Matthews falsely claimed new poll represents "first time" majority has said "we were wrong to go to Iraq"

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

Chris Matthews falsely claimed that a recent CBS/New York Times poll indicated that "the American people for the first time, now, really have a majority view that we were wrong to go to Iraq." In fact, in seven previous CBS/New York Times polls, a majority of respondents have said the United States "should have stayed out" of Iraq.

On the May 10 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews falsely claimed that a recent CBS/New York Times poll indicated that "the American people for the first time, now, really have a majority view that we were wrong to go to Iraq." In fact, in seven previous CBS/New York Times polls, a majority of respondents have said the United States "should have stayed out" of Iraq.

Matthews made his false claim during an interview with Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS).

The May 4-8 CBS/New York Times poll that Matthews cited found that 56 percent of respondents thought the United States "should have stay out" of Iraq, compared with 39 percent who said the United States "did the right thing" in taking military action. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

While this is the largest such majority to date, it is not the first. The previous high, in October 2005, was 55 percent. The following CBS/New York Times polls -- all of which asked, "Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the U.S. have stayed out?" -- found that a majority of respondents believed the United States should not have invaded:

Date

"Did the right thing"

"Should have stayed out"

Unsure

May 4-8

39%

56%

5%

April 28-30

44%

51%

5%

April 6-9

43%

53%

4%

March 9-12

41%

54%

5%

February 22-26

41%

54%

5%

October 3-5, 2005

41%

55%

4%

June 10-15, 2005

45%

51%

4%

July 11-15, 2004

45%

51%

4%

From the May 10 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: And tonight, Washington wonders, with the president's second term now in deep water, how long can he go? How low can his polls go? A CBS/New York Times poll shows the president's approval rating now has hit a new low of 31 percent. Only 29 percent approve of the president's handling of the war in Iraq. And a solid majority think we never should have gone there.

[...]

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Senator Durbin, the American people for the first time, now, really have a majority view that we were wrong to go to Iraq. They don't believe in the president's decision, made sometime in 2001 or 2002, to invade in 2003. Are you -- you are now -- are you still where you were back then? You don't think the president should have gone to war in Iraq the way he did?

DURBIN: There were 23 of us who voted no, one Republican and 22 Democrats, and I was in their ranks. I still feel the same today.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.