Most Americans say they aren't impressed by the ethics and honesty of the Bush administration, already under scrutiny for its justifications for an unpopular war in Iraq and its role in the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity. Almost six in 10.57 percent said they do not think the administration has high ethical standards and the same portion says President George W. Bush is not honest, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Whites, Southerners and evangelicals were most likely to believe Bush is honest.
Bush, who promised in the 2000 campaign to uphold "honor and integrity" in the White House, last week ordered White House workers, from presidential advisers to low-ranking aides, to attend ethics classes.
The president gets credit from a majority for being strong and decisive, but he's also seen by an overwhelming number of people as "stubborn," a perception reinforced by his refusal to yield on issues like the Iraq war, tax cuts and support for staffers under intense pressure.
Some 82 percent, described Bush as "stubborn," with almost that many Republicans agreeing to that description. That stubborn streak has served Bush well at times, but now he is being encouraged to shake up his staff and change the direction of White House policies.
Concern about the administration's ethics has been fueled by the controversy over flawed intelligence leading up to the Iraq war and the recent indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for his role in the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name, according to the AP.
That loss of trust complicates Bush's efforts to rebuild his standing with the public. His job approval rating remains at his all-time low in the AP-Ipsos poll of 37 percent.