National Urban League President Marc Morial tells Fox News that President Obama's jobs plan "could be more robust," and that while he and the minority community consider the plan "a good effort," they would like to see it "expanded." "The best deficit reduction plan is a jobs plan," Morial said.
Morial's comments came in the course of an interview about the latest poverty statistics, released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday morning. The data showed that 15.1 percent of Americans - roughly 42.6 million - are now impoverished. The total number reflects the highest ever seen since poverty figures were first published in 152, while the percentage of Americans in poverty reflects the highest rate since 1983.
Asked about a July Washington Post/ABC News survey that found that the number of African-Americans who believe the president's actions have helped the economy dropped by about twenty points over seven months this year, Morial said: "There is no doubt that what people reflect in that poll is how they feel about themselves, and how they feel about objective conditions."
"And I do think the president must pay attention, and I think he is paying attention to those polling numbers, because there's a great deal of despair out there, a great deal of pain, a great deal of human misery, because this recession has not only been deep; indeed, it has been long..." Morial said.
Asked whether this is not, in fact, this is Obama's economy, Morial replied: "It's not completely Obama's economy, because the recession that we've been struggling with as a nation began and really festered before he took office. There is no doubt that as president, you have a responsibility to lead the recovery. But it's not just the president; the president has to have an active, willing partner in the Congress of the United States."
When pressed as to whether it is inconsistent for liberals like Morial to point to the booming economy under Bill Clinton, and say that he "presided" over it, but shrink from ascribing fault for the current, faltering economy to the current incumbent, Morial noted policy disagreements with Clinton as well as support for the last Republican president.
Morial said that he and other minority leaders "were not a choir or chorus" of support for Bill Clinton, as they expressed great concern over Clinton's welfare reform initiative and added that they were not a "choir or chorus of objections" to George W. Bush, particularly when he "rallied the spirit of this nation" after 9/11. "And the same for Barack Obama," he said.
James Rosen joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1999. He currently serves as the chief Washington correspondent and hosts the online show "The Foxhole."