HOLLAND (WWJ/AP) – Speaking in Michigan, Thursday, President Barack Obama said that there is nothing wrong with America, but there is something wrong with American politics.
He says Washington has seen the worst kind of partisanship and the worst kind of gridlock in recent months, and that it’s undermined public confidence and made things worse instead of better. The president said people are frustrated and he is, too.
The president spoke Thursday at an advanced battery manufacturing plant in Holland, on his first official trip outside of Washington in weeks since negotiations on the debt crisis kept him stuck in the capital.
He said the downgrade of U.S. debt could have been entirely avoided if politicians had been willing to compromise.
Hear the President’s full remarks:
“Gridlock has undermined public confidence and impeded our efforts to take the steps we need for our economy. It’s made things worse instead of better,” said Obama.
The President said Washington lawmakers have a responsibility to them to move the economy forward. He said the recent Standard & Poor downgrade was a self-inflicted wound.
“The downgrade you’ve been reading about could have been entirely avoided if there had been a willingness to compromise in Congress,” he said.
President Obama has categorized this trip to Michigan as an opportunity to highlight the key role innovative technologies play in helping automakers achieve fuel economy standards and providing new jobs.
But, on the other side of the aisle, Michigan Republicans have been taking jabs at the President, calling his visit a campaign stop.
This is the second visit of the president to Holland in 13 months.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.