U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue had some choice words on Saturday for the group's recent opponents, which include the Obama administration.  

"One thing I can tell you: They can go out and chase me and chase the Chamber and put stuff in the newspaper. It only...drives more and more support," he told the Wall Street Journal. "You think we are going to blink because a couple of people are out shooting at us? Tell 'em to put their damn helmets on."

Recently, the White House has gone after the Chamber for opposing several items on its first-year agenda, such as cap-and-trade climate legislation and new financial regulations. Companies such as Nike and Apple have dropped out of the Chamber for its stance on cap-and-trade, which the House passed in June.

But Donohue defended the organization's positions against its opponents, specifically targeting the White House.

"The White House doesn't give out the seats at the table," he said. "The seats at the table go to the people who have a rational policy, who have strong people to advance that policy, that have a strong grass-roots system, that have the assets to support their program, and that are willing to play in the political process."

He continued, saying "the bottom line is you can't do this job if you are squeaky about all that stuff. My job is to represent the American business community in an honorable way, to present their interests in a way that I really think is good for them and good for this country."

"I plan to keep doing it," he added. "We want to encourage and promote and educate and get a bunch of enthusiasm behind...the free enterprise system with free capital markets and free trade and the ability to fail and fall right on your ass and get up and do it again!" 

Donohue's words might create a hostile environment for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who is scheduled to speak at the group's November board of directors dinner.

President Barack Obama has criticized as "false" advertisements the Chamber has run in opposition to a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would regulate credit extended to businesses. The White House has also skirted the Chamber, meeting directly with top CEOs to discuss its agenda.

More broadly, the Chamber has attracted the enmity of Democrats in recent years for a perceived going alliance with Republicans.  Sen. Chuck Shumer (D-N.Y.) last year attacked the Chamber as an arm of the GOP.