Obama: 'I Don't Think They're Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago'

This article is from the archive of our partner .

President Obama admits that Americans aren't better off than they were four years ago -- the old Ronald Reagan formulation -- and he's not going to try to convince them that they are. In an interview with ABC News, Obama says, "I don't think that they're better off than they were four years ago... They're not better off than they were before Lehman's collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we're going through. I think that what we've seen is that we've been able to make steady progress to stabilize the economy but the unemployment rate is still way too high," the Associated Press reports.

Obama signaled he's going to blame Republicans for that. "At every step of way, I have tried to get the Republican Party to work with me on the biggest crisis of our lifetime. And each time we've gotten 'No,'" he tells George Stephanopoulos. But the president insists that the 2012 election will be about the future, not his first term: "I'm used to being the underdog. But at the end of the day people are going to ask -- who's got a vision?" Republicans immediately attacked the comment -- Mitt Romney's campaign issued a press release titled "WE AGREE, MR. PRESIDENT." (Romney's campaign loves caps lock.) Slate's John Dickerson tweets that they'd be "hitting him harder" if Obama said things had gotten better.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.