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Obama: 'tea party' wrong on 'culprits' of economic woes

President Obama asked for patience with the pace of economic recovery at a town hall-style meeting in Washington Monday.

President Obama is displayed on a large video screen Monday at the Newseum in Washington, where he discussed jobs and the economy during a town hall-style gathering hosted by CNBC.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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On a day when the nation’s official economic umpires said the recession ended over a year ago, President Obama spent an hour on TV Monday defending his handling of the economy and charging critics from the "tea party" with “misidentifying who the culprits” are behind economic tough times.

For slightly over an hour, Obama appeared at a town hall style gathering called “Investing in America,” hosted by the business cable channel CNBC at the Newseum journalism museum in Washington. He admitted that “times are tough for everybody right now” and noted that the recovery fostered by his policies “is slow and steady as opposed to a quick fix.”

IN PICTURES: Tea Parties

The National Bureau of Economic Research, a panel of academic experts responsible for dating recessions, said the recession lasted 18 months and ended in July, 2009. It was the longest recession the country has endured since World War II, and cost the economy 7.3 million jobs, the panel said.

When asked about tea party critics of his policies, Obama first noted that the US has a “noble tradition of being helpfully skeptical about government.” But he said the problem he saw in the debate about the direction of the country now taking place was that the wrong “culprits” were being blamed. He then noted that under President George W. Bush there were two tax cuts and two wars that were not paid for.

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