In his remarks at a Democratic fundraiser in Massachusetts Saturday evening, President Barack Obama said that Americans’ fear and frustration” are to blame for an intensely competitive midterm election season favoring Republican candidates.

“Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared,” Obama said Saturday evening in remarks at a small Democratic fundraiser Saturday evening. “And the country’s scared.”

Obama told the several dozen donors that he was offering them his “view from the Oval Office.” According to Politico, Obama blamed the economic downturn for Americans’ inability to “think clearly” and said the burden is on Democrats “to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling.”

“You can respond in a couple of ways to a trauma like this,” Obama said, referring to the economy. “One is to pull back, retrench and respond to your fears by pushing away challenges, looking backwards. Another is to say we can meet these challenges and we are going to move forward. And that’s what this election is about.”

In similar remarks earlier in the day, Obama blamed Republicans for being uncooperative, saying the party decided to “ride people’s anger and frustration all the way to the ballot box,” and predicted more partisanship and gridlock next year. “I don’t anticipate that getting better next year,” he said. “I anticipate that getting worse.”

The president also campaigned in Ohio this weekend with a similar message: