COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — At a fundraiser for his re-election campaign in Denver tonight, President Obama set out to upend conventional Republican wisdom that his administration has been defined by excessive government spending.
“I’m running to pay down our debt in a way that’s balanced and responsible. After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law,” he told a crowd of donors at the Hyatt Regency. “My opponent won’t admit it, but it’s starting to appear in places, like real liberal outlets, like the Wall Street Journal: Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly 60 years. Think about that.”
Obama was referring to an analysis released this week by Rex Nutting, a reporter for CBS MarketWatch who is also affiliated with the Wall Street Journal. Nutting concluded that Obama has presided over the slowest growth in federal spending in decades.
“I just point out it always goes up least under Democratic presidents. This other side, I don’t know how they’ve been bamboozling folks into thinking that they are the responsible, fiscally-disciplined party. They run up these wild debts and then when we take over, we’ve got to clean it up.
The Romney campaign noted that more than $5 trillion has been added to the debt during Obama’s first term, though in 2008 Obama called the $4 trillion added under Bush “unpatriotic.”
The Republican National Committee pointed out that while growth of spending and debt may have slowed, Obama has overseen the three largest deficits in U.S. history. (They also pass along fact-checker Politifact’s 2011 designation of Obama as the “undisputed debt king” of the last five presidents.)