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Polls: Europe Negative on Bush Re-Election

Mon Dec 13, 2:00 AM ET White House - AP

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites)'s re-election was viewed negatively by a majority of people in several European countries ? including those in Britain, America's strongest ally in the war in Iraq (news - web sites), Associated Press polling found.

AP Photo

The president was not the only one viewed unfavorably. Americans generally were seen in an unfavorable light by many in France, Germany and Spain, countries not supportive of U.S. Iraq policies.

Bush pledged soon after his re-election victory Nov. 2 that he would work to "deepen our trans-Atlantic ties with the nations of Europe." He plans a trip to Europe in February.

The president, and Americans generally, have plenty of work to do to win over Europeans, according to international AP-Ipsos polls.

Polling in the United States as well as Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain was done for the AP by Ipsos, an international polling company.

As reflected by his re-election, a majority in the United States viewed Bush favorably. Just over half in this country said they were hopeful and were not disappointed after Bush's re-election.

At least seven in 10 in France, Germany and Spain said they have an unfavorable view of President Bush. Just over half of the French and Germans said they have an unfavorable view of Americans in general, and about half of Spaniards felt that way.

Especially inclined to have an unfavorable opinion of Bush in those countries were people between ages 18 and 24. A majority of all respondents in France, Germany and Spain said they were disappointed that Bush won a second four-year term, defeating Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites).

The rift with longtime allies France and Germany is the most serious in years, and relations with Spain are particularly frosty after Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq last April.

"Contrary to what usually happens just after a victory, George W. Bush's re-election hasn't improved his image in European public opinion," said Gilles Corman, director of public affairs for Ipsos-Inra in Belgium.

The polls suggest an increasing lack of understanding about Americans in Europe, rather than a surge of anti-Americanism, said Corman, who studies public opinion trends in Europe.

"The predominant feelings about Bush's re-election in the European countries are disappointment and surprise more than anger," he said, noting that anger about Bush's re-election was higher in Spain.

"Above all, they appear to be worried about the consequences of this election," Corman said.

Polling found that Bush is viewed favorably by a majority of people in the United States. But that is not the case in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

A majority of people in Britain, America's strongest ally in the Iraq war, have an unfavorable view of Bush. Six in 10 Britons said they were disappointed he was re-elected.

In Canada, about the same number of Canadians said they were disappointed with the re-election. The president was asked last month during a trip to Canada about various polls that show Canadians and Americans drifting apart.

"We just had a poll in our country where people decided that the foreign policy of the Bush administration ought to ? stay in place for four more years," he replied.

Just over half of the people in France, Germany and Spain had an unfavorable view of Americans, but a solid majority in Australia (69 percent), Britain (60 percent), Canada (80 percent) and Italy (56 percent) expressed a favorable opinion.

Australia, Britain and Italy are U.S. allies in the Iraq war. Canada did not send troops to support the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq but did send them to Afghanistan (news - web sites).

"The negative view that Canadians have of George Bush (news - web sites) does not extend to Americans in general," said Darrell Bricker, president of Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs-North America.

In Australia, seven in 10 surveyed had a favorable view of Americans; four in 10 had a positive impression of Bush. He got favorable reviews from more Australians than from those in any other country polled aside from the United States.

Randall Pearce, general manager of Ipsos Mackay Public Affairs, said Prime Minister John Howard's public backing of Bush appeared to help the president. A majority of Howard's supporters had a favorable view of Bush.

The AP-Ipsos polls of about 1,000 adults in each country were taken between Nov. 19-27 and have margins of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

I just polled the people in my room and according to my results 100% of Americans hate Bush and have a negative opinion of America in general.

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Here I come to Bush's rescue.

