- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 23, 2013

President Obama on Saturday again tried to turn attention away from his troubled health-care reform law and to other issues, while also placing the blame for Washington dysfunction and gridlock squarely on the shoulders of “a reckless few” — a clear shot at tea party Republicans in the House.

Mr. Obama conceded, as he has done several times recently, that the Obamacare rollout has been “rough,” but he spent much of Saturday’s weekly address touting his administration’s record on other matters.

“If you look beyond those headlines [related to Obamacare], there are some good things happening in our economy,” the president said, going on to cite his oft-repeated figure that American businesses have created 7.8 million jobs in the past 44 months.

“We decided to reverse our addiction to foreign oil,” the president continued. “And today, we generate more renewable energy than ever, more natural gas than anybody, and for the first time in nearly 20 years, America now produces more oil than we buy from other countries.”

Critics contend that Mr. Obama’s approach actually is holding back economic growth and American energy production, and that both would be much further along were it not for this White House’s policies.

Still, the administration isn’t shy about taking credit for those successes and laying the groundwork for the 2014 midterm elections by blaming Washington’s failures on the tea party.

“Imagine how much farther along we would 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,” Mr. Obama said.

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