn country. 

Clips of the speech played on Fox News Tuesday showed the growing divide between Democrat voters and others at different points of Biden’s speech.  

In a segment with Biden’s infamous line ‘The buck stops with me,’ where he promised to not pass the responsibility of a never-ending war onto a fifth president, both Independents’ and Republicans’ approvals dipped near consistently. 

The GOP‘s approval neared 20 percent at that point while Independents hovered close to 30 percent. 

Democrats meanwhile appeared to like the president’s line – by the end of his clip taking responsibility Biden’s blue approval line was close to 80 percent.  

That section of the speech earned a ‘B’ from Democrats, while Independents and GOP voters still gave him an ‘F’. 

Democrats gave Biden a modest ‘B’ grade for his line assuming responsibility but it tanked with Independent and Republican voters

Many people felt Biden put people in harm's way with the way the evacuation was handled, a pollster said

Many people felt Biden put people in harm’s way with the way the evacuation was handled, a pollster said

Taliban fighters stand guard outside the Green Zone where most of the embassies are situated after Taliban took control of Kabul

Taliban fighters stand guard outside the Green Zone where most of the embassies are situated after Taliban took control of Kabul

‘They were really disappointed with this,’ polling expert Lee Carter said on Fox of Independent voters.

She relayed the sentiment of one of them who said, ‘I like the idea of not passing the war onto another president, but what he’s wrong about is what people are mad about.’

‘We’re not mad that he did it. We are mad instead that he pulled out the troops in this way and put them in harm’s way. So the buck does stop with him.’

The president’s reference to Harry Truman earned him bipartisan criticism. 

As the Taliban strengthened its hold on Kabul and sent civilians and foreign nationals fleeing, Biden in the same speech blamed Donald Trump’s peace agreement with the Taliban – in which he promised a military withdrawal by May 1st and released 5,000 Taliban prisoners – as well as the Afghan military for the devastating scenes. 

Biden faced bipartisan criticism over his speech, which simultaneously saw him take responsibility for the mess while also explaining why it was not his fault

Biden faced bipartisan criticism over his speech, which simultaneously saw him take responsibility for the mess while also explaining why it was not his fault

The evacuation effort at Kabul's airport is still in a sensitive situation as it remains the only route not taken over by the Taliban (pictured: Taliban fighters at a check point in Kabul)

The evacuation effort at Kabul’s airport is still in a sensitive situation as it remains the only route not taken over by the Taliban (pictured: Taliban fighters at a check point in Kabul)

Voters appreciated when Biden empathized with the devastating situation in Afghanistan. The world watched as Afghan civilians helplessly tried to cling to US jets in a bid to escape

Voters appreciated when Biden empathized with the devastating situation in Afghanistan. The world watched as Afghan civilians helplessly tried to cling to US jets in a bid to escape

FALL OF KABUL: A TIMELINE OF THE TALIBAN’S FAST ADVANCE AFTER 40 YEARS OF CONFLICT

Feb. 29, 2020 Trump negotiates deal with the Taliban setting U.S. withdrawal date for May 1, 2021 

Nov. 17, 2020 Pentagon announces it will reduce troop levels to 2500 in Afghanistan

Jan. 15, 2020 Inspector general reveals ‘hubris and mendacity’ of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan 

Feb 3. 2021 Afghan Study Group report warns against withdrawing  ‘irresponsibly’

March Military command makes last-ditch effort to talk Biden out of withdrawal 

April 14 Biden announces withdrawal will be completed by Sept. 11 

May 4 – Taliban fighters launch a major offensive on Afghan forces in southern Helmand province. They also attack in at least six other provinces

May 11 – The Taliban capture Nerkh district just outside the capital Kabul as violence intensifies across the country

June 7 – Senior government officials say more than 150 Afghan soldiers are killed in 24 hours as fighting worsens. They add that fighting is raging in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces

June 22 – Taliban fighters launch a series of attacks in the north of the country, far from their traditional strongholds in the south. The UN envoy for Afghanistan says they have taken more than 50 of 370 districts

July 2 – The U.S. evacuates Bagram Airfield in the middle of the night 

July 5 – The Taliban say they could present a written peace proposal to the Afghan government as soon as August

July 21 – Taliban insurgents control about a half of the country’s districts, according to the senior U.S. general, underlining the scale and speed of their advance

July 25 – The United States vows to continue to support Afghan troops “in the coming weeks” with intensified airstrikes to help them counter Taliban attacks

July 26 – The United Nations says nearly 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in May and June in escalating violence, the highest number for those months since records started in 2009 

Aug. 6 – Zaranj in the south of the country becomes the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in years. Many more are to follow in the ensuing days, including the prized city of Kunduz in the north 

Aug. 13 – Pentagon insists Kabul is not under imminent threat 

Aug. 14 – The Taliban take the major northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and, with little resistance, Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province just 70 km (40 miles) south of Kabul. The United States sends more troops to help evacuate its civilians from Kabul as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he is consulting with local and international partners on next steps

Aug. 15 – The Taliban take the key eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight, effectively surrounding Kabul

Taliban insurgents enter Kabul, an interior ministry official says, as the United States evacuate diplomats from its embassy by helicopter

 

Biden said in another segment, ‘We have made it clear to the Taliban: If they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the US presence will be swift, and the response will be swift and forceful.’ 

The red GOP trend line saw a near-continuous dip in favorability between 40 and 30 percent. It ticked upward slightly after Biden threatened a ‘swift’ US presence in retaliation against militant fighters. 

Independents’ yellow line showed a more or less level approval rating of 40 percent. 

The blue Democrat line rose steadily through the clip, Biden apparently gaining approval of his own party for his hardline warnings to the Taliban.  It began around 60 percent and rose close to 70.

The second portion shown, which Biden said just seconds later, has him stating that ‘Our current military mission is short on time, limited in scope and focused in its objectives: Get our people and our allies as safely and quickly as possible.’

The Republican trend was similar with a noticeable but small uptick at Biden promising to ‘get our people,’ which then dipped again immediately when he mentioned rescuing allies. GOP approval looked to be close to 30 percent by the end.

Biden’s reference of the ‘military mission’ right at the outset of the clip appeared to send the yellow trend line downward where it stayed between 40 and 30 percent, similar to where the Republican line first began.

Democrats’ approval began a positive climb toward around 70 percent when he began outlining the rescue mission’s goals. 

‘People want to hear what he’s going to do to fix it. There are so many unanswered questions,’ Carter said.

That section got another failing mark from Independents and Republicans, with only a passing ‘C’ from Democrats.

She said people were hoping to hear details about swift efforts and assurances of protection – but they felt ‘he didn’t address what’s most important to the American people.’  

A segment where Biden empathized with the horrors in Afghanistan and the difficulty facing veterans, their families and anyone who lost loved ones there earned his highest marks from Republicans – just below 50 percent. 

‘The scenes that we’re seeing in Afghanistan, they’re gut-wrenching, particularly for our veterans, our diplomats, humanitarian workers… For those who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan, and for Americans who have fought and served our country in Afghanistan, this is deeply, deeply personal. It is for me as well.’

Republicans and Independents gave Biden a ‘C’ while Democrats awarded the segment a ‘B+.’

‘People wanted to hear him say this was painful to watch, so they agreed with that,’ Carter explained.



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