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Blaming Bush still works with voters

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

A new slew of polls finds that voters trust Mitt Romney with the economy more than President Obama, but that doesn't mean the president is getting whacked for the recession. It turns out that blaming former President Bush is still a good excuse.

According to the Republican group Resurgent Republic, a Wisconsin focus group of independents who backed Obama in 2008 but are undecided this year said the sour economy isn't the president's fault.

"Having been 'dealt a bad hand,' President Obama is perceived as 'doing the best he could,'" said Glen Bolger, Resurgent Republic advisory board member and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, who quizzed the focus group. "These Obama Independents are hesitant to place blame squarely on President Obama, and this sentiment is the president's saving grace in the campaign, since they fail to name Obama policies that have aided the recovery save the auto bailout," added Bolger's report.

But, he added, the unemployment rate drop to 7.8 percent wasn't seen as an "October surprise" aiding Obama. "None saw it as a major sign progress," he said.