The buck stops here with George Bush.

(Politico 44) — President Barack Obama said Tuesday he wishes he knew the full extent of the economic crisis when he took office, if only so he could have let Americans know just how tough the coming years would be.

“I think we understood that it was bad, but we didn’t know how bad it was,” Obama said in an interview with KIRO in Seattle. “I think I could have prepared the American people for how bad this was going to be, had we had a sense of that.”

Obama’s comments came as he sat down with a string of local TV reporters on Tuesday morning to sell his proposal to extend the payroll tax cut while highlighting the end of the Iraq war. He also did brief interviews — all under 10 minutes — with WVEC in Norfolk, Va., WEAR in Pensacola, Fla., and KOAA in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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