Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge

President Obama
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President Barack Obama says the income gap between America's rich and poor is a "defining challenge of our time."

Obama says income inequality has jeopardized the nation's middle class. And he is urging Washington to take steps to ensure that the economy works for everyone.

Obama's remarks on the economy come as he seeks to move past the health care woes that have consumed his presidency in recent months. He acknowledged his administration's "poor execution" in rolling out the flawed website that was supposed to be an easy portal for purchasing insurance.

The president also chided Republicans for leading a "reckless" shutdown of the federal government, saying no one in Washington has "acquitted themselves very well over the past couple of months."