No shit, Sherlock.

President Obama on Sunday dismissed the notion that his administration in recent weeks has pivoted toward the political center to raise his approval ratings as the 2012 campaign nears.

After ushering through Congress measures to throw a lifeline to troubled U.S. corporations, stimulate the economy and dramatically overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, Obama has since cut a deal with congressional Republicans on taxes and called for a freeze on most federal spending.

But when pressed Sunday during a live interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly on what political analysts say is a clear sprint toward the center, Obama dismissed the notion with a “no.”

“I haven’t — I didn’t move to . . . I’m the same guy,” he said.

When O’Reilly said the president’s critics call him “a big government liberal,” Obama replied that he inherited a nation on the brink of an economic crisis. That situation required his administration to take a number of “extraordinary steps” to avoid a severe economic depression, Obama said.

“Over the first two years of my presidency, we had a complete disaster. Right? We had a complete crisis,” Obama said. “The financial markets were breaking down. We were slipping into a Great Depression. And we had to take a bunch of extraordinary steps in order to make sure that the economy was growing again, which it is now, growing. Making sure that the private sector was creating jobs again. It’s now doing that.”

When confronted with a Wall Street Journal editorial that accused Obama of aiming to redistribute wealth, the president replied, “Well, the Wall Street Journal probably would paint you as a left-wing guy.”

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