President Barack Obama pointedly criticized Republicans on Saturday over what he called "obstruction" that "keeps the system rigged for those at the top, and rigged against the middle class."
"The problem is, Republicans in Congress keep blocking or voting down almost every serious idea to strengthen the middle class," Obama said in his weekly address. "We could do so much more as a country – as a strong, tight-knit family – if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck for those at the top, and more interested in growing the economy for everybody."
Obama's address came after a trip earlier this week to Minneapolis, where he met with a young mother who had written him a letter about her financial struggles. Obama met the mother, Rebekah Erler, of Minneapolis, on Thursday over burgers. Obama mentioned Erler in his Saturday address, saying, "there are still too many middle-class families like hers who do everything right – who work hard and who sacrifice – but can’t seem to get ahead."
As msnbc's Steve Kornacki noted Saturday, Obama has begun using bolder language when discussing Republican efforts to thwart his agenda. In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that aired Friday, Obama called House Speaker John Boehner's threat of a lawsuit over the president's executive actions a "stunt." And in a speech Friday in Minneapolis, Obama said Republicans are "suing me for doing my job."
"They don't do anything except block me and call me names," he added in the speech.
Obama said in his Saturday address that if his actions make "Republicans in Congress mad ... they can join me, and we'll do it together."