By Russell Berman - 01/14/14 09:45 AM EST
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday used a private meeting with House Republicans to tout polling that suggests that voters now blame President Obama more than President Bush for the state of the economy.
Citing a new survey by GOP pollster David Winston, Boehner told his members that the administration had reached a “turning point” after five years in which Obama had successfully “passed the buck” by blaming his predecessor for the nation’s economic woes. Republicans, he argued, now have the upper hand when it comes to the economy.
“For the first time, a majority of Americans now say they believe the troubles in our economy are more the result of the policies of the present than the policies of the past,” Boehner said, according to prepared remarks.
The Speaker shows slides illustrating the numbers. After Obama’s 2012 re-election, according to Winston’s polling, 53 percent of voters said “policies of the past” were causing the nation’s economic problems, while 44 percent blamed policies “of the present.” Polling in November 2013 found those numbers largely reversed; 41 percent blame the policies of the past, while 49 percent blame current policies.
“Since he can’t blame George W. Bush anymore, the president has chosen to talk about rising income inequality, unemployment, and the need to extend emergency unemployment benefits,” Boehner said. “After five years in office, Barack Obama still doesn’t have an answer to the question: Where are the jobs?”