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Obama hits GOP on 'endless parade of distractions' over economy

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“We’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth,” Obama said in a speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.

“Add it all up, and over the past 40 months, our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs,” Obama said. “This year, we are off to our strongest private-sector job growth since 1999.”

The address was a clear attempt by the president to cement his role as a steward of the recovery ahead of fall battles with Republicans over the debt ceiling and government funding.

Obama declared, “we can't afford to repeat” the “fiasco” that occurred during the 2011 debt ceiling battle with Republicans.

He repeatedly targeted the “faction of Republicans in the House” that supported automatic spending cuts imposed last year and are threatening a debt ceiling showdown.

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