President Obama has “the worst record of any president when it comes to putting America deeper in debt,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus charged Tuesday.
Priebus’s claim comes days after the federal debt passed $18 trillion for the first time.
“We literally cannot afford to continue Barack ObamaBarack ObamaConservative media struggles with new prominence under Trump Speculation grows over Trump FCC pick Graham: Left is 'going insane' after Trump's win MORE’s policies,” he said.
The national debt stood at $10.6 trillion last year, and has risen by more than $7.3 trillion during Obama’s time in office.
Supporters of the president note much of that debt accumulation came in the early years of the Obama presidency, when a depressed revenue base from a recession that began during the previous administration greatly added to budget deficits. Obama responded to the crisis with a huge stimulus package that added to government spending, but which the administration argues helped the country weather the financial freefall.
Since then, annual budget deficits have fallen.
Melanie Roussell, a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget, said, “since taking office, the president has cut the deficit by more than half, and the president's budget policies would stabilize and reduce the debt as a share of the economy.”