Princeton professor Cornel West said Thursday that President Barack Obama had not done enough to help the poor, but he was still a better choice than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"I mean, we would say that the mendacity and mediocrity of Romney is such that it’s fairly clear that Obama will win," he said on Democracy Now. "The problem is, is that Obama himself, though better than Romney, is still very much part of a system that has failed poor and working people."

Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday showed that 46.2 million people, roughly one in six Americans, were living in poverty. The data also showed that income for middle-class families had declined, while the top 10 percent of households saw their incomes rise.

"It’s fairly clear capitalism is not working for poor and working people in America," West said. "And we have to bear witness to that. We have to tell that truth. Of course we’re very sensitive when it comes to the fear of a right-wing takeover of the White House with Romney, would be catastrophic."

"But as I have also noted, so far, Obama has been disastrous. So the question is, how do we acknowledge that this suffering is real, keep track of not just the statistics, but the precious humanity of the folk who are catching hell?"

West and TV host Tavis Smiley are hoping to make the poor in America a campaign issue with their new Poverty Tour 2.0.

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Democracy Now, below: