President Obama told donors at a fundraiser Wednesday in Boston that he sometimes felt an "enormous frustration" with Republican efforts to block his legislative agenda.

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘Man, how do you stay optimistic because it just seems like a bunch of problems piling up on your desk, and it doesn’t seem like you’re getting a lot of help from the other side?’ " Obama said.

The president added that "however low people's estimations" of Washington were, the government shutdown had sent those numbers spiraling further down.


His remarks came as a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed his job approval rating at an all-time low. The same survey showed just 22 percent of Americans with a favorable view of the Republican Party, also a low. More than six in 10 say their current member of Congress doesn't deserve a second term.

The president described a "challenging year" since his reelection, pointing to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

“We would have hoped that coming out of those two tragedies that we would see a new spirit in Congress of people pulling together, and rolling up sleeves, and working on the things a broad spectrum of Americans agree on, but that’s not what we got," Obama said. "Instead, we got more obstruction and more resistance to getting anything done, most recently culminating in a shutdown that was entirely unnecessary.”

Among the 60 attendees at the dinner were former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. Tickets for the event, which benefited the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, ran $16,200 for an individual and $64,800 for a couple.

The event was held at the home of Alan D. Solomont, a top Obama fundraiser who served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain during Obama's first term. Guests were served Spanish-influenced dishes (as well as Red Sox cookies) at the event.