WH chief of staff: Obama focused on helping middle class succeed

White House chief of staff: President will us... 04:56

President Obama has been described as defiant and aggressive since the mid-term elections, when Republicans took control of the Senate. He's expected to propose hiking taxes on the nation's wealthiest to help the middle class at Tuesday's State of the Union address.

"His mindset is to keep doing everything he can for the middle class to make sure that they have the opportunities to succeed in this country that he had growing up in a middle class family over the course of the last several decades ... That's the basic bottom line of the American dream, and that's what we're focused on," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

McDonough said Mr. Obama wants to "crank the odds up against" bills that don't help the middle class.

"So if that means he has to veto them, he will," McDonough said.

McDonough said the president will also have ideas to help "paychecks go a little further, to make sure that people have the training and education they need for new jobs of the future, and that we're making sure that we're helping create those jobs."