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Rev. Jesse Jackson said he believes President Obama can ignite excitement in some of his previous supporters — whose belief in him is withering — by addressing poverty and violence. Rev. Jackson said, “I’m convinced he must address poverty and violence in a different way.” The legendary civil rights leader, Baptist minister, and former presidential candidate said there are 50 million Americans living in poverty today who cannot make ends meet and face malnutrition. Rev. Jackson believes President Obama should speak to those constituents. “Why not revisit Lyndon Johnson’s steps when he kicked off the war on poverty in Appalachia?” asked Jackson, adding that doing so would put “a white face on poverty and de-racialize the debate.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson believes President Obama brought the country back from the edge of a depression. When asked if he has the same physical investment for President Obama as he did four years ago when an image of a crying Rev. Jackson was captured on the night of President Obama’s victory, he said ‘it’s a different investment,’ referencing the joy of the moment in the victory after a hard fought campaign, but also he reflected on the tribulations African-American leaders; such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers, faced to help African Americans acquire the right to vote. “That was a crusade,” he said of President Obama’s 2008 victory. “Now we have a track record and a significant track record,” Rev. Jackson said.
He stated that President Obama acquired leadership during the ‘edge of depression.’ He provided a laundry list of President Obama’s achievements and also referenced former President Bill Clinton’s speech, delivered at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, that said President Obama acquired presidency when the country was in a deeper hole than when he acquired the role. Rev. Jackson also said that former President Bill Clinton gave validation to why constituents can trust President Obama moving forward. He concluded his conversation about President Obama’s leadership by saying we’re better off than we were four years ago. “President Obama brought us out of a mess and we’re coming out of that mess,” he said. When asked what slogan would he like to see for 2012, he said “Keep hope alive,” referring to his own Democratic Convention speech from 1988.