Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Sunday that African-Americans want President Obama to “fight harder” to create jobs in the struggling U.S. economy.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Cummings said the black community is very protective of Obama and is upset by attacks coming from Republicans on the president. But the lawmaker, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said African-Americans want Obama to not concede to Republican demands.

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“Almost every African-American person I have talked to has said they want him to fight, and fight harder,” Cummings said. “If the Republicans are not going to work with us, we just have to go it alone. Stand it up to them. Don’t back down. Period. They’re going to give you anything anyway.”

The unemployment rate is much higher among African-Americans, which has led to complaints from Congressional Black Caucus members of inaction and inattention by the White House to that community. Cummings said black lawmakers should tell the president what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear.

“He needs to hear that there is a lot of people suffering,” Cummings said.



Cummings said he doesn’t believe that Obama has taken black voters for granted, typically his strongest supporters. Cummings also said he had no problems with the president going on a bus tour of rural Midwestern states this past week but Obama should also visit urban areas to talk job creation.


“We want the president to go to Iowa but we also want him to go to Detroit, we want to him to come to Los Angeles, and we want him to stick with a jobs agenda,” Cummings said.