In a just-concluded speech on the economy in Holland, Michigan, President Obama suggested that the blame for S&P's recent downgrade of the U.S. credit rating--and the market volatility that has come with it--lay not with the rating agency or with the fundamentals of the U.S. economy but with Congress. The President called the downgrade a "self-inflicted wound" and argued that it could have "been entirely avoided if there had been a willingness to compromise." He added that "there are people in Congress who would rather see opponents lose than see America win." Obama pointed a finger squarely at Washington. "There is nothing wrong with our country," he stated. "There is something wrong with our politics."
Earlier in the day, Obama toured an advanced battery facility in Holland to highlight the White House's effort to achieve higher fuel economy standards in the U.S.