Princeton professor and black intellectual Cornel West criticized President Barack Obama during an interview with Democracy Now on Tuesday, claiming the president was far too willing to compromise with his opponents.

“A large number of black people want to protect President Obama against the vicious right-wing attacks, the Fox News-like attacks, the lies about him being socialist, Muslim, and so forth,” he said. “On the other hand, the suffering intensifies. It is very clear that President Obama caves in over and over again. He punts on first down. If you’re in a foxhole with him, you’re in trouble because he wants to compromise. He doesn’t have the kind of backbone he ought to have.”

West also said that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was “indifferent” to the suffering of the poor.

“We hope he gets a progressive economic team, even though, as you know, many of us are exploring other kinds of possibilities in the coming election given his lukewarmness.”

Watch video, courtesy of Democracy Now, below: