There are some silver linings to be found in the economy even after weeks of fiscal drama from Washington, President Obama said in his weekly address.
The president touted his record on the economy in his remarks, while jabbing Republicans for standing in the way of those achievements.
Obama's remarks were an effort of sorts to move away from the showdown that gripped Washington in recent weeks, beginning with the government shutdown and ending with a last-minute deal to raise the nation's debt limit. Obama said he knows the public has heard a lot about Washington's woes, but "there are some good things happening in the economy" below the surface.
"After decades in which the middle class was working harder and harder just to keep up, and a punishing recession that made it worse, we made the tough choices required not just to recover from crisis, but to rebuild on a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth," he said. "Five years later, we have fought our way back."
The president touted his work on energy and health care as key economic boons. He noted steady job growth the economy has seen in recent months, underscoring 200,000 new jobs created in October.
He also noted that the auto industry has essentially recovered from its near bankruptcy and bailout and is helping support growing U.S. manufacturing. All this happened while the deficit has been cut in half, he added.
Both parties have battlegrounds immediately ahead of them; if a budget conference committee cannot strike a spending deal in the coming weeks, the U.S. could yet again be faced with another federal government shutdown. And the nation's borrowing cap will need another increase sometime this spring.
The president chided Republicans for repeatedly fighting back against his efforts, painting them as mere obstructionists getting in the way of a resurgent economy. He also made passing mention to the ongoing woes surrounding the rollout of his signature healthcare law, which has been the dominant GOP priority for weeks.
"Imagine how much farther along we could be if both parties were working together. Think about what we could do if a reckless few didn’t hold the economy hostage every few months, or waste time on dozens of votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than try to help us fix it," he said.
"As long as I’m President, I’ll keep doing everything I can to create jobs, grow the economy, and make sure that everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead," he added.