Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said Monday that she found President Barack Obama’s speech to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) “curious” and she’s not sure who he was talking to.
At the annual CBC awards banquet Saturday, Obama had told the crowd, “Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumblin’. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”
“I found that language a bit curious because the president spoke to the Hispanic caucus and certainly they are pushing him on immigration and despite the fact that he has appointed Sotomayor to Supreme Court, he has office for excellence in Hispanic education in the White House,” Waters told CBS’ Erica Hill. “He certainly didn’t tell them to stop complaining.”
“And he never would say that to the gay and lesbian community who really pushed him on don’t ask, don’t tell or even in a speech to AIPAC, he would never say to the Jewish community, ‘Stop complaining about Israel.’ So I don’t know who he was talking to because we are certainly not complaining. We are working. We support him and we are protecting that base because we want people to be enthusiastic about him when that election rolls around.”
Hill asked the congresswoman if she thought thought the President was aware of the economic pain African Americans were facing.
“He certainly heard us,” Waters explained. “That speech that he did to the Congressional Black Caucus included the words ‘black’ and ‘African American’ for the first time. And, yes, he is energized. We helped him to get energized so he can deal with the concerns of the black community. I think he heard us. Some of his words were not appropriate and surprised me a little bit, and I was curious about him but he certainly heard us.”
Watch this video from CBS’ The Early Show, broadcast Sept. 26, 2011.