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Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge

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(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama speaks about the new health care law, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. The president said his signature health care law "is working and will work into the future." Obama said the benefits of the law have "gotten lost" in recent months as attention focused on the widespread problems that crippled the website where people can sign up for health insurance.

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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."

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