Most Say Rove Should Lose Job if He Leaked Classified Information
Analysis by GARY LANGER
July 18, 2005 — Just a quarter of Americans think the White House is fully cooperating in the federal investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity, a number that's declined sharply since the investigation began. And three-quarters say that if presidential adviser Karl Rove was responsible for leaking classified information, it should cost him his job.
Skepticism about the administration's cooperation has jumped. As the initial investigation began in September 2003, nearly half the public, 47 percent, believed the White House was fully cooperating. That fell to 39 percent a few weeks later, and it's lower still, 25 percent, in this new ABC News poll.
This view is highly partisan; barely over a tenth of Democrats and just a quarter of independents think the White House is fully cooperating. That grows to 47 percent of Republicans — much higher, but still under half in the president's own party. And doubt about the administration's cooperation has grown as much among Republicans — by 22 points since September 2003 — as it has among others.
There's less division on consequences: 75 percent say Rove should lose his job if the investigation finds he leaked classified information. That includes sizable majorities of Republicans, independents and Democrats alike — 71, 74 and 83 percent, respectively.
At the same time, in September 2003 more Americans — 91 percent — said someone who leaked classified information should be fired.