Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) told CBS News’ Erica Hill that she wasn’t sure who Obama was talking to at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner on Saturday night when he told the audience to march with him and quit complaining.
Here’s what Obama told the CBC:
I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on. I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC.
Obama is clearly frustrated that this key voting bloc is grumbling about such a minor matter as the 27-year high in black unemployment. They need to just suck it up and get with the program so he can win reelection next year and then he might try to tackle the problem.
Waters, though, was clearly puzzled at Obama’s remarks and told Hill that Obama spoke to the Hispanic Caucus and didn’t ask them to stop complaining, and that he certainly wouldn’t tell the gay and lesbian or the Jewish communities what he told the CBC on Saturday evening. She added that the CBC isn’t complaining but rather is working for him and is protecting that base so people can be enthusiastic about him.
Yet last month during a series of town halls that the CBC sponsored and which were led by Waters, she accused the President of being more interested in electoral votes in Iowa than in solving black unemployment. Apparently that doesn’t meet Waters’ definition of a complaint.
Obama’s actions have brought even more scrutiny to an already troubled reelection campaign. He didn’t do himself any favors by scolding some of his most loyal supporters.