National Action Network’s Reverend Al Sharpton took aim at Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Democrat, when I asked the MSNBC host at a press conference on Wednesday about the CBC lawmakers’ critical remarks about President Barack Obama recently.
“I think the double standard is… most of who you’re talking about supported Clinton against Mr. Obama.” Rev. Sharpton said. “So the double standard is that when we did march when Clinton was president, I led the march on racial profiling….they weren’t in the march. So maybe the reason they think nobody marched on Clinton was because they missed it.”
The press conference was a gathering of liberal coalition leaders telling reporters about the October 15 march on Washington meant to pressure lawmakers to pass President Obama’s jobs bill. Rev. Sharpton recently defended President Obama’s speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
Rep. Waters, however, took offense to some statements the president made finding his speech “curious” and that black Americans “are not complaining.” Rep. Cleaver said in September that if President (Bill) Clinton was in office today, black Americans would be “marching on the White House now.”
“I think there’s a lot of discontent because of unemployment. I think that the media has been irresponsible in saying that the president has lost support without saying that these people never supported him. The people that you were referring to supported Hillary against him.” he told reporters. “How could he be losing people he never had? So I don’t think it’s cracks (within the foundation). I think it’s the same people that told people in ‘08 ‘don’t vote for him.’ And the community went and overwhelmingly voted for him anyway.”
Rev. Sharpton went further and discussed the legislative problems he had with the Clinton administration, including: the omnibus crime bill, NAFTA, and welfare reform.
“Many of the people that you’re talking about…how do they justify all that the Clinton administration did?” Sharpton asked. “…the racial profiling (bill) we couldn’t get done…they supported Clinton anyway. There’s no bill that President Obama proposed that’s against the interests of our community. So they’re out there raising rhetoric to him and told us to give a pass to people that did legislative assaults on us. I think it’s disingenuous.”
It appeared from from Sharpton’s suspicions regarding criticisms towards the president from fellow Democrats, he believed that Democratic forces were pushing a Hillary Clinton candidacy in 2012, but when I asked if he actually believed this, he responded, “I have no idea what they’re doing. I just know that it seems to be the same players and the same play.”