I really can't speak for non-Americans, but I think it's pretty safe to say 90% of this disdain stems from the war in Iraq and situation in the Middle East. I think at the most extreme, people think he is some sort of religious crusader as well as someone trying to inflict his own values and love for democracy on the rest of the world. Most probably see him as some oil hungry bully. People are going to be unhappy, and those figures do concern me. As far as the polls in which people share unfavorable opinions of Americans in general, they are kind of bogus. I think to really dislike a people in general is extremely superficial. The only people in the world I can claim to dislike are those working for and supporting tyranncial regimes, like the former Iraqi Republican Army and those working for crazy-ass Kim Jong-Il, which is a select group of people. Maybe some of you see an irony in my support for Bush, who some see as a war criminal. But, although I am not a big fan of Bush (although I do support him and voted for him), I really do think, especially since 9/11, he values freedom so much that he is aggressively trying to implement it and democracy where he can,a nd it is going to be messy for a while. I can, however, understand why people in the Middle East, where religion dictates so much in their societies that they feel threatened by these values. Many of them want theocracies, not democracies, but that isn't getting them very far yet.

Maybe we pride ourselves too much on being "The Greatest Country in the World," and that can be grating to foreigners. But, look how many people try to immigrate to the U.S. every day. Grant it, most of them are from Mexico, Central America, and Cuba, but there is something here people envy. The U.S., like many other European nations have a freedom we take for granted, and I've spoken to many tourists and immigrants mostly from Africa and from Europe, and they make it clear that the U.S. has something special. Sorry, I'm getting sentimental here.

Bush hasn't done too much with regard to diplomacy since his reelection except for a tour of canada and south america. I think Bush is very happy to be dealing with an new prime minister and administration in Canada. I'm sorry, when you have high officials in Canada calling Bush a moron (which he may be) and other derogatory names, you're not going to get any love from the Bush administration. You can't do that with your allies. I'm sure some American high officials are restraining themselves from calling Chirac a total sh*tbag, but it's horrible diplomacy. They can openly disagree with his actions, but you got to have some tact.

One of the main guys in the NAACP made a comment comparing him to Hitler and Stalin and then bitches about the Bush administration snubbing them. Well, I wonder why?

OK, stopping.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand why other countries are beginning to hate Americans in general. We sent a very bad message to the rest of the world when we reelected Bush. It was a giant slap in the face. It was basically saying we are ok with all the terrible things he is doing.

Some wonderful Bush quotes. Remember, hes the most powerful man on earth.

"You teach a child to read and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."


"That's a chapter, the last chapter of the 20th, 20th, the 21st century that most of us would rather forget. The last chapter of the 20th century. This is the first chapter of the 21st century."

mmm muh muh MORON

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."

whoa, thats enough HITLER!!!!111

"The reason we start a war is to fight a war, win a war, thereby causing no more war!"

Well, that makes sense. Wait, NO IT FUCKING DOESN'T

"I would have said yes to abortion if only it was right. I mean, yeah it's right. Well no it's not right that's why I said no to it."


The following was not doctored whatsoever

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I think after the Iraqi elections, Bush will start kissing ass all over the globe.

I definitely agree with the polls about Europeans hating Bush and the feeling of bewilderment and misunderstanding among Europeans. But, to say you have an unfavorable view of all Americans is a totally superficial poll. I really don't know this, but I think a lot of Europeans had a skewed opinion of the U.S. and thought we were a lot more "progressive" country than we actually are. Most of what they know is what they see on TV or read in the news. How much do they know about rural America, the midwest, the South? Probably very little. We have a president who is open about his faith and then takes a country to war. I'm sure some Europeans see him as some religious crusader, which he's not. I know the war is the main gripe here, but I think the coincidence of Bush being open about religion and then taking us to war is frightening to some.

I bet if you did this poll during the Reagan and Clinton eras, you would be surprised at the results. Of course the numbers wouldn't be nearly as high, but I think a lot of people are naturally bitter towards the U.S. because, yes, we are the most powerful country in the world and are always meddling in other people's affairs.

Whatever, these polls don't mean we have to be more like Europe or Australia. We are the U.S., we want to be a land of freedom and opportunity and a thriving place for business, and yes, we do want freedom and well-being for the rest of the world. We are going to take some drastic measures every now and then to try to achieve that.

By the way, this doesn't mean I back the war (well, i do no that we are there).
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