Why has Obama continued to blame Bush for the lagging economy? Because apparently it still resonates with the public. According to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll, Americans don’t approve of the president’s economic performance, but they continue to blame President Bush and congressional Republicans for getting the country into the mess:
While Republicans have pushed to cast the sputtering economy as Obama’s fault, Americans place their blame elsewhere. Fifty-one percent say that George W. Bush is most to blame for the down economy, while 31 percent say it’s Obama.
At the same time, 44 percent of Americans say that “a lot” or “most” of the blame should be put on the shoulders of congressional Republicans, while 36 percent say the same of congressional Democrats.
AP-GfK hasn’t released its polling data yet, but these numbers are fairly consistent with a July Quinnipiac poll, which found Americans blamed Bush over Obama by 54 to 27 percent. One of the reasons why Bush fared so poorly in the Quinnipiac poll is because Republicans were more likely to blame Bush (18 percent) than Democrats were to blame Obama (5 percent); and a much larger proportion of Democrats blamed Bush (87 percent) than Republicans blamed Obama (60 percent).
Independents fell somewhere in between, holding Bush responsible over Obama, 49 percent to 24 percent. But the poll didn’t take into account why Americans are more likely to blame Bush. For many Republicans (and conservative-leaning independents), it could be because they opposed Bush’s big-government fiscal policy. If that’s the case, these numbers aren’t necessarily good news for Obama.