While Obama praised Johnson's program on its 50th anniversary, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., used the Lyndon Johnson Room in the Senate to declare the War on Poverty a failure, the Los Angeles Times reported. Rubio called for a shift in federal anti-poverty programs to the states, arguing that will provide more flexibility to show what actually works.
Johnson's programs showed the belief "that government spending is the central answer to healing the wounds of poverty" is not correct, Rubio said.
Obama said that the poverty rate has dropped by 40 percent since the 1960s. But he said much still needs to be done, that the United States should not stop the fight because millions are still living in poverty.
"Instead, it means we must redouble our efforts to make sure our economy works for every working American," he said. "It means helping our businesses create new jobs with stronger wages and benefits, expanding access to education and healthcare, rebuilding those communities on the outskirts of hope, and constructing new ladders of opportunity for our people to climb."