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Obama Slams Congress: Downgrade Could Have Been Avoided

President Barack Obama slams Congress, says the downgrade of the United States' credit rating could have been avoided.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/12/2011, 5:13 AM

President Barack Obama slammed Congress on Thursday for what he termed “bickering” that hurts economic recovery.

In a speech to auto industry workers in Michigan, Obama said the refusal to put country ahead of party “has got to stop.”

“There are some folks in Congress who would rather see their opponents lose than see America win,” Obama was quoted by Reuters as having told an audience at a battery facility in Michigan.

The President blamed the violent market gyrations from the past few days on forces beyond his control, noting that European financial turmoil was “lapping up” on U.S. shores.

He also said the credit rating downgrade by S&P had been a “self-inflicted wound.”

“This downgrade you’ve been reading about could have been entirely avoided if there had been a willingness to compromise in Congress,” Obama said.

He was referring to the long battle between Democrats and Republicans over raising the U.S. debt ceiling. A compromise was reached at the absolute last minute.

Obama also promised his audience to deliver fresh approaches that will lower unemployment.