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Obama surrogates say Americans better off than 4 years ago, blame Bush for weak economy

President Obama’s top surrogates took to the Sunday talk shows this morning to say that Americans are better off as a result of the current administration’s policies than they were four years ago this morning.

Asked by CBS’s Bob Schieffer how Americans are better off after four years of Barack Obama, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), who chairs the Democratic Governors Association, sought to shirk Obama’s responsibility for the weak economic recovery during an appearance on Face the Nation, instead pinnning the blame on George W. Bush.

“It’s not what this election is about,” O’Malley said, when asked if Americans are better off today than they were four years ago.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Obama campaign top strategist David Axelrod similarly sought to downplay the continuing high unemployment rate by telling host Chris Wallace that the President stopped the economy from hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs like it did the month the President took office.

The unemployment rate has remained stuck above 8 percent throughout Obama’s presidency, and no president has been re-elected with an unemployment at that level since 1940.

Axelrod instead went on the attack hitting Mitt Romney for “not offering any real ideas” about how to fix the economy during his convention acceptance speech on Thursday night.

“In that sense, his convention was a terrible failure,” Axelrod said. “He never talked about his $5 trillion tax cut skewed to the wealthy. He never talked about turning Medicare into a voucher program.

“There are so many things he didn’t talk about, and people walked away – those voters who were trying to decide and said, ‘What alternative is really really trying to offer?’”

Wallace fired back asking Axelrod about the increases in unemployment, the rise of prices at the pump and the over $5 trillion that has been added to the national debt since Obama took office.

Axelrod defended Obama saying that 4.5 million jobs have been created since he became President, a figure that the liberal Politifact challenged because the Obama campaign’s numbers do not start at the beginning of the economic recovery.

“I keep talking about Mitt Romney because all Mitt Romney does is talk about Barack Obama,” Axelrod said. “What you are going to hear this week in Charlotte is a president who is going to present a clear agenda for the future that talks about how we build a sound economy.

“You didn’t hear those things from the Republican Party; their platform was locked up in the same vault with Mitt Romney’s tax returns,” Axelrod continued, saying the GOP is stuck in the past and is not interested in the future.

Obama spokesman David Plouffe had similar comments on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, attacking Romney for offering “trickle-down fairy dust” as the answer to the nation’s economic woes.

Like Axelrod, Plouffe stuck to the talking points, charging that the American auto industry would have become extinct had Romney had his way.

“It took a long time for us to get into that hole,” Plouffe said, referring to the high unemployment rate. “It’s going to take us a long time to get out of it.

“Gov. Romney’s offering the same policies that led to the recession in the first place,” Plouffe continued. “One thing they didn’t explain last week in Tampa is how huge tax cuts for the wealthy and cutting back regulations on Wall Street is going to lead to economic growth and help the middle class.”

Plouffe continued his dodge of the “Are you better than you were four years ago?” question by suggesting that the economy was within an inch of a new Great Depression, but Obama’s leadership had averted catastrophe.

Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter offered a similar response to how Americans are better off than they were four years ago during an appearance on Face the Nation.

“In terms of the question, “are people better off today than they were four years ago?” Cutter said. “I want to remind you what was happening four years ago at this time. in the quarter before the President took office, we lost three million jobs. Our country was bleeding. Our financial system was on the verge of collapse.

“We were passing bank bailouts to ensure that our system could stay afloat. that’s what was happening before the president took office.”

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