Michelle: President Wasn't 'Pointing Fingers' When He 'Inherited Economy in Rapid Decline'

By Matt Cover | October 29, 2012 | 3:06 PM EDT

First lady Michelle Obama. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(CNSNews.com) – First Lady Michelle Obama said Friday that her husband, President Barack Obama, was not “pointing fingers” and blaming anyone for the economic crisis happening when he took office. But one day before, on Thursday, Obama blamed the policies of “the previous president” for the ongoing weak economy.

Appearing at a Las Vegas campaign stop on Friday, Mrs. Obama said that the president did not blame anyone else for the economic crisis he inherited.

“He inherited an economy in rapid decline,” she said. “But instead of pointing fingers, instead of placing blame, your president got to work because he was thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother.”

However, at a rally in Ohio on Thursday, President Obama blamed “that philosophy in the decade before I took office” and the policies of the “previous president.”

In an attempt to link the proposals of GOP nominee Mitt Romney to those of former President George W. Bush, Obama pointed the finger of blame for the economic crisis on the policies of the past.

“But Governor Romney has been running around saying he's got a five-point plan to fix the economy,” Obama said in Cleveland. “Turns out it's only a one-point plan -- folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules than you do. They get to pay a lower tax rate, outsource more jobs, let Wall Street run wild again. It was the philosophy he had when he was in the private sector. It was the philosophy he had as a governor in Massachusetts. And if it sounds familiar, it's because we just tried that philosophy in the decade before I took office. And we know what happened. It didn’t work.” 

“That’s what those ideas produced,” Obama said.  “And we’ve been working for four years now, Ohio, to clean up the mess that those policies left behind. Now, Governor Romney understands this. He knows his plan is no different than what we tried under the previous president.”

In fact, Obama blamed the previous administration’s policies upon taking office. In his 2009 State of the Union address, Obama blamed the failures of the past for the economic crisis.

“The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight -- nor did all of our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank,” he said in February 2009.

“In other words, we have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election,” he said.

“A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.”