PEOSTA, Iowa, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama, in an interview Tuesday with CNN, said Republicans in the House of Representatives are responsible for the current political gridlock.
Obama said when Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and members of his caucus refused to support a deficit plan with $4 trillion in cuts because it included some tax hikes that "tells me they are more interested in politics ... than they are in solving the problem."
While the president said he is "accountable" for the state of the economy, many of the problems were not of his making. He pointed to the "mess" the country was in when he was inaugurated, the loss of jobs in state and local government and external shocks from the European debt crisis, problems in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami and increases in oil prices because of unrest in the Mideast.
Obama was interviewed at Northeast Iowa Community College during a three-day trip to the Midwest. The trip occurred at a time when the area is politically active because of the past weekend's Iowa straw poll, which brought a host of Republican candidates to the state.
Obama dismissed calls for a Balanced Budget Amendment.
"We don't need to amend our Constitution in order to do that," Obama said. "Why can't Congress simply make good choices?"