Wasserman Schultz: Obama in good shape

Aug. 14, 2011 at 3:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- President Obama is in "remarkably good shape," despite slumping approval ratings in states he plans to visit, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman said.

"He still has widespread support," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and DNC leader, said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation." "If anyone is in trouble, it's the Republican Party."

Obama begins a bus tour of America's heartland, with stops in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois this week, to discuss ways to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and accelerate.

Recent polls indicate Obama's approval ratings have fallen during two years in the three states on his itinerary: from 61 percent to 49 percent in Iowa; from 66 percent to 52 percent in Minnesota and from 71 percent to 54 percent in Illinois.

But Obama isn't in trouble, Wasserman Schultz said.

"The president is in actually remarkably good shape, given that he is still struggling to help pull our economy out of the Republican recession that he inherited," she said. "His numbers are still strong."

Americans appreciate the work President Obama has done in reforming healthcare and financial services, she said.

She said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who announced his entry into the Republican presidential sweepstakes Saturday, made "inappropriate" comments critical of Obama's record on job creation and economic recovery.

Obama inherited "the worst recession that we've had since the Great Depression, created by the policies, the failed policies of the previous Republican administration, where we went from a record surplus to a record deficit," the DNC chairwoman said. "So we have begun to turn things around. We acknowledge that we have a long way to go and we are certainly no longer in free fall."

Wasserman Schultz took exception to Perry touting the below-average jobless rate in Texas when announcing his bid in South Carolina. In June, the U.S unemployment rate was 9.2 percent; in Texas it was 8.2 percent in the same period:

"There are dramatic contrasts with the governor of Texas, not the least of which is that it's extremely difficult for him to deserve credit for that job creation when you have rising gas prices that created oil jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you had military spending as a result of two wars that created military jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you have the Recovery Act championed by President Obama that created jobs in Texas that he had nothing to do with."

Wasserman Schultz said the field of GOP presidential hopefuls was busy trying to "out-right-wing each other."

"Essentially, they are all so similar that they might as well be Lego," she said, "they're that interchangeable."

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