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Obama touts economy while marking Lehman fall

Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

In this image from video pretaped at the White House in Washington Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, for Sunday morning's ABC's "This Week" President Barack Obama answers questions about Syria, and other pressing national and international issues during an interview with George Stephanopoulos. Trying to lay claim to an economic turnaround, Obama acknowledged that despite progress, middle and low-income Americans have not benefited as much as the top 1 percent in the country. "We came in, stabilized the situation," citing 42 months in a row of growth, 7 1/2 million jobs created and a revitalized auto industry. He said that when it comes to a crucial deadline to raise the nation's borrowing limit next month, he would not negotiate with Republicans. (AP Photo/ABC News)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the nation's financial system is 'safer' five years after the collapse of a Wall Street giant plunged the nation deeper into a recession.

Obama marked the fifth anniversary of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers by surrounding himself with Americans the White House says have benefited from the administration's economic and banking policies.

Obama says his administration has laid a "new foundation" for a stronger economy. But he admits that the benefits are not being felt by many middle class Americans.

The president's remarks come ahead of anticipated confrontations with congressional Republicans over paying for government operations and raising the nation's borrowing cap. He jabbed Republicans, saying GOP lawmakers are not focused on the middle class.