Obama to Congressional Black Caucus: ‘March With Me’

Likening the struggles of the unemployed to the civil-rights movement, President Obama called on the Congressional Black Caucus to put aside differences and fall in line behind his jobs proposal during a speech Saturday at the CBC Foundation’s annual awards dinner in Washington.

“I expect all of you to march with me and press on,” Obama told the audience. “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, CBC.”

The president has come under mounting criticism from black members of Congress in recent months over his handling of the unemployment crisis. The black unemployment rate has ticked up to 15.9 percent on Obama’s watch, up from 11.5 percent when he took office, and blacks have also been hit hard by the housing market collapse

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Pictured: U.S. President Barack Obama waves after speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards dinner on September 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. This is the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s forty-first annual legislative conference. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)