KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Days before Congress’ summer break begins, President Barack Obama used a Wednesday morning speech here to lambast Republicans who are preparing to sue him instead of taking action on some of his agenda items.
“Stop being mad all the time,” Obama chided Republicans during rowdy, campaign-style remarks. “Stop just hatin’ all the time.”
Democrats think they’ve struck fundraising gold with the Republican threat of a lawsuit against the White House, as well as the specter of impeachment some members of the party have raised. Since Friday, Democratic electoral committees sent more than a dozen emails using the issues to stir their supporters into donating money.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, tasked with electing Democrats to the House, said they’d raised more than a million dollars in online donations using the tactic.
House Speaker John Boehner announced plans earlier this summer to file suit against Obama for circumventing Congress on changes to his health care law, which some Republicans said was unconstitutional.
Obama has slammed the move as a political stunt, egging Republicans on with the quip “so sue me” during a speech in early July.
“They’re mad because I’m doing my job,” Obama said on Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to instead take action on closing tax loopholes and pass new laws he said will spur job creation.
“We can do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” he said. “Just come on. Come on and help out a little bit.”
Separately, some Republicans have suggested Obama could be impeached for exceeding his authority as president, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and others in the conservative wing of the GOP.
Boehner wrote off any talk of impeachment as a Democratic fundraising ploy on Tuesday.
“They’re trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year’s elections,” he said.
The White House was quick to cite a list of Republicans who have floated impeaching Obama, saying Boehner’s description of the idea as simply a Democratic talking point ignored the statements of some of his members.
“If that’s the case, then I suspect that there may be members of the Republican conference that didn’t receive the memo,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
During his remarks on Wednesday at a historic theater, Obama cast the Republican lawsuit as a distraction from the real work he wants Congress to be doing, including closing a legal loophole that allows big corporations to incorporate overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
Obama cast such tactics as unpatriotic.
“They’ve always been American companies. They took advantage of all the benefits of being an American company but now their accountant has convinced them maybe they can get out of paying some taxes,” he said.
“It ain’t right. Not only is it not right, it ain’t right.”
While he was in Missouri, Obama met with four people who’d written him letters detailing their struggles and successes in the uncertain economy. The President met the Kansas Citians over ribs and pulled pork at Arthur Bryant’s restaurant, which has served the city’s signature barbecue to former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Its vinegar-based sauce is labeled “The President’s Choice.”
Obama hopes to highlight the issues facing the middle class by scheduling meetings with Americans who have written him. This summer he has shared meals with people in Denver, Minnesota, Texas and elsewhere.
At Arthur Bryant’s on Tuesday, Obama ordered a half slab of ribs and a Bud Light, though when he asked for cole slaw the restaurant’s staff told him they had run out.
“You didn’t save me some?” he joked.