If that attitude persists, it could bolster the president's chances for re-election in a campaign that is most certainly going to be dominated by the sagging economy and the stubborn jobless rate that have left so many Americans anxious and insecure.
Republicans, however, question how much longer Obama will be able to blame Bush for economic problems that Obama has yet to fix.
"After two and a half years, it's President Obama's economy," Elaine Chao, Bush's secretary of labor, told The Washington Examiner. "The administration's love affair with big government [is] resulting in excessive government spending, taxes, and regulations [that] are dragging down the private sector and discouraging employers from hiring."
Chao noted that the average unemployment rate from 2001 to 2008 was 5.2 percent compared with today's 9.1 percent. However, Bush was in the White House when Wall Street began to collapse, ushering in a wave of government bailouts that remain unpopular with voters.
With projections showing that high unemployment will continue through 2012, Republican presidential candidates have zeroed in on Obama's economic record, saying that a failed stimulus package and series of big-government spending measures have done little or nothing to produce jobs.
The poll reflects a souring economic mood created by an unprecedented credit downgrade, fears of a double-dip recession and a debt crisis engulfing Europe. It also provides warnings for a president whose approval rating has fallen to around 40 percent.
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