"The economy now belongs to Barack Obama, and I think everybody in the country is starting to believe that, and starting to know that," said Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) in an interview. "And that's why his poll numbers are going down."
The comments reflect a push by Republicans to tie the Obama administration more closely to a persistently dismal economy as the GOP also argues that the administration's trademark $787 billion stimulus package has been a failure.
The White House and congressional Democrats, for their part, have maintained that they had inherited a poor economic situation created in previous administrations.
Carter, who serves on the Appropriations Committee as well as the conference secretary for House Republicans, was unequivocal about laying the blame.
"He's creating it, he owns it, he's got to take credit for it," he said of the president's economic stewardship.