ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. banks are in better shape due to reforms and steps to boost capital levels since the 2008 financial crisis, the White House said on Friday, but it declined comment on a credit rating downgrade of some of the country's largest financial firms.

"What I can say is that the American banking system today is stronger and more stable as a result of the president's efforts to push for strong reforms in the Dodd-Frank legislation," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama to Florida.

(Reporting By Laura MacInnis)