KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Pointing the finger at Republicans for
congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers
Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer
break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that
could boost the middle class.
"Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Come
on," the president said in a boisterous and sharply partisan speech in
Addressing about 1,500 supporters at the historic Uptown Theatre,
Obama cast the stalemate in Washington as a personal reaction to his
presidency, accusing Republicans of choosing political stunts to
undermine him over taking action on issues like immigration,
transportation spending and tax reform.
Obama's tough talk came hours before Republicans were planning to
push a bill through the House authorizing a lawsuit against Obama and
accusing him of exceeding his powers in enforcing his health care law.
Obama dismissed the suit as a waste of time, noting he'd likely be out
of office by the time it's resolved and warning that taxpayers were on
the hook for the legal expenses.
"I know they're not that happy that I'm president," Obama said. "I've
only got a couple of years left. Come on, let's get some work done.
Then you can be mad at the next president."
At the same time, Obama offered an optimistic assessment of an
improving U.S. economy on the heels of new data showing strong growth in
the second quarter of the year. "We hold the best cards," he said.
"Things are getting better. The decisions we make now cold make things
even better than that."
Embracing the populist economic message that Democrats are promoting
ahead of the midterm elections, Obama said he was glad that stock
markets and corporate profits were booming, but said the country must
ensure that the middle class has opportunities to take part in that
prosperity. It was a theme the president underscored the night before
over ribs and beer as he shared a barbecue dinner with four Kansas City
residents in an effort to highlight the struggles of working Americans.