20 APR 2011
By Mike Dorning and Julie Hirschfeld Davis | Bloomberg
President Barack Obama began a tour promoting his proposal to cut long-term budget deficits with a new urgency after Standard & Poor’s said the nation’s AAA credit rating is in peril.
The divide between Republicans and Democrats in Congress over combating the nation’s debt was spotlighted by Standard & Poor’s lowering of the long-term U.S. credit outlook to “negative,” with each side saying the alert bolsters their competing arguments.
At a town hall-style meeting today in Annandale, Virginia, Obama said the nation’s mounting debt posed a threat to the strength of the economic recovery.
“Now that the economy has begun to grow again, if we keep on spending more than we take in, it’s going to cause serious damage to our economy,” Obama said at a gymnasium filled with students and faculty at Northern Virginia Community College.
Obama’s cross-country campaign-style swing is billed in part as an effort to build support for cuts in popular programs and he didn’t mention yesterday’s S&P report. Administration officials said they don’t expect him to refer to it unless he is asked.
Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist who worked on Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said any president would prefer to minimize attention to an unfavorable assessment of the nation’s creditworthiness.
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