Republicans blast President Obama for adding trillions to the national debt, and they are warning that his upcoming jobs package might add more – and make an economic recovery even harder.
On Tuesday, Obama agreed that deficits are making the recovery harder, but he pinned the blame decidedly elsewhere.
“George Bush left us a $1 trillion deficit, and so it’s a lot harder to climb out of this hole when we don’t have a lot of money in the federal coffers,” he told the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
It was an unusual personal reference to his predecessor, who many Americans still blame for the nation’s economic ills. Lately, Obama and his aides have taken to saying that they “inherited” a troubled economy, a more subtle reference to the past at a time that many voters increasingly see Obama as being part of the problem.
It’s probably no coincidence that Obama invoked Bush’s name in a forum that is friendly for the current president – a nationally syndicated black-oriented talk show in which the host, Joyner, declared that he was “in the fox hole” with Obama.
Still, it is sure to spark controversy among Obama critics who like to say that he is trying to deny his own role in the economy.