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Obama Now Partly Running on Clinton’s Economic Record?

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Faced with a stagnating economy and unemployment over 8 percent on his own watch, President Obama on the stump now invokes the economy during the era of former President Bill Clinton.

The president’s invocation of Clinton is part of his pitch to raise taxes on higher income brackets, as did President Clinton in 1993; and as a contrast to his current Republican opponents who seek to extend all the Bush-era tax rates, including those on the top wage-earners, which President Obama opposes.

Essentially, within this construct, President Obama is trying to cast the choice voters face as Bill Clinton versus George W. Bush, with Bill Clinton’s economy as his, and George W. Bush’s economy as Mitt Romney’s. Clinton’s economy saw the creation of tens of millions of jobs, an economic boom and a projected federal budget surplus.

On Tuesday, in Portland, Oregon, the president told supporters that the U.S. was not built from the top down, but rather from the bottom up. “It was built because we invested in great schools and great universities, and we put rules of the road in place to make sure that everybody was being treated fairly,” the president said. “Let me just point out that the approach that I’m talking about has also been tested. Just like their theories have been tested and didn’t work, my theories have been tested. The last time they were tried was by a guy named Bill Clinton. And we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficits to surplus, and we created a lot of millionaires to boot.”

In Oakland, California, on Monday, the president said the deficit cannot be reduced “without asking folks like me who have been incredibly blessed to give up the tax cuts that we’ve been getting for a decade. I’ll cut out government spending that’s not working, that we can’t afford, but I’m also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and everybody did well.”

The president then said: “Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

The campaign of Mitt Romney took the quote “We tried our plan – and it worked” to suggest the president was saying the current economy is a success.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio