HOLLAND, Mich. — Seeking to align himself with a public beleaguered by economic uncertainty and frustrated by Washington, President Barack Obama declared Thursday: “There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics.”
His toughly worded message — he said there was frustration in his voice, in case anyone missed the point — came amid a series of polls showing that people are disgusted with political dysfunction and are dispensing blame all around, including on Obama.
On his first official trip outside of Washington since being confined to the nation’s capital for more than a month to deal with the debt debate, Obama said Americans were right to be worried about the country’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate and the fluctuations in the stock market. The contentious and partisan debt debate in Washington this summer, he said, has done little to help.
“Unfortunately what we’ve seen in Washington in the last few months has been the worst kind of partisanship, the worst kind of gridlock, and that gridlock has undermined public confidence, and impeded our efforts to take the steps we need for our economy,” Obama said during remarks at a factory that makes advanced batteries for alternative-fuel vehicles.