White House business ties
Poll shows Americans feel the Bush administration is more concerned with big business than people.
July 18, 2002: 12:06 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Following the recent spate of accounting scandals and cases of corporate malfeasance, Americans increasingly are worried that the Bush administration is too closely tied to big business, according to a poll released Thursday.

By more than two-to-one, Americans believe the Bush administration is more concerned with protecting the interests of big business rather than ordinary Americans, according to a New York Times/CBS News survey.

Americans' growing mistrust of Corporate America and heightened scrutiny of the administration's ties comes in a crucial congressional election year.

Two-thirds of those polled, and more than half the Republicans surveyed, said business interests had too much influence in the Republican party. Fewer than half of those polled said business had too much influence in the Democratic party, according to the Times poll.

Despite the growing scrutiny of the administration, President Bush remains highly popular, with a 70 percent approval rating, which is down from 89 percent following Sept. 11.

When asked about President Bush's dealings as a former director of Harken Energy, 48 percent of those polled said they believe the president is hiding something, another 9 percent believe he is mostly lying, while 17 percent think he is telling the truth, the Times reported.

As for Vice President Cheney's activities while chief executive of oil services firm Halliburton, which is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for its accounting practices, 43 percent said they thought the vice president is hiding something, 10 percent said he is mostly lying, and 11 percent said he is telling the truth, according to the paper.

Americans' view on the economy was split, as 49 percent thought it is in good or very good shape while 49 percent said it is in poor or very poor shape.

Views on who is in charge of the country were also split, as 45 percent think it is President Bush, another 45 percent believe it is someone else, and another 4 percent think the President shares responsibility with others in the administration, the paper reported.

When asked about the Times poll, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the survey was evidence "of a nation that continues to strongly approve of the job the president is doing and a nation that knows the president is honest and ethical and shares the nation's moral values."  Top of page

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