White House adviser defends efforts to help poor as poverty rate climbs

"I can go on and on and on," she said. "Not enough, but significant, significant investments by this president to make sure we are serving low-income Americans and urban America.

"We need all hands on deck if this economy is going to succeed," she added.

On Tuesday, the Census Bureau reported that 46.2 million people were living below the poverty line in 2010, the highest number ever recorded. The percentage of the population living in poverty also rose to 15.1 percent, the highest level since 1993.