Be honest, now. Did you really expect Obama to take responsibility for anything?
White House press secretary Jay Carney laid the blame for a surprise economic contraction squarely at the feet of congressional Republicans Wednesday, saying economic threats during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations had prevented important defense spending.
"Our economy is facing a major headwinds, and that's Republicans in Congress," Carney said.
The Commerce Department projected Wednesday that the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Carney said that was partially attributable to the threat of sequestration, which would implement across-the-board spending cuts if a long-term deficit deal is not reached.
"This is political brinkmanship that results in one primary victim. That's American taxpayers and the American middle class," Carney said, acknowledging the GDP projection was bad news.
"I don't think anytime you see a reduction in economic growth that it's good news," he said.
Carney said economic observers were "rightly appalled" by the threat of sequestration or default to drive a debt deal, and charged that Republicans were harming the economy to the benefit of the wealthiest Americans.
"It can't be we'll let sequester kick in because we insist tax loopholes remain in place for corporate jet-owners," Carney said.
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), pointed the finger of blame for the still-looming sequester back at the White House.
"These arbitrary, automatic cuts were a creation and demand of the White House in 2011," said Buck. "Twice the House has passed legislation to replace them with common sense cuts and reforms. If there was any uncertainty late last year about the sequester, it was because the Democratic-controlled Senate, per usual, never lifted a finger to pass a plan to replace it."
Sequestration was the president's idea. The House passed budget cuts to replace the sequester. Senate Democrats never considered the package.
And the economic contraction in the 4th quarter - only partially due to delayed defense spending anyway - is all the fault of the GOP?
It doesn't get any more brazen than this. Welcome to the new reality - created, nurtured, promoted, and sold by an administration that doesn't have to work very hard to get it's distorted and skewed version of the truth out to the masses thanks to a press corps that has thrown in with the Democrats.
Being rewarded for acting and governing irresponsibly will only lead to disaster. Good thing the GOP will always be there to take the blame.