Obama shoring up African-American support

Sept. 25, 2011 at 2:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's appeal to stop complaining about black unemployment rates helped "close ranks" Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said Sunday.

The unemployment rate for African-Americans is almost 17 percent and some black Democratic leaders have complained that Obama isn't doing enough about it.

"I don't have time to feel sorry for myself! I don't have time to complain! I'm 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!" Obama said Saturday to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation meeting in Washington.

Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said Obama's statement was met with thunderous applause.

"We've created 2.4 million jobs in the private sector over the last 18 months. We've got more to do. And President Obama has appealed to the Congressional Black Caucus and the attendees last night to close ranks, stand behind him, press on to make sure that we can continue to push for things like passage of the American Jobs Act," she said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, argued employment rates are not better than they were three or four years ago and said it's Obama's fault.

"We're going to have a rigorous debate in this country on our side of the aisle. We're going to put up an articulate, intelligent alternative to this president," Priebus said.

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