(CNN) – The continual barrage of attacks on President Barack Obama's handling of the economy comes as no surprise to the Democratic incumbent, who said in an interview that aired Sunday he would make the same criticisms if he were the challenger in the current climate.
Speaking on CBS, Obama agreed that rival Mitt Romney was centering his campaign on the current state of the U.S. economy.
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"That is his argument, and you don't hear me complaining about him making that argument, because if I was in his shoes I would be making the same argument," Obama said, acknowledging that unemployment and jobs were at the top of most Americans' minds heading into the heat of election season.
"The most important issue we face as a country is how do we build an economy where the middle class is strong and growing, and those who are willing to work hard can fight their way into the middle class," Obama said, stressing that "the components that we put in place have made a difference."
The president continued, "I think the question right now for the American people is which vision, mine or Mr. Romney's, is most likely to deliver for those folks. Because that is where the majority of American people live. Because the middle class has been and is in a terrible place and losing ground in terms of their history."
Obama said he was chiefly frustrated by how politics seep into every decision made in the nation's capital, despite the suffering of Americans who are out of work or losing their savings. He claimed the constant battle between Democrats and Republicans was a major reason for a reduction in enthusiasm for his candidacy from 2008.
"If you ask me what is the one thing that has frustrated me most over the last four years, it is not the hard work, it is not, you know, enormity of the decisions, it is not the pace. It is that I haven't been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people," Obama said.
Asked if he felt he was partly to blame for the polarized atmosphere, Obama replied, "I think there is no doubt that I underestimated the degree to which in this town, politics trumps problem-solving."
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