In an attempt to get out in front of startling GDP contraction, Democrats are scrambling to blame the unanticipated growth plunge on spending cuts, not President Barack Obama’s trillions in federal spending that have accelerated the need for tightening the nation’s fiscal belt.

Last quarter, the U.S. economy grew at 3.1%. On Wednesday, the Commerce Department announced that the economy experienced negative growth in the fourth quarter of 2012 by -0.1%. By comparison, China’s fourth quarter GDP was up 7.9%.

Democratic Party communications director Brad Woodhouse fired off a Twitter message quoting Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics calling the -0.1% growth rate “the best looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see.”

And today on the White House blog, Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan B. Krueger attempted to blame America’s first quarterly GDP drop in three-and-a-half years on Hurricane Sandy and slower defense spending “likely due to uncertainty stemming from the sequester.”

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