Little more than four months before pivotal congressional elections, President Obama on Friday defended his economic policies and berated congressional Republicans for blocking many of his initiatives.
"They don't do anything," Obama told supporters gathered at a band shell near a Minneapolis lake. "Except block me, and call me names."
The president ran down a list of items on which he and congressional Republicans are at odds, including a new immigration bill, a proposed increase in the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance, and fair pay for women.
Obama, who is trying to help Democrats retain control of the Senate after the November elections, also mocked House Republicans for planning to sue him over his executive actions.
His various orders -- including minimum wage hikes for federal contract workers and new environmental and workplace rules -- are necessary because of congressional inaction, Obama said.
"They decided they are going to sue me for doing my job," Obama said.
Obama joked that, perhaps, "I might have once said, 'I want to raise the minimum wage, so sue me' -- I just didn't think they'd take that literally."
Republicans are expected to maintain control of the U.S. House after the November elections and have a chance to win a majority in the Senate as well.
Congressional Republicans said Obama is the one who is refusing to work with them, on items ranging from House-passed jobs bills to a bipartisan plan to repeal a tax on medical devices.
"The president and his party leader in the Senate are blocking that bipartisan action, just as they are blocking other bipartisan help for the middle class, including the Keystone XL pipeline, the nation's largest shovel-ready jobs project," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House has passed jobs bills, "only to see them blocked by the president and other Washington Democrats" in the Senate.
"The American people are still asking, where are the jobs?" Steel said. "But the president keeps doubling down on policies that have failed to increase prosperity."